The Cleft Palate–craniofacial Journal Marks 50 Years of Research With an Ethical Review

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To commemorate 50 years of publication for The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal, the publication will host a series of commentaries on a topic raised in the journal’s first issue in 1964 and compare it to the topic as discussed today. In the January 2014 issue, the commentary will examine past, present, and future directions of research ethics.

Volume 51, Issue 1  (January 2014)

Volume 51, Issue 1 (January 2014)

This commentary designates authorship and protection of research subjects’ privacy as two major areas of change in the editorial process since 1964.

The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal – The year 2014 marks 50 years of publication for The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal. To commemorate this achievement, the journal will host a series of commentaries in the coming year. Each issue will discuss a topic raised in articles from the journal’s first issue in 1964.

A recent addition to the journal is an ethics and health policy section. In the January 2014 issue, the journal will examine past, present, and future directions of research in the editorial article “Ethics and Health Policy—Then and Now.” This commentary takes the reader back to the research ethics of 1964.

While this journal was being launched, the now infamous Tuskegee study of syphilis was still in progress. In that project, U.S. Public Health Service clinicians knowingly denied diagnosis and treatment of syphilis to African-American men to study the progression of the untreated disease. Because of this study, ethical conduct standards were implemented and the National Research Act passed in 1974. Institutional review boards and informed consent of participants are now standards of research.

The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal has formalized its own standards over the years. In 1975, a policy of confidential peer review was adopted. And as part of a policy of respect for the person, in 1985, use of “person-first” language—for example, “a child with a cleft palate” rather than “a cleft-palate child”—was established.

New challenges face research today. This commentary designates authorship and protection of research subjects’ privacy as two major areas of change in the editorial process since 1964. Identifying which aspects of the research each author may be responsible for can be difficult now that authorship often entails research teams across multiple sites rather than a single author. Ensuring anonymity of individuals in case studies and photographs also poses new trials in a time of electronic access.

The future promises to bring further scientific advances and, along with them, social and ethical questions. The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal will continue to look back and forward on a variety of topics this coming year while striving to fulfill its primary goal—maximizing the welfare of those we serve.

Full text of the article, “CPCJ 50th Anniversary Editorial Board Commentary: Ethics and Health Policy—Then and Now,” The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, Vol. 51, No. 1, January 2014, is available at http://www.cpcjournal.org/doi/full/10.1597/13-267.

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About The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal
The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal is an international, interdisciplinary journal reporting on clinical and research activities in cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial anomalies, together with research in related laboratory sciences. It is the official publication of the American Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Association (ACPA). For more information, visit http://www.acpa-cpf.org/.

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Bridget Lamb
Allen Press, Inc.
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