Publishing shares something in common with roller coasters: The rewards are strongly and positively correlated with the capacity to instill fright.
A group of us recently started a new journal, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics: A Journal of Qualitative Research. While we publish some traditional types of articles, our hallmark is the “narrative symposium”—roughly 12 personal stories on a common theme followed by two commentary articles that draw out lessons from the stories and relate them to current debates.
The day before publishing our first call for papers, I woke up at 2 a.m. worried: What if a nursing assistant names an administrator who ignored reports of elder abuse? What if a physician discloses that a specific corporation offered to pay kickbacks for referrals? Eeek! Of course, we already had a confidentiality policy in place, but the reality of soliciting a large number of stories on sensitive topics made me question just how good it was.