The Journal of Forensic Economics has reached a significant milestone with publication of this issue. This is the first issue of Volume 25 of the JFE. After publishing 66 issues and 605 papers, the JFE has come a long way from its initial concept as first presented in an April 1987 NAFE Newsletter. Volume 1, Issue 1 was published in September 1987. The founding editors were John Ward as Managing Editor, Gerald Olson as co-Editor, and the initial board of editors included William Cobb, LeRoy Grossman, Paul Junk, B. F. Kiker, Don Schilling and Eli Schwartz.
As more issues of the JFE were published, the journal embraced technological change. Like many other journals, the first issues appeared in crude typeface. By 1989, the journal was the product of desktop publishing through the efforts of our production editor Nancy Eldredge. As personal computing took off, in 2000 a CD-ROM with the content of past issues was distributed to NAFE members. In August 2010, the website JournalofForensicEconomics.com went live. The JFE website allows members and subscribers to access articles from current and all past issues online and the site includes an advanced search system to locate articles. In 2011, the JFE began to use Editorial Manager, an online manuscript submission and peer review system, to improve the operations of the JFE and reduce the time from submission to publication In a double-blind, peer-reviewed format, the JFE has historically accepted 31% of its submissions.
At the present time, articles published in the JFE receive wide exposure as the Journal is abstracted and/or indexed in American Economic Association Electronic Online and CD-ROM Indexing and Abstracting Services; Contents of Recent Economics Journals; Sage Abstracts: Criminal Justice Indexing; Current Law Index; Sage Abstracts: Human Resources; International Bibliography of Book Reviews; International Bibliography of Periodical Literature; International Bibliography of the Social Sciences: Economics; International Current Awareness Services; Journal of Economic Literature: Index of Economics Articles in Journals and Collective Volumes; Legal Resources Index; and Legaltrac.™ Every article published in the JFE is assigned a digital object identifier using the CrossRef platform for quick, permanent access across online databases. Beginning this year, past articles of the JFE will be accessible in JSTOR, which will further the JFE's visibility in the research and academic communities.
As we look back and move forward, this issue includes an article by the original editor John Ward titled “The Journal of Forensic Economics: Revisiting its Perspective and Agenda for Research.” This article includes the results of a survey of NAFE members concerning the strengths, weaknesses and future direction of the JFE. Ward suggests that forensic economics has been strengthened by the published research in the JFE which has provided accurate measures of worklife expectancy, discussions of alternative instruments for forecasting and discounting future damages, the development of methodologies for measuring lost household services, and estimation of self-consumption in wrongful death litigation. The state paper series, which has been edited by James Rodgers and Robert Male, has covered rules of recovery of damages and definitions of economic damages by state and has provided forensic economists with a framework for extending our practices to new jurisdictions. Ward also notes that the JFE has provided a forum for debating issues such as the appropriateness of providing testimony on hedonic damages and lost service and family time.
Ward suggests that issues involving the legal structures, rules and constraints under which we operate have been unexplored as areas of debate and publication. The papers published in the JFE primarily have focused on methodologies for calculating economic damages. He asks if we should be discussing reforms in the “calculation of damages and the tort system and its rules in general to narrow the gap between what is legally permissible and what is economically correct.” As noted by Ward, as we look forward, it will be interesting to see what the next 25 volumes look like.