The author has been invited to write about his experiences as editor of the Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) and to reflect on what these experiences may mean for the status of journals in intellectual inquiry. As editor of JEL, he invited articles on topics that he knew little about and that he wanted to become much better informed of. He would approach a potential author and declare his interest in an accessible survey paper directed to non-specialist economists. The process of going from accepted manuscript to published copy has been transformed in the past fifteen years or so by the use of computerized technology. However, the editorial process is largely the same as that operating a century ago: manuscripts are submitted, reviewed by the editor and his referees, and, if deemed suitable, an iterative process converges on a publishable article that is printed in hard copy form.