British Medical Journal: Wikis

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BMJ also refers, in German, to the Bundesministerium der Justiz, see Federal Ministry of Justice (Germany).
Abbreviated title(s) BMJ
Discipline Medicine
Language English
Edited by Fiona Godlee
Publication details
Publisher BMJ Group (United Kingdom)
Publication history 1840–present
Frequency Weekly
Open access Immediate, research articles only[1]
License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License
Impact factor 12.827 (2008)
ISSN 0959-8138

BMJ is a partially open access medical journal. It is among the most influential and widely read peer-reviewed general academic journals in the field of medicine in the world.[2]

The journal is published by the BMJ Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association that also publishes 24 other journals focusing on various medical specialties. Originally called the British Medical Journal, the title was officially shortened to BMJ in 1988.

The editor of BMJ is Fiona Godlee, who was appointed in February 2005.[3]


Journal content

BMJ is an advocate of evidence-based medicine. It publishes original research as well as clinical reviews, news, editorial perspectives, personal views, and career focus articles, among others.

The journal releases a number of "theme issues" every year, when it publishes research and review articles pertaining to the theme addressed. Some of the popular theme issues in recent years include "Health in Africa," "Management of Chronic Diseases," and "Global Voices on the AIDS Catastrophe." A special "Christmas Edition" published annually on the Friday before Christmas is known for spoof or humorous articles.[4][5] (though often mainstream media fall for the joke[6][7]).


BMJ has four paper editions (which have the same content but different advertising):

  • General Practice edition for general practitioners
  • Clinical Research for hospital doctors
  • International edition for overseas subscribers
  • Compact Edition for retired members of the British Medical Association

Some of the international editions are also available in local languages. BMJ's global clinical online community is doc2doc.

Functioning of the journal

Submission of manuscripts to BMJ is done via an online manuscript processing system called BenchPress (a service of Stanford University's HighWire Press). BMJ has an open peer review system, wherein the authors are told who reviewed their manuscript. About half the original articles are rejected after review in-house.[8] The acceptance rate is less than 7 percent for original research articles. Manuscripts chosen for peer review are first "refereed" by external experts, who comment on the importance and suitability for publication, before the final decision on a manuscript is made by the editorial ("hanging") committee. Decisions for those manuscripts sent for external review are usually reached within eight weeks. If not sent for external review, the decisions are usually reached within two weeks.

Impact and readership

The journal began in 1840 as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal and quickly attracted the attention of physicians around the world through its publication of high-impact original research articles and unique case reports. The BMJ’s first editor was Andrew Wynter. For a long time, its sole competitor was The Lancet, also based in the UK, but with increasing globalisation, BMJ has faced tough competition from other medical journals, particularly the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The most recent impact factor of the journal was 12.827 in 2008,[9] ranking the journal 5th in the category "general and internal medical journals". The journal has long criticized the misuse of the impact factor to award grants and recruit researchers by academic institutions.[10]

BMJ website and access policies

BMJ went fully online in 1995 and has archived all its issues dating back to 1994 on the Internet. In addition to the print content, supportive material for original research articles, additional news stories, and electronic letters to the editors are its principal attractions. The BMJ website has the policy of publishing most e-letters to the journal, called "Rapid Responses", and is shaped like a fully moderated Internet forum. However, concerns remain, even among the web editors of the journal, that this feature may be abused by correspondents who might not want to contribute anything substantial to the topic under discussion.[11]

From 1999, all content of BMJ was freely available online; however, in 2006 this changed to a subscription model. Original research articles continue to be available freely, but from January 2006, all other 'added value' contents, including clinical reviews and editorials, require a subscription. Access restrictions are lifted a year after publication. BMJ allows complete free access for visitors from economically disadvantaged countries as part of the HINARI initiative.

On October 14, 2008, BMJ announced it would become an open access journal. This only refers to their research articles. To view other articles, a subscription is required.[1]


External links

Simple English

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is a popular peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is published by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd based in London. It also has an online version.

Other websites

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