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Journal of the American Medical Association  
Abbreviated title(s) J. Am. Med. Ass., JAMA
Discipline Medicine
Language English
Edited by Catherine D. DeAngelis
Publication details
Publisher American Medical Association (United States)
Publication history 1883–present
Frequency 48/year
Impact factor 25.6 (2008)
ISSN 0098-7484

JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association is an international peer-reviewed general medical journal, published 48 times per year by the American Medical Association. JAMA is the most widely circulated medical journal in the world.[1]

Founded in 1883 by the American Medical Association and published continuously since then, JAMA publishes original research, reviews, commentaries, editorials, essays, medical news, correspondence, and ancillary content (such as abstracts of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report). In 2008, JAMA's impact factor was 31.7, placing it among the leading general medical journals.[2] JAMA's acceptance rate is approximately 8% of the nearly 6000 solicited and unsolicited manuscripts it receives annually.[1] The first editor was Nathan Smith Davis, one of the founders of the American Medical Association, and the present editor of JAMA is Catherine D. DeAngelis. JAMA's peer review process relies on some 3500 reviewers from over 40 countries.[3]


Editorial independence

The contents of articles in JAMA should be attributed to authors, rather than to the American Medical Association: "AMA disclaims any liability to any party for the accuracy, completeness or availability of the material or for any damages arising out of the use or non-use of any of the material and any information contained therein."[4]

In 1999, the AMA's recently-appointed executive director, E. Ratcliffe Anderson, fired George Lundberg, editor of JAMA. Lundberg was fired for publishing a survey of college students' attitudes about sex, by June Reinisch and Stephanie Sanders of the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research. Based on a 1991 survey of 599 students at a major Midwestern state university, the paper reports that 60% (originally recorded as 59% in the results; the article indicates this as an erratum by the copy editor) of the group did not regard oral-genital contact as having "had sex".[5] Anderson was later fired himself as a result of other unrelated disputes with the AMA board. Lundberg joined Medscape as editor-in-chief exactly one month after his dismissal from the AMA.

Editorials denouncing Lundberg's dismissal as a violation of editorial independence appeared promptly in many medical journals, including the CMAJ, The Lancet, BMJ, and MJA.[6]

In the wake of the Lundberg dismissal the American Medical Association, working together with the JAMA Editor Search Committee, a distinguished group of physicians and scientists, established a new process to arrive at the best governance alternatives for the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Archives Journals. The group developed a governance plan that was designed to insure editorial freedom and independence for JAMA, the Archives Journals, and their editors-in-chief. The primary recommendation arising from the search committee and documented in the governance plan was the recommendation to create a Journal Oversight Committee, made up of seven members, whose function is to evaluate the editor-in-chief and to help ensure editorial independence. To date the committee has met at least once a year since its inception.[7]

Foreign editions

JAMA has been published in over 20 languages.

Other leading medical journals


  1. ^ a b Journal of the American Medical Association website
  2. ^ 2008 Journal Citation Reports Science Edition, Thompson Reuters, 2009
  3. ^ Fontanarosa PB, DeAngelis CD. Thank You to JAMA Peer Reviewers and Authors. JAMA. 2007;297:875.
  4. ^ JAMA & Archives Conditions of Use
  5. ^ Constance Holden, JAMA Editor Gets the Boot, Science Now, 15 January 1999
  6. ^ Jerome P. Kassirer (1999) Editorial Independence, NEJM, 340(21):1671-1672
  7. ^ Editorial governance plan: Signatories of the Editorial Governance Plan, Editorial Governance for JAMA, June 1999; 281: 2240 - 2242. [1]

External links



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