About The BMJ

Welcome to thebmj.com.

The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) is an international peer reviewed medical journal and a fully “online first” publication. Our "continuous publication" model means that all articles appear on bmj.com and some appear in an issue of the print journal. The website is updated daily with The BMJ’s latest original research, education, news, and comment articles, as well as podcasts, videos, and blogs. The BMJ's team is based mainly in London, although we also have editors elsewhere in Europe, in the US, and in India.

All The BMJ’s original research is published in full on bmj.com, with open access and no limits on word counts. The BMJ’s vision is to be the world’s most influential and widely read medical journal. Our mission is to lead the debate on health and to engage, inform, and stimulate doctors, researchers, and other health professionals in ways that will improve outcomes for patients. We aim to help doctors to make better decisions.

BMJ, the company, advances healthcare worldwide by sharing knowledge and expertise to improve experiences, outcomes, and value. BMJ's values are:

  • Patients come first.
  • Knowledge for healthcare professionals and patients should be independent and unbiased.
  • Evidence matters.
  • Being transparent and open creates trust.
  • We take pride in our people.
  • Do it well or not at all.
  • What we do is better if users are involved.
  • Serving our customers to the best of our ability helps to improve healthcare.
  • Improving healthcare is difficult and requires courage.

Reach and impact

The BMJ’s average weekly print circulation is 121,762 (ABC multi-platform certificate January-June 2013). In the same six month period total monthly unique browsers of bmj.com peaked in May at 1,365,786. The BMJ’s Impact Factor is 17.445 (ISI Web of Science, 2015).

We audit the performance of The BMJ's research articles, using a wide range of indicators to assess their impact on readers and their dissemination to the wider world.

The BMJ in print has a long history and has been published without interruption since 1840, when it began as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal. The print journal is now published weekly in three editions that vary only in their advertising content. Together, their weekly circulation totals about 122,000 copies, of which 10,000 are distributed outside Britain. International editions reach another 55,000 readers. The BMJ is printed on 100% recycled paper and mailed in a recyclable wrapper.

In May 1995 The BMJ became the first general medical journal to launch itself into cyberspace as bmj.com going on to win Best Business Product or Service at the PPAi Interactive Publishing Awards 2000, Best Integration of Media at the AOP UK Interactive Publishing Awards 2002, and to be voted one of the web's five most useful health sites by Guardian Online readers and contributors in 2004. Continuous daily publication on bmj.com started in July 2008, with all content appearing online before print publication. We abridge many articles for the print BMJ, including all research.

In July 2008 The BMJ was named Medical Publication of the Year at the Medical Journalist Association's awards in London. The BMJ's news editor, Annabel Ferriman, was jointly awarded Health Editor of the Year, and Susan Mayor was named Medical Journalist of the Year. In the same year the US Specialist Libraries' Association named The BMJ as one of the 100 most influential journals in medicine and biology of the past 100 years.

Owner and publisher

The BMJ is published by BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association. The editor of the BMJ is Fiona Godlee.

The BMA grants editorial freedom to the editor of The BMJ. The views expressed in the journal are those of the authors and may not necessarily comply with BMA policy. The BMJ follows guidelines on editorial independence produced by the World Association of Medical Editors and the code on good publication practice produced by the Committee on Publication Ethics, and the EQUATOR network resource centre for good research reporting.

The BMJ's sources of revenue

The BMJ receives revenue from a range of sources, to ensure wide and affordable access while maintaining high standards of quality and full editorial independence. The sources of income include subscriptions from institutions and individuals; classified advertising for jobs and courses; display advertising for pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products; events (exhibitions, sponsorship, and visitor fees); sale of reprints, rights, and royalties; sponsorship; and open access publication fees.

Separation is maintained between the editorial team and the advertising and sponsorship sales teams. Where sponsorship has been obtained for any of The BMJ's content—for example, as a result of an unrestricted educational grant—this is clearly indicated.

The BMJ's archive

Every article published in The BMJsince the journal’s first issue in October 1840 is available online from bmj.com. This was launched in 2009 and achieved by digitally scanning 824 183 pages of theprint journal. It cost about $1 (£0.68; Euros 0.76) a page and was made possible by the extraordinary generosity of the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the United Kingdom’s Wellcome Trust and Joint Information Systems Committee. All of The BMJ's research articles are openly accessible to all online and, on PubMed Central.

To see five films that explore and discuss The BMJ's archive, please visit this link.

The BMJ published the first centrally randomised controlled trial: Medical Research Council. Streptomycin treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. BMJ 1948;2:769-82. The journal also carried the seminal papers on the causal effects of smoking on health including: Doll R, Hill AB. Smoking and carcinoma of the lung. BMJ 1950;221(ii):739-48; Doll R, Hill AB. The mortality of doctors in relation to their smoking habits. A preliminary report. BMJ 1954;228(i): 1451-55; and Doll R, Hill AB. Lung cancer and other causes of death in relation to smoking. A second report on the mortality of British doctors. BMJ 1956;233(ii): 1071-6.

Eugene Garfield and colleagues searched the Science Citation Index for the 101 most cited papers 1955-1985, with the top slot going to Kay A W. Effect of large doses of histamine on gastric secretion of HCL. Brit Med. J. 2:77-80, 19.53, and the most highly cited from 1945 to 1989 with the same article still the winner. The most cited BMJ article since 1994 is: UK Prospective Diabetes Study Group. Tight blood pressure control and risk of macrovascular and microvascular complications in type 2 diabetes: UKPDS 38. BMJ 1998;317:703-13.

The BMJ's print indexes are available here.

US National Library of Medicine's African Journal Partnership Project

The BMJ is a partner journal to African Health Sciences through the National Library of Medicine's African Journal Partnership Project. The journal is also available through African Journals Online (AJOL).

Useful links

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