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- Find out how study types differ in our How to read a paper section.
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Welcome to bmj.com.
The BMJ (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 before being included 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.
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. The BMJ team is based mainly in London, although we also have editors elsewhere in Europe and in the US.
Reach and impact
1,222,712 unique browsers download 5,643,102 pages from bmj.com each month (ABCe audit, October 2012). The BMJ’s Impact Factor is 14.093 (ISI Web of Science, 2011).
We audit the performance of BMJ research articles, using a wide range of indicators to assess their impact on readers and their dissemination to the wider world.
The print BMJ has a long history and has been published without interruption since 1840, when it began as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal. The print BMJ 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. BMJ 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 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; and sponsorship.
Separation is maintained between the editorial team and the advertising and sponsorship sales teams. Where sponsorship has been obtained for any BMJ content—for example, as a result of an unrestricted educational grant—this is clearly indicated.
The BMJ archive
Every BMJ article published since 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 BMJ research articles are openly accessible to all online and, on PubMed Central, all articles, both research and non-research, from 1840 until July 2008 are also available free, without registration.
To see five films that explore and discuss the BMJ archive, please visit http://www.bmj.com/video/.
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.