The BMJ is now available as an iPad application (app), the first general medical journal to launch a version for Apple’s tablet computer.
The app combines the weekly BMJ print journal selection of research, comment, and education (with added interactivity), along with live feeds of the latest news, blogs, podcasts, and videos to appear on bmj.com. You can download the app from the iTunes store, and preview a sample issue.
The BMJ app is free to download with a sample issue included, and a four week subscription costs £9.99. This provides you with instant access to the current issue plus the 3 subsequent issues. You can also buy past issues at the single issue price of £2.99.
1. Why have you launched the BMJ iPad app?
We wanted to deliver a new version of the BMJ to the growing number of iPad users worldwide, and to respond to the findings of our online survey of visitors to bmj.com in 2010. Many international website subscribers who responded to the survey do not have access to the print journal, yet they were very interested in it and the weekly browsing experience it provides. The app gives a very clear sense of what's in print each week, but in addition it contains live feeds of news, video, blogs, podcasts, clickable links, and graphics you can tap and expand to view in more detail.
2. Do you still have to pay if you already have a print and/or online subscription?
Yes. The BMJ app was developed as a separate product to the print and web versions of the BMJ, and sits on a separate platform (iTunes). The app itself is free to download from iTunes' App store, and this includes a free sample issue. A four week subscription costs £9.99. This provides you with instant access to the current issue plus the 3 subsequent issues. You can also buy past issues at the single issue price of £2.99.
3. Do BMA members get the iPad issues for free?
Yes, BMA members now get iPad issues of the BMJ for free. Visit this registration page to sign up.
Users who have provided their BMA membership number in a previous My Account registration will have automatic free access when logging in on the iPad library screen. They will have to login via the library screen again each time a new issue appears, and to access the news feed on the app.
4. Do non-BMA members who subscribe to the BMJ (such as institutions or individual subscribers) get the iPad for free?
No, other publishers may no longer be able to offer the iPad app to their subscribers for free. See this link for more information.
5. Can I substitute my print copy of the BMJ for an iPad version?
Some readers may see their iPad as a means of reducing their reliance on printed journals for environmental reasons. But at the moment we have no plans to offer it as an alternative. This is mainly for cost reasons. Secondly, the print journal brings in important revenue from advertising. We are looking at ways to encourage advertisers to make use of the iPad app. As usage of the app increases, more of them may be persuaded to do this. Thirdly, our weekly print run would have to reduce substantially to deliver cost savings. BMJ Group has a very active campaign to reduce its carbon footprint. This includes printing the BMJ on recycled paper.
6. What does a 4-week subscription entitle me to?
It entitles you to the current issue and the following three. You can also buy back issues at the single issue price of £2.99
7. Are you planning versions for other tablet computers/e-readers?
We are happy to consider adapting the BMJ for other mobile devices (such as those that use Google’s Android operating system and Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, plus Sony’s eReader and Blackberry’s Playbook. A lot will depend on the level of demand for these new platforms.
8. How can I find out more?
We published a BMJ editorial to mark the app's launch. The BMJ's web development blog also has a couple of entries about the iPad. The first explains how we put the issue together each week. The second outlines some of the questions we've been asked.
9. How can I give my feedback?
If you have any further questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BMJ online
BMJ was the first general medical journal to have a website and in continuing this trend of innovation we are the first general medical journal to launch an iPad edition. Combining the best of print and online, the BMJ app is available to download weekly onto your iPad.
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