Deputy editor, The BMJ and editor in chief, BMJ Open (qualifications MBBS, MRCPsych)
I have worked at The BMJ for more than 20 years. I am one of six deputy editors and am also senior research editor. I lead the team that peer reviews and publishes original research articles, and I also lead our international outreach programme, with key responsibility for helping researchers to maximise their chances of publication and for encouraging authors to send The BMJ their research. I write and maintain The BMJ’s editorial policies and instructions to authors, and have co-developed The BMJ’s regular workshops on peer review training.
On behalf of The BMJ I have been a member of several research-related organisations and groups: the council of the Committee on Publication Ethics (2008-10), the CONSORT 2010 group on reporting randomised controlled trials, and the SPIRIT group on reporting trial protocols. I am also participating in strategic efforts to encourage the sharing of raw research data, to develop prognosis research methods, to revise the EU clinical trials directive, and to improve the practice of grant review.
I helped to develop BMJ Open - the online-only open access general medical journal launched by BMJ (the publishing group) in early 2011 (bmjopen.bmj.com) – and am its editor in chief. BMJ Open is dedicated to publishing medical research from all disciplines and therapeutic areas and considers all research study types, from study protocols to phase I trials to meta-analyses, including small or potentially low-impact studies.
Before joining The BMJ I trained in medicine at London’s Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and then specialised in psychiatry, gaining MRCPsych in 1989. In 1998 I was an honorary research fellow at the School for Public Policy, University College London.
I have presented programmes and series for BBC World Service radio, presented TVam’s Doc Spot, co-authored the HarperCollins Consumer Guide to Mental Health (winner of the Medical Journalists' Association best book of 1995), and edited the BMJ book Countdown to Community Care (1993).
I declare that that I have read and understood the BMJ Group policy on declarations of interest. I hereby declare the following interests, according to the policy.
© I have the following interests to declare:
I’m editor in chief of BMJ Open as well as Head of Research at The BMJ. Both are published by BMJ, a wholly owned subsidiary of the BMA. I receive a bonus based partly on the financial performance of both BMJ and The BMJ.
I am often a speaker at conferences and other meetings. In line with the BMJ’s policy, I have accepted necessary and reasonable paid-for travel, meals, daily subsistence costs, and accommodation from meeting organisers only when the organisation is a not-for-profit one.
I know personally many of the BMJs authors and reviewers, having met them at editorial meetings and at conferences. I try not to let this bias the decisions we make about papers.
BMJ (the company) receives revenues from drug & device manufacturers through advertising, reprint sales, & sponsorship.
The BMJ is an open access journal that charges author fees for publication of research articles, as does BMJ Open. Consideration of research articles is not related to ability to pay the fee, and we ask authors not to discuss with editors any issues concerning payment at any stage of the peer review process. Any communications related to fees are handled by administrative staff not involved in decisions about manuscripts.
The BMJ was a co-founder of the AllTrials campaign (http://www.alltrials.net/). The BMJ is campaigning for reproducible research, and both The BMJ and BMJ Open are encouraging authors to share their study data via the Dryad digital repository (http://datadryad.org/). These campaigns and partnerships do not involve any financial relationships.
Unpaid positions (current)
I was a member of the Council of the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) from 2008-10 and still
do occasional outreach as a COPE Alumnus: http://publicationethics.org/cope-alumni
I’m a member of several groups that have developed/are developing reporting statements for
research including CONSORT (Consolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials), SPIRIT
(Standard Protocol Items for clinical Trials), and TRIPOD (Transparent Reporting of a
multivariable prediction model for Individual Prognosis or Diagnosis). I am also a member of the
IDEAL Collaboration (http://www.ideal-collaboration.net/membership/), an initiative to improve the
quality of research in surgery.