The BMJ blog site is at bmj.com/blogs
Blogs are more informal than print content and therefore need to be written in a more personal/chatty style. However a blog still needs to be well written and coherent with good spelling and grammar.
We are not strict with word limits, but it is good to aim for 500 words. Shorter and to the point works best on the web as it is difficult to read web pages for too long.
Blogs should contain your own opinion or reflections on a situation/issue. They can be used to highlight an issue or add to a debate, but not to be rude about a person or situation or to point fingers or allocate blame.
BMJ blogs are mainly read by doctors and healthcare professionals. We bear this in mind when considering whether to accept a blog. It has to be about medicine, healthcare, publishing, or an issue that will interest doctors.
BMJ blogs are different to general blogging sites in that we check all blogs before putting them online and if need be edit them. All blogs are passed by a duty editor for final approval. Until a duty editor has approved the blog we cannot promise that it will be published. In this sense they are much more like online personal views rather than blogs.
References can be included where appropriate. If possible it is best to include the references as hyperlinks in the text. But where a url cannot be provided then a traditional reference is fine.
Things to look out for
We have to be careful not to libel anyone. Any potentially contentious blogs are checked by our lawyer.
If a patient is described in the blog then we need patient consent unless the patient is dead or anonymised. Here is a link to our patient consent form.
Submitting a blog
We upload blogs from our office. Once you have written a blog then please submit it to Juliet Dobson (JDobson@bmj.com) and Kelly Brendel (KBrendel@bmj.com). We will then accept or reject it, edit it, and upload it online. We also need a short biography of the blog author to put online with the blog so that readers know who you are. It only needs to be a sentence or two long.
We like to have a photo of the blogger to go online with the blog too, although this isn’t compulsory.
Please could you also read our policy on competing interests (http://bit.ly/S9aNY7) and add the appropriate statement from this document to your manuscript. For more information see http://bit.ly/T7uoG2
We often highlight blogs in the print BMJ, and occasionally republish blogs in full in the journal.