Education And Debate

Instructions to authors

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 01 January 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:39

The Horton General Hospital NHS Trust, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX169AL.

The BMJ aims to help doctors everywhere practise better medicine and to influence the debate on improving the health of all people. To achieve these aims we publish original scientific studies, review and educational articles, and papers commenting on the clinical, scientific, social, political, and economic factors affecting health. We are delighted to receive articles for publication in all of these categories - from doctors and others. We can publish only about 17% of the articles we receive, but we aim to give quick and authoritative decisions. The editorial staff in London are always happy to advise on submissions.

The BMJ is published weekly and has a circulation of about 111 000 - of which roughly 19000 copies are distributed outside Britain. In addition, Bulgarian, Dutch, Hungarian, Indian, Mexican, Pakistani, Portuguese, Spanish, and South African editions reach another 81 000 readers. Material published in the weekly journal may be reproduced in the other editions.

The BMJ's peer review process

Every article received is read by two or more editors. About half of the articles are rejected at this stage, the main reasons for rejection being insufficient originality, serious scientific flaws, and the absence of a message that is important to a general medical audience. We aim to reach a decision on such papers within two weeks of submission.

All papers selected as possible candidates for publication are sent to one or more external referees selected from a database of about 2500 experts. Once we have received the referees' opinions, suitable papers are selected to be discussed by our weekly “hanging committee.” This comprises two of our 12 clinical advisers (all practising clinicians or general practitioners experienced in assessing papers), two editors, and one of our seven statistical advisers. We aim to reach a final decision on …

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