- Tony Delamothe, web editor,
- Richard Smith, editor
From 2005, some users will have to pay for some content
Almost 10 years after it began, the BMJ ‘s experiment of allowing free access to everything on its website will come to an end. The BMJ Publishing Group board has decided that, from January 2005, visitors to bmj.com should pay for access. The resulting revenue should not only defray the website's current costs but also allow us to fund further developments.
Exactly which content will be behind access controls, for how long, and for whom has yet to be decided. We can, however, assure BMA members (including student members) and users from the World Bank's list of 120 low and lower middle income countries1 that access will remain free to them. We had hoped to extend this dispensation to medical students everywhere, but the difficulty of verifying the credentials of an estimated 14 000 medical student visitors each week makes this unlikely. Access to student bmj.com will remain free.
The model we are currently finalising for bmj.com is likely to make all content free for a week …