Editorials

The BMJ, the definite article

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4168 (Published 30 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4168
  1. David Payne, editor, thebmj.com,
  2. Kamran Abbasi, international editor,
  3. Fiona Godlee, editor in chief,
  4. Tony Delamothe, UK editor
  1. 1The BMJ, London WC1H 9JR, UK
  1. Correspondence to: D Payne dpayne{at}bmj.com

A new name, logo, website design, and homepage address (thebmj.com)

The journal will be 175 years old next year. During that time it has had four names: the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal (1840-52), the Association Medical Journal (1853-56), the British Medical Journal (1857-1988), and BMJ (1988-2014). Now it gets a fifth, with the inclusion in its name of the definite article. The journal formerly known as BMJ will now be formally known as The BMJ.

This subtle change has several aims and consequences. Firstly, it allows us to embrace and champion the growing number of products and services within our publishing company, which last year adopted the name BMJ. Many people remain unaware that we (the journal and the publishing company) do more than publish journals. Our sister journals and our learning and evidence products are flourishing around the world and have also been rebranded to emphasise their connectedness with the journal and each other.

To highlight the range of tools we now provide for clinicians, researchers, and others involved in healthcare, BMJ the company will take on the journal’s url, www.bmj.com, with a new website to be launched later this year, and the journal’s homepage address changes to www.thebmj.com. Most of the journal’s internal urls will remain unchanged, so if your website links directly to an article in The BMJ it will still work.

The journal’s website has been completely redesigned. The new site is fully responsive, which means that its pages automatically fit the different screen sizes of desktop and laptop computers, tablet devices, and smartphones. Four years ago, before the launch of the iPad and other tablet computers, less than 2% of our online traffic was through mobile devices. That figure has risen to almost 25%. The responsive design removes the need to pinch or expand text and provides a better reading experience on all screens, whatever their size.

The new design is also less cluttered, which should make navigation easier and pages load faster. Links to our sister products such as Best Practice, BMJ Learning, BMJ Masterclasses, BMJ specialty journals, and our online clinical community doc2doc have moved to the dark blue footer panel at the bottom of every page, and we have simplified the main navigation bar by merging “news” and “comment” into a single “news and views” channel and removing the “specialties” and “multimedia” tabs. Specialty and series collections can now be accessed from the “archive” tab and as links from the footer, rather than the main navigation bar. They will also continue to appear as colour coded links on relevant articles.

We have also improved the way the main navigation bar works. It now remains visible as you scroll down a page, which means you won’t need to return to the top of the page to navigate the site after reaching the end of an article. We hope this feature will encourage you to browse the journal and click across its different sections.

Audio and video files (multimedia) mostly relate to articles, and you will find the files embedded in the relevant pages. The archive section now has links to The BMJ’s YouTube and Soundcloud channels. You can access all audio and video that has been produced to date (since 2008) from the archive channel.

We have added a new “for authors” tab to the main navigation bar to make it easier to submit manuscripts for publication and to explain more about the types of research, education, and comment that we publish.

There is a new “campaigns” channel, which highlights issues on which the journal has taken a proactive stance. These include our patient partnership initiative and our campaigns on access to clinical trial data (open data; www.bmj.com/open-data) and overdiagnosis (too much medicine; http://www.bmj.com/too-much-medicine). You will also find information about some collections of articles on public health challenges, including climate change (www.bmj.com/content/climate-change) and alcohol pricing (www.bmj.com/content/alcohol-pricing), and a list of investigative features ranging from metal-on-metal hips to the truth about sports drinks.

We have badged the website as beta to encourage feedback, which you can provide by clicking the feedback button and selecting “The BMJ website feedback” from the category dropdown in the online form. Alternatively, click this link http://myaccount.bmj.com/myaccount/customerservice/salesforce-form.html to access the feedback form.

Finally, the journal’s new name means a new logo, one that includes the definite article. The logo has been designed for us by award winning magazine designer, Simon Esterson. The font is Duplicate Slab, which was created by Christian Schwartz based on an earlier font by French typographer Roger Excoffon (1910-83). It is described as having a warm and informal texture, a friendly but forceful feel, and an antique but not old fashioned tone, which seems a good fit for the journal. The font’s serif version in lower case is set within a distinctive blue “lozenge” so that it works across all digital resources at any size.

We hope you like the new look journal and that you find it easier to browse whatever device you are using. Welcome to The BMJ.

Notes

Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4168

Footnotes

  • Competing interests: We have read and understood BMJ policy on declaration of interests and declare the following interests: None.

  • Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.