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Sharing knowledge and expertise to create a healthier world

BMJ is a champion of open access as a way to promote knowledge and accelerate discoveries. We place a great deal of importance on increasing the reach and use of what we publish, and we are actively reshaping the way medical research is conducted and disseminated.

The research in our flagship journal, The BMJ, has always been free to read, and in 2011 we launched our first and largest open access medical journal, BMJ Open.

Today, a third of our journals are fully open access, and we also make academic research freely accessible and discoverable with hybrid publication models. We continue to support the transition of publicly-funded research to open access and the majority of our hybrid journals have been given Transformative Journal status by cOAlition S.

Learn more about Plan S compliance at BMJ and our Article Processing Charges.

Explore our open access options

Advancing scientific discovery

Our new transitional arrangements show our commitment to advancing open access, while offering our authors multiple options for publication, regardless of their funding situation. These include fully open access journals and Plan S compliant transformative arrangements.

We continue to innovate and advance health research. In 2019, BMJ co-launched medRxiv with Yale University and Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory. It is the first health sciences preprint server and it allows fast sharing of preliminary research findings to the widest possible audience. medRxiv now highlights when preprints have been accepted or published across BMJ’s journal portfolio, further contributing to the reliability and value of preprints as part of the scientific record.

BMJ is also part of initiatives like Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) and Initiative for Open Abstracts (I4OA), making it easier for articles to be found, read and cited.


Learn about the benefits of publishing open access

Why publish open access?

  • Wider reach and greater impact

    Articles are free to access anytime, anywhere and by anyone, including patients, policy makers and the general public. This makes research more visible, leading to increased usage and citations.


    In 2023, BMJ published 21,086 open access articles, with 11,603 citations achieved (Dimensions 2024)



    5.8M Altmetric mentions of open access articles (Altmetric mentions of all open access articles published by BMJ, Altmetric 2024)


    Most of our journals are indexed in major bibliographic databases such as PubMed, MEDLINE and Web of Science

  • Advances discovery 

    Unrestricted access to output and data allows researchers to build on existing findings and carry out collaborative research, paving the way for important discoveries and breakthroughs. 


    BMJ publishes some of the world’s most important and widely discussed research that influences health policy worldwide 


    More than a third of our indexed journals rank within the top 10 of their category (2023 JCR year, Clarivate 2024)



    9th most cited publisher in Clinical Medicine, 12th in Public Health, and 8th in Health Services Research (Analysis of most cited publishers ranked by total citations in 2021, 2022, 2023, Broad Research Areas, Dimensions 2024)

  • Compliance with open access mandates 

    Publishing in a fully open access journal, a transformative journal, a hybrid journal, or self-archiving in an institutional repository complies with policies set by funders, institutions and governments.

    Our gold open access titles are fully compliant with major funders policies such as the NIH, UKRI and Wellcome Trust


    BMJ’s green open access policy allows authors to deposit their manuscripts in an institutional repository with zero embargo and under a CC-BY-NC licence


    All of BMJ’s journals comply with Plan S requirements for publishing research

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