Education And Debate

BMJ creates an editorial board

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 04 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:52
  1. Richard Smith (, Editora
  1. aBMJ, London WC1H 9JR


    The BMJ has been unusual, possibly unique, in not having an editorial board. Over a year ago we began a debate on whether we should create a board, and we decided that we should. Now we have one, and its members are described below and listed at the front of the redesigned journal. There are 35 members from 18 countries, and the members come from all parts of clinical medicine as well as from basic science, statistics, nursing, ethics, health policy, and economics. And, very importantly, we have a patient representative.

    Why have an editorial board?

    The main purpose for developing a board is to help us to prepare the journal for the next century. The members will ensure a steady flow of new ideas from a wide range of specialties, countries, and disciplines. For many years the BMJ has had editorial advisers, who come into our offices every week and help us to decide which papers to publish and how to get them into the best possible form. The advisers are mostly practising doctors or statisticians but also include a health policy expert and a sociologist. We also have a team of medical students, who help us with the Student BMJ. Because they come regularly to our offices we have selected advisers mostly from Britain. In contrast, about three quarters of the editorial board live outside Britain.

    We look to the editorial board as well for frank criticism of the BMJ and advice on how it can develop in both the short and the long term. Our board members are increasing our range of contacts, helping us find new writers and reviewers, writing and reviewing for us themselves, and representing us in their countries and disciplines. If you would like to learn more about the BMJ you might care to contact members of …

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