Intended for healthcare professionals


The joy of being electronic

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 21 August 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:465

The BMJ's website is mushrooming

  1. Tony Delamothe, web editor (,
  2. Richard Smith, Editor (
  1. BMJ
  2. BMJ

    Websites are like gardens. Turn your back on them for a few weeks and they're overrun with weeds in the form of out of date coming events and hypertext links leading nowhere. But, like gardens, websites offer amazing opportunities to experiment Plant something that doesn't take or produce the effect you wanted and you can take it out and try something else. And, like a garden, the internet is very forgiving—no hard copy archive survives to mock your false starts and wrong turns.

    The launch of the BMJ's full text website in April 1998 coincided with a frenzy of new planting, much of which is coming to fruition this (northern) summer. Most work has been devoted to our collected resources—210 virtual pages each devoted to a single topic These rely on the coding of each journal article with one or more clinical and non-clinical topic codes (for example, the first paper this week has been coded: liver, perinatal, pancreas and biliary tract, and chemical pathology). Not only can website visitors review the archive of all papers published by the BMJ on a particular topic; they can also read relevant papers in the eight online specialist journals published by the BMJ Publishing Group (see box) Each topic page links to relevant Cochrane abstracts, job advertisements on our classified site, and the virtual bookshelf for that specialty within our electronic bookshop—from which books can be bought on line. Over the next few months, we will be adding more resources, beginning with the eBNF (the electronic version of the British National Formulary). We also plan to appoint green fingered …

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