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The BMJ: moving on

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 05 January 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:5

A new cover is one of several changes

  1. Richard Smith, editor (
  1. BMJ

    The BMJ might be on a long march from being like Brain, a forbidding, research based journal, to Cosmopolitan, a magazine full of froth and colour. The trick is deciding how fast to go. Most current BMJ readers would be appalled by a BMJ that was like either Brain or Cosmopolitan, but some—those who regret what they see as a constant “dumbing down” in our culture—would like a journal more like Brain, while others—longing for more accessibility and readability—want something closer to Cosmopolitan. Today the BMJ introduces a few changes that take us closer to Cosmopolitan. The most dramatic change is the introduction of a picture on the cover every week, but there are other changes as well.

    The most profound but least visible change is that we have extended our mission. It now reads: “To publish rigorous, accessible, and entertaining material that will help doctors and medical students in their daily practice, lifelong learning, and career development. In addition, to be at the forefront of the international debate on health.” Like most mission statements, this is somewhat stiff, dull, and pretentious, but it contains a lot …

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