Intended for healthcare professionals


New edicts for letters to the editor

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 11 January 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:63

Be electronic, bold, and concise—no more than 300 words

  1. Sharon Davies, letters editor (
  1. BMJ

    Your letters are very important to us. They are crucial to the success of the BMJ, and we appreciate their enthusiasm, different perspectives, diversity, and ability to stimulate debate, not to mention their wit and thoughtfulness. In the printed version of the BMJ, letters are edited only lightly for clarity and readability so that the author's voice is still audible and louder than in any other part of the journal. The letters pages are the readers' forum.

    We select letters for the paper journal from the unedited rapid responses posted daily on We consider the electronic journal to be the BMJ, and we want the letters columns in the paper journal to reflect the liveliness of conversations on the web and be a bridge for the two communities of readers to access the two forms of the journal. In essence, we are saying: “Here are what we thought were the most interesting responses, but why not visit yourself to see the full debate and how it …

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