Editor's Choice Editor's choice

The new BMJ

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39079.452280.43 (Published 04 January 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:0
  1. Fiona Godlee, editor (fgodlee{at}bmj.com)

    Those of you reading this in print will notice, I hope, that the BMJ has been redesigned. Those (10 times more of you) accessing this on line must wait until later this month for the redesigned website. Either way we hope you'll like what you see. Our aim has been to deliver a journal, both in print and online, that is brighter, cleaner, easier to navigate, and easier to read.

    But this month's relaunch is about more than just improving the BMJ's look and feel, important though these things are. If the redesign has made the journal easier to read, we also want there to be more in it that's worth reading. So as well as publishing the best, most relevant original research that we can lay our hands on (see Trish Groves' editorial on why you should publish your research in the BMJ, doi: 10.1136/bmj.39057.516250.80), we have also boosted the non-research content. We want the BMJ to lead the debate on the future of health care and to help doctors make better decisions, whether in clinical practice, public health, health policy, medical education, research, or in their own professional lives.

    Achieving this across the whole of medicine is probably an impossible task for one journal—which is why we have always been clear that it's not the BMJ's job to tell cardiologists about cardiology or orthopaedic surgeons about orthopaedic surgery. The BMJ's role is to support generalists in bridging the gap between primary and secondary care and to help specialists keep abreast of developments in areas other than their own—we call this high-browsing. The BMJ's role is to engage, inform, and stimulate doctors at every stage in their careers and from every walk of medicine; to keep them in touch with what it means, and what it takes, to be a doctor.

    Medicine is blessed with good writers, and the best of them are writing for the BMJ, which should make staying informed a pleasure not a chore. We'll have succeeded if readers not only find what they're looking for but find themselves reading about things they didn't know they were interested in. Alongside well established favourites (Clinical Review, Minerva, Short Cuts, News, and Obituaries) you'll find new series that bridge the gap between research and practice (this week we launch our serialisation of BMJ Masterclasses, doi: 10.1136/bmj.39014.468900.BE), extended journalistic features (doi: 10.1136/bmj.39063.418391.68), in depth analysis articles (doi: 10.1136/bmj.39038.476435.68), a regular Head to Head debate (doi: 10.1136/bmj.39059.503495.68, 10.1136/bmj.39059.532095.68), hard hitting columnists (doi: 10.1136/bmj.39066.541678.B7), and a selection of whimsical, funny, erudite observations from our unruly band of contributors in what we still call (in these online days) the back of the journal.

    Which leads me to what may be the most important transformation of all. From being a weekly journal in print and on the web, the BMJ is coming of age as an online journal. Tony Delamothe, editor in chief of bmj.com, will explain more when the new website launches in two weeks' time. Medicine and communication are changing, and so too is the BMJ.

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