The BMJ is a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal. It is one of the world's oldest general medical journals. Originally called the British Medical Journal, the title was officially shortened to BMJ in 1988, and then changed to The BMJ in 2014. The journal is published by the global knowledge provider BMJ, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association. The editor in chief of The BMJ is Fiona Godlee, who was appointed in February 2005.
|Edited by||Fiona Godlee|
|Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal, British Medical Journal, BMJ|
BMJ (United Kingdom)
|Immediate, research articles only|
|License||Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License|
The journal began publishing on 3 October 1840 as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal and quickly attracted the attention of physicians around the world through its publication of high-impact original research articles and unique case reports. The BMJ's first editors were P. Hennis Green, lecturer on the diseases of children at the Hunterian School of Medicine, who also was its founder and Robert Streeten of Worcester, a member of the PMSA council.
The first issue of the British Medical Journal was 16 pages long and contained three simple woodcut illustrations. The longest items were the editors' introductory editorial and a report of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association's Eastern Branch. Other pages included a condensed version of Henry Warburton's medical reform bill, book reviews, clinical papers, and case notes. There were 2 1⁄2 columns of advertisements. Inclusive of stamp duty it cost 7d, a price which remained until 1844. In their main article, Green and Streeten noted that they had "received as many advertisements (in proportion to the quantity of letter press) for our first number, as the most popular Medical Journal, (The Lancet) after seventeen years of existence."
In their introductory editorial and later statements, Green and Streeten defined "the main objects of promotion of which the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal is established". Summarised, there were two clear main objectives: the advancement of the profession, especially in the provinces and the dissemination of medical knowledge. Green and Streeten also expressed interest in promoting public well-being as well as maintaining 'medical practitioners, as a class in that rank of society which, by their intellectual acquirements, by their general moral character, and by the importance of the duties entrusted to them, they are justly entitled to hold'.
The BMJ published the first centrally randomised controlled trial. The journal also carried the seminal papers on the causal effects of smoking on health and lung cancer and other causes of death in relation to smoking.
For a long time, the journal's sole competitor was The Lancet, also based in the UK, but with increasing globalisation, The BMJ has faced tough competition from other medical journals, particularly The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The BMJ is an advocate of evidence-based medicine. It publishes research as well as clinical reviews, recent medical advances, editorial perspectives, among others.
A special "Christmas Edition" is published annually on the Friday before Christmas. This edition is known for research articles which apply a serious academic approach to investigating less serious medical questions. The results are often humorous and widely reported by the mainstream media.
The BMJ has an open peer review system, wherein authors are told who reviewed their manuscript. About half the original articles are rejected after review in-house. Manuscripts chosen for peer review are first reviewed by external experts, who comment on the importance and suitability for publication, before the final decision on a manuscript is made by the editorial ("hanging") committee. The acceptance rate is less than 7% for original research articles.
The BMJ is included in the major indexes PubMed, MEDLINE, EBSCO, and the Science Citation Index. The journal has long criticised the misuse of the impact factor to award grants and recruit researchers by academic institutions.
The five journals that as of 2008 have cited The BMJ most often are (in order of descending citation frequency) The BMJ, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, The Lancet, BMC Public Health, and BMC Health Services Research.
As of 2008, the five journals that have been cited most frequently by articles published in The BMJ are The BMJ, The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
In the 2018 Journal Citation Reports, The BMJ's impact factor was 23.295 in 2017, ranking it fourth among general medical journals. According to the Web of Science, the following articles have been cited the most often:
As of 2014, the most viewed article on The BMJ website is:
In 1974, Dr. Elaine Murphy submitted a brief case report under her husband's name John which suggested a condition known as Cello Scrotum, a fictional condition which supposedly affected male cellists. It was originally submitted as a joke in response to 'guitar nipple', a condition similar to jogger's nipple in which some forms of guitar playing causes irritation to the nipple, which Murphy and her husband believed was also a joke. The case report was published in the BMJ and although not widely cited, it was cited on some occasions with those doing so expressing scepticism. The truth of the case was reported on back in 1991  but it still remained in the BMJ until 2009.
In 2009, 35 years after the original case report was published, Murphy wrote a letter to the BMJ revealing that the condition was a hoax. In this case, a proper use of peer review would have prevented the case report from being published.
The BMJ went fully online in 1995 and has archived all its issues on the web. In addition to the print content, supporting material for original research articles, additional news stories, and electronic letters to the editors are its principal attractions. The BMJ website has the policy of publishing most e-letters to the journal, called Rapid Responses, and is shaped like a fully moderated Internet forum. As of January 2013 there had been 88 500 rapid responses posted on the BMJ website. Comments are screened for libellous and obscene content, however potential contributors are warned that once published, they will not have the right to remove or edit their response.
From 1999, all content of The BMJ was freely available online; however, in 2006 this changed to a subscription model. Original research articles continue to be available freely, but from January 2006, all other 'added value' contents, including clinical reviews and editorials, require a subscription. The BMJ allows complete free access for visitors from economically disadvantaged countries as part of the HINARI initiative.
The BMJ is principally an online journal, and it is only the website which carries the full text content of every article. However, a number of print editions are produced, targeting different groups of readers with selections of content, some of it abridged, and different advertising. The print editions are:
In addition, The BMJ also publishes a number of overseas/ foreign language editions: Argentinian (in Spanish), Greek, Romanian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern (in English). There is also Student BMJ, an online resource for medical students and junior doctors which publishes an annual print edition each September.
The BMJ offers several alerting services, free on request:
Our rejection rate for research is currently around 93%.
|subscription=(help) (in reference to Rimmer & Spielvogel 1990)
Acupuncture in Medicine is a bi-monthly peer-reviewed medical journal covering aspects of acupuncture and related techniques. The journal was established in 1982 by the British Medical Acupuncture Society, but was published by the BMJ Group on behalf of the Society from 2008-2018 and SAGE Publishing from 2019. The current editor-in-chief is David Carr.
In an opinion piece for Forbes on journals about pseudoscience published by reputable publishers, Steven Salzberg listed this journal, alongside Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies (published by Elsevier) and Chinese Medicine (published by BioMed Central), as examples of "fake medical journals"; his critique was repeated in an article written for Monthly Index of Medical Specialities exploring whether acupuncture was a medical sham or genuine treatment. When the BMJ Group started to publish the journal in 2008, David Colquhoun criticized the group for endorsing acupuncture "at a time when it is emerging that the evidence for any specific effect is very thin indeed." While he gave credit to BMJ Group and Acupuncture in Medicine for not espousing "the mumbo-jumbo about 'meridians' and 'Qi'", he also noted that "like all journals devoted to alternative medicine [Acupuncture in Medicine] suffers from a fatal conflict of interest. If this journal were ever to conclude that acupuncture is a placebo, it would destroy the journal and the livelihoods of many of the people who write for it."Archives of Disease in Childhood
Archives of Disease in Childhood is a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the BMJ Group and covering the field of paediatrics. It is the official journal of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.BMJ (company)
BMJ (previously BMJ Group, rebranded in 2013), is a provider of journals, clinical decision support, events and medical education. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association. Established in 1840 with the publication of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal (later the first edition of the British Medical Journal), it is now a fully commercial organisation with about 550 staff and offices based in 7 locations around the world including North America, the United Kingdom, Singapore, India and China.
The company's products and services also extend to offer rights and licensing, targeted advertising and sponsorship opportunities for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, recruiters, and the general medical community.British Journal of Sports Medicine
The British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) is a peer-reviewed medical journal in the fields of sports science and sports medicine. It is published by the BMJ Group. It was established in 1964 and the editor-in-chief is Karim Khan (University of British Columbia). According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has an impact factor of 7.867, the highest in its subject area.Cello scrotum
Cello scrotum is a hoax medical condition originally published as a brief case report in the British Medical Journal in 1974. As its name suggests, it was purportedly an affliction of the scrotum affecting male players of the cello.Fiona Godlee
Fiona Godlee (born August 4, 1961) has been editor in chief of The BMJ since 2005; she is the first female editor appointed in the journal's history. She is also editorial director.Gut (journal)
Gut is a monthly peer reviewed medical journal on gastroenterology and hepatology. It is the journal of the British Society of Gastroenterology and is published by the BMJ Group. As of 2010, the editor-in-chief is Emad El-Omar.
Gut was established in 1960 and covers original research on the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, and biliary tract. The journal has annual supplements covering the presentations from the British Society of Gastroenterology Annual General Meeting. British Society of Gastroenterology clinical practice guidelines are also published as supplements to the journal. As of March 2010 subscribers to Gut also receive a copy of Frontline Gastroenterology.Injury Prevention (journal)
Injury Prevention is a bimonthly peer-reviewed medical journal covering the prevention of injuries in all age groups, including child and adolescent injuries. It is published by the BMJ Group and its editor-in-chief is Roderick J. McClure (University of New England). The journal is abstracted and indexed by MEDLINE, Scopus, and the Science Citation Index Expanded, CINAHL, Google Scholar. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2017 impact factor of 2.420.Journal of Clinical Pathology
The Journal of Clinical Pathology is a peer-reviewed medical journal covering all aspects of pathology, published by the BMJ Group and co=owned by the Association of Clinical Pathologists. Diagnostic and research areas covered include histopathology, virology, haematology, microbiology, cytopathology, chemical pathology, molecular pathology, forensic pathology, dermatopathology, neuropathology, and immunopathology. Each issue contains reviews, original articles, short reports, case reports, correspondence, and book reviews.In 2005 the Journal of Clinical Pathology incorporated Molecular Pathology, which was published from 1995-2004.Journal of Medical Genetics
The Journal of Medical Genetics is a peer-reviewed medical journal focusing on human genetics. It was established in September 1964 and is published by the BMJ Group. The editor-in-chief is Constantin Polychronakos (McGill University Health Centre).Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry
The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry is a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal published by the BMJ Group. It covers research and reviews in the fields of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry. Its editor-in-chief is Matthew Kiernan. Every two months, it includes a supplement of reviews and educational material titled Practical Neurology.Lancet MMR autism fraud
The Lancet MMR autism fraud centred on the publication in 1998 of a research paper titled Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children in The Lancet. The paper, authored by Andrew Wakefield, claimed to link the MMR vaccine to colitis and autism spectrum disorders. Events surrounding the research study and the publication of its findings led to Wakefield being struck off the medical register. The paper was retracted in 2010.Characterised as "perhaps the most damaging medical hoax of the 20th Century", it led to a sharp drop in vaccination rates in the UK and Ireland. Promotion of the claimed link, which continues in anti-vaccination propaganda despite being refuted, led to an increase in the incidence of measles and mumps, resulting in deaths and serious permanent injuries. Following the initial claims in 1998, multiple large epidemiological studies were undertaken. Reviews of the evidence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK National Health Service, and the Cochrane Library all found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Physicians, medical journals, and editors have described Wakefield's actions as fraudulent and tied them to epidemics and deaths.An investigation by journalist Brian Deer found that Wakefield had multiple undeclared conflicts of interest, had manipulated evidence, and had broken other ethical codes. The Lancet paper was partially retracted in 2004 and fully retracted in 2010, when Lancet's editor-in-chief Richard Horton described it as "utterly false" and said that the journal had been deceived. Wakefield was found guilty by the General Medical Council of serious professional misconduct in May 2010 and was struck off the Medical Register, meaning he could no longer practise as a doctor in the UK. In 2011, Deer provided further information on Wakefield's improper research practices to the British Medical Journal, which in a signed editorial described the original paper as fraudulent. The scientific consensus is that there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism and that the vaccine's benefits greatly outweigh its risks.MMR vaccine and autism
Claims of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism have been extensively investigated and found to be false. The link was first suggested in the early 1990s and came to public notice largely as a result of the 1998 Lancet MMR autism fraud, characterised as "perhaps the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years". The fraudulent research paper authored by Andrew Wakefield and published in The Lancet claimed to link the vaccine to colitis and autism spectrum disorders. The paper was retracted in 2010 but is still cited by anti-vaccinationists.The claims in the paper were widely reported, leading to a sharp drop in vaccination rates in the UK and Ireland. Promotion of the claimed link, which continues in anti-vaccination propaganda despite being refuted, has led to an increase in the incidence of measles and mumps, resulting in deaths and serious permanent injuries. Following the initial claims in 1998, multiple large epidemiological studies were undertaken. Reviews of the evidence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK National Health Service, and the Cochrane Library all found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Physicians, medical journals, and editors have described Wakefield's actions as fraudulent and tied them to epidemics and deaths.An investigation by journalist Brian Deer found that Wakefield, the author of the original research paper linking the vaccine to autism, had multiple undeclared conflicts of interest, had manipulated evidence, and had broken other ethical codes. The Lancet paper was partially retracted in 2004 and fully retracted in 2010, when Lancet's editor-in-chief Richard Horton described it as "utterly false" and said that the journal had been deceived. Wakefield was found guilty by the General Medical Council of serious professional misconduct in May 2010 and was struck off the Medical Register, meaning he could no longer practise as a physician in the UK. In 2011, Deer provided further information on Wakefield's improper research practices to the British Medical Journal, which in a signed editorial described the original paper as fraudulent. The scientific consensus is that there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism and that the vaccine's benefits greatly outweigh its potential risks.Man flu
Man flu is a phrase that refers to the idea that men, when they have a common cold, experience and self-report symptoms of greater severity, akin to those experienced during the flu. While a commonly-used phrase in much of the English-speaking world, there is a continuing discussion over the scientific basis.Medical journal
A medical journal is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that communicates medical information to physicians and other health professionals. Journals that cover many medical specialties are sometimes called general medical journals.Open peer review
Open peer review is a process in which names of peer reviewers of papers submitted to academic journals are disclosed to the authors of the papers in question. In some cases, as with the BMJ and BioMed Central, the process also involves posting the entire pre-publication history of the article online, including not only signed reviews of the article, but also its previous versions and author responses to the reviewers.Richard Smith (editor)
Richard Smith CBE FMedSci is a British medical doctor, editor, and businessman.
He is director of the Ovations initiative to combat chronic disease in the developing world. The initiative is funding centres in China, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Tunisia, Tanzania, South Africa, Central America, and the US Mexico border. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Patients Know Best.
Previously he was chief executive of UnitedHealth Europe, a subsidiary of the UnitedHealth Group that works with public health systems in Europe. Before that he was editor of the BMJ (previously the British Medical Journal), and chief executive of the BMJ Group. Smith worked for the BMJ for twenty-five years, from 1979 to 2004, the last thirteen as editor.
Smith is a proponent of open access publishing. He was editor of the BMJ when the journal first moved to online publishing, and made the journal's archives freely available. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Public Library of Science, an open access publisher of scientific and medical research. He was editor in chief of the open-access Cases Journal, which aimed to create a database of medical case reports.
He is an honorary professor at the University of Warwick and a member of the governing council of St George’s, University of London.He is a founding Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences, elected in 1998.
Having qualified in medicine in the University of Edinburgh, he worked in hospitals in Scotland and New Zealand before joining the BMJ. He also worked for six years as a television doctor with the BBC and TV-AM and has a degree in management science from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Smith is the author of the book The Trouble with Medical Journals (2006, ISBN 1-85315-673-6), in which he contends that medical journals have become "creatures of the drug industry", rife with fraudulent research and packed with articles ghost written by pharmaceutical companies. He has also written about the limitations and problems of the peer review process. In 2014, in an interview with New Scientist, he argued for criminalisation of research fraud.His brother is comedian Arthur Smith.Student BMJ
Student BMJ is a monthly, international medical journal for medical students and junior doctors. It is published by the BMJ Group.
Student BMJ was launched as a print journal in 1992 with the aim of publishing articles for medical students, and is compiled by a full-time student editor, who takes a year out from medical school. International expert authors and students work together to explain how to read research papers, provide practical careers advice, and put theory into practice both in print and online.
The current student editor is Katherine Bettany who works together with the current senior editor of BMJ.Thorax (journal)
Thorax is a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal specialising in both clinical and experimental research articles on respiratory medicine as well as paediatrics, immunology, pharmacology, pathology, and surgery. It was established in 1946 and is published by the BMJ Group on behalf of the British Thoracic Society. The journal is available online by subscription and archived editions of the journal are available free of charge after 1 year. The editors-in-chief are Alan Smyth, Gisli Jenkins and Nicholas Hart.