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David Payne

Readers’ editor: International research

27 Jun, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne The BMJ wants its research papers to help doctors make better decisions, which is why they are open access and free to view.

But to deliver on the pledge our research also needs to be scientifically valid, clinically relevant, widely read and cited, and appeal to international readers. Each year we get more than 3000 submissions, but we usually only accept 2 to 5%.

Sara Schroter has run the BMJ’s in-house research programme since 2001. Her latest report is an audit of papers submitted and published between 2004 and 2012. It tracks a range of indicators. These help us to see if our published research is being accessed on bmj.com and cited, and what proportion is getting picked up by secondary sources like Evidence Updates, Journal Watch, Evidence Based Medicine Journal, etc. more…

Readers’ editor: Abbreviations and patient safety

7 Jun, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne In January this year a hospital pharmacist contacted us after a colleague had questioned a prescription for amlodipine 10 mg four times a day for migraine.  She contacted the prescriber, who said he had got the dose from this clinical review  about pharmacological prevention of migraine published in The BMJ. more…

Readers’ editor: An evening with Itchy Sneezy Wheezy

29 May, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne Last week’s print BMJ included a 14 page supplement about BMJ Awards, held a week earlier in London. If you didn’t see it, here’s a link. The BMJ Awards website lists all the winners, along with pictures from the night.

The BMJ Awards are now five years old. The event goes from strength to strength. Next year we are launching BMJ Awards India in Mumbai.

I’ve attended all of the UK events and inevitably compare the BMJ event with the dozens of others I’ve been to over the last 20 years for healthcare professionals, digital developments, and journalism. more…

Readers’ editor: Free pens and memory sticks

23 May, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne I spent yesterday at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, talking to readers of the BMJ. The medical school library had organised an open day and a sales colleague had organised a BMJ stand, so I joined him to discuss our plans for the BMJ website with both qualified doctors and medical students. more…

Readers’ editor: BMJ cruise, anyone?

15 May, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne Readers of the Radio Times can visit locations used in the filming of Sir David Attenborough’s Africa on a tailor made tour offered by the 90 year old UK listings magazine. The Africa trip is one of dozens of destinations listed on RT Travel page and the latest example of how publishers are increasingly thinking like retailers to offer their readers everything from holidays to horticulture. more…

Readers’ editor: Crazy eggs and the BMJ in a mobile world

30 Apr, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne Each year the BMJ runs an online reader survey. The survey is mainly multiple choice but there is also a free text question where we ask readers: “What single improvement to bmj.com would make the most difference to you?” Every year the most popular response is “Make it free.” There are other recurring responses to the survey. In 2012 there were lots of requests for a simpler navigation and less clutter, a better search engine, and clearer access to article pdfs. more…

Readers’ editor: Video abstracts

18 Apr, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne Cuba’s population witnessed huge economic change after losing the former Soviet Union as a trading partner in 1989. Food shortages caused by the downturn led to obesity rates falling from 12% to 7% in six years, an average weight loss of between 4-5kg across the whole population.

The country also introduced new green policies, including the creation of neighbourhood gardens and the arrival of 1.5m imported bikes from China.

Can developed countries currently affected by the economic downturn learn from Cuba’s experience? Can it be used to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes in say, Spain, the UK, and US? How important is a country’s transport policies in helping to reduce obesity and diabetes incidence?

All of the above information was gleaned not from the full text or abstract of a BMJ research paper, but from the video abstract  published to accompany it when it went online last week. more…

Readers’ editor: What is a “BMJ man (or woman)?”

9 Apr, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne In the early 1990s I spent the weekend at the home of a friend’s parents, both of them GPs. I’d recently started work as a political news reporter on the GP magazine Pulse. “Never read it,” said my friend’s dad. “I’m a BMJ man through and though.”

He’s now retired, but whenever I visit a well-thumbed copy of the latest print journal sits on his desk. At the time I did not ask how he defined a “BMJ man,” but now realise he likes the journal’s general readability, and its mix of peer reviewed research and educational articles, editorials, and obituaries. At the time he had little interest in medicopolitical news which the BMJ’s competitor titles for UK family doctors (Pulse, GP, and Doctor) covered comprehensively. more…

Readers’ editor: Pharma advertising in the BMJ

28 Mar, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne In 2011 research physician Tristan Barber responded to an editor’s choice on conflicts of interest, saying: “Reading the current BMJ and noting several letters regarding conflicts of interest, it was particularly distracting to have the front cover being a fold-out advertisement for a pharmaceutical product.

“As a consequence I was very aware of all of the pharmaceutical advertising throughout the current edition. This may have been commented on before, but whilst considering industry impact on researchers and authors, has there been much consideration of the impact of advertising within a journal on the opinion of readers on its editorial policy or contents?” more…

Readers’ editor blog: Our Indian readers, and why there’s more of them

22 Mar, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne At the beginning of 2013 bmj.com’s most accessed article in India typically received between 100 and 200 views. In three months the figure has more than doubled.

In the first full week of January there were 9,784 visits to bmj.com from India. The figure has been rising since. Last week there were 12,121.

In November 2012 we ran our first online poll for readers in India. Should the UK withdraw aid to India, we asked. The poll was live for two weeks, and it received just 64 votes, with 40 saying no. Our latest India poll, “Should AYUSH doctors be allowed to prescribe allopathic drugs?” received 217 votes over two weeks. Of that figure, 114 readers (52.5%) said no. more…

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