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Readers’ editor

The sugar tax: “Was it The BMJ wot won it?”

21 Mar, 16 | by BMJ Group

David Payne2“Get something out on social?” urged a colleague in response to UK Chancellor George Osborne’s sugar tax announcement in his Budget speech last week.  “I think you can claim that as a ‘win’ for The BMJ” added another after we reminded him of the many articles we have published on the sugar tax.

We quickly got tweeting, and updated our website homepage with links to some  of the articles we have published about sugar taxes over the years. This includes a call from our editor in January 2016 to listen to the evidence in response to a study we published about Mexico’s tax on sugar sweetened drinks.  more…

David Payne: Top nurses with a tamed Hound

5 May, 15 | by BMJ Group

IMG_1426Spare a thought for the comedian asked to host a professional awards ceremony within a week of the UK general election.

Oliver Reed lookalike Rufus Hound (pictured) showed all the signs of having his comic wings clipped as he took to the podium at London’s Savoy Hotel last week to present the Nursing Standard Nurse Awards.

This was not a night of hellraising. Instead Hound ploughed a politics-free furrow in a compering gig that was interspersed with references to the vital work carried out by nurses, midwives, and health visitors.  At times, in fact, he almost sounded like a politician. more…

David Payne: Digital dilemmas—a day in my life at The BMJ

12 Dec, 14 | by BMJ Group

deputy chair of MJA on stage (1)Wednesday December 10.

8.30am: I’m on the bus into work and checking Twitter when I see an exchange between @garyschwitzer and @bengoldacre about some embargoed papers we press released last night, (including Ben’s editorial and a linked research paper about the association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases), not showing on

I apologise to @garyschwitzer and explain why I think they aren’t working. more…

Readers’ editor: Inserts in the print issue

30 Sep, 14 | by BMJ Group

deputy chair of MJA on stage (1)If you shake the current print issue of The BMJ, a cluster of inserts fall to the ground, among them a wine club promotion, an online menswear retailer, and a charity appeal from the Refugee Council.

Sometimes readers do challenge the accuracy of information in these inserts, or question our decision to accept money from organisations whose views they do not agree with.

Last year, for example, a reader complained about an insert from the organisation Campaign for Dignity in Dying, which wants to legalise assisted dying in the UK, subject to certain safeguards. more…

The BMJ Today: Feet and fudge

25 Jul, 14 | by BMJ Group

davidpayneA calcaneal fracture can mean a two year recovery, with a stiff, painful, deformed foot that will not fit into a normal shoe.

How does operative and non-operative treatment for intra-articular fractures compare?

A research team led by Damian Griffin, professor of trauma and orthopaedic surgery at Warwick University Medical School, conclude in their randomised controlled trial that operative treatment by open reduction and internal fixation is not recommended. more…

The BMJ Today: Talking shit again

21 Jul, 14 | by BMJ Group

By the end of next month rural India could have an extra 5.2m toilets as part of a pre-election pledge by Narendra Modi, now prime minister, to build “toilets first and temples later.”

Readers of The BMJ will no doubt be heartened by the Indian government’s announcement, coming seven years after sanitation topped a reader poll as the greatest “medical milestone” in the past 166 years  more…

Readers’ editor: A website needing more soft fruit

20 Jul, 14 | by BMJ Group

davidpayneWe like it when readers take the time and trouble to give us feedback. We’ve been particularly appreciative in the last two weeks as The BMJ’s new website beds down following its launch on 30 June. Some readers responded to the editorial published to mark the new website and the journal’s new name and logo.  Eighty readers replied to an email we sent out about the new site. Others used our customer service feedback form, and contacted us directly via email. Last week we did our first technical release since the new site went live, and we used it to tweak the design (based on your feedback), implement some changes we couldn’t squeeze in before launch, and fix some bugs. more…

The BMJ Today: New name, new logo, new website, some bugs

1 Jul, 14 | by BMJ Group

davidpayneWriters of this daily update about new stuff published by The BMJ usually face an embarrassment of richesmore than 100 articles go online each week, along with dozens of rapid responses, video abstracts, and audio interviews. But yesterday hardly anything got published because we needed to clear the decks for a new website, which heralds the journal’s new name (The BMJ), new homepage address (, and logo (a dark blue “lozenge” in a lower case font). All this happened after 4pm British Summer Time. more…

Trish Groves: Media reaction to the updated Cochrane reviews on Tamiflu and Relenza

25 Apr, 14 | by BMJ Group

trish_grovesThe two updated Cochrane reviews on the benefits and harms in influenza of the neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) attracted lots of attention after The BMJ published them earlier this month. This is my third blog about the feedback. The first blog focussed on rapid responses to the two research articles, and the second looked at how they were covered in the blogosphere. This final one examines the media coverage. more…

Trish Groves: How bloggers responded to the updated Cochrane reviews on Tamiflu and Relenza

24 Apr, 14 | by BMJ Group

trish_grovesMy earlier blog outlined BMJ reader feedback to the two updated Cochrane reviews on the benefits and harms in influenza of the neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). But the two research articles also attracted a great deal of attention in the blogosphere. more…

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