BMJ launches new Chinese publishing portal: Q&A with David Wang and Huili Chen


Recently BMJ launched a publishing portal intended to help Chinese authors publish in BMJ’s portfolio of more than 60 journals, including BMJ Open. To help understand the motivations surrounding the portal, along with some of its content, we asked BMJ China’s Business Development Manager Huili Chen and the Deputy Editor of BMJ’s new journal Stroke and Vascular Neurology, David Wang, a few questions.

Q: David, how do you think the portal might benefit Stroke and Vascular Neurology?

DW: As the newest journal of the BMJ family and the official English journal for the Chinese Stroke AssociationSVN would like to be a successful journal in the area of cerebrovascular disease. To be successful requires quality papers. Chinese scholars are always seeking journals for their work and SVN hopefully can benefit from that need. The new portal is the only such kind of service from a major publisher that offers the authors a “one stop shopping” convenience. Authors can easily find the journal to submit their work in one portal. SVN can certainly benefit from the portal since Chinese authors can enjoy the wonderful services provided by BMJ publishing, easily identify our journal, and send in their work.

Q: What information on the portal do you think will be most useful to potential authors in SVN?

DW: SVN would like to provide a user-friendly and state-of-art platform for the authors to submit their manuscripts and track their submission. BMJ portal is the right place to get started. It offers quality information and instructions to potential authors on how to complete the submission. As a new journal that has just been launched, our potential authors can find themselves at ease when they submit their work through the portal.

Q: Huili, what was the motivation behind the portal?

HC: There were a few driving elements. Firstly, BMJ and The BMJ have strong reputations in China, but we’ve not had the chance to promote the journals in a systematic way, directly to authors. Secondly, there is a lot of misinformation about publishing in China, much of it taking the form of comments on websites. We wanted to communicate the correct information, and a portal seemed a good way to do this. Finally, several publishers have initiatives in China, and we want to be competitive and demonstrate that BMJ values work from Chinese authors. The portal seemed like a good starting point.

DW: As China is increasingly becoming a powerhouse in biomedical research, there are greater needs needs for Chinese scholars to publish their work. However, Chinese authors often struggle in finding the best journal for their papers. BMJ has over 60 journals–and growing–but some of the journals are not well-known to Chinese scholars. By having such a portal, it helps to educate the authors about all the journals published by BMJ and offer them a very convenient way to submit their work. Such ease of use will certainly benefit new journals, such as SVN, since authors will recognise that they can submit their work just as easily as they could to other BMJ journals.

Q: Who do you expect will use the portal?

HC: The portal was designed for all Chinese speaking doctors and medical researchers who have an interest in publishing papers in international journals. The portal is available internationally, but we expect that most of the users will be based in China.

DW: The portal is in Chinese. Therefore, any authors who reads Chinese can find it easy to use. It is certainly not limited to the scholars in China but anywhere in the world who understand Chinese

Q: What information is available on the portal?

HC: There is an overview of BMJ’s journal portfolio, with each journal having a page containing key information intended to help authors decide whether the journal is suitable for their work. There is also a page outlining The BMJ, highlighting its criteria for research articles, article requirements, and peer review process. There are regular updates on research articles published in The BMJ and Open Access articles published in all journals, highlighting strong articles from Chinese researchers. We have recently added a Chinese blog by editors from the Journal of Medical Genetics–this can be done for any journal that is interested.

In addition there is an author center where authors can read about journals’ editorial policies and publishing processes. We have included resources that authors might find useful, such as an introduction to the Research to Publication e-learning course. Finally, we highlight Chinese experts who are editors and board members on BMJ journals

Q: What impact do you hope the portal will have?

HC: Ideally, we’d like all medical researchers and doctors to know about the portal and use it whenever they want to publish a new piece of work. We want it to be a tool to establish loyalty and trust. It will, of course, take time to accomplish, but with BMJ’s growing portfolio of journals, we think the portal is an important starting point.

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