I have worked at the BMJ (British Medical Journal, bmj.com) since 1989. I am one of three deputy editors and am also senior research editor. I lead the BMJ team that peer reviews and publishes original research articles, and also lead our international outreach programme, with key responsibility for helping researchers to maximise their chances of publication and for encouraging authors to send the BMJ their research. I write and maintain the BMJ’s editorial policies and instructions to authors, and have co-developed the BMJ’s regular workshops on peer review training.
On behalf of the BMJ I have been a member of several research-related organisations and groups: the council of the Committee on Publication Ethics (2008-10), the CONSORT 2010 group on reporting randomised controlled trials, and the SPIRIT group on reporting trial protocols. I am also participating in strategic efforts to encourage the sharing of raw research data, to develop prognosis research methods, to revise the EU clinical trials directive, and to improve the practice of grant review.
I helped to develop BMJ Open - the online-only open access general medical journal launched by BMJ Group in early 2011 (bmjopen.bmj.com) – and am its Editor in chief. BMJ Open is dedicated to publishing medical research from all disciplines and therapeutic areas and considers all research study types, from study protocols to phase I trials to meta-analyses, including small or potentially low-impact studies. Publishing procedures are built around fully open peer review and continuous publication, publishing research online as soon as the article is ready. Authors are asked to pay article-processing charges on acceptance; the ability to pay does not influence editorial decisions.
Before joining the BMJ I trained in medicine at London’s Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and then specialised in psychiatry, gaining MRCPsych in 1989. In 1998 I was an honorary research fellow at the School for Public Policy, University College London.
I have presented programmes and series for BBC World Service radio, presented TVam’s Doc Spot, co-authored the HarperCollins Consumer Guide to Mental Health (winner of the Medical Journalists' Association best book of 1995), and edited the BMJ book Countdown to Community Care (1993).