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A word from our sponsors

BMJ Publishing Group

The BMJ Publishing Group is the publishing arm of the British Medical Association, and is one of the world's leading medical publishers.

Its flagship is the BMJ, the weekly medical journal, which reaches 100 000 doctors in the United Kingdom and another 15 000 subscribers worldwide. An estimated 80 000 users a week access the journal's website, which provides an augmented version of the paper journal for free. The studentBMJ, which supplements material from the BMJ with articles specially commissioned for students, is the world's only monthly journal for medical students. Like its parent, its website provides free access to the full text of the journal.

The group publishes 30 specialist journals covering a wide range of medical fields. Ten of these journals are also available in full text on the web, and more will follow. Our relationship with HighWire Press began with the full text version of the BMJ's website (launched April 1998) and has continued with the electronic versions of these specialist journals.

At present there are local editions of the BMJ and specialist journals in some 20 countries.

BMJ Books publishes 40 new titles a year, adding to a backlist of some 250 books. In 1999 it launched an online medical bookshop, which allows searching of a comprehensive database of titles and their online purchase .

The group is the publisher most closely associated with the evidence based medicine movement, and has a wide range of journals and books devoted to the topic. Most radical of all is Clinical Evidence, a compendium of the best available evidence on the benefits and harms of common clinical interventions, which is updated every six months.

With the BMA, the group organises a range of national and international conferences.

In 1999, the group opened an office in San Francisco and relaunched the Western Journal of Medicine jointly with UCSF Stanford Healthcare. The group hopes that its profile in the Unites States will be raised through a combination of the new office, the relaunched journal, the internet version of its journals, its increasing partnerships with American organisations, and the growing interest in the US in evidence based practice, primary care, and Britain's health care system.

Stanford University Library's HighWire Press

Stanford University Library's HighWire Press began in early 1995 with the online production of the weekly Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), the most highly cited (and second largest) peer-reviewed journal. Scientists and societies rapidly saw the potential for new forms and features of scientific communication, and Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences soon joined JBC online. HighWire now (December 1999) produces 158 sites online, with many more planned. HighWire enjoys the strong support of the University's President, Provost, and Deans of Medicine and Research. HighWire is organizationally a department within Stanford, much as the Stanford University Press is. Indeed, many think of HighWire as the Silicon Valley realization of a university press in the new millennium.

As a research university with an excellent life science research faculty and an extraordinary medical school and hospitals, Stanford is vitally interested in the communication of research results. The journals HighWire supports correspondingly focus on science, technology, and medicine (STM) and are preponderantly among the highest-impact journals in the literature. Also, as a research institution, Stanford is strongly interested in the economics of provision of scholarly information to researchers, especially STM research information.

HighWire was founded to ensure that its partners - scientific societies and responsible publishers - would remain strong and able to lead the transition toward use of new technologies for scientific communication. Concerned that scientific societies separately would lack the resources and expertise to lead a major technical infrastructure shift in publications, Stanford University, in founding HighWire, accepted the role of partner, agent of change, and advisor. Begun as a close collaboration of scientists, librarians and publishers, it has not strayed from that model in its four-and-a-half years of rapid growth.

Under the guidance of its publishing partners, HighWire's approach to online publishing of scholarly journals is not simply to mount electronic images of printed pages; rather, by adding links among authors, articles and citations, advanced searching capabilities, high-resolution images and multimedia, and interactivity, the electronic versions provide added dimensions to the information provided in the printed journals.

Working within the individual (and very different) subscription policies of the societies and publishers, HighWire manages subscriber access to the journals it puts online. This ranges from individual subscriptions to institutional access, and can even scale up to consortial or national access policies. Much content is, of course, available to all users on the Web without subscription.

With profound and growing ties to the societies and publishers it serves, and equally profound links to scholars and the research library community, HighWire emphasizes another species of communication as well. Through semi-annual meetings of the journal publishers and innumerable operational discussions, there is a very lively, productive, and path-breaking dialogue among the many participants in the HighWire success to date.

Further information can be found online at: http://highwire.stanford.edu, or, for readers outside the U.S. at: http://intl.highwire.org


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