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EMJ goes monthly and important changes in requirements for patient consent.
The EMJ will become a monthly publication in January 2005. This is a major step in the development of the journal. We thank all those who have worked so hard to achieve this aim, especially the great support from the British Association for Emergency Medicine, the British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS), the Faculty of Pre-hospital Care, and BASICS Scotland. This change will allow us to be more topical, more reactive, and quicker at publishing accepted papers, a particularly worrying problem for the journal and authors.
In advance of this change we have reviewed our policies and procedures. These can be viewed in full on http://emj.bmjjournals.com/misc/ifora/jnlguidelines.shtml. One significant change is that we now require patient consent for case reports or small case series where there is patient identifiable information. All other research requires ethical approval and we feel that this is important step in protecting patient privacy. There may be times when consent is not possible but these will be few in number. This change will apply to case reports submitted after 1 January 2005. A copy of a consent form can be obtained from http://emj.bmjjournals.com/misc/ifora/patconsent.shtml.
We have also updated the instructions for reviewers. A heartfelt thanks to all our reviewers who give time and brainpower freely to assist the journal. Your hard work is much appreciated (see page 717). We believe the quality of papers in the EMJ has significantly increased and the review process is part of this quality improvement.
If you do review for the EMJ could you read the new instructions for reviewers on http://emj.bmjjournals.com/misc/ifora/. The changes are not major but are in response to some ideas you have suggested.
Finally, we would like to thank Claire Jura for her work for the EMJ. For three years she has been the editorial assistant for the journal, the ever patient voice on the EMJ telephone and a great supporter of the editorial team. Recently she was promoted within the BMJ Group and has been replaced by Craig Raybould. We welcome Craig to the EMJ team.