Terms and conditions

BMJ advertising and sponsorship guidelines  

Advertising and sponsorship are important to BMJ in helping us to provide value for our users. These guidelines are to ensure we do business in keeping with BMJ values. Our users and customers expect BMJ to be trustworthy, independent and to have integrity. Our advertising and sponsorship should support that expectation.

  • BMJ accepts advertising for products and services that are of interest to users in their personal and as well as professional lives. Advertisements and sponsorship must be legal, decent and truthful and comply with the relevant laws, regulations and industry codes for the geographic area in which they appear.
  • Our users should immediately be able to distinguish between advertising and editorial content. Advertisement features need to conform to BMJ specifications.
  • Advertisements for products making therapeutic claims but without marketing authorisation or CE marking (or local equivalent), should be submitted with all claims substantiated in full length research papers published in peer reviewed journals.
  • Sponsored content should be clearly identifiable. The nature of any commercial relationship must be transparent to our users. Advertising and sponsorship should be delivered in context. Surreptitious or subliminal advertising is not allowed.
  • BMJ does not allow advertising or sponsorship to influence editorial decisions.
  • Online advertising or sponsorship should not impede users’ access to editorial content.
  • We accept advertising and sponsorship from competitors.
  • We do not accept advertising or sponsorship relating to tobacco products, or to products and services from tobacco companies, their foundations, or their wholly owned subsidiaries.
  • Advertising and sponsorship are subject to editorial oversight.
  • BMJ's editor-in-chief reserves the right to accept and reject advertising and sponsorship proposals. If a proposal is refused for reasons outside these guidelines, the editor-in-chief will provide an explanation.

(Last modified by Fiona Godlee, 25 March 2014)


Use of our websites  

Any reference to BMJweus and our is to BMJ Publishing Group Limited, except where the relevant service is provided by another BMJ group company, in which case references to we, us or our shall, in respect of those services, be references to that BMJ group company.

BMJ Publishing Group Limited is a company registered in England and Wales (registered number is 3102371) with registered office at BMJ, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR, UK

Any reference to website(s) or site(s) is to a website owned or controlled by BMJ Publishing Group Limited and its co-owners and licensors.

Any reference to you or your is a reference to you as a user of a BMJ website or service.

Please read the following Website Terms and Conditions (Terms) carefully before using the website(s) as they govern the use of our websites. By using our sites you are indicating you accept these Terms and that you agree to abide by them regardless of whether or not you choose to register with BMJ. If you do not accept these terms, do not use the website(s).

From time to time we may change these Terms, and will post revisions on this website.

We recommend you regularly print a copy of these Terms for future reference and periodically review these Terms for changes. It is your responsibility for doing so.

If you have purchased a licence, subscription or otherwise entered into an agreement with us (for example as a delegate at a conference) you will also be governed by the terms of that agreement, which shall prevail in the event of a conflict. Online purchases have additional terms and conditions relating to the transaction as indicated on the relevant website.


Use of the data that you provide us, or which is collected by use on our websites, is governed by our Privacy Policy. By using our site(s) you consent to such processing.

 Access to BMJ websites  

We try to ensure that website availability is uninterrupted and that transmissions will be error-free. However, we cannot, guarantee that your access will not be suspended or restricted from time to time, including to allow for repairs, maintenance or the introduction of new facilities or services. We of course try to limit the frequency and duration of any suspension or restriction.

BMJ shall not be liable if for any reason the Websites are unavailable at any time or for any period. 

Language of Terms  

Where these Terms have been translated into a language which is not English, this has been done for your convenience only to aid your interpretation of the Terms.

The English language version of these Terms is available here and it prevail in the event of any conflict between the English language version and a version in any other language.  

Accounts and passwords  

If you have registered or subscribed to a BMJ website, any user identification code or password must be kept confidential and used only by you (unless agreed in writing with BMJ). We have the right to disable any user identification code or password whether chosen by you or allocated by us at any time if in our option you have failed to comply with any of the provisions of these terms of use.


We do not guarantee that our sites will be secure or free from bugs or viruses.

You are responsible for configuring your information technology, computer programmes and platform in order to access our sites. You should use your own virus protection software.

You must not misuse our sites by knowingly introducing viruses, trojans, worms, logic bombs or other material which is malicious or technologically harmful. You must not attempt to gain unauthorised access to our sites, the server on which our sites is stored or any server, computer or database connected to our site. You must not attack our sites via a denial-of-service attack or a distributed denial-of service attack. By breaching this provision, you would commit a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. We will report any such breach to the relevant law enforcement authorities and we will co-operate with those authorities by disclosing your identity to them. In the event of such a breach, your right to use our sites will cease immediately.

Intellectual property rights  

The content, layout, design, data, databases and graphics on this website are protected by UK and other international intellectual property laws and are owned by BMJ or its licensors. Unless expressly permitted in writing in a licence agreement or referenced herein relating to BMJ and BMJ Journals “Open Access Articles” (below) and other than printing a small proportion of content or displaying this on your screen or both, (strictly for your personal non-commercial use), no part of a website may be reproduced, stored in any medium, including but not limited to a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, broadcasting) nor, shown in public other than a BMJ Learning Personal Development Plan or your BMJ Quality Improvement workbook, which you may download and store for your personal, non-commercial use. For the avoidance of doubt, all template documents and software you use to create any Personal Development Plan on the BMJ Learning is website are BMJ’s property, and you are granted a revocable, non-transferable licence for personal, non-commercial use.

You may not create any derivative work or make any other adaptation, without our prior written consent.

You must not modify the copies you have displayed or printed in any way and you may not use any illustrations, photographs, videos or audio sequences or any graphics separately from any accompanying text.

Any permitted use of our material is subject to ensuring that our copyright notices and trade marks appear as they do on all copies online and customary bibliographical citations including author attribution, date article title (where applicable) and the URL to the relevant BMJ website are included.

If you print off or download any material from our website(s) in breach of these terms of use, any rights to use our site(s) will cease immediately and you must at our option return or destroy any copies of the materials you have made. All rights not expressly granted in these terms or any express written licence, are reserved.

The trademarks and logos which are displayed on the websites are the trademarks of the BMJ and its licensors. Any use including framing, metatags or other text utilising BMJ trademarks or other trademarks displayed, is strictly prohibited without our (or our licensor's) express written consent.

Any material you upload to our sites will be considered non-confidential and non-proprietary (unless otherwise stated on the site or within our privacy policy) and for such content you grant us a transferable, royalty free, worldwide, irrevocable licence to use, copy, distribute, edit, amend, disclose, sub licence to third parties and create derivative works in whole or party of any such material for any purpose, in any media.. We may remove, edit or amend any such material at any time without notice to you. To the extent moral rights attach to any material to the fullest extent permitted by law these are waived in our favour. All material posted must adhere to the requirements of “Your conduct" below.

We also have the right to disclose your identity to any third party who is claiming that any material posted or uploaded by you to any of our sites constitutes a violation of their rights, including without limitation, their intellectual property rights, reputational rights or of their right to privacy.

Any rights not expressly granted in these Terms are reserved. 

Permission for use of our intellectual property  

Any request for permission of our content or images, or other use of our intellectual property not authorised under a subscription, should be made using the contact us form. For BMJ Journals we recommend you first visit: http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions. If however the request relates to an item published before a full text was online you must use the permission request form at http://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/resources-readers/permissions. BMJ Journals reprint requests should be made via http://journals.bmj.com/cgi/reprintform.

BMJ and BMJ Journals “Open Access Articles”  

Some BMJ and BMJ Journals articles have expressly marked on them that they are “Open Access”. Where this is the case, certain extended rights of use are allowed without obtaining further permission from BMJ. The rights of use for such articles will be governed by a Creative Commons, Attribution licence – each article will specify which Creative Common licence applies to the relevant article. 

Where use is to be made of any BMJ or BMJ Journal marked “Open Access”, you must attribute use as follows:

author name(s), date, article title, journal name, the URL for the original article on the relevant BMJ or BMJ Journals website and include any copyright notice from the original article.

You must also check that where any third party rights within all images, diagrams, photographs or other illustrative material are indicated within such an article as not being owned by the authors or BMJ (and its co-owners for any co-owned journal) that these are cleared independently and appropriately with the owner indicated.

We also require that all BMJ (and any co-owners) trademarks are removed from any derivative works. For translations (other than where a prior translation agreement with BMJ has been established) you must include a prominently statement which states as follows:

 “This is an unofficial translation of an article that appeared in a BMJ [and insert co owner if applicable] publication. BMJ [and insert co owner if applicable] has/have not endorsed this translation”.


Our websites contain links including hyperlinks which may take you outside BMJ websites. Links are provided for your convenience, and an inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement or approval by us of the linked website, its operator or content. We have no control over the contents or functionality of those sites and accept no responsibility for any loss or damages that may arise from your use of them. We are not responsible for any website outside BMJ websites, and such websites use will be subject to relevant terms and conditions and privacy policies.

You may link to articles or the home page of the BMJ or BMJ Journals websites (excluding BMJ Careers and Veterinary Record) but with regard to any other of our websites, you must not deep link to any of our other websites or link to our home pages without our agreement in writing. You may not provide a link which suggests a form of association, approval or endorsement on our part, unless we have expressly agreed to this in writing. We reserve the right to withdraw any linking permission upon notice to you or by amending these terms and conditions.


Please note: If you are using an "offline browser" that allows you to download content from a site and read it later, please be aware that this shall be subject always to you ensuring that this amounts to only a small proportion of content, strictly for your personal non-commercial use.

In order for us to provide reliable, continuous, and timely access to BMJ Careers and Veterinary Record for all readers, we ask that you configure your offline browser to not request more than one page per 60 seconds. Be aware that non-compliance with this rule will result in your access to BMJ Careers and/or Veterinary Record being blocked until you contact us and resolve the problem.

Disclaimers and limitations of liability  


a) General disclaimers

Description or reference to a product or publication does not imply endorsement of that product or publication, unless it is owned by BMJ and in which case it is subject to the disclaimers limitations of liability herein and within any licence or other agreement with you the latter of which shall prevail in the event of a conflict. To the fullest extent permitted by law, the material and information displayed on our websites is provided “as is” without any guarantees, conditions or warranties as to accuracy.

We try and ensure our websites are available for use 24 hours per day, 7 days per week other than for a small period for scheduled down time, however we do not warrant that at other time our websites will be available. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we will be not be liable to you for damages or refunds should our sites become unavailable or access to a site becomes slow or incomplete due to system back-up procedures, internet traffic volume, upgrades, overload of requests to the servers, general network failures or delays, or any other cause which may from time to time make the any of our websites inaccessible to you.

b) Additional product specific disclaimers

Best Health   Best Health is designed for non-medically trained individuals. It does not offer medical advice and should not be seen as a replacement for consultation with a doctor or other health professional. The articles and information on the Best Health website are designed for you to help you talk to your doctor, not to be used instead of seeing your doctor.

Categories presented in Best Health indicate a judgement about the strength of evidence and the relevant importance of benefits and risks. We rely on our authors to confirm accuracy. Readers should be aware that professionals in the field may have different opinions. Also there are regular advances in medical research. Our categories do not indicate whether a particular treatment is generally appropriate or whether it is suitable for an individual.

Best Practice, Best Practice DX, Evidence Summary Pages and Action Sets & Drug Databases linked to from within  

Best Practice (including DX), the Evidence Summary Pages and Action Sets are intended for use by licensed medical health professionals.  You are responsible for your decisions on diagnosis, treatment and follow up for a patient, or from choosing or not choosing specific treatments based on this.  The content does not, provide any conclusive checklists, endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. Users should use their professional judgement in using BMJ or licensed content, which is done at their own risk. They should always check and ensure that in each situation at the point of care they are qualified to consult and/or treat and/or prescribe at the point of care of a patient. Categories presented indicate a judgement about the evidence and strength of evidence available to our authors and licensors prior to publication and the relevant importance of benefit and harms. BMJ relies on its authors to confirm the accuracy of the information presented to prescribe generally accepted practices.

Users should be aware that professionals in the field may have different opinions. Because of this fact and because of regular advances in medical research and the possibility of human error, users should independently verify specified diagnosis methods, evidence, treatments, follow up, drugs and any contraindications or side effects including via manufacturers guidance. Also, the categories and information do not indicate whether a particular diagnosis, evidence, treatment and/or drug or other follow up is generally appropriate or whether it is up to date and suitable for a particular individual. The Content is no substitute for individual patient assessment based upon the healthcare provider's examination of each patient and consideration of laboratory data and other factors unique to the patient. Please also note that information whilst not warranted to be accurate, is generally updated annually, so may be out of date. Ultimately it is the User’s responsibility to make your own professional judgments, so to appropriately advise and treat yourself or your patients.

BMJ Updates   The information contained in BMJ Updates is intended for medical professionals. BMJ Updates provides an educational service for practising clinicians, designed to alert clinicians to important new research; however we cannot warrant its accuracy. It is intended to support evidence based decision making, by providing links to published research reports about the diagnosis, treatment, preduction and prognosis, etiology and economics of medical conditions. However, “evidence does not make decisions”. Clinicians making decisions about the care of their patients must take into account the limitations of evidence from research as well as the unique nature of their patients’ circumstances and wishes. Readers should also be aware that professionals in the field may have different opinions. Because of this fact and also because of regular advances in medical research, we strongly recommend that readers independently verify any information they chose to rely on. Ultimately it is the reader’s responsibility to make their own professional judgements.

BMJ Updates attempts to provide access to the best new research of relevance for clinical practice in the fields of primary medical care and sub specialties of internal medicine. It does not report all research but uses explicit criteria

(http://www.acpjc.org/shared/purpose_and_procedure.htm to define a subset of published research that is likely to be valid and ready for clinical attention. Practising physicians then provide their assessments of the relevance and newsworthiness of the reports through an online review process, the McMaster Online Rating of Evidence (MORE, http://hiru.mcmaster.ca/MORE). Individual clinicians who then receive these reviews must then apply their own judgement concerning the strength and applicability of this evidence to their own patients.

BMJ, Student BMJ, BMJ Journals (including BMJ Case Reports, BMJ Careers and Veterinary Record)  

We rely on our authors of articles, contractors and third party data providers to confirm the accuracy of information and advertisements presented and to describe generally accepted practices and therefore we as the publisher and editors cannot warrant its accuracy. Differences may occur also between the print and online text of articles and advertisements. Readers should be aware that professionals in the field may have different opinions. Because of this fact and also because of regular advances in medical research we strongly recommend that readers independently verify any information that they chose to rely upon. Ultimately it is the reader’s responsibility to make their own professional judgements. Opinions posted on Rapid Responses, the Advice Zone, International Experience and any other parts of the sites are those of the individuals posting them and not the views of BMJ.

BMJ Learning and BMJ Quality Improvement  

We do not warrant that the completion of any BMJ Leaning modules or use of other material on the BMJ Learning website or use of the BMJ Quality Improvement tools and resources will be all the necessary continuing professional development you need nor that it is accurate. We rely on our authors of articles, contractors and third party data providers to confirm the accuracy of information presented and to describe generally accepted practices and therefore we as the publisher and editors cannot warrant its accuracy or that this meets all or any requirements for professional development. Readers should be aware that professionals in the field may have different opinions. Because of this fact and also because of regular advances in medical research we strongly recommend that readers independently verify any information that they chose to rely upon. Ultimately it is the reader’s responsibility to make their own professional judgements. Opinions posted by users via BMJ site forums and other parts of the sites are those of the individuals posting them and not the views of the BMJ. For BMA members, access to the BMJ Learning website is also conditional upon an agreement between the BMA and BMJ.

BMJ Masterclasses and BMJ Conferences (including International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care)  

We do not confirm the accuracy of any information contained on these websites, including the accuracy of any speaker content or presentations and dates or venues for events.

Clinical Evidence  

The information contained in this publication is intended for medical professionals. Categories presented in Clinical Evidence indicate a judgement about the strength of the evidence available to our authors prior to publication and the relevant importance of benefit and harms. We rely on our authors to confirm the accuracy of the information presented to describe generally accepted practices. Readers should be aware that professionals in the field may have different opinions. Because of this fact and because of regular advances in medical research we strongly recommend that readers independently verify specified treatments and drugs including manufacturers’ guidance. Also, the categories do not indicate whether a particular treatment is generally appropriate or whether it is suitable for a particular individual. Ultimately it is the reader’s responsibility to make their own professional judgements, so to appropriately advise and treat their patients. Opinions posted on Clinical Evidence are those of the individuals and not the views of BMJ.

Third Party software  

Certain functionality on our websites may require third party components or software and may operate with plug-ins and APIs created by third parties (collectively, Third Party Software). Your use of Third Party Software that has been incorporated into our sites will be subject to the terms and conditions of the authors and owners of such Third Party Software. Third Party Software utilised on our sites includes but is not limited to: 

Google Translate API functionality: applicable terms and conditions -  https://developers.google.com/terms/ You understand and acknowledge that your use of such functionality on our sites is subject to the relevant terms governing those services including those linked to above.

Limitation of Liability  







Your conduct  

You must not use the website in any way that causes or is likely to cause the website or access to it to be interrupted, damaged or impaired in any way. You understand that you are solely responsible for all electronic communications and contents sent from your computer to us.

You must use the website for lawful purposes only. You must not use the website for any of the following:

For fraudulent purposes or in connection with a criminal offence or otherwise carry out any unlawful activity To send, use or re-use any material that is illegal, offensive, abusive, indecent, harmful, defamatory, obscene or menacing racist, abusive, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, in breach of confidence, infringes any intellectual property rights, or is otherwise injurious to third parties; or objectionable; or which consists of or contains software viruses, trojan horses, worms, time bombs, keystroke loggers, spyware, adware or any other harmful or similar computer code designed to adversely affect the operation of any computer software or hardware, political campaigning, commercial solicitation, chain letters, mass mailings or any spam To cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety To impersonate any third party or otherwise mislead as to the origin of your content To copy, reproduce, translate, modify, create a derivative work of, sell, resell, lease, lend, convey, distribute, publicly display or sublicense to any third party any part of our site in contravention with these terms of use or any other agreement with BMJ. ·         To scrape, build databases or otherwise create permanent copies of any part of a website, or keep cached copies longer than permitted by the cache header.

·         To misrepresent the source or ownership of the websites or any content contained thereon.

·         To remove, obscure, or alter any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notices, falsify or delete any author attributions, legal notices or other labels of the origin or source of material.

Governing law and jurisdiction  

To the fullest extent permitted by law, these terms will be governed by the laws of England and shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England whose courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction, unless as at the date of formation of any agreement with you either i) the laws of England would not be upheld in the Courts in the  users  stated country location; ii) an English judgment could not be enforced in the user stated country location; or iii) it would take six months or more for BMJ to enforce an English judgment in the user’s stated country location, then it is hereby agreed that these Terms shall be governed by the laws of the user’s stated country (or state if applicable) and its courts. Notwithstanding any of the above, this clause is governed by the laws of England.

Date of last update of document: 01 July 2014