The BJS Society owns complementary surgical publications, BJS and BJS Open, renowned for the exceptional quality of their peer review and editorial processes.
Published online, BJS is a monthly subscription journal containing a combination of open access and subscriber only articles. Online publication, BJS Open, is produced bi-monthly and contains only open access articles.
Are you considering submitting a manuscript to BJS or BJS Open? Watch the following video to gain insight into the publishing journal and be guided through the four stages:
Established in 1913, BJS is one of the oldest and most respected surgery journals in the world. Focusing on the science of surgery, it includes a mixture of scientific articles, reviews and critical commentary. All published material is subject to rigorous peer review and delivered to the standards expected by a specialist surgeon. BJS received an impact factor of 9.6 in 2023.
BJS Open was first published in 2017 and has since established itself as a leading open access journal for surgical research. It includes a similar range of content to BJS, covering all aspects of general surgery. All submitted manuscripts undergo peer review, with the additional opportunity to publish research open access. BJS Open received an impact factor of 3.2 in 2023.
History of the journals
The original publishing contract for the British Journal of Surgery was signed in 1913 by celebrated surgeon, Berkeley Moynihan, who chaired the Editorial board for 24 years.
The first Editor was Ernest Hey Groves, who continued his role for a mere 27 years. The journal might have foundered with the outbreak of the First World War, but Hey Groves persuaded the Editorial Board to continue with an emphasis on military trauma. A focus on relevant and emerging topics in surgery has been the hallmark of the journal ever since.
Over the next 50 years, the journal published scientific articles and case reports related to all branches of surgery. However, the emergence of surgical specialties with their professional societies led to the journal predominantly covering general surgery. Developments in surgical science and a greater emphasis on research saw the journal move away from its traditional British base towards a global readership. By the end of the 20th century, it was recognised as the leading general surgical publication in Europe. In 2002, the journal incorporated the European Journal of Surgery, followed by Swiss Surgery and became the official journal for a number of surgical associations across Europe. The Editorial team responsible for the peer review process and selection of journal content reflected these changes. With the appointment of Editors from outside the British Isles and while still indexed as Br J Surg, the front cover and journal title became BJS.
As a peer review surgical journal, BJS has continuously sought to attract and publish the highest quality material. However, as surgical science and its dissemination evolved, it became clear that an alternative to the traditional subscription journal was needed. As the reputation and impact factor of BJS grew, the number of manuscripts received doubled over 10 years, reaching almost 2000 submissions annually. As a result, many articles suitable for publication on scientific grounds could not be accommodated.
The emergence of the open access publication meant that authors, research funders and academic institutions could pay for publication, allowing articles to be read online for free. This led to the launch of the BJS Open journal in 2017.
Our global reach
The geographical distribution of accepted articles reflects the global readership of the journals.
In response to this, the Council of Management of the Society supported the development of BJS Academy, making a wide range of educational materials widely accessible alongside traditional journal content. The majority of this content is free and caters to both surgical trainees and qualified surgeons.
Part of the charitable activity of the Society, BJS Academy is an online educational resource for current and future surgeons.
The Academy is comprised of five distinct sections: Continuing surgical education, Young BJS, Cutting edge, Scientific surgery and Surgical news. Although the majority of this is open access, additional content is available to BJS subscribers and strategic partners.
The Society’s highly sought-after editorial apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity to surgeons in the early stages of their career with an interest in medical publishing.
Apprentices are recruited on an annual basis for a one-year Editorial Assistant position in the journals’ Editorial teams.
Jonothan Earnshaw manages and coordinates the activities of BJS Academy.
Content Creation team
Supporting the Director, this team creates the Academy’s educational resources.
This team supports the Director to deliver the strategy and manage the delivery of the Academy.