Canadian Medical Association Journal

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The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) is a general medical journal that is published biweekly by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).

It is considered to be one of the top six general medical journals; the others being the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, the British Medical Journal, and the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Notable publications

The CMAJ published Banting and Best's 1922 report, "Pancreatic extracts in the treatment of diabetes mellitus".[1]

Free access

CMAJ is the only one of the six major general medical journals to have the entire electronic version of the journal free online from date of publication. The historical archives are also free online. The other major journals allow free access to limited content or to content of a specified age.

CMAJ does not have authorship or page charges.

Controversy about editorial independence

On February 20 2006, John Hoey, the last long-standing editor, was fired over an editorial independence dispute with the then owners of the CMAJ, CMA Media.

The CMAJ sent 13 women to buy the emergency contraceptive levonorgestrel (Plan B) over-the-counter in pharmacies across Canada, and report their experiences. The pharmacists asked them for personal data, including the woman's name, address, date of last menstrual period, when she had unprotected sex, customary method of birth control, and reason for dispensing the medication. This was at the recommendation of the Canadian Pharmacists Association, which also advised members to store the information permanently in their computers. The Canadian Women's Health Network said that collecting this information was unnecessary and a violation of privacy. [2] The Canadian Pharmacists Association complained to the Canadian Medical Association, demanding that the names of the pharmacists be removed from the article. The Canadian Medical Association ordered the CMAJ to comply.[3] The Canadian Medical Association then fired Hoey, without giving a reason.

On February 28 2006, the acting-editor, Stephen Choi and editorial fellow Sally Murray, resigned from journal over the same reason leaving it without any full-time editorial staff, which raised questions about the future of the publication.[4] [5]

In April 2007, the former staff at CMAJ launched a new open-access journal, Open Medicine[6].

Editorial fellowship

CMAJ hires young "editorial interns" every year, for one year. These interns help to write and edit articles, among other duties. The editorial intern program has proven popular.[7]


The CMAJ was established in 1911.

See also


  1. author= Banting FG, Best CH, Collip JB, Campbell WR, Fletcher AA "Pancreatic extracts in the treatment of diabetes mellitus" Check |url= value (help). Canad Med Assoc J. 12: 141–146. 1922.
  2. CMAJ
  3. CMAJ
  4. John Hoey, Editorial Independence and the Canadian Medical Association Journal, N Engl J Med, 354:1982–1983 (May 11, 2006)
  5. CBC: "Canadian Medical Association Journal loses two more editors". CBC News, March 1 2006.
  6. BMJ 2007;334:870 (28 April), News: Former staff at CMAJ launch open access journal, David Spurgeon
  7. Editorial Fellowship. CMAJ Web Site. Available at: Accessed on March 5 2006.

External links

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