Journal of the American Medical Association

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JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Abbreviated title JAMA
Discipline peer-reviewed medical journal
Language English
Publication details
Publisher American Medical Association (USA)
Publication history founded 1883
ISSN 0098-7484}}

JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association is an international peer-reviewed general medical journal, published 48 times per year by the American Medical Association. JAMA is the most widely circulated medical journal in the world.[1]

Founded in 1883 by the American Medical Association and published continuously since then, JAMA publishes original research, reviews, commentaries, editorials, essays, medical news, correspondence, and ancillary content (such as abstracts of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report). In 2005, JAMAs impact factor was 23.5[1] placing it among the leading general medical journals.[2] JAMAs acceptance rate is approximately 8% of the nearly 6000 solicited and unsolicited manuscripts it receives annually.[1] The first editor was Nathan Smith Davis, the founder of the American Medical Association and present editor of JAMA is Catherine DeAngelis.

Editorial independence

In 1999, the AMA's recently-appointed executive director, E. Ratcliffe Anderson, fired George Lundberg, editor of JAMA. Lundberg was fired for publishing a survey of college students' attitudes about sex, by June Reinisch and Stephanie Sanders, of the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research. Based on a 1991 survey of 599 students at a major midwestern state university, the paper reports that 59% of the group did not regard oral-genital contact as having "had sex." This was relevant because of the controversy over whether President Bill Clinton had lied when he said that he never "had sex" with Monica Lewinsky.[3] Anderson was later fired himself as a result of other unrelated disputes with the AMA board. Lundberg joined Medscape as editor in chief exactly one month after his dismissal from the AMA.

Editorials denouncing Lundberg's dismissal as a violation of editorial independence appeared promptly in many medical journals including the CMAJ, The Lancet, BMJ, and MJA.[4]

In the wake of the Lundberg dismissal the American Medical Association working together with the JAMA Editor Search Committee, a distinguished group of physicians and scientists, established a new process to arrive at the best governance alternatives for the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Archives Journals. The group developed a governance plan that was designed to insure editorial freedom and independence for JAMA, the Archives Journals, and their Editor-in-Chief. The primary recommendation arising from the search committee and documented in the governance plan was the recommendation to create a Journal Oversight Committee, which is made up of seven members, whose function is to evaluate the editor-in-Chief and to help ensure editorial independence. To date the committee has met at least once a year since its inception. [5]


JAMA-français is the online French edition of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Print editions of JAMA have been published in over 20 languages, this is the first non-English edition to be published online. This online French edition will be published weekly, coinciding with the release of the English JAMA. JAMA-français will feature selected articles from JAMA, including the leading article, Patient Page, and Clinician's Corner. Additionally, French-speaking physicians will be challenged with JAMA's CME quiz.

Other leading medical journals


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 About JAMA: JAMA website
  2. Journal Impact Factors
  3. Constance Holden, JAMA Editor Gets the Boot, Science Now, 15 January 1999
  4. Jerome P. Kassirer (1999) Editorial Independence, NEJM, 340(21):1671-1672
  5. EDITORIAL GOVERNANCE PLAN: Signatories of the Editorial Governance Plan, Editorial Governance for JAMA, JAMA, Jun 1999; 281: 2240 - 2242. [1]

External links

de:Journal of the American Medical Association