Journal of the American Medical Association

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is a peer-reviewed medical journal published weekly by the American Medical Association. It was established in 1883 with Nathan Smith Davis as the first editor of the journal. As of May 2012, the editor in chief is Howard C. Bauchner MD (Boston University’s School of Medicine). JAMA is published in English, French and Spanish.

JAMA publishes original research, reviews, commentaries, editorials, essays, medical news, correspondence, and supplementary content. It covers a variety of topics in the medical field. It includes fundamental research, research for the clinical sciences, and informs physicians of developments in other fields. It also covers broader topics related to medicine, including non-clinical aspects of medicine, public health, and issues that are described as political, philosophic, ethical, legal, environmental, economic, historical, and cultural. Another focus of this journal is the integrity of science.

JAMA has provided continuing medical education (CME) through its Continuing Education Opportunities for Physicians — an alternate title of the journal, as well as a section within the journal. It has provided this information since 1937. It was produced either quarterly or semiannually until 1955. Between 1955 and 1981 the list was provided annually. Webinars — or online virtual seminars — are available for CME, according to AMA’s website.

According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal’s 2009 impact factor ranks it 3rd among 133 journals in the category “Medicine, General & Internal.”

JAMA is indexed in the following databases: Index Medicus, MEDLINE, PubMed, Chemical Abstracts Service – CASSI, and Thomson Reuters (Science Citation Index, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Current Contents/Life Sciences, BIOSIS Previews, SciSearch).

After a controversial firing of editor-in-chief, George D. Lundberg, a process was put in place to ensure editorial freedom. A seven member oversight committee was created to evaluate the editor-in-chief and to help ensure editorial independence.

Image Caption: Cover of The Journal of the American Medical Association. Credit: Wikipedia

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