A BCS scholarly journal that explores how informatics supports improvement in health and care provision has received recognition for its contribution to the discipline. ITNOW reports.

The BMJ Health & Care Informatics journal (BMJ HCI), co-published by BCS and The BMJ, has received an important academic accolade: its first impact factor – a measure of the scholarly journal’s usage.

Speaking about the news, Editor-in-Chief Professor Yu-Chuan (Jack) Li, who is also a Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Taipei Medical University and the Immediate Past President of the International Association for Medical Informatics (IMIA) from 2021 to 2023, said: ‘We are thrilled to share this great news! It validates our past efforts and propels us forward for BMJ HCI journal's success. I want to thank our authors, reviewers, readers, our editorial team, and collaborators for their contributions. Moving ahead, we'll push innovation, disseminate ground-breaking research, and solidify our place in the scientific community.’

Ian Borthwick MBCS, Head of Publishing, BCS, said: ‘The journal management committee – including representatives from BCS Health and Care Executive and BCS Academy of Computing – are delighted with the news of the journal receiving its first impact factor. It’s a great step in the further progression of the journal and supports BCS’ initiatives to advance computing in health and care and thereby improve patient outcomes.’

BMJ HCI (formerly the Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics), is an open access, peer reviewed journal covering all aspects of informatics in healthcare.

Published in association with BMJ, the journal provides insight from the industry front line, including research papers, literature reviews and letters from academics and practitioners in the fields of social care, health and clinical informatics.

The essential scope of the journal is how informatics supports improvements in direct health and care service provision. The journal also incorporates public health strategies and interventions, implementation of learning health systems and national policy issues.

Success for BCS

An impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year. It is used as a proxy measure for the importance or rank of a journal within a field.

‘BMJ HCI has received an impact factor of 4.1, positioning it as a key contender in the market and as a vehicle for advancing the study and practice of computing for the health and care sectors,’ said Ian. ‘Naturally, as a joint effort between BCS and BMJ, the journal adheres to the highest possible industry standards concerning publication ethics.’

‘We are proud of the news because it demonstrates the Chartered Institute for IT’s commitment to our mission – making IT good for society – is relevant and impactful in many sectors, including for health and social care.’

Open access model

Open access is a journal publishing model which sees papers being made available for use, citation and re-use world-wide and for free – though under licence. Importantly, all articles are peer reviewed.

For you

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Traditionally, scholarly journals were made available to readers through a subscription or pay-as-you-read model. Open access journals are generally funded via authors or their institutions paying a publishing fee, subsidies, sponsorship or a combination of these (including discretionary fee waivers).

In broad terms, the open access model increases access to scholarly authors’ work. More visibility of work can also lead to increased interdisciplinary conversations, wider collaboration and greater public engagement.

Key recently published articles in BMJ HCI include:

Getting involved

A core purpose of the journal is to bring together the academic and practitioner communities, so it invites professionals in health and care informatics who are unfamiliar with the conventions and processes of academic publishing to contact the editorial office for guidance on writing for publication.

‘We are keen to get submissions, reviewers, and for BCS members to sample the content – as long as you have experience and interest in the health and care sector, there are roles you can play’, Jack said. The BMJ HCI Journal Club also runs a live webinar series, hosted by Digital Health, featuring key articles.

BCS members receive a 25% discount on the Article Processing Charges for BMJ HCI, and, as we appreciate that some authors do not have access to research or institutional funding to cover publication costs, BMJ also offer an Open Access Waiver Fund. Submissions are welcome on https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bmjhci

Journal partners

BMJ Health & Care Informatics is an official publication of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, co-owned with BMJ. It is the official partner journal of the Faculty of Clinical informatics (FCI), and is also one of five official journals of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA).