General FAQ


In what formats is BMJ Clinical Evidence available?

How much is a subscription?

Browse our products for full subscription details.

How can I subscribe to BMJ Clinical Evidence?

Subscription to BMJ Clinical Evidence is available from this website. A subscription to the handbook edition provides 2 issues per year. A subscription to the online edition (with or without the handbook print edition) is valid for 12 months from the date you subscribe.

Non-subscribers may access the online content via BMJ Clinical Evidence online, pay-per-view, season ticket, or the BMJ Clinical Evidence mobile and PDA app.

Institutions may purchase online site licences separately. A site licence allows access for your whole institution and can include remote access.

How can I contact the customer service department?

You can contact customer services by email . Alternatively, please call

Phone: +44 (0) 207 111 1105
Fax: +44 (0)20 7383 6402

For North and South America

Tel: +1 800 358 6473 toll free
Fax: +1 205 995 1588

When will I receive my first handbook issue?

As soon as we have processed your order you will be sent the current handbook. However, if you make your order during the 2 month period prior to the next handbook being published we will send you that handbook when it is available to ensure you start your subscription with the most up-to-date evidence, unless you inform us otherwise. The handbook will printed and distributed in June and December each year.

When can I expect my update?

The BMJ Clinical Evidence handbook is published every six months. You should discard the previous copies. Once you have reached the end of your subscription, we will contact you to renew it.

Is there any difference between the content in the handbook print edition and this website?

The handbook edition is published every 6 months. The app and online versions are updated every month. Users may visit the website regularly to view additional new or updated topics.
The handbook edition is a pocketbook containing the summary and background information for each topic.
The online and app versions contain the full content with benefits, harms and a comment for each, plus additional background information and references.

How can I make a bulk order?

Discounts are available for institutions wishing to make bulk orders of BMJ Clinical Evidence handbook. For more information email In North and South America, contact:

Can I pay by direct debit?

Only UK personal subscribers may purchase subscriptions by direct debit. Call +44 (0) 207 111 1105 or email for a form.

Can BMJ Clinical Evidence be purchased in a bookshop?

No, BMJ Clinical Evidence is only available on a subscription basis.

Is VAT payable on subscriptions?

Customers from the following countries must pay VAT on BMJ Clinical Evidence handbook subscriptions - Italy, Ireland, and Belgium. You will be notified of any VAT payable when you order online. All EU countries purchasing site licences, pay-per-view, or season tickets are required to add 20% VAT.

Do I need to keep previous versions?

No, BMJ Clinical Evidence handbook is updated and expanded every six months; each issue replaces the previous one.

How many questions does BMJ Clinical Evidence cover?

Over 500 clinical questions on the effects of treatments and preventative interventions are addressed.

How do I cite BMJ Clinical Evidence?

The following is an example of how BMJ Clinical Evidence topics are cited: Print: Lip GWH, Kamath S. Acute atrial fibrillation. BMJ Clin Evid 2001;5:1-7. Online: Wilt T. Prostate cancer: non-metastatic. BMJ Clinical Evidence [online] 2002 [cited Aug 30]. URL: http//

How can I help to promote BMJ Clinical Evidence?

Contact us to discuss joint promotion.

How do I find out about contributing to BMJ Clinical Evidence?

Visit the Contribute section for more information and an online application form.

Can I suggest questions that I would like to see answered?

If you have a question that suits our format, which we have not examined, please contact us. We will take it into consideration for future issues.

What sorts of questions are covered?

The clinical questions concern the benefits and harms of preventative and therapeutic interventions, with emphasis on outcomes that matter to patients.

How do you select the questions?

Clinical questions are selected for their relevance to clinical practice by section editors and contributors, in collaboration with primary care clinicians and patients. Consultation rates, morbidity and mortality data are also consulted to ensure that important conditions are included.

How do you choose which treatments to cover?

Before deciding on the treatment for any patient or group of patients, other information needs to be considered together with the information on effectiveness provided here. Examples include economic arguments, patient preferences, and their different levels of baseline risk.

Which databases do you search?

The literature is searched using the Cochrane Library, Medline, Embase, and occasionally other electronic databases, looking first for good systematic reviews and then for primary studies with designs that are most appropriate for answering the question.

How do you filter out poor quality studies?

Systematic reviews and individual studies are critically and independently appraised by a clinician and an information specialist for relevance and quality, using a validated criteria similar to those of Sackett et al and those of Jadad. This process means that not all randomised controlled trials or reviews are included. The studies are then also filtered by the author for clinical relevance.

How do you ensure that the information is of high quality?

Each topic is peer reviewed by the section editor, at least two external expert peer reviewers, by members of the advisory board, and by an international editorial committee of generalist clinicians with expertise in epidemiology.

How does BMJ Clinical Evidence differ from clinical guidelines?

Unlike clinical practice guidelines, BMJ Clinical Evidence specifically aims not to make recommendations. The experience of the clinical guideline movement has shown that is near impossible to make recommendations that are appropriate in every situation. BMJ Clinical Evidence provides the raw material for developing locally applicable clinical practice guidelines. BMJ Clinical Evidence reports the current state of the available evidence, and where there are gaps it says so.

How is it different from the Cochrane Library?

The Cochrane Library is a vital building block for BMJ Clinical Evidence, but BMJ Clinical Evidence comes a few steps nearer to the realities of clinical practice. BMJ Clinical Evidence begins with the questions and then looks for the evidence addressing those questions.

How is it different from Evidence-Based Medicine?

BMJ Clinical Evidence is different from Evidence-Based Medicine because it is driven by important clinical questions. Evidence-Based Medicine (and other evidence-based journals) review research as it is published in clinical journals. Both these publications are, however, intended to compliment one another. For further information, visit Evidence-Based Medicine and Evidence-Based Mental Health.


How do I get permission to reuse BMJ Clinical Evidence content?

If you wish to reuse or reproduce BMJ Clinical Evidence content, please contact In some cases, a fee may apply.