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About this journal
The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250 (Print), 1472-1465 (Online)
  • Frequency: 12 issues per year
The British Journal of Psychiatry (BJPsych) is a leading international peer-reviewed journal, covering all branches of psychiatry with a particular emphasis on the clinical aspects of each topic. Published monthly on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the journal is committed to improving the prevention, investigation, diagnosis, treatment, and care of mental illness, as well as the promotion of mental health globally. In addition to authoritative original research papers from around the world, the journal publishes editorials, review articles, commentaries on contentious articles, short reports, a comprehensive book review section and a lively, well-informed correspondence column. BJPsych is essential reading for psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and all professionals with an interest in mental health.

Digital archives

Digital archives are available for this journal, providing instant online access to a repository of high-quality digitised historical content. For more information, please see the Cambridge journals digital archive.

The British Journal of Psychiatry was originally founded in 1853 as the Asylum Journal and was known as the Journal of Mental Science from 1858 to 1963. The complete archive of contents between 1855 and 2000 has been digitised.

Content preservation

Cambridge University Press publications are deposited in the following digital archives to guarantee long-term digital preservation:

  • CLOCKSS (journals) 
  • Portico (journals and books)


The journal is committed to improving the prevention, investigation, diagnosis, treatment, and care of mental illness, as well as the promotion of mental health globally.

Ownership & Management

The journal is owned and managed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and published monthly by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the College. The College grants editorial freedom and independence to the Editor-in-Chief of BJPsych.


The journal is essential reading for psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and all professionals with an interest in mental health. The print version of BJPsych is sent to all members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which includes most psychiatrists working in the UK. There is also a substantial international subscriber base.

Revenue Sources

Both the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Cambridge University Press are not-for-profit organisations, committed to fulfilling their respective objectives of securing the best outcomes for people with mental illness, learning difficulties and developmental disorders and advancing learning, knowledge and research worldwide .

BJPsych receives revenue to ensure we can maintain the highest publishing quality and standards. Revenue sources include: individual and institutional subscriptions; advertising; sales of reprints, rights and royalties; and open access fees. For details on how we avoid charging subscribers for content that has been made Open Access through the payment of an Article Processing Charge ('double dipping'), please see our transparent pricing policy. Please find information about our advertising procedures and guidelines here .

Press and Embargoes

Upon acceptance, BJPsych articles may be selected for press release by the author's institution, the RCPsych media team (, or CUP media team ( The press release will be distributed under strict embargo, usually with advance access to the full article. Those registered to receive our press releases understand that the embargo is a strict one, and that no information about the article can be published or broadcast until the embargo has lifted. Journalists can contact the authors for comment or further details before the embargo date.


BJPsych is not responsible for statements made by contributors. Unless so stated, material in this journal does not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor-in-Chief or the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The publishers are not responsible for any error of omission or fact.

  • On the cover
  • Cover picture

    Flora Manson, “Untitled”, 1856.

    © Edinburgh University Library

    Flora Manson was a patient at the Royal Edinburgh Asylum. She is of particular interest because she left examples of her artwork. Work by female patients is much rarer to find than that by males. Flora was admitted on 4th December 1846, when she was 40 years old. She was described as a native of Kintyre, the wife of the local Lighthouse Keeper, and the mother of one child. She had been ‘subject to Hysteria for about nine years' and also displayed ‘slight mental aberration'. She had attempted suicide by taking laudanum about six years previously. After admission, she wanted to leave the Asylum and claimed that her husband, who brought her in, was insane. After some time in the Asylum, doctors felt that the original diagnosis was wrong, and that she actually suffered from ‘Monomania of Suspicion'. She made ‘many complaints' about her physical health. She also said the food was not good and that Asylum staff intended to poison her. At such times, she was said to speak with ‘animosity and vindictiveness'.

    At other times, Flora was more settled and spent her time ‘in knitting or reading, and taking exercise in the airing grounds'. In 1854 she was described as occupying ‘much of her time in writing what she terms novels which seem to consist of events in her own life illustrated after a fashion with pen and ink sketches'. One production was intended as a gift for her daughter. A late case entry noted that she still retained ‘many delusions all about herself'. She died on 15th March 1871 from pleurisy and pericarditis.

    This picture has the heading, ‘Morningside, December 1856'. Flora shows herself at a spinning wheel, alongside her fellow patient and friend, Isabella McDonald, who is also spinning. Two men on either side are drinking wine. Below there are more pictures of women with spindles, while the bottom section shows Flora and her companions drinking tea.

    Picture credit: LHB7 51 11, p.4. Case notes: LHB7 51 4, 6, 11, 17.

    I am grateful to Dr Louise Williams, Archivist, Lothian Health Services Archive, Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Library for her help and for giving permission to use this image.

    We are always looking for interesting and visually appealing images for the cover of the Journal and would welcome suggestions or pictures, which should be sent to Dr Allan Beveridge, British Journal of Psychiatry, 21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB, UK or