It was originally submitted as a joke in response to 'guitar nipple', a condition similar to jogger's nipple in which some forms of guitar playing causes irritation to the nipple, which Murphy and her husband believed was also a joke.
The case report was published in the BMJ The BMJ went fully online in 1995 and has archived all its issues on the web.
However, The BMJ in 2013 reported that it had become a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (commonly known as the Dora Agreement), which deprecates the inappropriate use of journal impact factors and urges journal publishers to "greatly reduce the emphasis on the journal impact factor as a promotional tool, ideally by ceasing to promote the impact factor or by presenting it in the context of a variety of journal-based metrics." In 1974, Dr.
Elaine Murphy submitted a brief case report under her husband's name John which suggested a condition known as Cello Scrotum, a fictional condition which supposedly affected male cellists.
The journal began publishing on 3 October 1840 as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal and quickly attracted the attention of physicians around the world through its publication of high-impact original research articles and unique case reports. Hennis Green, lecturer on the diseases of children at the Hunterian School of Medicine, who also was its founder and Robert Streeten of Worcester, a member of the PMSA council.
The first issue of the British Medical Journal was 16 pages long and contained three simple woodcut illustrations.
The longest items were the editors' introductory editorial and a report of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association's Eastern Branch.
Other pages included a condensed version of Henry Warburton's medical reform bill, book reviews, clinical papers, and case notes. Inclusive of stamp duty it cost 7d, a price which remained until 1844.
The journal is published by the global knowledge provider BMJ, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association.
The editor in chief of The BMJ is Fiona Godlee, who was appointed in February 2005.