The Lancet is a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is one of the world's best known, oldest, and most respected general medical journals. The Lancet was founded in 1823 by Thomas Wakley, an English surgeon who named it after the surgical instrument called a lancet, as well as after the term "lancet arch", a window with a sharp pointed arch, to indicate the "light of wisdom" or "to let in light". It publishes original research articles, review articles ("seminars" and "reviews"), editorials, book reviews, correspondence, as well as news features and case reports. The Lancet has been owned by Elsevier since 1991. As of 1995, the editor-in-chief is Richard Horton. The journal has editorial offices in London, New York, and Beijing.
In the 2010 Journal Citation Reports, The Lancet's impact factor was ranked second among general medical journals, at 33.63, after The New England Journal of Medicine (53.48).
The Lancet also has several speciality journals all bearing the parent title: The Lancet Neurology (neurology), The Lancet Oncology (oncology), and The Lancet Infectious Diseases (infectious diseases), all of which publish original research and reviews.