Authors



BMJ Medicine is a premier open access, general medical journal that publishes high-quality research, reviews, research methods and commentary papers. BMJ Medicine operates a fast submission process with continuous publication online, to ensure that timely, up-to-date research is available worldwide. The journal adheres to a rigorous and transparent peer review process and adheres to the highest ethical standards concerning research conduct.




Editorial policy

BMJ Medicine adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics and scientific misconduct. To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page, including information about our Editors’ roles and responsibilities.

Authors are required to submit a statement that their study obtained ethics approval (or a statement that it was not required and why) and that participants gave informed consent. Our Editors will consider whether the work is morally acceptable as determined by the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki. In addition to this, in line with General Medical Council guidelines, an article that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual requires patients’ explicit consent (in the format of a signed BMJ patient consent form) before we will publish it. Please find further details on BMJ research ethics policies (human participants and animals) and consent for publication; including a link to the downloadable consent form.

To make the best decision on how to deal with a manuscript, BMJ Medicine needs to know about any competing interests authors may have; this includes any commercial, financial or non financial associations that may be relevant to the submitted article. Authors must download and complete a copy of the ICMJE Conflict of Interest disclosure form. In addition to this BMJ Medicine ensures that all advertising and sponsorship associated with the journal does not influence editorial decisions, is immediately distinguishable from editorial content and meets all other BMJ guidelines. Please find more information about competing interests and a link to the form.

We take seriously all possible misconduct. If an Editor, author or reader has concerns that a submitted article describes something that might be considered to constitute misconduct in research, publication or professional behaviour they should forward their concerns to the journal. The publisher will deal with allegations appropriately following ICMJE and COPE guidelines. Corrections and retractions are considered where an article has already been published; corrections, expressions of concern or a retraction notice will be published as soon as possible in line with the BMJ correction and retraction policy.




Copyright and authors’ rights

As an open access journal, BMJ Medicine adheres to the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access. Articles are published under an exclusive licence or non-exclusive licence for UK Crown employees or where BMJ has agreed CC BY applies. For US Federal Government officers or employees acting as part of their official duties, the terms are as stated in accordance with our licence terms. Authors or their employers retain copyright. Such open access articles can be reused under the terms of the relevant Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content. Please refer to the BMJ Medicine Author Licence. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.

When publishing in BMJ Medicine, authors choose between two licence types – CC-BY-NC and CC-BY (Creative Commons open access licences require payment of an article processing charge). As the author, you may wish to post your article in a PrePrint service, institutional or subject repository or a scientific social sharing network. For more information on author self archiving and rights to reuse content – which are dependent on the licence you have obtained – please refer to the BMJ author self archiving and permissions policies page.




Preprints

Preprints foster openness, accessibility and collaboration by allowing authors to make their findings immediately available to the research community and receive feedback on an article before it is submitted to a journal for formal publication.

BMJ fully supports and encourages the archiving of preprints in any recognised, not-for-profit server such as medRxiv. BMJ does not consider the posting of an article in a dedicated preprint repository to be prior publication.

Preprints are reports of work that have not been peer-reviewed; Preprints should therefore not be used to guide clinical practice, health-related behaviour or health policy. For more information, please refer to our Preprint policy page.




Peer review process

BMJ Medicine submissions are predominantly unsolicited, all articles submitted are subject to peer review. The journal operates open peer review whereby the reviewer and author are known to each other and the reviewer comments and previous versions of the manuscript are published alongside the accepted paper. Two external reviewer reports are obtained before an Original research or Review article is accepted for publication. Articles authored by a member of a journal’s editorial team are independently peer reviewed; an editor will have no input or influence on the peer review process or publication decision for their own article. For more information on what to expect during the peer review process please refer to BMJ Author Hub – your paper’s journey.

BMJ is committed to transparency. Every article we publish includes a description of its provenance (commissioned or not commissioned) and whether it was internally or externally peer reviewed.

BMJ requests that all reviewers adhere to a set of basic principles and standards during the peer review process; these are based on the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Please refer to our peer review terms and conditions policy page.

Plagiarism is the appropriation of the language, ideas or thoughts of another without crediting their true source and representation of them as one’s own original work. BMJ is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. BMJ runs manuscripts through iThenticate during the peer review process. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting www.ithenticate.com.

Reader responses, questions and comments to published content are welcomed by BMJ Medicine; these should be submitted via the journal’s website. You can find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.



Article processing charges

BMJ Medicine is an open access journal and levies an Article Processing Charge (APC) of 3,000 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors).

Please see our Author Hub for detailed information on discounts and waivers. Applications for waivers or discounts should be made during initial submission and not after an article has been accepted. Editors are not involved in this process and the ability to pay has no bearing on editorial decisions. Payment will not be required unless your article is accepted. Accepted articles will not be published until payment has been received. BMJ does not refund APCs once paid.

For more information on open access, funder compliance, discounts and waivers please refer to the BMJ Author Hub open access page.



Article transfer service

BMJ Medicine is committed to ensuring that good quality research is published. Our article transfer service helps authors find the best journal for their research while providing an easy and smooth publication process. As part of this service, once authors agree to transfer their manuscript all versions, supplementary files and peer reviewer comments are automatically transferred, without the need to resubmit or reformat.

Authors who submit to The BMJ and whose work is rejected on the grounds of priority will be offered the option of transferring to BMJ Medicine. Authors who submit to BMJ Medicine and whose work is rejected will also be offered the option of transferring to BMJ Open or any of BMJ’s other specialty journals.

The article transfer service does not guarantee acceptance but you should receive a quicker initial decision on your manuscript.

Contact the Transfer Editor at transfers@bmj.com




ORCID

BMJ Medicine mandates ORCID iDs for the submitting author at the time of article submission; co-authors and reviewers are strongly encouraged to also connect their ScholarOne accounts to ORCID. We strongly believe that the increased use and integration of ORCID iDs will be beneficial for the whole research community.

Please find more information about ORCID and BMJ’s policy on our Author Hub.




Data sharing

BMJ Medicine adheres to BMJ’s Tier 2 data policy. We strongly encourage that data generated by your research that supports your article be made available as soon as possible, wherever legally and ethically possible. We also require data from clinical trials to be made available upon reasonable request. To adhere to ICMJE guidelines, we require that a data sharing plan must be included with trial registration for clinical trials that begin enrolling participants on or after 1st January 2019. Changes to the plan must be noted in the Data Availability Statement and updated in the registry record. All research articles must contain a Data Availability Statement. For more information and FAQs, please see BMJ’s full Data Sharing Policy page.




Patient and public partnership

BMJ Medicine encourages active patient and public involvement in clinical research as part of its patient and public partnership strategy. To support co-production of research we request that authors provide a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the methods section of their papers, under the subheading ‘Patient and public involvement’.

We appreciate that patient and public involvement is relatively new and may not be feasible or appropriate for all papers. We therefore continue to consider papers where patients were not involved.

The Patient and Public Involvement statement should provide a brief response to the following questions, tailored as appropriate for the study design reported (please find example statements here):

  • At what stage in the research process were patients/the public first involved in the research and how?
  • How were the research question(s) and
  • outcome measures developed and informed by their priorities, experience, and preferences?How were patients/the public involved in the design of this study?
  • How were they involved in the recruitment to and conduct of the study?
  • Were they asked to assess the burden of the intervention and time required to participate in the research?
  • How were (or will) they be involved in your plans to disseminate the study results to participants and relevant wider patient communities (e.g. by choosing what information/results to share, when, and in what format)?

If patients were not involved please state this.

In addition to considering the points above we advise authors to look at guidance for best reporting of patient and public involvement as set out in the GRIPP2 reporting checklist.

If the Patient and Public Involvement statement is missing in the submitted manuscript we will request that authors provide it.




Rapid responses

A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in BMJ Medicine; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed. Find out more about responses and how to submit a response.



Submission guidelines

Please review the below article type specifications including the required article lengths, illustrations, table limits and reference counts. The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements, contributions and references. Manuscripts should be as succinct as possible.

For further support when making your submission please refer to the resources available on the BMJ Author Hub. Here you will find information on writing and formatting your research through to the peer review process and promoting your paper. We encourage authors to ensure that research articles are written in accordance with the relevant research reporting guidelines.

You may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services.



Original research

Original research studies that can improve decision making in clinical medicine, public health, health care policy, medical education, or biomedical research. To encourage full and transparent reporting of research we do not set fixed word count limits for research articles. Nonetheless, we ask you to make your article concise and make every word count. You will be prompted to provide the word count for the main text (excluding the abstract, references, tables, boxes, or figures) when you submit your manuscript.

Original Research should include the following:

    • Title – include the research question and the study design
    • Keywords – up to four
    • Structured Abstract – include the following headings “Objective”, “Methods and Analysis”, “Results” and “Conclusion”
    • Introduction
    • Materials and Methods
    • Results
    • Discussion
  • Please include the key messages of your article after your abstract using the following headings. This section should be no more than 3-5 sentences and should be distinct from the abstract; be succinct, specific and accurate.

        • What is already known on this topic – summarise the state of scientific knowledge on this subject before you did your study and why this study needed to be done
        • What this study adds – summarise what we now know as a result of this study that we did not know before
        • How this study might affect research, practice or policy  summarise the implications of this study

This will be published as a summary box after the abstract in the final published article.

Authors are encouraged to submit their original data as supplementary files.

Please review our checklist for additional information.

Abstract Style/Limit: Structured; 400 words
Figure/Table Limit: 5
Reference Limit: 100



Reporting guidelines

The guidelines listed below should be followed where appropriate. Please use these guidelines to structure your article. Completed applicable checklists, structured abstracts and flow diagrams should be uploaded with your submission; these will be published alongside the final version of your paper.

For reporting of randomised controlled trials: please use the appropriate extension to the CONSORT statement, including the extension for writing abstracts

For reporting qualitative research

For reporting qualitative research

For reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies

For reporting of systematic reviews

For reporting of systematic review and meta-analysis protocols

For reporting of scoping reviews

For reporting of meta-analyses of observational studies

For reporting protocols for RCTs

For reporting of gene-disease association studies

For reporting of studies developing, validating, or updating a prediction model, whether for diagnostic or prognostic purposes.

For reporting of health economic evaluations

The Equator Network (Enhancing the Quality and Transparency Of Health Research) provides a comprehensive list of reporting guidelines.

Research methods and reporting

Research methods and reporting (RMR) articles discuss the nuts and bolts of doing and writing up research and are aimed at doctors who are interested in doing and interpreting clinical research. We also consider papers that present new or updated research reporting guidelines.

Abstract Style/Limit: unstructured; 250 words
Word Limit: 4,000
Figure/Table Limit: 5
Reference Limit: 100


Editorial

Editorials are usually commissioned. We don’t accept unsolicited editorials via Scholar One but you are welcome to pitch us your idea for an editorial using this form. A member of the editorial team will get in touch to let you know if we wish to encourage submission of the full article. Editorials are usually responses to a topical issue. They must be evidence-based, but journalistic in style and written with an international general medical audience in mind. We particularly value pitches authored or co-authored by patient advocates, representatives, and leaders. Authors with financial ties to industry are not allowed to write clinical editorials and all authors must declare their interests on this form and have them approved before we encourage a full submission.

Abstract Style/Limit: none
Word Limit: 800
Figure/Table Limit:
Reference Limit: 12



Specialist review

Reviews are in-depth analyses of the most up to date knowledge of a clinical topic and offer researchers, policy makers and clinical specialists a detailed overview of a specific topic or condition. Reviews encompass important and topical subjects with a particular focus on understanding the mechanisms of diseases and recent advances that might impact on clinical care. Reviews are usually commissioned but the journal will consider pitches. All reviews (whether invited or unsolicited) are subject to peer review and acceptance is not guaranteed.

Abstract Style/Limit: Unstructured


Supplement

BMJ Journals are willing to consider publishing supplements to regular issues. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of:

      • The journal editor, an editorial board member or a learned society may wish to organise a meeting, sponsorship may be sought and the proceedings published as a supplement.
      • The journal editor, editorial board member or learned society may wish to commission a supplement on a particular theme or topic. Again, sponsorship may be sought.
      • BMJ itself may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary.
      • A sponsoring organisation, often a pharmaceutical company or a charitable foundation, that wishes to arrange a meeting, the proceedings of which will be published as a supplement.
      • In all cases, it is vital that the journal’s integrity, independence and academic reputation is not compromised in any way.

For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the supplements guidelines.

When contacting us regarding a potential supplement, please include as much of the information below as possible.

      • Journal in which you would like the supplement published
      • Title of supplement and/or meeting on which it is based
      • Date of meeting on which it is based
      • Proposed table of contents with provisional article titles and proposed authors
      • An indication of whether authors have agreed to participate
      • Sponsor information including any relevant deadlines
      • An indication of the expected length of each paper Guest Editor proposals if appropriate