For guidelines on policy and submission across our journals, please click on the links below:

Planning your research
Writing your paper
Choosing a journal
Submitting your paper
After submitting
Promoting your paper
Open Access
Reviewing manuscripts

Open Access

Authors can choose to have their article published Open Access for a fee of £500 (plus applicable VAT).

Colour figures

Images will be published in this online journal in colour.

Article types and word counts

The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements and contributions and the references. If you are not a native English speaker and would like assistance with your article there is a professional editing service available.

BMJ’s pre-submission checklist

When a paper has been submitted from the Editor or Associate Editors’ departments, they have no role in the reviewing or decision making process. This also applies to any Associate Editors who are authors, in which instance the reviewing process is handled by the Editor in Chief.

Word length

Articles should normally be between 3000 and 6000 words. However, as an electronic-only journal, we can publish longer articles if necessary.

Document lay out

Title page

This should include:
1. Title of article.
2. The names of the authors (with first names).
3. Institutional affiliation of each author.
4. Full details of each author’s current appointment and work address.
5. Name and contact details (address, telephone numbers, email address) of the author responsible for correspondence. Please indicate whether you are happy for your email address to be published within the article.


An abstract of 150 words is required that provides a brief outline of the content and main points of the article. For research articles, abstracts should be structured with the following headings: background; aims; methods; results; conclusions. Abstracts should enable the reader to understand the scope and main conclusions of the article without having to read the rest of the paper.

Short introduction

The introduction is designed to capture the reader’s interest by putting the article into the context of current clinical practice, quoting key references. It should also give the reader an idea of the objectives and contents of the paper.


Please use headings where relevant within the article as this makes the text easier to read. Make clear which are the main headings and subheadings.

Recommendations for practice

Please outline the implications and recommendations for practice at the end of the article. Identify gaps in present knowledge and suggest future initiatives, but do not introduce new points.

Useful addresses/resources/websites

If appropriate please provide details of useful organisations relevant to the topic of your article.

Key points and key words

Please supply 4 or 5 full sentences that summarise the key points of the article. Be aware that many readers will look at these first to help them decide whether to read further. Also, please supply 4–5 key words that summarise adequately the major themes of your article.

Illustrations and tables

Illustrations (figures) and tables are encouraged. It is helpful if authors can provide any photographs they think suitable for their article. In the case of line drawings, our artists can transform rough drawings into finished artwork. Please ensure that all tables and figures are cited in the text and that the necessary permission from other journals or books to reproduce them has been gained where necessary before submitting your document. All figures must be provided with captions that clearly explain what they are depicting.


1. Type each table double-spaced on a separate sheet.
2. Place references and explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading.
3. Explain in footnotes all non-standard abbreviations that are used in each table.
4. If you use data from another published or unpublished source, obtain permission and acknowledge source fully.
5. Number tables consecutively in order of citation in text.
6. Authors are responsible for checking the accuracy of statistical presentations, etc.


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

In all cases, it is vital that the journal’s integrity, independence and academic reputation is not compromised in any way.

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

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

Plagiarism detection

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. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting