Article submission

At The BMJ, we use a system called ScholarOne to manage our submission processes. Essentially, ScholarOne will convert your manuscript to a PDF for the review process. Most common word processing formats are accepted for text and tables, although the system prefers Microsoft Word, and images should be submitted as GIF, TIFF, EPS, or JPEG files.

The system can also accept supplementary files (for example: videos, datasets, research protocols, and checklists or statements), related articles published or available elsewhere, articles in press elsewhere, permission letters, etc. These are files that normally do not appear with the print article, although they might accompany the final version of the paper online. Supplementary files are not converted to PDF but will be available to reviewers or editors exactly as you upload them.


To access the system for the first time you will need to register here.

Please follow the link "Register here," which is in the right hand grey column. You will be asked to complete three steps:

Name and email information:
Enter your email address. This is your unique user identification, which you will need to log into the system on all occasions.

Address information:
You’ll need to fill in the name and address of the institution to which you are affiliated; you may provide secondary details here also.

User ID and password:
You may change your user ID to be something more meaningful than your email address (you will, however, need this whenever you sign in). This is also where you may set your password.

Your job description, specialty and marketing preferences should also be filled in on this page. If you would like to be considered as a reviewer for The BMJ please also fill in your expertise terms.

Submitting a manuscript

Before you submit your manuscript please check that it is in the correct style for the appropriate section of The BMJ. Does it need a structured abstract, for example, and is the main text about the right length? Please check our advice section

Before you can use this submission website you have to register, creating your own account. When you have created an account please go to your author area and select "Click here to submit a new manuscript."

Metadata page

On this page you can enter important information ("metadata") about the manuscript - for example, the number of authors, title, abstract, summary points, covering letter, any companion articles and other files such as questionnaires, whether this is a resubmission or a fast track article, etc.

When you are happy with the metadata page click "Save and continue" at the bottom of the page. This will take you to the next screen.

Author details

Please fill out the appropriate fields, making sure that the corresponding author box is ticked with the correct email address. You can insert and delete authors on this page. If a field has purple "req" text next to it this means that you have to fill it in: it is a required field.

When you are happy with the author details please click "Save and continue."

Please also provide key information about all of the authors in the manuscript's title page. The title page should list all authors' names, positions, institutions and full postal addresses including postal codes, as well as the corresponding author's email address.

File upload

You are only able to upload one "Manuscript file," which should contain your main document but not any images or supplementary files.If you are submitting an article with no figures and no supplementary files then all you have to do is insert the word count and click "Upload files." You may then click "Save and continue" at the bottom of the screen as normal.

We would like you to upload any figures and images separately from the word file, preferably as PDF or JPEG files. Images may also be submitted as TIFF, GIF, EPS, MPEG, AVI, MOV, and WAV files. All images should be submitted on ScholarOne as separate files and not embedded into the text. Ensure that you use the colour/mono image designations when uploading these. If you need to upload tables please submit them as separate Word files. Please do not use Excel.

You can also upload supplementary files – for example, copies of questionnaires used in original research; study protocols, and checklists for the CONSORT, QUOROM, and STARD statements; video clips. There are appropriate designations for these files "Research checklists" and "Video files".

File formats

Papers can be submitted using any standard word processing software, although we prefer Word. Please ensure that you include the heading "References" at the top of the citations (see below).

Acceptable standard graphic formats include JPEG, TIFF, GIF, EPS, MPEG, AVI, MOV, and WAV.

Please note: we cannot accept PowerPoint or Excel files for tables or figures intended to accompany the main manuscript; however, they may be made available as supplementary files.

Saving your work

We are sorry that the submission process takes time. If you cannot wait, you can interrupt your submission and continue the process on another occasion. Clicking on "Save and continue" at the bottom of the screen when entering your metadata enables you to save that page or continue to the next page. If you choose not to complete the submission on that occasion, the submission will appear in your author area at the bottom – you may follow the link "Continue submission" when you return to it. If you decide not to complete the submission at all please choose "Delete."

After uploading

Everything will go off to be converted by the website host. Your figures and tables (if you have any) will be merged with the text as a single PDF, so everything will be in one file: text, tables, and figures. This makes it much easier for editors and peer reviewers to read and appraise your manuscript.

You will need to "proof" your article in its PDF form before you submit – on the last page "Review and submit" you’re able to "view PDF" and "View HTML" versions of your review file. If you upload an EndNote file the system will convert your references for you and provide Web of Science links.

Please do not worry if your reference hyperlinks appear incorrectly - it may be that the journals are not indexed or the system does not recognise the way you have formatted them. Occasionally the hyperlinking just fails for no apparent reason. Please don’t be concerned about this; it won’t stop us considering your paper.

Approving your submission

When you have viewed your PDF proofs you may return to the "File upload" step (or any other stage) to amend information you have provided. If you are satisfied with everything then click the small approval box at the end of the last stage entitled "Submit".

Keeping track of your manuscript

You can keep track of your manuscript throughout the process by going to your author area - here it will list for you manuscripts you have submitted under "Submitted manuscripts," "Manuscripts with decisions" and "Manuscripts I have co-authored". If your manuscript is sent for external peer review you will find reviewers comments in the decision letter. Please click on "Manuscripts with decision" and click on "View decision letter".

Submitting a revision/appeal

If we invite you to revise your manuscript please enter your author area and select "Manuscripts with decision." You may then select the appropriate manuscript and select "Create a revision." You will then be presented with your original manuscript metadata (the first page you filled in). Please edit this and the author page if necessary. Then please enter the number of images and supplementary files and please upload your revised manuscript.

Do not forget to enter your covering letter and your response to reviewers in the correct field on the metadata page. It is very important that you provide a new covering letter at this stage, explaining in detail how you have responded to all the peer review and editorial comments and the revision checklist.

If you believe that we have rejected your article wrongly, perhaps because we have misunderstood its scientific content, please submit an appeal (rebuttal) letter from your author area at our online editorial office. Do not try to submit a revised version of your article at this stage. Information on appeals can be found in our publishing model guide.


If we commission you to write for The BMJ we will email you – please use the links in the email provided to respond to our request. The paper will then appear in your author area – and you may "click here to submit a commissioned manuscript" via your author area. The procedure will then be the same as for an unsolicited article. We appreciate your help with this: submitting the commissioned article in this way will help us to provide an efficient service to you.


Detailed help files are available throughout our online editorial office and can be used without stopping the submission process. If you experience serious problems please email The BMJ's editorial office .