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Thank you for considering the BMJ as the right place for your article.
The BMJ’s Impact Factor is 14.093 (ISI Web of Science, 2011). 1,222,712 unique browsers download 5,643,102 pages from bmj.com each month (ABCe audit, October 2012).
The full text of every research article published in the BMJ is immediately accessible on bmj.com through open access, for everyone. The BMJ is committed to keeping research articles Open Access (with Creative Commons licences and deposit of the full text content in PubMedCentral as well as fully Open Access on bmj.com). To support this we are now asking all authors to pay an Open Access fee of £3000 on acceptance of their paper. We do have a waiver policy for authors who cannot pay. Consideration of research articles is not related to ability to pay the fee, and we ask authors not to discuss with editors any issues concerning payment at any stage of the peer review process. Any communications related to fees are handled by administrative staff not involved in decisions about manuscripts.
Research articles, and any other type of article funded by a funder who mandates Open Access publication, are published under a Creative Commons Licence. For non-research articles published with open access we will ask authors to pay the Open Access fee, as explained above.
The BMJ's publication licence allows each author to post their article's URL (provided above) on either their own or their employer's website, thereby giving users free access to the full text of the article on bmj.com. If the article is anything other than a research paper (or other Open Access article) authors will need to use the toll free link to ensure visitors have free access to the article. Alternatively, authors can post the full text of their published article on their own website or their employer's website.
Please see the section of instructions to authors on Copyright, Open Access, and Permission to reuse.
Overall requirements for all articles
Please ensure that anything you submit to the BMJ conforms to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals and also to the BMJ's general article requirements .
For the advice on submitting the following article types, please follow the links in the list below:
- Research articles
- Analysis articles
- BMJ careers articles
- Clinical review articles
- Practice articles
- Research methods and reporting articles
- Christmas issue articles
- Clinical management guidelines
For other article types, please scroll down the page.
The BMJ does not publish standard case reports. However we do publish articles about real cases as long as they are suitable for presentation in specifically educational formats. These include Lesson of the Week, Interactive Case Report, Evidence Based Report, Drug Point (all of which appear in the Practice section), Endgames case reports and picture quizzes, and as very brief reports accompanying Minerva pictures. For each of these you will need to provide a signed BMJ consent form from the patient.
If you would like to submit a more straightforward case report, or if your submission to the BMJ in one of the above cateories does not succeed, you might like to try submitting to our sister journal BMJ Case Reports. Full information is at http://casereports.bmj.com/instructions-for-authors
The BMJ rarely publishes case series because they do not usually provide evidence that is sufficiently useful or robust for our general readers.
Letters (Rapid responses)
Please note that all letters to the editor must be submitted as rapid responses to articles published on bmj.com. Use search on bmj.com to find the article you are responding to and then click on the link at the top of the page marked "Respond to this article". This is the only way to submit a letter to BMJ: all letters that appear in the print BMJ and on bmj.com have arrived initially as rapid responses. See responding to articles for more information.
We welcome obituaries for doctors within the first year of their death. Please send as a Word file to firstname.lastname@example.org. We assume that material is sent exclusively to us, and we publish the full versions we receive on bmj.com. We produce the short obituaries in the print issue from these full versions. They are a maximum of 150 words, including biographical details: the last position held, date of birth, place and year of qualification, postgraduate qualifications if applicable, and date and cause of death. We publish pictures, which can be sent electronically or as photographs, when we can. We generally commission the full page obituaries for the print BMJ from professional writers: these are usually about doctors and are published no more than three months after death.
We are no longer accepting submissions for medical classics.
Above all, a Personal View is a piece of highly readable and compelling comment that appeals to our international readership of practising doctors. These are original, opinion based essays of about 850 words, by a single author, with up to 12 references. The best Personal View pieces make a single strong, novel, and well argued point. They are also often topical, significant, insightful, and attention grabbing. We publish anonymous Personal View articles only by special arrangement when it would be impossible for the article to appear with the author's name. Please submit online at http://submit.bmj.com. We cannot promise publication before the piece is submitted.
These should be submitted as "Fillers" via our online editorial office. We try to make the best use of every page of the printed BMJ, so we use small gaps to publish fillers. Most fillers have the added advantage of entertaining readers and making them think. We welcome articles of up to 600 words (we also like and need much shorter ones) on topics such as:
- A patient who changed my practice
- A memorable patient
- A paper that changed my practice
- The person who has most influenced me
- My most informative mistake
- Any other story conveying instruction, pathos, or humour
- Endpieces - quotations of no more than 80 words (often fewer) from any source
If the filler refers to an identifiable person we will need written consent to publication () from that person or a relative.
These should be submitted as "Minerva" via our online editorial office and should follow our specific advice on submitting images. Please provide two or three sentences (no more than 100 words) explaining the picture, and please send us the signed consent to publication from the patient. We need written consent from every patient, parent or next of kin, regardless of whether the patient can be identified or not from the picture.
Please make sure that the text includes all authors' names together with their job titles and addresses (including departments' and hospitals' names) at the time the patient was seen, and the email address of the corresponding author. We also need to recieve statements of competing interests and copyright/licence.
Pictures we are more likely to accept are those which offer an educational message and which will publish clearly and depict the abnormality obviously. Minerva pictures with the following characteristics are not usually accepted because they lack educational value for general readers:
- Showing foreign bodies
- Showing the results of gross trauma
- With poor image quality, even if the story is sound and interesting
- With pictures and stories which are simply "text book" presentations
- Reporting cases of very rare clinical presentations
- Submissions which simply criticise other clinicians, or the patient.
Endgames author instructions:
This section aims to help doctors prepare for their postgraduate examinations. We welcome submissions of three types of article: case reports, picture quizzes and anatomy quizzes.
Case reports and picture quiz requirements:
In a case report a patient vignette is followed by 3-5 questions each of which has a long and short answer.
In a picture quiz a single picture and short patient vignette is followed by 3-5 questions each of which has a long and short answer.
We publish genuine rather than fictional clinical scenarios. We require a signed copy of the BMJ patient consent form before we can consider any case report or picture quiz submissions.
We prefer submissions on common topics rather than clinical rarities. We are unlikely to accept an article where the prevalence is less than 1/100 000 in the population. This includes very rare complications of common diseases. We will consider a submission where a rare condition illustrates important points about more common conditions.
Case reports and picture quizzes should have a maximum of four authors. Before submission please show your article to one or more doctors who are taking the relevant postgraduate exam. This will help you to fine tune any questions that readers don’t understand.
Choosing your subject and making enquires about Endgames:
Many subjects have now been covered, and we do not repeat subjects for 3 years. To avoid duplication please check which Endgames topics we have already published. You can check this by performing a search on bmj.com
If you have any questions about Endgames please email Amy Davis Endgames editor email@example.com If you wish to enquire about the suitability of a particular case for Endgames please complete this form and attach it to your email.
Case report and picture quiz style and structure:
Give your Endgame a title that doesn’t give away any answers but please do not make it too cryptic. Case reports and picture quizzes share the same headings: case history, questions, short answers, long answers and patient outcome.
- Case history: the maximum word count is 200. The history should contain details of how that patient presented, preferably using the patient’s own words (e.g. “chest pain” rather than “myocardial infarction”), and any additional details needed to answer the questions.
- Questions: we would like between three and five questions. Each question should have only one part. Bear in mind that all questions are visible to the reader at the outset, so don’t reveal the answer to an early question in a later one. If you’re asking sequential questions don’t start with a difficult one, as it risks turning potential readers off. Each question should have short and long answer. Short and long answers both answer the same question but in different levels of detail. The details of the case history should allow readers to answer all the questions, i.e. do not provide essential additional details in question answers. The combined length of the short and long answers should not exceed 800 words.
- Short answers: these will appear in the print BMJ. They should written as prose (i.e. not a list) and no more than two sentences long.
- Long answers: These will be available online. The content of the long answers should be up to date and evidence based with relevant citations. Please don’t copy long passages from textbooks or journal articles. You can illustrate long answers with pictures, figures, and boxes.
- Illustrations: it is not possible for a picture quiz to be illustrated by more than one picture. These can be wide ranging in origin e.g. photographs illustrating pathology, electrocardiograms etc. They should be submitted as jpeg files of 300 dpi resolution and 12cm wide (if in doubt please send us the highest resolution/largest picture you have). You are welcome to paste pictures into word documents, but you must send the pictures as separate jpeg files as well. Please provide two versions of each picture: a “clean” image, and one with the abnormalities labelled. The total space for illustrations in the print BMJ for a picture quiz is approximately 7.2 cm by 7.2 cm. Please consider whether the feature(s) you’re trying to demonstrate will be visible when your illustration is reduced to that size. It’s very hard to interpret small radiographs.
- Patient outcome: At the end of the submission please detail the patient’s outcome.
An anatomy quiz consists of a radiology image of normal or normal variant anatomy and readers are invited to identify some of the anatomical structures.
Please note: due to a large number of anatomy quiz submissions awaiting print publication we are not accepting any further anatomy quiz submissions until September 10 2012.
There is a maximum of two authors for anatomy quizzes. The images submitted for anatomy quizzes should be anonymised and consent is not required. A case history is not required.
You can use any mode of imaging, but there should be no pathology visible on the image. The title should describe the imaging modality in detail, for example ‘Axial T1 weighted MRI post Gadolinium contrast of…’. As with picture quizzes and case reports images should be submitted as jpeg files of at least 300 dpi resolution and 12cm minimum width. The image should be labelled with between four and six labels for the reader to identify. For paired structures the answers should state the appropriate side. Please bear in mind the images are static so anatomical structures labelled should be identifiable without the ability to scroll through several images.
Examples of Endgames articles and template
We find that we reject many Endgames submissions simply because people have not adhered to the above instructions. In light of this we recommend that before you begin to write an Endgames article you take a look the links below as examples of Endgames best practice.
We have also prepared an Endgames word template and checklist which we recommend that you use.
- Case report: http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d4866
- Picture quiz: http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d8020
- Anatomy quiz: http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d7830
Essential requirements for Endgames submission:
Signed BMJ patient consent form (for case reports and picture quizzes), statements in the manuscript accepting the BMJ licence for publication and declaring any competing interests, name and current post and work address for all authors, email address for the corresponding author.
Once you have prepared your Endgames article please submit it as a Word document via our online editorial office. Ensure that you choose “Endgames” as the article type.
Other article types
We are pleased to consider submitted editorials, analysis, research methods and reporting, clinical reviews and practice articles. These sections carry a mix of commissioned and submitted articles. See the left-hand menu for more information.
Note that some types of article - news, features, observations, head to head, views and reviews - are generally commissioned by the editors.