Article types

Thank you for considering The BMJ as the right place for your article.

The BMJ’s Impact Factor is 20.7 (ISI Web of Science, 2017). The BMJ’s average weekly print circulation is 121,762 (ABC multi-platform certificate January-June 2013). In the same six month period total monthly unique browsers of bmj.com (as it was then) peaked in May, at 1,365,786.

Open access

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's uniform recommendations 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:

Case reports

The BMJ does not publish standard case reports. We do, however, publish articles about real cases as long as they are suitable for presentation in specifically educational formats. These include Endgames case reviews and picture quizzes, and very brief reports accompanying Minerva pictures. For each of these you will need to provide a signed 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 categories does not succeed, you might like to try submitting to our sister journal BMJ Case Reports. Full information is at here

Reporting guidelines

We are willing to consider papers that present new or updated research reporting guidelines, but only if the guideline pertains to a study type that we publish in The BMJ. The checklist itself must be included as part of the paper. We prefer to be the only journal publishing the guideline, but under some circumstances we will consider co-publication with up to two other journals. For an example of how to format a reporting guideline to appear in our research methods and reporting section, see http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1049.full.pdf+html.

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 to which you are responding, and then follow the link at the top of the page, marked "Respond to this article." This is the only way to submit a letter to The BMJ: all letters that appear in the printed issue of The BMJ and on bmj.com arrived as rapid responses initially. See responding to articles for more information.

Obituaries

We welcome obituaries for doctors within the first year of their death. Please send your copy as a Word file to obituaries@bmj.com. 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; these usually appear with a time lag of several weeks. They are around 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 as hi-res images electronically or as photographs, when we can. Please include a postal address if you want us to send a (one) copy of the relevant print issue to the families of the deceased (additional copies will have to be purchased from support@bmj.com).

We generally commission the full page obituaries for the print issue of The BMJ from professional writers: these are usually about doctors and are published no more than three months after death.

Please note that we no longer accept obituaries sent by post, and neither do we accept handwritten obituaries.

We regret that we cannot provide individual progress updates - please check http://www.bmj.com/news/obituary at regular intervals to find out whether your submission has been published.

NB: Obituaries are not indexed in PubMed.

Medical classics

We are no longer accepting submissions for medical classics.

Personal views

A personal view is a piece of highly readable and compelling comment that appeals to our international readership of practising doctors. These original, opinion based essays strictly by a single author have no more than 600 words and up to 10 references. The best personal view pieces make a single strong, novel, and well argued point. They are also often topical, 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. Accepted articles are all published online initially on BMJ Opinion, but may not be published in print. Please submit online at http://submit.bmj.com. We cannot promise publication before the piece is submitted.

Clinical Opinion

These should be submitted as "Clinical Opinion" via our online editorial office. Accepted submissions are published online under BMJ Opinion. Selected pieces will appear in print on the Education pages.

Fillers are short articles (less than 300 words) that comprise highly readable and compelling comment, appealing to BMJ's international readership of practising doctors. They make a single, strong, well argued point with new insights and can be one of the following:

  • An inspiring reflection on any aspect of your clinical practice (something that encourages positivity)
  • A patient who changed your practice (how a memorable patient inspired you and how the way you do things has altered since)
  • A reflection on teaching experiences (either about being taught or teaching/changes in teaching/the environment of teaching/finding the space and time for teaching)
  • A paper that changed your practice/thinking

Authors of these new articles are required to:

  • Obtain patient consent if a patient is described in the articles, unless the patient is dead or anonymised sufficiently that they would not be able to recognise themselves if they were to read the article. The signed BMJ patient consent form must be included during article submission. The form can be found here
  • Submit a competing interests statement with the article and consent form, even if there's nothing to declare Here's more on this
  • Provide a short biography (1-2 sentences)
  • Include a photograph of themselves to go online with the article
  • Be careful not to libel anyone. Any potentially contentious articles are checked by our lawyer
  • Include any references as hyperlinks
  • submitted as "Fillers" via our online editorial office.

Please note, we don't accept Fillers that report the results of surveys or informal research.

Minerva pictures

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:

  1. Showing foreign bodies
  2. Showing the results of gross trauma
  3. With poor image quality, even if the story is sound and interesting
  4. With pictures and stories which are simply "textbook" presentations
  5. Reporting cases of very rare clinical presentations
  6. Submissions which simply criticise other clinicians, or the patient.

NB: Minerva pictures/articles are not indexed in PubMed.

Endgames

This section is designed to help doctors across all grades and specialties test their knowledge and reflect on their practice for continuing medical education.

Endgames articles are based on genuine clinical scenarios. Patient consent must be provided using the BMJ’s consent form. At least one author must be a specialist (consultant or equivalent) in a field relevant to the topic and all authors must satisfy our strict competing interest criteria for authors of education articles. The online competing interests form must be completed by all authors prior to submission. To avoid duplication of large paragraphs of text from textbooks or journals, we ask authors to provide a signed originality of work attestation form.

Which cases are suitable?

Please check our archive as we do not repeat topics within 3 years. We only consider common topics rather than clinical rarities and are unlikely to accept an article if the prevalence of the condition is less than 1/100 000 in the population. This includes very rare complications of common diseases, which may be more suitable for BMJ’s Case Reports journal. We consider hospital and community based scenarios providing the content is generalisable. We do not publish articles if the patient management is controversial. If you wish to inquire about the suitability of a particular case for Endgames please complete this form.

Writing up a Case Review:

Case Review articles must include a short vignette and 3 questions with short answers for The BMJ’s print edition and three longer discussions/answers for bmj.com . Please ensure all information required to answer the questions is contained in the vignette. We encourage accompanying clinical illustrations. Please cover important points for generalists including red flags and advice for patients.
The discussions/long answers must be evidence based with relevant citations.
We will only consider articles completed through this Case Review form.
The online competing interests form must be completed by all authors prior to submission.
A maximum of four authors is allowed for each Case Review article, and each author should have no more than 2 articles under consideration at any one time.
Once your proposal has been approved by our editorial team, you should then submit a Case Review template via The BMJ’s online editorial office.

Writing up a Spot Diagnosis:

Spot Diagnosis articles must based on a clinical image that is distinctive of a particular condition. A short vignette should accompany the image and there should be one question relevant to the image and diagnosis. The article should include no more than two learning points as a take home message for readers.
A maximum of two authors is allowed for each Spot Diagnosis article, and each author should have no more than 2 articles under consideration at any one time.
We will only consider articles completed through this Spot Diagnosis form. The online competing interests form must be completed by all authors prior to submission. Once your proposal has been approved by our editorial team, you should then submit a Spot Diagnosis template via The BMJ’s online editorial office.

Other article types

We are pleased to consider submitted editorials, analysis articles, research methods and reporting articles, clinical reviews, and practice articles. These sections carry a mix of commissioned and submitted articles. See the menu on the right for more information.

Please note that some types of article - news, features, observations, head to head debates, views and reviews, State of the Art reviews - are generally commissioned by the editors.