Does my research fall within BMJ Open’s aims and scope?


BMJ Open will consider all research study types from phase I trials to meta-analyses, in the areas of medical and healthcare research.Suitable study types include: qualitative studies; cross-sectional studies or surveys; before and after studies; case-control studies; cohort studies; diagnostic test studies; modelling studies; economic evaluations; randomised controlled trials; systematic reviews; meta-analyses; secondary analyses of databases; study pre-protocols; protocols; pilot studies.

Editorial decisions will not judge articles for importance, relevance or originality. Therefore the journal will consider:

  • studies that may be judged unoriginal by other journals because they replicate in different settings work that has already been done elsewhere. It can be important to clinical practice or health policy to replicate evidence that has already been established in one type of setting (for example, in well-resourced healthcare settings)
  • studies by young and new researchers. We recognise that researchers want and need to publish their work while they are learning and developing their ideas and skills: BMJ Open is keen to encourage you to do so with full transparency and cautious interpretation
  • early phase and post marketing studies from the pharmaceutical and devices industries. Many companies have pledged to publish all research but often struggle to find journals willing to publish non-definitive studies. Yet it is important ethically and essential to the research record that such studies are published, ideally with open access: hence BMJ Open is pleased to consider these.

BMJ Open is a medical journal. We consider papers addressing research questions in clinical medicine, public health and epidemiology. We also welcome studies in health services research, health economics, surgery, qualitative research, research methods, medical education, medical publishing and any other field that directly addresses patient outcomes or the practice and delivery of healthcare.

Our focus is on research that is relevant to patients and clinicians. We do not publish studies conducted in animals, laboratory studies not linked to patient outcomes, papers reporting solely physiological or biomechanical results from healthy participants, anatomy, cell biology or non-clinical psychology.

All research study types are considered, from study protocols through phase I trials to meta-analyses. This includes specialist studies and studies reporting negative results. Case reports should be submitted to BMJ Case Reports.

The group’s patient consent and publication and research ethics policies should also be taken into consideration and are available in our instructions for authors.

2. Is the research question clear? >>