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Frequently asked questions

More detail about BMJ Open is provided below.

  1. 1. Why has the The BMJ created BMJ Open?
  2. 2. What type of articles does BMJ Open publish?
  3. 3. How do I submit my article?
  4. 4. Can I opt for my article to be considered automatically for BMJ Open if it is not accepted by the The BMJ or another journal from BMJ?
  5. 5. What overall format should articles follow?
  6. 6. How can I share the raw data or other additional data from my study when it is published in BMJ Open?
  7. 7. How quickly will I know the decision on my article?
  8. 8. How are articles peer reviewed?
  9. 9. What article publishing fee does BMJ Open charge?
  10. 10. Does BMJ Open impose any copyright restrictions?
  11. 11. Can I comply with the Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK open access policies by publishing in BMJ Open?
  12. 12. How do I sign up for email alerts about published articles?
  13. 13. Is there a print edition?
  14. 14. How do I subscribe to BMJ Open?
  15. 15. How can my library subscribe?
  16. 16. How do I order reprints of my article?
  17. 17. Where is BMJ Open indexed?
  18. 18. Does BMJ Open have an impact factor?
  19. 19. What is the difference between BMJ Open and BMJ Case Reports?
  20. 20. Who do I contact if I would like more information about BMJ Open?

 

1. Why has The BMJ created BMJ Open?

BMJ Open offers authors an affordable publishing service so that they can share their medical research from any therapeutic area or discipline. The journal aims to ensure that any well-conducted study has a home where it can be fully reported.

We particularly hope that BMJ Open will attract work that deserves publication but does not quite meet the specific needs of the audiences of TheBMJ and the specialist journals from BMJ, which is why the journal will not judge papers on more subjective criteria of novelty or potential impact.

Transparency and openness define BMJ Open. All articles will follow BMJ's high standards of ethics and transparency and will include clear statements of studies' strengths and limitations. As well as publishing definitive articles we will encourage researchers to share as much additional knowledge as possible. We welcome submissions of study protocols and pilot studies and will make it easy for authors to share raw datasets either as additional electronic material or through direct linkage from BMJ Open articles to data repositories.

2. What type of articles does BMJ Open publish?

We welcome research articles reporting a wide range of study designs, including:

  • Study protocol
  • Pilot study
  • Qualitative study
  • Cross sectional study or survey
  • Before & after study
  • Case control study
  • Cohort study
  • Diagnostic test study
  • Modelling study
  • Economic evaluation
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • Systematic review or meta-analysis
  • Secondary analysis of database(s)

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 journal will also publish e-letters that respond directly to issues raised in BMJ Open articles. See our resources for authors and instructions for authors pages for more information.

3. How do I submit my article?

Please submit using our online manuscript submission site. If your article was previously submitted to another journal from BMJ and was rejected, we will happily assist in transferring the files to the BMJ Open site if you would like to be considered by BMJ Open. Please email the editorial office at editorial.bmjopen{at}bmjgroup.com for help with this (the article must not be under consideration by any other journal).

4. Can I opt for my article to be considered automatically for BMJ Open if it is not accepted by TheBMJ or another journal from BMJ?

Yes. Select this option when submitting to one of our other journals. If you have already submitted to one of our sister titles and had your paper declined there, please email the editorial office (editorial.bmjopen{at}bmjgroup.com) with the manuscript number of your original submission and we will gladly assist with the transfer of files.

5. What overall format should articles follow?

Please structure your research article using the items listed in the appropriate reporting statement, such as:

  • CONSORT for a randomised controlled trial (CONSORT has several extension statements, e.g. for cluster RCTs, pragmatic trials)
  • PRISMA for a systematic review or meta-analysis of randomised trials
  • MOOSE for a systematic review or meta-analysis of observational studies
  • STARD for a study of diagnostic accuracy
  • STREGA for genetic association studies
  • STROBE for an observational study
  • SPIRIT for trial protocols

The EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUality and Transparency Of health Research) online library includes a wide range of reporting statements at http://www.equator-network.org/resource-centre/library-of-health-research-reporting/.

6. How can I share the raw data or other additional data from my study when it is published in BMJ Open?

We ask authors to include a data sharing statement in their article. The statement should explain which additional unpublished data from the study  if any — are available, to whom, and how. Those data could range from additional explanatory material to the complete dataset. People allowed access to the data might range from fellow researchers to everyone. And data might be available only on request, accessible online with a password, or openly accessible to all on the web with a link on bmjopen.com.

BMJ Open is committed to playing a role in encouraging greater sharing of data. We encourage authors to link their BMJ Open articles to all data deposited elsewhere. We ask this largely because we are keen to maximise the usefulness and usage of data and promote transparency, but also because many research funders now encourage or even mandate data sharing. We understand that many authors wish to guard data until they have published all their own papers, and we know that data sharing is hard to do. But we hope that authors will, increasingly, set the data free, perhaps after a set period of personal use.

We are working with the UK Dryad repository to provide a simple way for authors to store data and link to it from the published article. Please contact the editorial office if you are interested in pursuing this option.

We also strongly support the view that researchers should seek informed consent to data sharing from research participants upfront, at the recruitment stage. This editorial in TheBMJ provides some advice on how to go about this. There are good ethical and practical reasons for doing so. Even if the investigators have no current plans to share raw data, at some future time data sharing may become the norm. If so, sharing will be much easier if no one has to try to seek consent retrospectively.

Consent is particularly important because participants may be identifiable in a dataset - even an "anonymised" one that does not contain names or addresses. The combination of three or more indirect identifiers such as age, sex, and an unusual clinical detail may be enough for at least the participant, or another interested party, to recognise themselves.

Therefore, please provide a data sharing statement such as: "Technical appendix, statistical code, and dataset available from the corresponding author at..." If there are no such further data available, please use this wording: "No additional data available".

7. How quickly will I know the decision on my article?

BMJ Open will provide authors with a rapid and open peer review service, aiming to provide the majority of first decisions within four weeks.

8. How are articles peer reviewed?

BMJ Open uses open peer review. Reviewers will sign their reports and will declare competing interests to editors, and reviewers' reports will be posted online alongside accepted articles. No reviews returned to authors will be anonymous, and authors will always see the signed reviews on which editorial decisions were based.

9. What article publishing fee will BMJ Open charge?

Authors will be charged £1350 ( exclusive of VAT where applicable) for publication. This applies to accepted articles and there are no submission, colour or page charges. Submitted papers will be judged entirely on scientific validity rather than ability to pay. No payment information is requested before an article is accepted, so the ability to pay cannot affect editorial decisions.

We appreciate that some authors do not have access to funding to cover publication costs. The journal will accept part payment where only limited funds are available, and offers a waiver to authors without funding. 

Your institution may already have arranged to cover your publishing costs or you may be eligible for a discount. Click here to find out.

10. Does BMJ Open impose any copyright restrictions?

Authors retain copyright. Articles are published under a Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content.

 

11. Can I comply with the Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK open access policies by publishing in BMJ Open?

Yes. You can indicate at submission that your work was funded by one of these bodies and we will ensure that your article is published using their required licence.

 

12. How do I sign up for email alerts about published articles?

You can subscribe to receive BMJ Open email alerts within the article pages of the website and at http://bmjopen.bmj.com. Email alert options available for BMJ Open are:

  • Electronic table of contents alerts
  • Alerts when article is cited
  • Alerts if corrections are posted

You can also sign up for RSS feeds that will update you when new content is published.

13. Is there a print edition?

No, BMJ Open is an online only resource

14. How do I subscribe to BMJ Open?

BMJ Open is a 'gold' open access journal - free to access for anyone with an internet connection. Therefore there is no subscription.

15. How can my library subscribe?

As with individuals, no library or institutional subscriptions are required.

16. How do I order reprints of my article?

For more information about the BMJ Open reprints service contact:

Nadia Gurney-Randall
T: +44 (0)20 8445 5825
F: +44 (0)20 8445 5870
E: ngurneyrandall{at}bmjgroup.com

For more information about reprints in USA and Canada contact:

Marsha Fogler
T: 1(856) 489 4446
1(800) 482 1450 (Toll Free)
F: 1(856) 489 4449
E: mfogler{at}medicalreprints.com

17. Where is BMJ Open indexed?

All articles published in BMJ Open will be deposited by us on authors' behalf in PubMed Central. This means that articles are also discoverable through the PubMed database. BMJ Open is included in the ISI Web of Science, and is also indexed by Scopus, CAB Abstracts and Google Scholar.

18. Does BMJ Open have an impact factor?

Yes. BMJ Open's impact factor is 1.583.

19. What is the difference between BMJ Open and BMJ Case Reports?

BMJ Open does not publish case reports, only research articles. BMJ Case Reports publishes cases in all disciplines so that healthcare professionals, researchers and others can easily find clinically important information on common and rare conditions. Case reports published in other journals from BMJ will also be adapted for publication on BMJ Case Reports. BMJ Case Reports is not an open access journal.

20. Who do I contact if I would like more information about BMJ Open?

For queries regarding submissions, please contact the editorial office at editorial.bmjopen{at}bmjgroup.com; for other enquiries please contact Richard Sands, Managing Editor, BMJ Open (rsands{at}bmjgroup.com).

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