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Instructions for Authors

For guidelines on policy and submission across our journals, please click on the links below:
Manuscript preparation
Editorial policies
Patient consent forms
Licence forms
Peer review
Submission and production processes

Editorial Policy

Evidence-Based Medicine surveys a wide range of international medical journals applying strict criteria for the quality and validity of research. Editors who are practicing clinicians select articles for coverage that are likely to be valid and relevant for clinical practice. Expert commentators succinctly summarize and critically appraise these articles, including implications for clinical practice.

Evidence-Based Medicine also publishes content related to the study, teaching and practice of evidence-based medicine. Submissions in these areas are subject to peer review. Commentaries are published online only as electronic pages to an issue, unless selected for print publication by the Editor in Cheif.

Open Access

Authors can choose to have their article published Open Access for a fee of £1,950 (plus applicable VAT).

Colour figure charges

During submission you will be asked whether or not you agree to pay for the colour print publication of your colour images. This service is available to any author publishing within this journal for a fee of £250 per article. Authors can elect to publish online in colour and black and white in print, in which case the appropriate selection should be made upon submission.

Article types and word counts

If you are not a native English speaker there is a professional editing service available.

Editorials
These are commissioned only articles, and may be about commentaries or other articles published in EBM, or may serve as the voice of the Editors of the journal. Original papers should not be submitted under this article type unless invited.

Word count: up to 1200 words
Abstract: none
Tables/illustrations: none
References: up to 20

Perspectives
Perspectives are essays that express a point of view or opinion (or two points of view, in a debate), highlight a current evidence-based medicine issue, or discuss hypotheses. Although citation and discussion of evidence is welcome, these articles generally do not include primary data.

Word count: up to 1500 words
Abstract: up to 250 words, unstructured
Tables/illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 20

Methods papers
Methods articles describe innovative research and educational methodologies or evaluations of training relevant to evidence-based medicine.

Word count: up to 2500 words
Abstract: up to 250 words, unstructured
Tables/illustrations: up to 3
References: up to 50

Systematic reviews
Systematic reviews report on the answer to a clinical question by describing article selection, summarising and synthesising study quality and results, and drawing conclusions about the answer to the question.

Word count: up to 3500 words
Abstract: up to 250 words, structured, to include background, objective, study selection, findings, and conclusions
Tables/illustrations: up to 4
References: 50, exclusive of lists of articles considered or summarized (references above 50 may appear online only)

Original EBM Research
These articles report results of studies of the practice of evidence-based medicine (e.g. of the impact of implementing EBM practices such as providing evidence at the point of care, or of using evidence to make health decisions).

Word count: up to 2500 words
Abstract: up to 250 words, unstructured
Tables/illustrations: up to 3
References: up to 50

EBM Primer
These brief articles will focus on tools and concepts that are basic and central to teaching and practicing evidence-based medicine (example: "How to estimate the relative risk from an odds ratio").

Word count: 1200
Abstract: up to 250 words, unstructured
Tables/illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 20

EBM Round-up
These are commissioned only articles. Original papers should not be submitted under this article type, unless invited. EBM Round-up articles will summarize evidence-based medicine relevant content that appears elsewhere in the peer-reviewed literature.

Word count: up to 3000 words
Abstract: None.
Tables/illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 20

Letters
EBM welcomes short letters to the editor. These may be related to a recent commentary or article published in EBM, or may be letters relevant to evidence-based medicine practice, teaching or methodology. Original data may be included if it is relevant and gives added weight to the comment on the previously published article. Authors may wish to note that there is also an e-letter option for responding to content that appears in the journal. Such e-letters will appear online only.

Word count: up to 400 words
Structured abstract: no abstract
Tables/illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 5

Resource reviews
EBM welcomes reviews of books, other media and conferences related to the teaching, practice and study of evidence-based medicine. Book reviews may be commissioned or submitted unsolicited. A query to the Editor in Chief is encouraged prior to embarking on a review to assure that the review will be of interest to and consistent with the mission of the journal. 

Word count: up to 700 words

Commentaries
These are commissioned only articles and are published online only as electronic pages to an issue, unless selected for print publication by the Editor in Chief. Original papers should not be submitted under this article type unless invited. Commentaries summarise and critically appraise clinically relevant studies that appear in the peer reviewed literature.

Please describe the article under review in 700-800 words (including references), using the following subheadings. Consider Table 1 as guidance for methods, results and commentary.

  1. Title
  2. Please provide a declarative title (e.g. 'Macrolides decrease duration of pneumococcal pneumonia') that closely reflects the main finding of the article and that is supported by the evidence presented (i.e. that holds up after your critical appraisal). Max. length 30 words.
  1. Context
  2. The context of the problem addressed by the paper; e.g. epidemiology, history, question addressed etc.
  1. Methods
  2. A brief description of the methods. Please cover the following points (depending on the type of study)

    e.g. therapy or other (e.g. preventative) interventions
  3. Population. What was the population under study, how many were sampled, adults and/or children, where and when were the data collected, who were excluded?
  4. Intervention. What was the intervention being tested, how was it delivered?
  5. Outcomes. What were the outcomes measured, how were they measured and by whom?
  6. Allocation. Was the allocation of participants to interventions suitably randomised?
  7. Blinding. Who was blinded, who was not blinded?
  8. Follow up. How long was the follow up period?

    e.g. diagnostic studies
  9. Population. What was the population under study, how many were sampled, adults and/or children, where and when were the data collected, who were excluded?
  10. Test. What was the diagnostic test(s) under study, what was the diagnostic (gold) standard that it was being compared to?
  11. Outcomes. What outcomes were measured, e.g. sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value?

    e.g. prognostic studies
  12. Population. What was the population under study, how many were sampled, adults and/or children, where and when were the data collected, who were excluded?
  13. Prognostic factors. What was assessed (test scores, scales etc) at the beginning and/or during the study, and by whom?
  14. Outcomes. What were the outcomes measured, how were they measured and by whom?
  15. Follow up. How long was the follow up period?

    e.g systematic reviews and meta-analyses
  16. Data sources. What were the data sources used, e.g. databases used, use of registers, contact with experts etc?
  17. Study selection. What were the inclusion and exclusion criteria, who applied them?
  18. Analysis. Were the results meta-analysed? If not, why not? If they were, what types of models were used to calculate the meta-analysis? Was heterogeneity or publication bias assessed etc?
  19. Outcomes. What were the outcomes measured, how were they measured and by whom?
  20. More notes on how to assess common article types are presented in Table 1
  1. Findings
  2. A brief description of main results of the article. Please concentrate on the primary outcomes, and results with the most significant clinical outcome. When describing results that involve outcomes or risks, use absolute risks and absolute risk reductions when possible.
  1. Commentary
  2. The limitations of the study. Comment on the reliability and generalizability of the results. Include your critique of the methods and/or the authors' conclusions - what could or should the authors have done differently? Relate back to the description of the methods as reported under subheading 2.
  3. Comparison to past literature. How does this research fit with previous work in this area; what is new, innovative or different? Do the results support or conflict with those from other studies?
  4. Remaining questions. What gaps of knowledge remain, and what types of studies or reviews should be done next to fill them?
  5. Implications for practice. Will this study make you rethink your practice - why/why not? What special precautions might be made in applying the research to new populations? Is implementation feasible in most contexts

References follow the Vancouver style.Please do not cite the article you are reviewing, as your commentary will appear on the same page as a declarative title and citation of the article. You may refer to it as (e.g.) "Smith and colleagues screened..." or "This paper follows up..."

Word count: 800 words, including references
Abstract: None
Tables/illustrations: none
References: up to 8

Please note abstracts are not required for this article type.

Supplements

BMJ journals are willing to consider publishing supplements to regular issues. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of:

  1. The journal editor, an editorial board member or a learned society may wish to organise a meeting, sponsorship may be sought and the proceedings published as a supplement.
  2. The journal editor, editorial board member or learned society may wish to commission a supplement on a particular theme or topic. Again, sponsorship may be sought.
  3. The BMJ itself may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary.
  4. A sponsoring organisation, often a pharmaceutical company or a charitable foundation, that wishes to arrange a meeting, the proceedings of which will be published as a supplement.

In all cases, it is vital that the journal's integrity, independence and academic reputation is not compromised in any way.

When contacting us regarding a potential supplement, please include as much of the information below as possible.

  • Journal in which you would like the supplement published
  • Title of supplement and/or meeting on which it is based
  • Date of meeting on which it is based
  • Proposed table of contents with provisional article titles and proposed authors
  • An indication of whether authors have agreed to participate
  • Sponsor information including any relevant deadlines
  • An indication of the expected length of each paper Guest Editor proposals if appropriate

 

For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the supplements guidelines (PDF).

Plagiarism detection

BMJ is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting www.ithenticate.com.

Free Sample

This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of EBM.
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