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BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine publishes original evidence based research, insights and opinions on what matters for health care. The journal also focuses on the tools, methods, and concepts that are basic and central to practising evidence-based medicine.

Editorial policy

BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics and scientific misconduct. The journal follows guidance produced by bodies that include the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Council of Science Editors and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page, including information about ourEditors’ roles and responsibilities.

Authors are required to submit a statement that their study obtained ethics approval (or a statement that it was not required and why) and that participants gave informed consent. Our Editors will consider whether the work is morally acceptable as determined by the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki. In addition to this, in line with General Medical Council guidelines, an article that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual requires patients explicit consent (in the format of a signed BMJ patient consent form) before we will publish it. Please find further details on BMJ research ethics policies (human participants and animals) and consent for publication; including a link to the downloadable consent form.

To make the best decision on how to deal with a manuscript, BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine needs to know about any competing interests authors may have; this includes any commercial, financial or non financial associations that may be relevant to the submitted article. Authors must download and complete a copy of the ICMJE Conflict of Interest disclosure form. In addition to this BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine ensures that all advertising and sponsorship associated with the journal does not influence editorial decisions, is immediately distinguishable from editorial content and meets all other BMJ guidelines. Please find more information about competing interests and a link to the form.

We take seriously all possible misconduct. If an Editor, author or reader has concerns that a submitted article describes something that might be considered to constitute misconduct in research, publication or professional behaviour they should forward their concerns to the journal. The publisher will deal with allegations appropriately following ICMJE and COPE guidelines. Corrections and retractions are considered where an article has already been published; corrections, expressions of concern or a retraction notices will be published as soon as possible in line with the BMJ correction and retraction policy.

Copyright and authors’ rights

Articles are published under an exclusive licence or non-exclusive licence for UK Crown employees or where BMJ has agreed CC BY applies. For US Federal Government officers or employees acting as part of their official duties, the terms are as stated in accordance with our licence terms. Authors or their employers retain copyright. Open access articles can be reused under the terms of the relevant Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content; please refer to the BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine Author Licence for the applicable Creative Commons licences. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.

When publishing in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, authors choose between three licence types – exclusive licence granted to BMJ, CC-BY-NC and CC-BY (Creative Commons open access licences require payment of an article processing charge). As an author you may wish to post your article in an institutional or subject repository, or on a scientific social sharing network. You may also link your published article to your preprint (if applicable). What you can do with your article, without seeking permission, depends on the licence you have chosen and the version of your article. Please refer to the BMJ author self archiving and permissions policies page for more information.

Preprints

Preprints foster openness, accessibility and collaboration by allowing authors to make their findings immediately available to the research community and receive feedback on an article before it is submitted to a journal for formal publication.

BMJ fully supports and encourages the archiving of preprints in any recognised, not-for-profit server such as medRxiv. BMJ does not consider the posting of an article in a dedicated preprint repository to be prior publication.

Preprints are reports of work that have not been peer-reviewed; Preprints should therefore not be used to guide clinical practice, health-related behaviour or health policy. For more information, please refer to our Preprint policy page.

Conflicts of interest

BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine adheres to the BMJ Journal policies on competing interests. We also ensure that our Editorial Board must meet all three points within the BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine policy:

  1. Offers of honoraria toward editorial board members for drug-funded activities should be declined. But, receipt of reasonable expenses and travel
    cost to attend meetings is OK.
  2. Invitations to speak at drug company events should be considered carefully to ensure that the meeting is a “proper” scientific meeting. If not, they should not be accepted, as per point 1 any honoraria should be declined.
  3. It is generally not appropriate for editorial board members to have shares in tobacco, alcohol, drug or biotechnology companies, as these may be directly or indirectly affected by editorial decisions.

Peer review

Articles submitted to BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine are subject to peer review. The journal operates single blind peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author; usually two external reviewer reports are obtained before an Original research or Review article is accepted for publication. Manuscripts authored by a member of a journal’s editorial team are independently peer reviewed; an editor will have no input or influence on the peer review process or publication decision for their own article. If you believe that your article has been rejected unfairly please submit an appeal by contacting the Editorial office. For more information on what to expect during the peer review process please refer to BMJ Author Hub – the peer review process.

BMJ requests that all reviewers adhere to a set of basic principles and standards during the peer review process; these are based on the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Please refer to our peer review terms and conditions policy page.

Plagiarism is the appropriation of the language, ideas or thoughts of another without crediting their true source and representation of them as one’s own original work. 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. BMJ runs manuscripts through iThenticate during the peer review process. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting www.ithenticate.com.

BMJ is committed to transparency. Every article we publish includes a description of its provenance (commissioned or not commissioned) and whether it was internally or externally peer reviewed.

Reader responses, questions and comments to published content are welcomed by BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine; these should be submitted electronically via the journals website. Please find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.

Data sharing

BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine adheres to BMJ’s Tier 2 data policy. We strongly encourage that data generated by your research that supports your article be made available as soon as possible, wherever legally and ethically possible. We also require data from clinical trials to be made available upon reasonable request. To adhere to ICMJE guidelines, we require that a data sharing plan must be included with trial registration for clinical trials that begin enrolling participants on or after 1st January 2019.

Changes to the plan must be noted in the Data Availability Statement and updated in the registry record. All research articles must contain a Data Availability Statement. For more information and FAQs, please see BMJ’s full Data Sharing Policy page.

ORCID

BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine mandates ORCID iDs for the submitting author at the time of article submission; co-authors and reviewers are strongly encouraged to also connect their ScholarOne accounts to ORCID. We strongly believe that the increased use and integration of ORCID iDs will be beneficial for the whole research community.

Please find more information about ORCID and BMJ’s policy on our Author Hub.

Article Processing Charges

During submission, authors can choose to have their article published open access in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. Please note that there are no submission or page charges. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is dependent on the article type as follows:

  • £850 APC (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors): Editorials, EBM opinion and debate, EBM learning, Letter and EBM verdict
  • £2,300 APC (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors): EBM analysis, Evidence synthesis, Original EBM research and Research methods and reporting

For more information on open access, funder compliance and institutional programmes please refer to the BMJ Author Hub open access page.

BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine offers a 50% discount on the APC for authors that meet all of the below criteria:

1) Student enrolled in higher educational institution OR
2) in medical training
3) Must be corresponding author
4) Project received no grant funding

If you are eligible for a discount, on acceptance of your article please email the Editorial Assistant to receive your discount code.

Submission guidelines

Please review the below article type specifications including the required article lengths, illustrations, table limits and reference counts. The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements, contributions and references. Manuscripts should be as succinct as possible.

For further support when making your submission please refer to the resources available on the BMJ Author Hub. Here you will find information on writing and formatting your research through to the peer review process and promoting your paper. We encourage authors to ensure that research articles are written in accordance with the relevant research reporting guideline.

You may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services.

I. Debate, insights and opinion:

Editorial
EBM opinion and debate
EBM learning

Debate, insights and opinion articles undergo internal or external peer review

II. Research and analysis:

EBM analysis
Original research and Evidence synthesis
Research methods and reporting
Letter

Research and analysis articles undergo external peer review and may also be subject to internal peer review

III. EBM verdict

EBM verdict

EBM Verdict articles undergo internal peer review. EBM Verdict articles were previously published as Commentaries.

IV. BMJ EBM Spotlight:

Blog

Blog articles can be viewed on BMJ EBM Spotlight.

V. Supplements:

Supplements

Editorial

Editorials are commissioned only articles, and may be about commentaries or other articles published in EBM.

Word count: up to 1,000
Abstract: none
Tables/illustrations: none
References: up to 20


EBM opinion and debate

EBM opinion and debate articles express a point of view or opinion, 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 1,000
Abstract: none
Tables/illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 20


EBM learning

EBM Learning articles will focus on tools and concepts that are basic and central to teaching and practicing evidence-based medicine.

Word count: up to 1,500
Abstract:  none
Tables/illustrations: up to 3
References: up to 20


EBM analysis

The Analysis section is for submitted and invited articles that debate and discuss topical evidence-based issues that address clinical practice, research and policy. We are looking for articles that take a critical approach to assessing evidence and use empirical data to analyse the impact on individuals or populations and provide a worthwhile conclusion.

The evidence on which key statements are based and how it is sourced should be explicit and referenced, and the strength and quality of the evidence made clear.

We welcome boxes, tables, figures, illustrations, or web links that extend and substantiate points made in the article. Words in boxes and tables are excluded from the word count of the body of the text, but the additional material should be concise.

Word count: up to 2,500
Abstract:  up to 250 words, unstructured
Tables/illustrations: up to 3
References: up to 30


Original research and Evidence synthesis

BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine publishes:

1. Original research: reports 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).

2. Evidence synthesis: encompasses a broad range of review types that systemically synthesizes evidence from a range of sources to inform healthcare decisions. Evidence synthesis is evolving beyond the conventional “what works” systematic reviews to high quality reviews that identify clinical and methodology gaps, inform future research, inform policy and develop robust practical interventions for practice. Evidence syntheses have clear focussed questions, use systematic methods to search for the relevant evidence, appraise the quality of the included evidence and summarise the findings. List of evidence synthesis types >>

To encourage full and transparent reporting of research, we do not set fixed word, reference and table/illustration limits but advise authors to make articles concise (4,000 – 5,000 words). Abstracts should be structured and up to 600 words. Note that BMJ EBM publishes only the abstract, summary box and up to 2 figures (table and/or illustration) in the Print issue; the full article is published online.

Articles should adopt the following format and should also be written in accordance with the relevant research reporting guideline (in the case of clinical trials, systematic reviews and meta analysis the abstracts can be modified accordingly):

1. Title: this should include the research question and the study design
2. Structured abstract: include all the following were appropriate:

    • Objectives – the main aim of the study and major hypothesis/research question
    • Design – e.g. prospective, randomised, blinded, case control, etc
    • Setting – e.g. primary, secondary; number of participating centres (generalised)
    • Participants – numbers entering and completing the study, sex, and ethnic group if appropriate. Give clear definitions of selection, entry and exclusion criteria
    • Interventions – what, how, when and for how long (delete if no interventions)
    • Main outcome measures – planned (i.e. in the protocol) and measured (if different, explain why)
    • Results – main results with (for quantitative studies) 95% confidence intervals and, where appropriate, the exact level of statistical significance and the number need to treat/harm. Whenever possible, state absolute rather than relative risks.
    • Conclusions – primary conclusions and their implications, suggest areas for further research if appropriate. Do not go beyond the data in the article.
    • Trial registration – registry and number

3. Summary box: include the following snapshot of what your article adds to the literature, all 1-3 short bullet points:

  • What is already known about this subject?
  • What are the new findings?
  • How might it impact clinical practice in the foreseeable future?

4. Introduction: a succinct introduction which focuses on the research question
5. Methods
6. Results
7. Discussion: a structured discussion which includes: a statement of principal findings, Strengths and weaknesses of the study and in relation to other studies, meaning of the study (explanations and implications), unanswered questions and future research


Research methods and reporting

Research methods and reporting articles describe innovative research and educational methodologies or evaluations of training relevant to evidence-based medicine.

Word count: up to 2,500
Abstract:  up to 250 words, unstructured
Tables/illustrations: up to 3
References: up to 50


Letter

Letters may be related to a recent commentary or article published in EBM, or may be relevant to evidence-based medicine practice, teaching or methodology. EBM also has an eResponse option for responding to content that appears in the journal; please find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.

Word count: up to 400
Abstract: none
Tables/illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 5

EBM verdict

Focuses on the research evidence that actually matters to clinical practice

Articles are commissioned only and summarise relevant studies that appear in the peer reviewed literature.


BMJ EBM Spotlight Blog

We run a dedicated blog site that analyses and discusses developments in evidence-based medicine. Blogs are written by our editors and editorial team and are overseen by the blog editor team.

Supplements

Abstract submissions are selected by the host conference scientific committee.

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

  • Conference scientific committees to publish conference abstracts. Abstract submissions are selected by the host conference scientific committee.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • BMJ itself may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary.
  • 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.

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

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