Submit a paper here
BMJ Leader is published continuously online and aims to operate a fast submission and review process, to ensure timely, up-to-date research is available worldwide. The Journal adheres to a rigorous and transparent peer review process and all papers will be considered on the basis of ethical and methodological soundness rather than their novelty, significance, or relevance to any particular audience.
Submissions should be made through the Journal’s online submission system. Articles should not be under review by any other journal when submitted to BMJ Leader.
Article publishing charges and Open Access
BMJ Leader is a subscription journal and all articles are free to publish. There is though the opportunity to publish an article Open Access too. BMJ Leader levies an Article Publishing Charge (APC) for articles that are made Open Access that reflects the true cost of the services provided. The standard APC is GBP 1250. (exclusive of VAT).
There are no submission or page charges, and no colour charges. Payment of the APC may be made online by credit card, or by bank transfer following receipt of an invoice.
We do not offer refunds for Open Access once articles have been published.
Your article will not automatically be transferred to BMJ Leader if rejected from another BMJ Journal; however, you can choose BMJ Leader as an alternative journal when submitting an article to any BMJ Journal; any reviewer comments will be shared, resulting in a reduced time to decision.
Manuscripts will be evaluated separately by the BMJ Leader editorial team, with different criteria for acceptance.
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 ithenticate.com
Authors of original research articles are encouraged to include a data sharing statement when submitting their article. The statement should explain which additional unpublished data from the study—if any—are available, to whom, and how these can be obtained.
At present there is no major repository for clinical data, but Dryad has declared its willingness to accept medical datasets. Authors can start the deposition process while submitting to any BMJ Journal. Dryad provides authors with a DOI for the dataset to aid citation and provide a permanent link to the data. Note that Dryad hosts data using a CC0 licence so authors should check that this is suitable for the data that they are depositing. The DataCite organisation has a growing list of other repositories for research data.
For BMJ Leader submission guidelines see below; for general guidance on best practice and editorial policies on all BMJ’s titles please refer to the BMJ Author Hub. Here you will find information on planning your research through to submitting and promoting your research.
Article types and word counts
The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements and contributions and the references. Supplementary material (e.g. additional tables, figures and text files) can be published online only and is not included in the word count.
If you are not a native English speaker there is a professional editing service available.
Editorials are usually commissioned by the Editor. However, we welcome suggestions for possible topics and authors. Authors wishing to submit an editorial are advised to seek the advice of the Editor in advance of submission.
Word count: 1000 words maximum
References: should not normally exceed 15
Commentaries are opinion based papers underpinned by reference to published literature. They are usually commissioned by the Editor. Authors wishing to submit a commentary are advised to seek the advice of the Editor in advance. We encourage suggestions that focus on current controversies or rapidly developing areas of research.
Word count: 3000 words maximum
Tables/Illustrations: should not normally exceed 3
References: should not normally exceed 25
Reviews aim to gather and interpret the existing evidence base. Authors wishing to submit a review are advised to seek the advice of the Editor in advance.
Word count: 4000 words maximum
Tables/Illustrations: should not normally exceed 5
References: should not normally exceed 40
Full length original research papers should follow the basic structure of abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, references, and tables and figures as appropriate. Supplementary and raw data can be placed online separately from the text, and we may request that you separate out some material into supplementary data files to make the main manuscript clearer for readers.
Word count: up to 3500 words
Abstract: up to 300 words
Tables/Illustrations: maximum 8 tables and/or figures
References: up to 40
Topics suitable for presentation include reports of short, original research studies, or preliminary studies.
Word count: no more than 1500 words
Abstract: structured, 200 words
Tables/Illustrations: up to one of each
References: should not normally exceed 15
Illustrations and additional material
Black and white images should be supplied as TIFF, GIF, EPS, PowerPoint or high quality JPEG files to a minimum of 300 dpi. Color images should be supplied as TIFF, GIF, EPS, PowerPoint or high quality JPEG files to a minimum of 600 dpi.
Additional figures and tables, methodology, references, video clips, raw data etc, may be published online to supplement the article. If your paper exceeds the word count you should consider if any of the article could be published as a “data supplement”. These files will not be copyedited or typeset.
Patient consent form
We welcome video abstracts to accompany accepted research articles. These allow authors to personally talk through their work beyond the restrictions of a formal article to improve the user’s understanding.
Note that we will not ask you to consider submitting a video abstract until your paper has been accepted. Please do not try to upload a video abstract upon initial submission of your manuscript.
There are many tutorials online which can guide the production of a video abstract, using widely and often freely available software. Windows Movie Maker and Apple iMovie are the most common examples. Examples of video abstracts are available from The BMJ. Below are a few guidelines for making a video abstract. Authors may also want to ask their institution’s press/media office for assistance.
- Video abstracts should not last longer than 4 minutes.
- The content and focus of the video must relate directly to the study that has been accepted for publication, and should not stray beyond the data. We recommend that you follow the same structure as the paper itself i.e. briefly outline the background/context of the study, present your research objective, outline the methods used, present the key results and then discuss the implications of the outcomes.
- The presentation and content of the video should be in a style and in terms that will be understandable and accessible to a general medical audience. The main language should be English, but we welcome subtitles in another language. Please avoid jargon that will not be familiar to a wide medical audience, and do not use abbreviations.
- Authors usually talk directly into the camera and/or present a slideshow, but we encourage the use of other relevant visual and audio material (such as animations, video clips, still photographs, figures, infographics). If you wish to use material from previously published work or from other sources, please obtain the appropriate permissions from the relevant publisher or copyright owner.
- If the video shows any identifiable living patients and/or identifiable personal details, authors need to demonstrate that consent has been obtained. If a patient consent form was provided for the related article, there is no need to provide this again for the video.
- Please use the compression parameters that video sharing sites use. Often these are standard options from your editing software. A comprehensive guide is available from the vimeo website.
Videos are too large to email so will need to be uploaded to BMJ’s account on the Hightail website. Please include the journal’s name and your manuscript ID number in the message field – this will enable us to match your video to your paper. Your video needs to be received by the time that you return the corrections for your article proof, at the very latest. Please note that if you do not correctly label your video or if you miss the deadline, this may cause delays in publication of both your article and the video.
All video abstracts will be assessed for suitability by the editorial team and publication is not guaranteed. In some cases editors may request edits to the video.
Video abstracts are embedded within the research article online and also published separately on the journal’s YouTube channel. They are published under the same copyright terms as the associated article.
Additional material (figures, video clips,tables, appendices etc.) can be published online as supplementary data for any article type. Supplementary data is published as supplied i.e. it is not professionally copyedited or typeset.
The BMJ Publishing Group journals are willing to consider publishing supplements to regular issues. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of:
- 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.
- The BMJPG 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.
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 .
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.