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For guidelines on policy and submission across our journals, please click on the links below:

Open Access

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

We do not offer refunds for Open Access once articles have been published.

Colour figure charges

There are no colour charges.

Article types and word counts

The majority of the journal, with the exception of our Equipment section, is commissioned content. If you’ve got an idea for something to write, please do get in touch with the appropriate section editor before doing a lot of work on a paper.

The editors have developed some guidance on writing that you can view here.

Each article’s word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements and contributions and the references. All submissions should be double-spaced, except for tables, which should be single spaced.

If you are not a native English speaker and would like assistance with your paper there is a professional editing service available.

BMJ’s pre-submission checklist

Self-assessment questions: Epilogue

The merit of this section is in using high-quality image(s) to remind the readers about the important features of a common clinical problem and using MCQs to produce useful learning points and take-home messages. This is also a useful format for trainees as well as established authors.

We invite readers to submit cases accompanied by questions. The text should be no more than 600 words, and might be accompanied by one or two figures, preferably clinical images, though good-quality radiology figures will be considered, and 4 or 5 MCQs. Radiology images should be of a standard that paediatricians would be able to identify the important feature and should be 300×300 dpi. Real-life cases must have parent/patient consent and be anonymised. Answers should be given, with a punchy learning point: 1 sentence each. Submissions will be peer-reviewed before publication. Authors will be credited in the journal.

If you want to know more please contact Mark Tighe or the editorial office, or to submit a question to and submit under the ‘Epilogue’ category.

Word count: 600 words
Tables/Illustrations: 1-2

Equipment QI reports

The aim of these reports is to showcase good practice in paediatric QI and to share experiences and learning. We are particularly keen to highlight both successes and failures, as it is often from the failures that we learn the most. The emphasis may be on small achievable projects led by frontline staff, not just large scale change.

Intended audience

Reports are intended for anyone interested in improving child health. We particularly hope this will inspire frontline clinicians to undertake their own QI projects. The focus is on learning and understanding the process of QI.

Style of the paper

The papers should be brief, to the point and informative, and they should be limited to one side of paper in the journal (700 words max). Our hope is that the paper would provide enough information to allow the QI work to be spread and others to make use of it.

Article structure

Please use the following headings (in capitals) and address the points within each:

  • Summary: Summarise your project and the clinical setting (one sentence) e.g. Implementation of a PEWs chart in a rural district general paediatric inpatient ward.
  • The Problem: Why did you choose this project, what was the quality/safety issue? How did you identify the problem?
  • Aims: What were the aims of your project? Be as specific and as SMART as possible.
  • Making a Case for Change: How did you communicate the need for change? Who did you need to involve in your project and how did you do this?
  • Your Improvements: Outline the changes and how you implemented them, including the QI tools/techniques used e.g. PDSA cycles. How do you know the changes you made resulted in improvement? What were the outcomes of your project and how will you ensure that they are sustained?
  • Learning and Next Steps: What would you do differently next time and what were the secrets to success (where did you find support)? What are your next steps in this project- where next?

Equipped commissioning guide

The Equipped series of articles aims to introduce readers to core Quality Improvement concepts. Using Child Health examples, change theories, improvement models and relevant resources can be demonstrated and shared. There is a strong emphasis on practical suggestions to enable readers to embark upon their own projects.

Intended audience

All child health professionals looking to undertake quality improvement work and looking for an introduction to core QI themes with examples.

Good examples are:

Patient involvement in quality improvement: is it time we let children, young people and families take the lead?
Robertson S, et al.
Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed 2014;

Using data to improve care
Cheung CRLH, et al.
Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed 2013;

These are good because:

  • They use specific examples to highlight a QI theory or model
  • The underlying theory is clearly explained in a practical way
  • They are focused on supporting readers to undertake similar work
  • They use illustrations and text boxes for clarity
Specific instructions:

Please feel free to include other authors provided their contribution is significant and adds value. Remember: “I’m sorry I wrote such a long letter; I didn’t have time to write a shorter one” – Abraham Lincoln, and take a look at this paper which changed the world in around 650 words.

Please include at least two, and preferably more, boxes, table and figures, and make use of full colour. Colour charges are not applicable in E&P. A common pitfall is to write a textbook chapter. Clues that you are doing this will include an overlong article, getting stuck in detail that only very expert readers need to appreciate, and the need for very many references. If you’re falling into this trap, and want help, then your commissioning editor should be able to assist you. Many authors find this advice helpful.

Your article will need to be submitted through the ScholarOne system. If you have been commissioned, please follow the instructions. Please note that as a peer reviewed journal, your article will undergo peer review. This allows us to ensure we are publishing high quality work, and our peer reviewers almost invariably help to improve papers.

Word count: maximum 3000 words excluding references, boxes, tables and diagrams.
Figures/tables: are encouraged
References: 30-40 should suffice


For guidance on how to wrie an Interpretations article please read section editor Sam Behjati’s helpful article on the subject.

Read the paper for free here

Problem solving in clinical practice

There is a very helpful article to guide would-be authors as to how to write a successful Problem Solving in Clinical Practice article

Read the paper for free here


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.

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

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

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