For authors



Editorial policy

ADC Education and Practice adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics, scientific misconduct, consent and peer review criteria. To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page.

Any statement that relies on a preprint for its evidence should state clearly in the text that the reference cited is a preprint.


Plan S compliance

ADC Education and Practice is a Plan S compliant Transformative Journal. Transformative Journals are one of the compliance routes offered by cOAlition S funders, such as Wellcome, WHO and UKRI. Find out more about Transformative Journals and Plan S compliance on our Author Hub.


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 Archives of Disease in Childhood: Education & Practice Author Licence for the applicable Creative Commons licences. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.

When publishing in ADC: Education & Practice, 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 publishing 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.


Peer review process

Articles submitted to Archives of Disease in Childhood: Education & Practice are subject to peer review. In most instances we aim for two external opinions (and often additional statistical assessment) for reasons of fairness and science. The journal is not prepared to compromise on this stance. The journal operates single anonymised peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author; 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. 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 in research publication; these are based on the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Please refer to our peer review terms and conditions policy page.

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. During the submission process, authors must not suggest reviewers who are current or recent colleagues of themselves or their co-authors. For more information about suggesting reviewers please visit our Author Hub.

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.

Manuscript transfer

BMJ and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have a facility for transferring manuscripts among their paediatric journals. Authors submitting to the flagship journal Archives of Disease in Childhood can choose BMJ Paediatrics Open as an ‘alternate journal’.  

Once authors agree for their manuscript to be transferred to another BMJ journal, all versions of the manuscript, any supplementary files and peer review comments will automatically be transferred on the author’s behalf. Please note that there is no guarantee of acceptance. Contact the editorial team for more information or assistance.


Article processing charges

During submission, authors can choose to have their article published open access for 3,600 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). Publishing open access has multiple benefits including wider reach, faster impact and increased citation and usage. There are no submission, page or colour figure charges.

Waivers and discounts

If authors choose to publish their article open access, an APC waiver may be available. Before applying for an APC waiver please consider:

(1) Does your institution have an open access agreement with BMJ? If it does, then this may cover all or part of the APC for your article. Check BMJ’s open access agreements page to find out whether your institution is a member and what discounts you may be entitled to.

(2) Have you received funding from a funder with an open access mandate or policy that covers paying APCs? If so, BMJ expects that the APC will be paid in full.
If neither (1) nor (2) above apply then consider

(3) Are all the authors of your article based in low-income countries*? If so, you are eligible to apply for a full or partial waiver from BMJ.
Visit our author hub to learn more about our waivers policy and how to request one.

Please note that regardless of the funding situation, authors can still choose to publish with us at no cost, and articles will be made available to our subscribers.

*This list is reviewed annually and is based upon HINARI Core Offer Groups A and B, and the World Bank Country and Lending Groups.


ORCID

Archives of Disease in Childhood: Education & Practice 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.

Contact a section editor

Rapid responses

A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in ADC Education & Practice; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed. Find out more about responses and how to submit a response.

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. The journal prefers titles to follow the format ‘field of study: study design’. For example, ‘Early micronutrient intake and cognitive function: a cohort study’. 

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

BMJ requires that all those designated as authors should meet all four ICMJE criteria for authorship.

Would you like to write for E&P? If you have an idea for an article, please complete this form and email it to the relevant section editor who will be happy to discuss it with you.


Best Practice

The Best Practice section aims to give a concise, definitive, evidence-based review of how to manage a particular situation in paediatrics. There are several possible styles of paper; the most popular is the Fifteen Minute Consultation. The fifteen minutes refers to the time to read the paper.

The paper should be brief, pertinent to clinical practice and informative. Consider what you would want to know when applying this in clinical practice. Imagine you are writing a guide for a general paediatrician to read in the 15 minutes prior to start of a clinic or during a clinical shift. It should be enjoyable to read and easy to understand while still being evidence based.

One approach is to set the clinical scenario with a brief case that highlights a common issue or questions. Then outline the management approach. Good recent examples include:
Fifteen-minute consultation: Emergency management of children presenting with hyperkalaemia,
Rubens M, Kanaris C Arch Dis Child Ed Pract Ed, 2021

The paper was good because:

  • It provides a good structure to manage the clinical picture
  • It tackled a real-world clinical problem
  • It made good use of illustrations
  • It is concise and clear

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 many references.

Please provide five extending matching multiple choice questions based on the content of your article, with which readers can test their understanding of your paper. Please include the answers.

How patients were involved in the creation of this article
ADC E&P is seeking to advance partnership with carers, children and young people (CYP). Authors should seek their input into articles wherever relevant and document their involvement. This aspect can be highlighted by either inculcating
a) Case experiences the article may be based on
b) Parents/CYP as a co-author, when they have been equal partners in writing of the article. This should not be tokenistic and should fulfil ICJME requirements as for all authors.

c) Include a Parent/CYP commentary, to sit within or alongside an article to provide patient perspective on the topic.
d) Author initiated patient review: authors may ask carers/CYP to review an early draft. Questions may include “what is missing, what would you do differently?”
e) Information/resources which can be used to signpost patients, e.g., infographics, webpages, parents/carer information leaflets.

If the included case is recognisable, you’ll need formal signed patient consent for every version which you submit to us. An alternative is to provide case experience about a “composite patient”, allowing you to change details.

In your statement, please specify how patients were involved and how the article changed as a result of their contribution. If you did not seek input from patients, please include a statement saying that no patients were involved. Ideally input from patients will be sought at the article planning stage.

Authors
Although a senior author is required, Best Practice articles can be written by paediatricians of any grade. Your article will undergo external peer review.

  • Word count: max 1500 for main text (not including references, tables, etc.). Provide a brief (250 word) introduction.
  • Illustrations: at least two, preferably more, boxes, tables and figures. Include the search strategies for the evidence base as a box where appropriate. A box with the clinical bottom line should be included to provide a series of bullet points (max. five).
  • References: max. 20.

Pre-submission
At E&P we are keen to support novice writers. We encourage you to contact us pre-submission.
Please complete an author proposal form. We will provide feedback before formal submission.

Contact: Neelam Gupta (neelam.gupta@gstt.nhs.uk) for general queries


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. 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 the editors or the editorial office.

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


Quality Improvement: 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;
99:23–27.

Using data to improve care
Cheung CRLH, et al.
Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed 2013;
98:224–229.

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 include at least two, and preferably more, boxes, table and figures, and make use of full colour. 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


Guideline Review

The aim of Guideline Review articles is to give a clear, concise and practical summary for the generalist, distilling key information that is relevant to everyday clinical practice. The suggested structure is shown below but can be adapted and certain points may be more/less relevant for individual guidelines.
Boxes and figures are strongly encouraged to split up the text and highlight key points, definitions, etc. There is no colour charged for E&P articles, so you can make full use of colour.
If you would like to write a Guideline Review, please contact the Guideline Review editors in advance with your proposal, to make sure we do not already have a review in process for that guideline.

Structure

1) Background: optional but may help ‘set the scene’ for some topics
2) Information about the current guideline: brief introduction including (for example) aim, publication date and key stakeholders
3) Previous guideline(s) – any previous national/international guideline. It may be relevant to add what it didn’t cover
4) BOX: Resources: e.g. link to full guideline, link to exec summary, link to posters, link to associated educational resources
5) Key issues the guideline addresses – subheadings are useful
6) Underlying evidence base: (optional and will depend on individual guideline)

7) What do I need to know:
(include as applicable)

  • What should I stop doing?
  • What should I start doing?
  • What can I continue to do as before?
  • What should I do differently?
  • Life or limb saving points

8) Critical appraisal and/or unresolved controversies – As well as including unresolved issues/lack of research noted by the guideline group, please try to critique/add a commentary as authors – this works best as additional ‘Critical review’ box (approx. 300 words).
9) BOX: Three take-home messages as bullet points
Whilst it is useful to stick to this overall structure, please do feel free to be imaginative. Other boxes or subheadings may be helpful e.g. How do I implement these guidelines in my practice/What do I need to do to inform the families in my care/Key points for the general paediatrician/’What if…’

Word count: 800-1000 words
Figures/tables: up to four
References: eight maximum

Good examples

Interpretations

The Interpretations section is an evidence-based resource for clinicians directing the use of clinical tests, including examination techniques. Interpretations highlight when not to use a test and the limits of interpretation of test results.

Any test used in paediatric practice lends itself to an Interpretation, including everyday tests, whether performed in a laboratory, at the bedside or in a radiology department. Another category that may be discussed is clinical examination techniques. Imagine you are writing a guide for a general paediatrician to read in 10 minutes, prior to clinic starting or during a busy clinical shift.

An Interpretation is not a standard review in disguise. Clinical scenarios are the backbone of Interpretations through which authors discuss the use of tests performed within a specific context in a specific group. These clinical scenarios should use the PICO patient, intervention, comparison and outcome) format of evidence-based medicine. A question might be posed as “In newborns presenting with X, do positive test results (intervention) rule in (outcome) a diagnosis of Y?” The implicit comparison in the question is to the pretest probability of diagnosis Y. At the end of your scenarios, a table summarising the test diagnostic accuracy should be included.

As part of your Interpretation, please provide an infographic that includes the key learning from your article. This will be shared on social media to disseminate your article. The infographic can be created using free software like Piktochart or Canva.

Authors
Interpretations can be written by paediatricians of any grade, though a senior author with specialist knowledge of the test should be involved. Your article will undergo peer review by independent reviewers.

Pre-submission
At E&P we are keen to support novice writers. We encourage you to contact us pre-submission. Please complete an author proposal form. We can provide feedback to further shape the article before submission and, if appropriate, issue a formal commission through the journal’s online submission system.

Contact: Neelam Gupta (neelam.gupta@gstt.nhs.uk)

  • Word limit: max. 1500 words, excluding references, tables, infographics. Use the first 500 words to introduce the investigation and the remaining 1000 to present 3-5 scenarios outlining how to use or not use the investigation.
  • References: max. 20.
  • Figures/Tables: max. three, including one infographic.
  • Table: one, required, reporting test accuracy.
  • Boxed text: one box, stating the clinical bottom line using up to five bullet points.

Learning and Teaching

Articles in this section aim to introduce the reader to key concepts in paediatric medical education. Articles should be based on sound educational theory but written in a way which will be of relevance to the general paediatrician who may, or may not, have any formal training in medical education. We are keen that articles contain practical advice on how the reader can incorporate key learning points into their own practice.

Further guidance on how to write an effective Learning & teaching article can be found here.

Article style:

        • Word limit: Max of 1250 words
        • References: Max of 20 references
        • Figures/Tables: Max of 3
        • We encourage authors to include an infographic clearly displaying key learning points from the article


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


Medicines Update

Medicines Updates are evidence-based resources about the safe and efficient use of medicines in children.

Full details and advice on how to write a successful Medicines Update, with examples, can be found here.

Articles should be brief, pertinent to clinical practice and informative. Readability is important.

There is a huge variety of medicines used in children, however, rather than publishing “All there is to know about antibiotics” we want to publish articles that answer a specific clinical question, e.g. “what should I consider when prescribing prophylactic antibiotics for UTI in babies?”.
An infographic that includes the key learning from your article may help readers to capture the information, especially on a digital platform. We could also share this on social media to promote your article.

We encourage you to contact us pre-submission with an outline of your proposal (half a side of A4) along with author details. Please include the specific clinical question you want to answer. We can provide feedback to further shape the article before submission. Articles of interest will be sent for external peer review.

Contact: Louise.Bracken@alderhey.nhs.uk and Andrea.Gill@alderhey.nhs.uk or via info.adc@bmj.com

Article style:

  • Word count: max. 1500, including 200-word introduction, not including key points, references, etc.
  • References: max. 20.
  • Tables/Figures: 2-4 figures, boxes or tables
  • Key points: text box or diagram outlining 3-5 key learning points from the article
  • MCQs: please provide five extending, matching, multiple choice questions based on the content of your article (please include the answers, too).


Research in Practice

The Research in Practice section introduces and inspires readers in areas of research relevant to paediatric practice. This includes covering a range of methods from basic science, novel imaging approaches and novel therapies, to clinical trials and qualitative approaches. This section also includes overviews of initiatives aimed at developing and improving implementation of education and research skills. Submissions are welcome from any area relevant to child health.

An overview of this section can be found in this article.

Articles should not be in depth reviews, but rather introduce concepts, methods and/or processes. Articles may include historical perspective of how a particular advance has changed practice, or how a method/approach/treatment has moved from the research setting into standard practice. Where possible, articles should include relevant selected examples and direct readers to other resources to further explore an area (e.g., through careful selection of references).

Within this section a successful series of “What is…?” articles have introduced a range of areas, techniques, significant national projects, educational initiatives and infrastructure to readers, and we are keen to receive articles to further develop this series (see e.g. What is next generation sequencing?).

Please note that as a peer reviewed journal, your article will undergo peer review by at least two independent reviewers.

At E&P we are keen to support novice writers. Non-commissioned articles are welcome but we encourage you to contact us pre-submission with an outline of your proposal along with author details. We can provide you with feedback to further shape the article before submission and, if appropriate, issue a formal commission through the journal’s online submission system.

Contact: John Apps john.apps1@nhs.net and Bob Phillips bob.phillips@doctors.org.uk or via the editorial office (info.adc@bmj.com).

Article style:

  • Word count: max. 1200 words, excluding references, boxes, tables or diagrams.
  • Illustrations/tables: max. two in total. These must be clear and labelled appropriately.
  • References: max. 10.


Public Health

Series Aim:

This series seeks to introduce key concepts in public health to child health professionals; to explain how these concepts relate to practicing paediatricians; to stimulate interest in, and signpost to further resources for, further learning around topics in child public health.

Intended audience:

Predominantly paediatricians and paediatricians-in-training, but also to public health specialists and any health professional involved in the care of children and young people (including general practitioners, allied health professionals, and mental health professionals)

Style of paper:

These papers should fit the “15 minute consultation” papers format, in the Education and Practice (E&P) section of Archives of Disease in Childhood. This style tries to give a concise review of a particular topic in paediatrics.

A good recent example of an article in the Public Health series includes:

This paper was good because:
        • its structure outlined key concepts in a digestible format;
        • it drew attention to controversies, while giving the reader practical examples of why that might affect their clinical practice
Suggested common themes for articles in the series:
        1. Theoretical concepts for each topic
        2. Why is this topic relevant for practicing paediatricians and child health professionals?
        3. Real life examples which illustrate the topic, including the role of both clinicians and public health professionals respectively
        4. Priorities for research involving children and young people in the topic area
        5. Further educational resources, and opportunities to pursue practical involvement
Specific instructions:
        • Please feel free to include other authors provided their contribution is significant and adds value
        • Word count should not be more than 1500, and definitely no more than 2000 words, excluding references. (All text in boxes are excluded from this word count)
        • No more than 20 references – strictly enforced.
        • Include search strategies for the evidence base as an appendix or box where appropriate
        • Please include at least two, and preferably more, boxes, table and figures. Text included in these do not contribute to the 2000 word limit.
        • Please make use of full colour for figures and tables. The submission instructions mention a charge for colour: this is 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.
        • A specific comment about the 15 minute consultation style; the 15 minutes refers to the time that you, the expert, have with the reader.
        • Your article will need to be submitted through the ScholarOne system. If you have been commissioned, please follow the instructions.
        • Your article will undergo peer review, and journal instructions regarding conflict of interest and other statements would of course apply.

Supplements

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.

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