Authors


Editorial policy

BMJ Innovations adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics, scientific misconduct, consent and peer review criteria. The journal follows guidance produced by bodies that include the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page.

Research ethics and consent

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 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.

Competing interests

To make the best decision on how to deal with a manuscript, BMJ Innovations 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 Innovations 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.

Publication misconduct

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.


Plan S compliance

BMJ Innovations 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 BMJ Innovations Author Licence for the applicable Creative Commons licences. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.

When publishing in BMJ Innovations, 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.


Provenance and peer review

Articles submitted to BMJ Innovations are subject to peer review. The journal operates single anonymised peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author; two external reviewer reports are obtained before an Original research or Review article is accepted for publication. WManuscripts 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.

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.

We welcome reader responses, questions and comments to published content; these should be submitted electronically via the journals website. Please find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.

Plagarism checks

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.


Data sharing

BMJ Innovations adheres to BMJ’s Tier 3 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.

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 Innovations 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.

Patient and public partnership

BMJ encourages active patient and public involvement in clinical research as part of its patient and public partnership strategy. To support co-production of research we request that authors provide a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the methods section of their papers, under the subheading ‘Patient and public involvement’.

We appreciate that patient and public involvement is relatively new and may not be feasible or appropriate for all papers. We therefore continue to consider papers where patients were not involved.

The Patient and Public Involvement statement should provide a brief response to the following questions, tailored as appropriate for the study design reported:

  • At what stage in the research process were patients/the public first involved in the research and how?
  • How were the research question(s) and outcome measures developed and informed by their priorities, experience, and preferences?
  • How were patients/the public involved in the design of this study?
  • How were they involved in the recruitment to and conduct of the study?
  • Were they asked to assess the burden of the intervention and time required to participate in the research?
  • How were (or will) they be involved in your plans to disseminate the study results to participants and relevant wider patient communities (e.g. by choosing what information/results to share, when, and in what format)?

If patients were not involved please state this.

In addition to considering the points above we advise authors to look at guidance for best reporting of patient and public involvement as set out in the GRIPP2 reporting checklist

If the Patient and Public Involvement statement  is missing in the submitted manuscript we will request that authors provide it.

Article transfer service

BMJ is committed to ensuring that all good quality research is published. Our article transfer service helps authors find the best journal for their research while providing an easy and smooth publication process. If authors agree to transfer their manuscript, all versions, supplementary files and peer reviewer comments are automatically transferred; there is no need to resubmit or reformat.

Authors who submit to the BMJ Innovations and are rejected will be offered the option of transferring to another BMJ Journal, such as BMJ Open.

Please note that the article transfer service does not guarantee acceptance but you should receive a quicker initial decision on your manuscript.

Contact the Transfer Editor at transfers@bmj.com


Article processing charges

During submission, authors can choose to have their article published open access for 2,500 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.


Rapid responses

A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in BMJ Innovations; 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.

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.

Original research

Original research papers should follow the basic structure of abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion, references, and tables and figures as appropriate. We encourage the use of subheadings in the methods, results and discussion.

Please include the key messages of your article after your abstract using the following headings. This section should be no more than 3-5 sentences and should be distinct from the abstract; be succinct, specific and accurate.

      • What is already known on this topicsummarise the state of scientific knowledge on this subject before you did your study and why this study needed to be done
      • What this study addssummarise what we now know as a result of this study that we did not know before
      • How this study might affect research, practice or policysummarise the implications of this study

This will be published as a summary box after the abstract in the final published article.

Authors should be aware that the journal has a diverse readership that may include designers, physicians, engineers, academics, entrepreneurs, public health workers, nurses, policy makers and others involved in using innovative ways to solve healthcare challenges. Your article should be written in plain English for a varied audience, avoiding the use of technical terms and specialist acronyms.

Articles should adopt the following format and should also be written in accordance with the relevant research reporting guideline.

Research reviews that systematically synthesise evidence (e.g. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Scoping reviews, Mixed methods reviews, etc) should be submitted as Systematic reviews.

Following the lead of The BMJ and its patient partnership strategy, BMJ Innovations is encouraging active patient involvement in setting the research agenda. As such, from January 2021 we require authors of original research to add a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the Methods section. Please see more details above for BMJ Innovations patient and partnership strategy.

Word count: up to 3000 words
Abstract: up to 250 words
Tables/Illustrations: maximum 6 tables and/or figures
References: up to 50

Systematic review

Systematic reviews provide a high-level summary of all the available primary research on healthcare innovations.

        • We are looking for experts to synthesise the literature and to comment on the outcomes of the review in a meaningful and clinically relevant way.
        • The topic must be of relevance to healthcare innovation with the key question ‘will the findings change healthcare practice?’’
        • Succinct and focused reviews, with questions that are topical, novel or controversial that will attract readers and researchers to the journal are more likely to be accepted.
        • The literature search should have been completed within 12 months of manuscript submission.
        • All systematic reviews (with or without meta-analysis) should address all the items recommended in the PRISMA statement.
        • All titles should include ‘a Systematic Review’
        • A structured Abstract should be added to the Main Document. Including headings Objective, Design, Data sources, Eligibility criteria for selecting studies, Results and Summary/Conclusion.
        • Please include a summary box summarising in 4-5 clear and specific bullet points ‘What is already known’ and ‘What are the new findings’.

Please include the key messages of your article after your abstract using the following headings. This section should be no more than 3-5 sentences and should be distinct from the abstract; be succinct, specific and accurate.

  • What is already known on this topicsummarise the state of scientific knowledge on this subject before you did your study and why this study needed to be done
  • What this study addssummarise what we now know as a result of this study that we did not know before
  • How this study might affect research, practice or policysummarise the implications of this studyThis will be published as a summary box after the abstract in the final published article.

Word count: up to 4000 words
Abstract: up to 250 words
Tables/Illustrations: maximum 6 tables and/or figures
References: up to 80

Review

Review articles should provide in-depth reviews of established or new areas in healthcare innovation. We recommend all authors submit a proposal to the editor in advance for feedback and to ensure suitability for BMJ Innovations.

We consider narrative reviews of general topics of importance to healthcare innovations. We recommend all authors submit a proposal to the editor in advance for feedback and to ensure suitability for BMJ Innovations. Please include a summary box summarising in 3-4 bullet points ‘What is already known’ and ‘What are the new findings’.

Research reviews that systematically synthesise evidence (e.g. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Scoping reviews, Mixed methods reviews, etc) are classified by the journal as Systematic reviews and must be submitted as such.

Please note that we do not consider case studies as narrative reviews (e.g. where the article mostly concerns the author’s writing about their own work).

Word count: up to 4000 words
Abstract: up to 250 words
Tables/Illustrations: maximum 6 tables and/or figures
References: up to 80

Editorial

Editorials are commissioned only. The aim of an Editorial is to stimulate thought (often with more questions than answers) rather than review the subject exhaustively. Editorials are often linked to one or more articles published in the same issue. Personal opinion and comment are perfectly legitimate since the Editorial is not anonymous, though of course such opinion needs to be reasonable and backed up by appropriate evidence.

Word count: up to 1200-1500 words
Illustrations/Tables: maximum 2 tables and/or figures
References: up to 30

Discussion

A discussion article will cover content that does not fit within our existing article types, but is of interest to the journal’s readership. Rather than presenting primary research, it is an opportunity to present a balanced discussion on ideas, theories, methods and experience relating to cutting edge in the world of healthcare innovations.

If you are interested in submitting a discussion article to BMJ Innovations, we ask that you send us a pre-submission enquiry by email to info.innovations@bmj.com. Please provide a provisional title, an abstract, and explain why you think your work is appropriate as a discussion article.

We also encourage point-counterpoint discussions. These are pairs of papers directly debating two sides of an issue or opinions or presenting differing perspectives on the same topic written by different authors.

Word count: up to 2500 words, if you expect that your word count will exceed our recommendations, please mention this in your pre-submission enquiry along with a justification
Illustrations/Tables: maximum 2 tables and/or figures
References: up to 30


Early-stage innovation report

Early-stage innovation reports are a specific type of article that allows healthcare innovators to publish their early-stage innovations. These reports are analogous to clinical case studies with valuable and transferable lessons for the readership of BMJ Innovations.

Reports that present an original device design, implementation of an innovation approach to a system or process challenge, or development of a digital health solution are particularly encouraged. 

Early-stage innovation reports should be structured as follows: Introduction (including background, operational aims and objectives), Methods (how the intervention was designed, implemented, evaluated), Results (what actually happened, qualitative or quantitative or both), Discussion (limitations, reflection on what was learned), Conclusions (what can be useful for other implementers, or what needs further research).

Please also include a summary box summarising in 4-5 bullet points “what are the new findings” and “how might it impact on healthcare in the future”.

Word count: up to 2,500 words
Illustrations/Tables: maximum 2 tables and/or figures
References: up to 30

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