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BMJ Health & Care Informatics publishes international, peer-reviewed, high-quality research and evaluation, reviews, protocols, letters, commentaries and communication articles.

The essential scope of the journal is how informatics supports improvements in direct health and care service provision, but also incorporates public health strategies and interventions, implementation of learning health systems and national policy issues.

A core purpose of the journal is to bring together the academic and practitioner communities, so we invite professionals in health and care informatics who are unfamiliar with the conventions and processes of academic publishing to contact the editorial office for guidance on writing for publication.


Editorial policy

BMJ Health & Care Informatics 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, including information about our Editors’ roles and responsibilities. 

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.


Copyright and authors’ rights

As an open access journal, BMJ Health & Care Informatics adheres to the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access. 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. Such open access articles can be reused under the terms of the relevant Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC or CC-BY) to facilitate reuse of the content. Please refer to the BMJ Health & Care Informatics Author Licence. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.

When publishing in BMJ Health & Care Informatics, authors choose between two licence types – 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.

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 Health & Care Informatics 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 Product Owner of BMJ’s Article Transfer Service for more information or assistance.



Article processing charges

BMJ Health & Care Informatics is an open access journal and levies an Article Processing Charge (APC) of 1,500 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). BCS members are eligible for a 25% discount on their APC. There are no submission or page charges, and no colour charges.

In recognition of reviewers’ support for BMJ Health & Care Informatics, any reviewer that returns a full review on time can receive a 25% discount on the APC for a paper for which they are the corresponding author, if submitted within 12 months of completing the review.

As one of the founding members of the HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme, we provide free access to all of our journals, and journals archive to local, not-for-profit institutions in low income countries. In addition, we appreciate that some authors do not have access to funding to cover publication costs and we offer waivers through our Open Access Waiver Fund. We will accept part payment where only limited funds are available, and we offer waivers to authors in exceptional circumstances, on request.

Find out if you are eligible for institutional funding

A number of institutions have open access agreements with BMJ which can either cover the whole cost of open access publishing for authors at participating institutions or can allow authors to receive a discount of the Article Processing Charge (APC).

Visit BMJ’s open access agreements page to find out whether your institution is a member and what discounts you may be entitled to.

BMJ also grants waivers and discounts* in specific circumstances, for more information on publishing open access with BMJ visit our Author Hub.

*Please note that applications for waivers or discounts should be made during initial submission and not after an article has been accepted. Editors are not involved in this process and the ability to pay has no bearing on editorial decisions. Payment will not be required unless your article is accepted. Accepted articles will not be published until payment has been received. BMJ does not refund APCs once paid.


Peer Review

Articles submitted to BMJ Health & Care Informatics 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. For more information on what to expect during the peer review process please refer to BMJ Author Hub – your paper’s journey.

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.

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.

ORCID

BMJ Health & Care Informatics 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.

Manuscript transfer

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.


Data sharing

BMJ Health & Care Informatics 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.


Submission guidelines

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

Please review the below article type specifications. 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. Please see the SPIRIT-AI Extension  and CONSORT-AI Extension for AI trials where applicable. Please refer to the following reporting guidance: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27198112

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

Original research

Original Research papers should be structured as follows: Introduction (including literature/subject overview, relevant theoretical background and study objectives), Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions.

Authors should also complete a summary box, titled Summary, explaining the significance of their study by providing each of the following key questions:

  • What is already known?
  • What does this paper add?

The answer to each key question should be in the form of two to three single sentence bullet points. The above headings must be used. Please add this in the manuscript file following the abstract.

Word count: max 3,000 excluding abstract and references.
Abstract: 250 words, structured abstract with study Objectives, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion.
References: max 30 references, up to 5 tables/figures (additional tables/figures should be submitted as supplemental file).

Review

Reviews should be structured as follows: Introduction (including literature/subject overview, relevant theoretical background and study objectives), Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions. Systematic review and meta-analysis are encouraged.

Word count: max 3,500 excluding abstract and references.
Abstract: 250 words, structured abstract with study Objectives, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion.
References: max 35 references, up to 5 tables/figures (additional tables/figures should be submitted as supplemental file).

Protocol (including systematic review protocols)

Protocol manuscripts should report planned or ongoing research studies. Study protocols should be structured as follows: Introduction (including literature/subject overview, relevant theoretical background and study objectives), Methods and analysis; Ethics and dissemination.

Word count: max 1,500 words
Abstract: 150 words, structured (Introduction; Methods and analysis; Ethics and dissemination)
References: max 20 references, up to 4 tables/figures (additional tables/figures should be submitted as supplemental file).

Education report

Education reports will discuss the development or evaluation of education or training in the areas of health and care informatics, and clinical and translational bioinformatics. They may include, dissemination of novel approaches to delivering education, evaluation of pedagogic approaches used during education delivery and also publication of novel approaches to curriculum design. The report should be structured as far as possible in the style of a research publication: Introduction (including literature/subject overview, relevant theoretical background and study objectives), Methods (where an analysis has been undertaken), Results, Discussion, Conclusions.

Word Count: Education reports should aim for 1,200 words and should not exceed 1,500 words
References: max 15 references, only 1 table/figure is allowed. (additional tables/figures should be submitted as supplemental file).

Implementer report

Implementer reports are a specific type of Short Report that allows frontline practitioners to publish their experiences with health and care informatics projects. These reports are analogous to clinical case reports: case studies with valuable and transferable lessons. Reports that present a design, deployment or management challenge, or that highlight mechanisms of digital transformation, culture change or unexpected outcomes will be of particular educational value. Implementer 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).

Implementer reports enjoy a reduced Article Processing Charge of only £200 + VAT. Authors must be from healthcare organisations rather than system vendors.

Word count: max 1,200 words
Abstract: 150 words, structured abstract with study Objectives, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions.
References: max 10 references, only 1 table/figure is allowed. (additional tables/figures should be submitted as supplemental file).

Short report

To report a case study, a limited set of data or preliminary findings. Short Reports should be structured as follows: Introduction (including literature/subject overview, relevant theoretical background and study objectives), Methods, Results and Discussion.

Word count: max 800 words excluding abstract and references.
References: max 8 references, up to 1 tables/figures (additional tables/figures should be submitted as supplemental file).

Communication

A communication 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 ideas, theories, methods and innovations relating to contemporary issues in health and care informatics.

If you are interested in submitting a communication article to BMJ Health & Care Informatics, we ask that you send us a pre-submission enquiry via our online submission system. You will be asked to provide a title, an abstract, and a cover letter explaining why you think your work is appropriate as a communication article for BMJ Health & Care Informatics.

Word count: We recommend a word count of approximately 700 words (not including references). If you expect that your word count will exceed our recommendations, please mention this in the cover letter of your pre-submission enquiry along with a justification. No abstract required.
References: max 8 references, only 1 table/figure is allowed (additional tables/figures should be submitted as supplemental file).

Letter

Please note all Letters are subject to editorial approval.

Word count: max 400 words
References: max 5 references. No abstract or tables/figures allowed

Editorial

Editorials are usually commissioned by the Editor in Chief to accompany a submitted research paper, but proposals may be submitted to the editorial office for consideration.

Word count: max 800 words, no abstract or figure/table.
References: max 10 references.


Supplements

BMJ 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.
  • 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