BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine is an open access journal covering all aspects of sport and exercise medicine from physiology to return to play. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine aims to publish original articles considered by peer reviewers to be coherent and technically sound, ensuring that the latest research is disseminated rapidly to a global audience.
BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 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.
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.
As an open access journal, BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine adheres to the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access. Articles are published under a Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content and authors retain copyright; please refer to the BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine Copyright Licence Statement.
As the author you may wish to post your article in a PrePrint service, institutional or subject repository or a scientific social sharing network. For more information on author self archiving and rights to reuse content – which are dependent on the licence you have obtained – please refer to the BMJ author self archiving and permissions policies page.
Article publishing charges
BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine is an open access journal and levies an Article Publishing Charge (APC) of 1,500 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). Charges for publishing a study protocol are 1000 GBP. There are no submission, colour or page charges.
No payment information is requested before an article is accepted, so the ability to pay cannot affect editorial decisions. Accepted articles will not be published until payment has been received. BMJ does not refund APCs once paid.
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.
There is a 25% discount for articles where the corresponding author is a British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine member (or any of the following affiliations listed) or where the corresponding author has reviewed for BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine within the previous 12 months. These discounts cannot be combined.
For more information on open access, funder compliance, discounts and waivers please refer to the BMJ Author Hub open access page.
Corresponding authors who are members of one of the following seventeen organisations will receive a discount off the article publishing charge (APC) as detailed:
American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) – 15%
Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports and Exercise Medicine (ACPSEM) – 15%
Australasian College of Sports and Exercise Physicians (ACSP) – 15%
British Association for Sports and Exercise Medicine (BASEM) – 25%
British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers (BASRAT) – 15%
Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) – 15%
Danish Society of Sports Physiotherapy – 15%
European College of Sports and Exercise Physicians (ECOSEP) – 15%
Finnish Sports Physiotherapist Association (FSPA) – 15%
Gruppo di Interesse Specialistico dell’AIFI (GISPT) – 15%
The Norwegian Association of Sports Medicine and Physical Activity (NIMF) – 15%
The Norwegian Sports Physiotherapy Association (FFI) – 15%
Osteopathic Sports Care Association (OSCA) – 15%
Physio Austria – 15%
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland: Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine – 15%
Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Sportmedizin (SGSM) – 15%
Society of Sports Therapists (SST) – 15%
South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA) – 15%
Sports Doctors Australia (SDrA) – 15%
Sports Medicine Association of Singapore (SMAS) – 15%
Sports Medicine Australia (SMA) – 15%
Sports Physiotherapy Canada (SPC) – 15%
Sports Physiotherapy New Zealand (SPNZ) – 15%
Swiss Sport Physiotherapy Association (SSPA) – 15%
Vereniging voor Sportgeneeskunde (VSG) – 15%
Articles submitted to BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine are subject to peer review. The journal operates single blind peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author; this is the traditional method of reviewing and is the most common. For more information on what to expect during the peer review process please refer to BMJ Author Hub – your papers 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.
BMJ and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine have a facility for transferring manuscripts among their sports medicine journals. Authors submitting to the flagship journal British Journal of Sports Medicine can choose BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 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.
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.
Original Research should not exceed 3000 words; Additional data may be presented as supplementary information, which will be published online only should the article be accepted (this can be in any format: text, tables, images, videos, etc.).
Main body of the paper: We encourage short introductions when the rationale of the study is obvious, i.e. it may be as short as 3 short paragraphs if that addresses “Why we did it”.
We encourage the use of subheadings in the methods, results and discussion. We find it hard to imagine a discussion that has fewer than two subheadings.
Word count: up to 3000 words
Abstract: up to 250 words and structured including the headings Objectives, Methods, Results and Conclusion
Tables/illustrations: up to 6 tables and/or figures
Please include a summary box summarising in 3-4 bullet points “what are the new findings”.
Review articles should provide in-depth (in the order of 4000-4500 words) reviews of both established and new areas in sports and exercise medicine. If you feel your review warrants additional length, consult the editorial office and/or mention the reason in your Cover letter.
Systematic reviews provide Level One evidence; they form a critical part of the literature.
- 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 clinicians with the key question ‘will the findings change what practitioners do?’’
- Succinct and focussed 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.
- A completed PRISMA checklist and flow diagram should accompany the 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.
- We have a Systematic Review Prize for the best Systematic Review every half year.
- Please include a summary box summarising in 3-4 clear and specific bullet points ‘What is already known’ and ‘What are the new findings’.
- Systematic review registration: registry and number (if registered)
Word count: up to 4500 words
Abstract: up to 250 words
Tables/illustrations: Maximum 6 tables and/or figures
References: up to 100
Checklist: Prisma checklist/statement and flowchart
We consider narrative reviews of general topics of importance to the sports and exercise medicine clinician. Authors should clearly outline in their cover letter why a narrative review is appropriate rather than a systematic review.
All titles should include ‘a Narrative Review’.
Please include a summary box summarising in 3-4 bullet points ‘What is already known’ and ‘What are the new findings’.
Word count: up to 4000 words
Abstract: up to 250 words
Tables/illustrations: Maximum 6 tables and/or figures
References: up to 80
BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine will consider protocols for any study design, including observational studies and systematic reviews.
Protocol manuscripts should report planned or ongoing research studies. If data collection is complete we will not consider the manuscript.
Publishing study protocols enables researchers and funding bodies to stay up to date in their fields by providing exposure to research activity that may not otherwise be widely publicised. This can help prevent unnecessary duplication of work and will hopefully enable collaboration. Publishing protocols in full also makes available more information than is currently required by trial registries and increases transparency, making it easier for others (editors, reviewers and readers) to see and understand any deviations from the protocol that occur during the conduct of a study.
Protocols should have the following structure:
Title: this should include the specific study type, e.g. randomised controlled trial.
Abstract: this should be structured with the following sections: Introduction; Methods and analysis; Ethics and Dissemination. Registration details should be included as a final section, if appropriate.
Introduction: explain the rationale for the study and what evidence gap it may fill. Appropriate previous literature should be referenced, including relevant systematic reviews.
Methods and analysis: provide a full description of the study design, including the following: how the sample will be selected; interventions to be measured; the sample size calculation (drawing on previous literature) with an estimate of how many participants are needed for the primary outcome to be statistically, clinically and/or politically significant; what outcomes will be measured, when and how; a data analysis plan.
Ethics and dissemination: ethical and safety considerations and any dissemination plan (publications, data deposition and curation) should be covered here.
Authors’ contributions: state how each author was involved in writing the protocol.
Funding statement: preferably worded in one of two ways: ‘This work was supported by [name of funder] grant number [xxx]’ or ‘This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors’.
Competing interests statement
Protocols for studies that will require ethical approval, such as trials, are unlikely to be considered without having received that approval.
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