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For guidelines on policy and submission across our journals, please click on the links below:
BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine is a new 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.
Open Access and the Article Publishing Charge (APC)
Open Access means unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse. Open Access publishing strives to facilitate the development of new medicines and healthcare by disseminating ideas and discoveries efficiently, effectively and equitably. All articles published in BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine are Open Access, so are freely available via the internet in a permanent, universally-accessible repository.
The APC allows for the costs of the Open Access publication process, which would usually be covered through subscription fees, including:
- Rigorous peer review through a maintained online submission system
- Production costs—copy editing and preparation for online format
- Continuous hosting of the article online, available worldwide
- Marketing efforts to increase the article’s exposure
We do not offer refunds for Open Access once articles have been published.
What is the APC of BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine?
The APC is a one-off flat fee that incurs no additional costs and is charged on article acceptance.
Submitted papers will be judged entirely on scientific validity, rather than ability to pay. No payment information is requested before an article is accepted, so the ability to pay cannot affect editorial decisions.
The current APC for BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine is: £1,500. Payments from within the EU are subject to VAT. EU customers must supply their VAT Number to be exempt from VAT charge. UK customers are not exempt from VAT charge (currently 20%).
In recognition of reviewers’ support, any reviewer that returns a full review, on time, can receive a 25% discount on article processing charges for a paper for which they are the corresponding author, if submitted within 12 months of completing the review.
Your institution may already have arranged to cover your publishing costs or you may be eligible for a discount. Click here to find out.
Members of organisations listed below will receive a discount off the article publishing charge (APC) as detailed
The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements and contributions and the references. If you are not a native English speaker and would like assistance with your article there is a professional editing service available.
When a paper has been submitted from the Editor or Associate Editors’ departments, they have no role in the reviewing or decision making process. This also applies to any Associate Editors who are authors, in which instance the reviewing process is handled by the Editor in Chief.
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.
up to 3000 words
up to 250 words and structured including the headings Objectives, Methods, Results and Conclusion
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’.
- Please provide 5 multiple choice questions (MCQs) each with 4-5 possible answers (only 1 correct answer), so the reader can test his or her understanding of the article. These MCQs will be published online-only in the form of an E-learning module.
- Systematic review registration: registry and number (if registered)
up to 4500 words
up to 250 words
Maximum 6 tables and/or figures
up to 100
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’.
up to 4000 words
up to 250 words
Maximum 6 tables and/or figures
up to 80
Please follow the steps in the Agree Reporting Checklist and upload as Research Checklist when submitting your article.
Word count and references can be discussed with the editor.
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:
this should include the specific study type, e.g. randomised controlled trial.
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.
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.
state how each author was involved in writing the protocol.
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.
Journals from BMJ are willing to consider publishing supplements. 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 BMJ Group 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.
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
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 www.ithenticate.com.