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Editorial Policy

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:

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 / $2,400/€2,200 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

 

Article types and word counts

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 Article

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

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

Systematic reviews provide Level One evidence; they form a critical part of the literature.

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
MCQs required

Narrative reviews

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
MCQs required

Consensus statements

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.

 

Protocols

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.

Full references

 

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.

 

Supplements

Journals from BMJ are willing to consider publishing supplements. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of:

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:

 

Plagiarism detection

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.