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The British Journal of Ophthalmology is an international peer-reviewed journal for ophthalmologists and visual science specialists describing clinical investigations, clinical observations, and clinically relevant laboratory investigations related to ophthalmology. Main features include articles on both clinical and laboratory sciences, up to date major reviews, editorials, education articles and letters. There are sections for ‘Innovations’ and ‘Global issues’ where surgical, diagnostic and therapeutic innovations and manuscripts of regional interest to geographic areas of the world respectively, are published.

Editorial policy

The British Journal of Ophthalmology adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics, scientific misconduct, consent and peer review criteria. To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page.

Articles are published under an exclusive licence (or non-exclusive licence for UK Crown and US Federal Government employees) and authors retain copyright. Articles can also be published under a Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content; please refer to the The British Journal of Ophthalmology Copyright Author Licence Statement.

Manuscript transfer

BMJ has a facility for transferring manuscripts among ophthalmology journals. Authors submitting to the flagship journal The British Journal of Ophthalmology can choose BMJ Open Ophthalmology 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.

Article publishing charges

During submission, authors can choose to have their article published open access for 1,950 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). Authors can also choose to publish their article in colour for the print edition – instead of the default option of black and white – for 250 GBP. There are no submission, page or online-only colour figure charges.

For more information on open access, funder compliance and institutional programmes please refer to the BMJ Author Hub open access page.

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 can also find general formatting guidelines across BMJ and a formatting checklist.


A timely succinct commentary on any aspect of clinical or laboratory ophthalmology, usually in relation to the subject matter of a paper to be published in the same issue. All editorials are commissioned.

Word count: up to 1500
Tables/illustrations: up to 2 images/tables
References: up to 25 references

Original research

Original research should include the following:

  • Title
  • Synopsis/Precis: a 35 word summary of the main findings or outcomes of the study for the ‘At a Glance’ article
  • Structured abstract: (250 words, headings: “Background/Aims”, “Methods”, “Results”, and “Conclusion”)
  • Introduction
  • Materials and methods
  • Results
  • Discussion

Clinical science: up to 2500 words, up to 5 images/tables, 25 references
Laboratory Science: up to 2500 words, up to 5 images/, 25 references


Reviews will address any aspect of clinical or laboratory ophthalmology. Most articles are commissioned but uninvited reviews are also welcome; prior discussion with the Editor is recommended.

Unstructured abstract: up to 250 words
Word count: up to 3000 words
Tables/illustrations: up to 5 images and tables
References: up to 100 references

Global issues

Global issues emphasise epidemiology and public health issues especially from the underdeveloped countries.

Summary: up to 250
Word count: up to 2000
Tables/illustrations: up to 5 images/tables
References: up to 25


Innovations describe innovative techniques in any field of ophthalmology including ophthalmic surgery, drugs, optics, and devices. Any relevant preclinical and clinical data should be included. The chief criterion for publication will be the novelty of concepts involved and potential for clinical applications.

Summary: up to 250
Word count: up to 1000
Tables/illustrations: up to 5 images/tables
References: up to 25


eLetters are electronic responses to published British Journal of Ophthalmology articles posted online. To submit an eLetter use the submit a response option in the content box menu seen in all abstract/extract, Full text and PDF views of a published article. All eLetters are subject to editorial approval.

Word count: 300 words
References: 5 references


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