Instructions for Authors
For guidelines on policy and submission across our journals, please click on the links below:
Patient consent forms
Submission and production processes
British Journal of Ophthalmology is committed to disseminating ongoing advances in ophthalmology across the whole range of sub-specialties and globally. Clearly the requirements of clinicians vary within different settings and in different countries. This is an essential principle that underlies the future planning of the journal and guides the editorial board and reviewers in making their judgements on whether papers submitted to British Journal of Ophthalmology should be accepted or rejected.
Our policy is to provide a broad mix of articles that will be of professional and educational value to specialist, visual scientists and trainees. Our priorities are to:
- Publish up-to-date advances on diagnosis, management and pathogenesis of ocular disease.
- Continue to develop specialist areas of publication that deal with health service delivery globally.
- Publish contentious issues that are of educational importance.
- Ensure that a fair, independent peer review system is in place.
- Adhere to the highest ethical standards concerning research conduct.
Authors should use the American Joint Commission on Cancer classification scheme when describing patients with ophthalmic malignancies; see American Joint Committee on Cancer.ACC Cancer Staging Manual, Seventh Edition, Springer, New York.
Authors can choose to have their article published Open Access for a fee of £1,950 (plus applicable VAT).
Colour figure charges
During submission you will be asked whether or not you agree to pay for the colour print publication of your colour images. This service is available to any author publishing within this journal for a fee of £250 per article. Authors can elect to publish online in colour and black and white in print, in which case the appropriate selection should be made upon submission.
Language polishing service
If you are not a native English speaker, we recommend that you have your manuscript edited by a native speaker prior to submission. Professional editing will improve the grammar, spelling and punctuation of your manuscript, providing clear language which will mean that reviewers and editors are better able to concentrate on the scientific content of the paper. Click here for more information.
Article types and word counts
- Original articles
- Review articles
- Global issues
The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements and contributions and the references.
CANCER CLASSIFICATION SCHEME
Authors should use the American Joint Commission on Cancer classification scheme when describing patients with ophthalmic malignancies; see American Joint Committee on Cancer. JCC Cancer Staging Manual, Seventh Edition, Springer, New York.
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.
1500 words, up to 2 images and tables, 25 references.
- Clinical Science: up to 2500 words, 5 images and tables, 25 references
- Laboratory Science: up to 2500 words, up to 5 images and tables, 25 references
Editors may request authors to shorten a submitted manuscript when in the opinion of the Editorial Board, the content does not justify the length.
All types of original article should include the following:
- Keywords (up to four)
- Addresses and which author address for correspondence
- Structured abstract: (200 words, headings, "Background/aims", "Methods", "Results", and "Conclusion")
- Materials and methods
- References and acknowledgements
- Legends for display items (Figures and Tables)
All original articles are subject to peer review and editorial approval.
Review articles will address any aspect of clinical or laboratory ophthalmology. Most review articles are commissioned but uninvited reviews are also welcome. Prior discussion with the Editor is recommended.
Unstructured abstract: up to 200 words.
Word count: up to 3000 words
Tables/illustrations: up to 5 images and tables
References: up to 100 references
All review articles are subject to peer review and editorial approval.
Global issues paper emphasise epidemiology and public health issues especially from the underdeveloped countries.
Summary: should not exceed 200 words.
2000 words, up to 5 images and tables, 25 references.
All global issues articles are subject to peer review and editorial approval.
Manuscripts submitted in this category should 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: should not exceed 200 words.
1000 words, up to 5 images and tables, 25 references.
All innovation articles are subject to peer review and editorial approval.
BJO welcomes short letters to the journal. These may be related to a recent article or series of articles published in the BJO. Original data may be included if it is relevant and gives added weight to the comment on the previously published article. Letters could also include original material that does not merit publication as an original article. Small pilot studies or a small series of cases (3 or more) reporting a novel finding in relation to clinical signs, diagnostic or therapeutic interventions or preliminary experimental data are examples of such material.
Word count: up to 600 words.
Structured abstract: not required.
Tables/Illustrations: up to 2.
References: up to 6.
Manuscripts submitted in this category emphasize clinically relevant management issues that help educate by increasing awareness (how it happened), provide practical guidance for performing common procedures and eliciting clinical signs (how to do it*), practical tips for interpreting test results (how to interpret), and provide simple explanations of how ophthalmic instruments and medications work (how it works). The chief criterion for publication will be educational value of the manuscript.
- How it happened
- How to do it
- How to interpret
- How it works
1000 words, up to 2 images and tables, 15 references.
The manuscript should be divided into three parts (introduction/case report, 3 questions/answers, and discussion). The case report+ should describe exactly how it happened including any errors of judgement in management or diagnosis so that it can be a learning experience to the reader. The questions should be very specific, central to the theme of the report, and their answers form the essential educational component of the manuscript. Discussion should highlight additional related management (How it happened/ How to do it) or technical (How to interpret/How it works) aspects. A sample format can be downloaded here.
All educational articles are subject to peer review and editorial approval.
*Descriptions of new surgical procedures should be submitted under Original articles - Clinical sciences.
+A completed patient consent form for case reports should be provided in all cases.
BJO eLetters are electronic responses to published BJO articles posted online. All eLetters are approved for posting by Dr Robert Bhisitkul, BJO Web Editor. They are not indexed with PubMed, however they maybe selected for inclusion in the journal in the Mailbox section. 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.
300 words and 5 references
All eLetters are subject to editorial approval.
BMJ 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 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.
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
For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the supplements guidelines (PDF).
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.
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