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Preparing your materials

Policy on prior publication

When authors submit manuscripts to this journal, these manuscripts should not be under consideration, accepted for publication or in press within a different journal, book or similar entity, unless explicit permission or agreement has been sought from all entities involved. However, deposition of a preprint on the author’s personal website, in an institutional repository, or in a preprint archive shall not be viewed as prior or duplicate publication. Authors should follow the Cambridge University Press Preprint Policy regarding preprint archives and maintaining the version of record. 


We require all corresponding authors to identify themselves using ORCID when submitting a manuscript to this journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration with key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

  • Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you have authored.
  • Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.
  • Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

See our ORCID FAQs for more information.

If you don’t already have an iD, you will need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to this journal. You can register for one directly from your user account on ScholarOne, or alternatively via

If you already have an iD, please use this when submitting your manuscript, either by linking it to your ScholarOne account, or by supplying it during submission using the "Associate your existing ORCID iD" button.

Preparing your Submission

Authors will be asked to confirm the following elements are included during submission. Any omissions may cause delays.

Word Document:

  1. Title – Titles are often recommended at the stage of commissioning but may be modified at the authors’ discretion. Please ensure that the title included in the system matches the title within the paper upon submission.
  2. Author Names – The full names of the authors should appear on the title page in the form that is wished for publication. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, please specify the name of the group and identify the group members on the title page who can take credit and responsibility for the work as authors. Other group members (non-author contributors) should be listed under Acknowledgements or in Supplementary Material.
  3. Author Details – At the end of the manuscript list the names, degrees, job titles, full affiliations and country at the time the work was carried out. Identify one corresponding author with an email address appropriate for publication.
  4. Author Biography – A short biographical summary, of about 50 words, on each author is required. This should contain full names, job titles, brief details of any other posts held and research interests.
  5. Abstract – A brief unstructured abstract should be included for each article type. This must not be repeated in the text. Abstracts are used for review purposes and they also form the basis of the "Summary" published at the start of the paper in the journal.
  6. Main Text – See relevant Article Type for individual specification.
  7. Case Vignettes and Consent Statement – Fictional case vignettes (indicated as such) are preferable to case studies of real patients. Even if consent is obtained, please anonymise the account as much as possible. Submissions involving human participants must include the following statement in the Introduction section: Written [or verbal] informed consent was obtained from all subjects/patients. Where verbal consent was obtained this must be followed by a statement such as: Verbal consent was witnessed and formally recorded. This confirms that any participant has consented to the inclusion of material pertaining to themselves, that they acknowledge that they cannot be identified via the manuscript and that the participant has been fully anonymised by the author. If a real individual is described and identifiable, authors should complete and submit a Consent Form. Where someone is deceased, please ensure you have written consent from the family or estate.
  8. References – References should appear in the reduced Harvard system of referencing (the first-named author and the date are cited in parenthesis in the text). All reported data, results and diagnostic systems should be referenced. References may also indicate further reading and evidence key points. Authors may draw particular attention to a small number of references that a reader may wish to follow up, and this can be done by the use of an asterisk. See relevant Article Type for individual reference specification. Read our guide to Harvard referencing here.

Required Statements:

  1. Declaration of Interest – Authors should include a Declaration of Interest statement in their manuscript, detailing all conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on an author’s presentation of their work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. Conflicts of interest do not necessarily mean that an author’s work has been compromised. Authors should declare any real or perceived conflicts of interest in order to be transparent about the context of their work. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting the manuscript must include a Declaration of Interest statement relevant to all contributing authors. Example wording for your declaration is as follows: “Declaration of Interest: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no Conflicts of Interest exist, your declaration should state “Declaration of Interest: None”.
  2. Funding – Authors must include a Funding Statement in their manuscript. Within this statement please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers, for example: “Funding Statement: This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (grant number XXXXXXX)”. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors’ initials, for example: “Funding Statement: This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (AB, grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (CD, grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (EF, grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (AB, grant number GGGG), (EF, grant number HHHH).” Where no specific funding has been provided for research, you should include the following statement: “Funding Statement: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.”
  3. Acknowledgements – Authors may acknowledge individuals or organisations who provided non-financial advice and/or support. Names and descriptions of the contributions of all non-author contributors should be included (as identified in the ICMJE guidelines). If a professional medical writer has been employed in connection to the work, the writer must be named in the Acknowledgements section with their contact information.
  4. Author Contribution – All authors should meet all four ICMJE criteria for authorship. Please provide a very brief description of the contribution of each author.

Other Documents:

  1. Authors are encouraged to use figures, boxes, illustrations, black and white photographs, and tables to illustrate points. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce images and credit information should be provided with the image file.
  2. Tables - Tables should be numbered (e.g. Table 1, Table 2 …) and referenced in the text of the manuscript. Authors must indicate the desired position of the table in the manuscript. Authors must obtain permission from the original publisher if they intend to use tables from other sources, and due acknowledgement should be made in a footnote to the table as follows: Permission to replicate this table has been given to the authors by XXX. Authors are responsible for paying any related fees for material originally published elsewhere. Please ensure tables are a reasonable size. Tables over two typeset pages (around 1,400 words) will be moved to supplementary material.
  3. Figures - Figures should be numbered (e.g. Fig 1, Fig 2, Fig 3…) and referenced in the text of the manuscript. Authors must indicate the desired position of the figure in the manuscript. Please consult the journal artwork guide for a detailed specification on accepted file formats. Authors must obtain permission from the original publisher if they intend to use figures from other sources, and due acknowledgement should be made in the legend as follows: Permission to replicate this figure has been given to the authors by XXX.
    Any figures supplied in colour will be published online in colour but converted to tints of the journal’s Pantone shade for printing. The optional charge for full colour figure print publication is £200/$320 per figure (up to a maximum of £1000/$1600 per article). To request colour figures in print, please tick the appropriate box when submitting your manuscript.
  4. Supplementary Material – Material related to a paper but not essential for a general understanding of the paper may be published as an online-only data supplement. Supplementary material is peer reviewed but will not be copyedited or typeset and should be supplied as authors wish it to appear online. Supplementary material should be uploaded as a separate file and referenced in the manuscript. This material includes, but is not restricted to:
    • Additional data presented as tables or figures
    • Details of a search strategy employed in a literature review
    • Details of the literature retrieved but not further discussed in the body of the paper
    • Technical details of specialist (but not novel) methodology, statistical analysis and supporting references
    • Authors who have contributed in some sense to the paper but don’t qualify for an authorship credit (e.g. group authorship) should be added to supplementary material rather than included in the footnote or acknowledgement section
    • Long lists of contributors who don’t qualify for an authorship credit (e.g. group authorship) should be added to supplementary material. Shorter lists can be included in the acknowledgement section.

During Online Submission

BJPsych Advances is largely (but not exclusively) clinical in orientation. Its articles are not scientific reviews as such and are practical, covering all areas of good medical practice and good psychiatric practice.

  1. Covering letter - Authors may include a covering letter upon submission.
  2. Responding to reviewers - When submitting a revised manuscript, authors are expected to respond to reviewers' comments on the previous submission, point by point, where prompted on the online submission site. Authors should also highlight in yellow those sections of the manuscript that have been changed in response to reviewers' comments. Note that comments on the manuscript made using track changes will not be visible to the Editor.
  3. ORCID - The corresponding author is required to register for an ORCID profile during manuscript submission. We recommend that all authors register for an ORCID profile and link their ORCID to their ScholarOne account. Please find more information about registration here.

PMC/Europe PMC Deposit

Authors have the option to have their accepted manuscript automatically exported to PubMed Central or EuropePMC where their funder requires it and may indicate this choice by answering a custom question on submission. If an author requests deposit to PubMed Central, a clean, unmarked and complete version of the manuscript should be uploaded, ie, with no revisions shown by highlighted/strikethrough text.

Submission Types

Jump to: Article | Commentary | Clinical Reflection | Refreshment

BJPsych Advances does not publish original research papers, although you may refer to research studies/findings if the main focus of your article is on existing knowledge and practice. Please read How to write for BJPsych Advances for more information.


Articles should be educational pieces, not research or systematic review papers, and academic quality is crucial. They should be factual, lucid and informative, with a clear explanation of any points of technique that can be used in everyday practice. Ideally, an article should be both a digest of many opinions on a subject and also give a clear lead as to what, in the authors’ opinion, would be good practice.

In addition to the detail required for all Word documents (see section above) the following elements are required in an Article:

  • Word Count - The word count should be between 4000 and 5000 words excluding references, tables, etc.
  • Main text - Articles should be structured carefully, with an introduction, a conclusion and plenty of clear headings.
  • Tables and Figures - Make full use of displayed lists, case vignettes/studies, tables, figures, etc. to illustrate points.
  • Boxes - Boxes should be included for key learning points, good-practice points and lists of controversial issues. They should be included at the end of the manuscript or saved as separate files. All boxes must be cited in the text.
  • Learning Aids - Learning aids such as boxes, tables, visual images, case vignettes, bullet points, headings and subheadings are encouraged.
  • Learning Objectives - Three learning objectives must be included in an article. Learning objectives should describe what the reader will be able to do or do differently after reading and reflecting on the article. A lead sentence should be added before the list: “After reading this article you will be able to:”. Please see further information on how to write learning objectives in the How to write for BJPsych Advances page.
  • MCQs - All full articles must include exactly five multiple choice questions (MCQs) and their answers. Each question should comprise a stem and five options: the reader selects the single best option for each question stem (see further information on how to write MCQs below). The MCQs should be straightforward, derived from the article and test only whether it has been read and understood. See also How to write for BJPsych Advances.
  • References - No more than 40 references should be included in a standard article.

Commentaries comment on the content of a specific article. They are usually commissioned by the Editor-in-Chief and published in the same issue as the full article. The aim of a commentary is to concentrate on what is missing from the original article, what the Commentator thinks should be emphasised and what the Commentator disagrees with. Authors should remember to reference the article they are commenting on.

In addition to the detail required for all Word documents (see section above) the following elements are required in a Commentary:

  • Word Count - The word count should be 750–1000 words excluding references.
  • References - No more than 10 references are allowed.
Clinical Reflections

The purpose of Clinical Reflections is to consider clinical, ethical or research dilemmas or uncertainties that present in day-to-day practice. They are the equivalent of thinking aloud and deliberating on the matter in hand.

In addition to the detail required for all Word documents (see above) the following elements are required in a Clinical Reflection piece:

  • the word count should be 1000–1500 words excluding references
  • a summary of between 50 and 75 words
  • up to 6 references
  • they may contain a box, figure or table but when typeset, should not exceed three journal pages.

Refreshments provide a short, succinct summary of a single topic to be read as a quick update by practising psychiatrists. The aim is to help readers improve their knowledge and practice in areas outside their field of expertise.

In addition to the detail required for all Word documents (see above) the following elements are required in a Refreshment:

  • Word Count - The word count should be 500–800 words. Pieces at the lower end of the word limit could also contain a single box, figure/illustration or table.
  • References - a maximum of 6 references or further reading are allowed.

Publishing ethics

See our publishing ethics page for details on our related policies.

Naming of psychiatrists criticised in legal judgments

As a general rule, where psychiatrists, or other medical experts, are named in legal judgments, the journal's policy is to anonymise their names, for example, referring to them as 'Dr X' and / or 'Dr Y'. This rule applies not only to cases where expert medical witnesses are criticised; it applies also in cases where expert medical witnesses are complimented and where comments are in neutral terms. The editors of the journal will at their discretion make exceptions to this rule. Authors are expected to anonymise the paper and this will be checked by the Editor.

The journal will maintain a list of exceptions that should be considered on an article by article basis. These currently include:

Professor Sir Roy Meadow (paediatrician), Dr Richard Pool, Dr Anil Kumar and Dr Waney Squier (neuropathologist).

They are exceptions because their names appear as the appellant party in the titles of the actions that form part of the case citations of the judgments of the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court.

English language editing services 

Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This step is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the Editor and any reviewers.  

In order to help prospective authors to prepare for submission and to reach their publication goals, Cambridge University Press offers a range of high-quality manuscript preparation services – including language editing – delivered in partnership with American Journal Experts. You can find out more on our Language Services page.

Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge-published journal. 

Author Hub

You can find guides for many aspects of publishing with Cambridge at Author Hub, our suite of resources for Cambridge authors.