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Instructions for authors

Jump To: Preparing your Submission | Article Types | Policies | After Acceptance | Muses - the arts blog


BJPsych International is an open access, peer-reviewed journal owned by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. It is published quarterly by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the College. Please see the journal’s Aims & Scope for further information about its focus and readership.

BJPsych International is not responsible for statements made by contributors and material in the BJPsych International does not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor-in-Chief or the College.

We accept articles dealing with issues relevant to the promotion of community mental health, the management of mental health services, and worldwide training in psychiatry. We do not publish original empirical research, but may occasionally accept audits that have clinical implications of international relevance. We encourage the submission of video abstracts.


Manuscripts should be submitted online as a word document via Authors may track the progress of their manuscript(s) at any time via the submission website. For assistance with online submission, please email for the quickest response or call + 44 208 618 4234.

Peer Review and Online-Only Issue Publication

All submissions will be initially assessed for suitability by the Editor-in-Chief before being passed to one of our Handling Editors. The Handling Editor arranges for articles to be single-blind peer reviewed by two independent, anonymous referees with expertise in the topic. On occasion, the Handling Editor may act as the second reviewer if a second reviewer is unavailable. The Handling Editor submits a decision (recommends accept, reject, or invite to revise). The Editor-in-Chief will review all 'accept recommendations' in view of the referee comments and revisions and retains the right to request further revisions or decline the paper. If a Handling Editor becomes unavailable during the process (for example, due to illness), the paper is assigned to the Editor-in-Chief or an alternative Handling Editor. Find out more about what to expect during peer review here.

A fundamental principle of the peer-review process is to assist authors in producing well-written articles for worldwide dissemination. Whenever necessary, an expert panel of assessors will help authors improve their papers to maximise their impact when published and, if necessary, will edit the presentation in terms of the English language.

The Editor-in-Chief selects some accepted papers for online-only issue publication (no print), based on suitability and timeliness; the proportion published online is currently about 30%. At the acceptance stage, we will inform authors if their paper has been selected for e-only issue publication. Articles published in BJPsych-International are referenced in PubMed whether they appear in the published journal in paper form, or online only. Selection for online-only issue publication is often made because the article has immediate and important relevance for clinical practice.

Videos and podcasts are reviewed by the digital content editors and the Editor-in-Chief. Prior to publication, all e-letters are screened by the Editor-in-Chief, who also oversees Pandora’s Box. Some issue editorials, such as the Editor-in-Chief’s editorials introducing the issue, are not peer reviewed.

No person is permitted to take any role in the peer-review of a paper in which they have an interest, defined as follows: fees or grants from, employment by, consultancy for, shared ownership in, or any close relationship with, an organisation whose interests, financial or otherwise, may be affected by the publication of the paper. Unless so stated, material in this journal does not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor or the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The publishers are not responsible for any error of omission or fact.

When editorial board members of this journal submit papers, the journal follows the below process:

  1. Editorial board members include a declaration of interest statement in their submission stating their role with the journal.
  2. Editorial board members submit to the journal via ScholarOne and do not take part in the review or decision-making process regarding their own paper.
  3. Editorial board members who have submitted papers to the journal are blinded from accessing information on their paper in the system and are notified of decisions in the usual way.

Preparing your Submission

Checklist: What to Include

Authors are encouraged to submitvideo abstracts (see During Online 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 manuscript file 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 degrees, job titles, affiliations (including department and institution) and country at the time the work was carried out. Due to space constraints in BJPsych International, authors are asked to limit their degrees and affiliations to one only.
  4. Corresponding author – Identify one corresponding author with an email address appropriate for publication.
  5. Abstract – a brief unstructured abstract of no more than 100 words 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. Consent Statement – 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 upload a Patient Consent Form to ScholarOne. Where someone is deceased, please ensure you have written consent from the family or estate.
  8. Word Limit and References– Except for editorials, which should be around 1000-1200 words long, the word limit is 1500 excluding references. The number of references should be limited to 12. References should be numbered in the order that they appear in the text and listed at the end of the manuscript using the Vancouver style. Unpublished doctoral theses may be cited but no other citation of unpublished work, including unpublished conference presentations, is permissible. Authors are responsible for checking all references for accuracy and relevance before submission. All reported data, results and diagnostic systems should be referenced. See relevant Article Type for individual reference specification. Read our guide to Vancouver referencing here.

Required Statements:

  1. 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.”
  2. Ethics- All authors are required to follow the ICMJE guidelines on the protection of research participants. Articles reporting original research must include an ethical approval statement which either confirms that ethical approval was obtained for the work (giving details) or explains why ethical approval was not required. For further assistance in writing an ethics statement please visit Ethics Statement Generator.

    Ethical Oversight / Research with Humans or Animals. We expect any authors who submit content to BJPsych International to have obtained the necessary ethical approvals and consents for their research and its publication, and to be able to produce evidence of this if requested. For more information on clinical trial requirements and consent statement requirements, see the 'Preparing your submission' section.

  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 submit a completed ICMJE Conflicts of Interest form and 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.
  5. 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”.
  6. Data Availability - In the interests of research transparency, authors are required to maintain accurate records of data associated with their manuscript, and to supply or provide access to these data on reasonable request for purposes of reproducing results or replicating procedures. Authors are encouraged to deposit data in a recognized data repository that can mint a persistent digital identifier (e.g. DOI), provides timestamped entries and recognizes a long-term preservation plan. Please include a brief statement indicating whether the materials supporting the findings are available, and if so, where readers may access them. For example:
  • The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in [repository name] at[doi], reference number [reference number].
  • The data that support the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author, [initials]. The data are not publicly available due to [restrictions e.g. their containing information that could compromise the privacy of research participants].
  • Data availability is not applicable to this article as no new data were created or analysed in this study.
  • The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author, [author initials], upon reasonable request. Please find more sample statements here

Other Documents:

  1. Authors are encouraged to use figures, boxes, illustrations, black and white photographs, and tables to illustrate points.
  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. If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted after acceptance by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect colour charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.
  4. Supplementary Material – Material related to a paper but not essential for a general understanding of the paper may be published as 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 manuscript
    • 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.
  5. Author Publication Agreement – A signed Author Publishing Agreement must be submitted online when submitting a revised version of the manuscript, or immediately after acceptance if no revision is required.

During Online Submission:

  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. Please also highlight in yellow those sections of your manuscript that have been changed in response to reviewers' comments.
  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.
  4. Video abstracts - We encourage authors to consider creating a video abstract for their article. More information about how to create and submit a video abstract can be found here.

Article Types

For all article types, there should be no more than 12 references. Editorials should be around 1000 words long. The word limit for all other article types is 1500. Submission of video abstracts is particularly welcome, and authors can state in their cover letter whether they would be interested in being interviewed for a podcast. Original video material (unlinked to paper or online articles) with an accompanying commentary about mental health issues of international significance will in future be considered for publication, after peer review.

Jump to: | Country Profile | Editorial | Global Echoes | Mental Health Law Profile | Psychiatry Under Restrictive Conditions | Special Paper | Thematic Paper | Correspondence & eLetters | Pandora's Box

Country Profile

These provide summary information on mental health policy, services, training and research in a specific Country. Updates are welcome. Read the Country Profiles Collection.


Most editorials are commissioned articles. They provide an introduction to, and a commentary on, the issue's main theme, and are written by an acknowledged authority and/or by the Editor-in-Chief or an Editorial Board member. Occasionally, the journal publishes unsolicited editorials or opinion pieces commenting on a topical subject, mental health policy or new service of relevance to a specific country or region.

Global Echoes

BJPsych International invites submissions from medical students, foundation doctors and psychiatry trainees for publication in Global Echoes, a dedicated section within the journal. Global Echoes offers an opportunity for medical students and early career doctors with an interest in psychiatry to shed light on their experiences, to offer commentary and to reflect on issues that may be unique to their locality, but which are potentially beneficial to the global mental health community.

In this category, we strongly encourage the submission of both articles and videos. See video abstract guidelines. Subjects of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Reflections about training in psychiatry worldwide
  • Reports on elective projects in psychiatry and other experiences of working or volunteering abroad in mental health
  • Original commentary on a topic of global interest or about an area of psychiatry encountered during training
  • Descriptive or reflective pieces on challenges encountered in working around the world or in carrying out research in challenging contexts
  • Mental Health Law Profile

    Articles about mental health law factually summarise national or regional mental health legislation, with a focus on recent developments. The theme includes commentaries about the application of, and the monitoring of standards in legal processes that apply to individuals with mental disorders. Updates from countries that are revising that legal framework are  particularly welcome. Read the Mental Health Law Profiles Collection.

    Psychiatry Under Restrictive Conditions

    An important component of our journal’s mission is to highlight issues concerning the practice of psychiatry in restrictive settings and conditions. We want to draw attention to mental health issues that are associated, inter alia, with prisons, parole, conditional release and community treatment under legal provision. We welcome commentaries on the use of coercion in the management of people with a mental illness, beyond formal psychiatric practice (for example, in association with religious or cultural beliefs). The journal, therefore, is inviting authors to submit papers on national or regional aspects of one or more of the above areas, highlighting current practice, relevant data (or lack of the same), training and service needs and areas for future research

    Special Paper

    Special papers cover a range of subjects and can be on any topic that is relevant to the mission of the journal, as described in the "About" section.

    Authors should include no more than two tables or figures, or one of each. Photographs are welcome but permission must be sought, and the image must be credited.

    Thematic Paper

    These commissioned pieces are peer-reviewed and focus on a topical theme, such as telepsychiatry or international recruitment, which is then discussed in the issue. If you would like to propose a theme and potential contributors for two to three articles and linked editorial on that theme, please email

    Correspondence & eLetters
    • Letters may be submitted online as responses to published articles by navigating to the eLetters tab when viewing an article online and selecting ‘Submit a response’.
    • Letters may be up to 500 words in length with a maximum of five references.
    • All letters must include a Conflicts of Interest statement.
    • All eLetters will be screened by the Editor-in-Chief prior to publication online.
    • Letters are not published in the printed journal.
    Pandora's Box

    Pandora searches world literature and other sources for evidence, news and matters of interest to bring the reader (and doesn’t shy away from controversy). She welcomes comments and suggestions via


    BJPsych International now requires that all corresponding authors identify themselves using their ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript to the journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in 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’ve 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.

    If you don’t already have an iD, you’ll need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to BJPsych International. You can register for one directly from your user account on Scholar One or via

    If you already have an iD, please use this when submitting, either by linking it to your Scholar One account or supplying it during submission by using the “Associate your existing ORCID ID” button.

    Language Editing Service

    Where English is not a native language we encourage authors to have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission. This will ensure that manuscripts are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. Cambridge University Press partners with American Journal Experts to provide a high-quality service to authors. More information can be found here. Use of this service is entirely voluntary and does not guarantee acceptance, nor does its use require authors to later submit to a Cambridge journal.


    AuthorAID is a global network that provides free support, mentoring, resources and training to help researchers in low- and middle-income countries to write, publish and otherwise communicate their work. Key features of AuthorAID are:

    • A community space for discussion and questions where researchers can benefit from advice and insights from members across the globe.
    • Access to a range of documents and presentations on best practice in writing and publication
    • World-wide training workshops and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on scientific writing
    • A chance to network with other researchers
    • Personal mentoring by highly published researchers and professional editors
    • Through the AuthorAID network, guidance can be found to help researchers through the process of writing and submitting scientific papers, advice about responding to reviewer comments, as well as research design and grant applications.

    Please note that seeking support through AuthorAID will not guarantee acceptance for publication in BJPsych International or affect the editorial process in any way.


    Publication Ethics

    BJPsych International follows ICMJE's Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.

    Appeals & Complaints

    If an author believes their manuscript has been incorrectly rejected, an appeal letter can be submitted by responding to the decision email directly or contacting

    To have an appeal considered, please provide full details regarding your reasoning for the appeal letter. All appeals are reviewed and discussed by the Editorial Board with a final decision communicated to the author via email. We can consider only one appeal per manuscript.

    Please direct all complaints to the Editor-in-Chief or the editorial office at

    After Acceptance

    Author Publication Agreement

    The policy of the BJPsych International is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant the Royal College of Psychiatrists a licence to publish their work. In the case of gold open access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish the article without this. Please download the publishing agreement here

    For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.

    Open Access

    BJPsych International is an online open access journal with no submission or publication charges. Open Access is the practice of making published research freely accessible to all. Whilst there are a number of mechanisms for making this content freely available, the Gold open access model used by BJPsych International requires that the published 'version of record' be made freely available to all immediately upon publication, with additional usage rights.

    Authors are able to choose from the following Creative Commons licenses:

    • CC-BY (Attribution)
    • CC-BY-NC-SA (Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share Alike)
    • CC-BY-NC-ND (Attribution - Non-Commercial - No Derivatives)

    For information on what each licence allows, please visit If no selection is indicated on the license to publish form, the article will be published under a CC-BY-NC-ND license. Authors are able to post their final published article elsewhere as per the terms of the Licence to Publish agreement but note, however, that we can currently only track usage statistics for article views and downloads from our own site.


    Following acceptance, articles will be sent through to Cambridge University Press for production and first proofs will be emailed to the corresponding author in due course. (NB: proof emails are sometimes filtered into junk and authors should look out for this). Authors should check their first proofs and answer any queries that have arisen during copyediting and typesetting within two days. Authors must check proofs carefully as once the article has been published online no further changes can be made. For more details on the Production process, see our comprehensive guide.

    Online Publication

    BJPsych International articles are published online as a Version of Record (VoR) using the Cambridge FirstView model. Articles are published in final form 2–3 weeks after receipt of corrected author proofs. Articles are paginated independently, fully citable with an assigned digital object identifier (DOI) and made freely available.

    Press Releases

    To coordinate and provide additional publicity surrounding a press release, including Twitter and Facebook, for your publication please email as soon as possible after acceptance.

    Sharing Your Article

    The corresponding author will receive a link to the article on publication; as the journal is Open Access, the article will be free to download. You are free to share your article based on your choice of Creative Commons license:

    Personal web page

    Department or institutional repository

    Non-commercial subject repository

    Commercial repository or social media site (e.g. ResearchGate,, SSRN)

    VoR (under CC-BY)

    On publication

    On publication

    On publication

    On publication

    Version of Record (under CC BY NC SA or CC BY NC ND)

    On publication

    On publication

    On publication

    Not permitted

    Authors are encouraged to actively promote their articles to their colleagues and contacts around the world. Our suite of resources are available to help you engage with your readership, increase your visibility and make your article more discoverable online. When tweeting about your article, please include the journal portfolio handle: @TheBJPsych and the hashtag #BJPsychInt.


    All articles published in BJPsych International are deposited in PubMed Central automatically on publication. See this page for a full list of where articles in BJPsych International are indexed.

    Digital Preservation

    Cambridge University Press publications are deposited in the following digital archives to guarantee long-term digital preservation:

    • CLOCKSS (journals)
    • Portico (journals and books)

Muses - the arts blog from BJPsych International

We are delighted to launch Muses – the arts blog from BJPsych International. The aim is to highlight international art and artists, particularly from low-and-middle-income countries, with a focus on mental health. We welcome submissions for consideration, such as, comments on artwork, visual arts, literature, drama, films, podcasts, and videos.

  • Articles should be approximately 300 – 500 words.
  • Articles should be written in a conversational style, have a catchy title, and appeal to an international readership.
  • Author details must be included: name, job title, place of work (including country), and email address for correspondence with the journal.
  • If there are references, these should be given as hyperlinks in the text.
  • Images and Media: we encourage submission of suitable images to accompany articles provided that authors have permission to use them. Media including audio and video files can be embedded within the text or linked out to as long as they are on an open site (such as, YouTube).
  • Another resource to support your article is available here

Submission process
  • Articles should be sent as Microsoft Word file by email to Images should be sent as separate files. Authors must ensure that they have copyright of the images.
  • Submission does not guarantee publication. Submissions will be reviewed by the blog editor in the first instance and if required by other reviewer(s) or editor(s).
  • Accepted articles are subject to minor in-house editing and published on Cambridge Core.

Last updated 21 March 2022