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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. 

ORCID

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 https://ORCID.org/register.

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

Checklist: What to Include

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

Word Document:

  1. Title – The title should be brief and relevant. Titles should not announce the results of articles and (apart from editorials) they should not be phrased as questions.
  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. Main Text – See relevant Article Type for individual specification.
  4. Clinical Trials Registration – In accordance with ICMJE guidelines, the BJPsych requires all clinical trials to be registered in a public trials registry at the beginning of the research process (prior to patient enrolment). Trial registration numbers should be included in the abstract, with full details of the trial in the Methods section.
  5. Ethics Statement – All authors are required to follow the ICMJE guidelines on the protection of research participants. Reports on research involving human participants must include the following statement in the Methods section: The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional committees on human experimentation and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008. All procedures involving human subjects/patients were approved by [name of the relevant local, regional or national review body and approval number]. 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 British Journal of Psychiatry 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.

  6. Consent Statement – Authors must include a statement in the Methods section detailing the procedure for obtaining consent from study participants. For example:
    - Written [or verbal] informed consent was obtained from all subjects/patients.
    - Verbal consent was obtained from all subjects/patients. 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 anonymized by the author.
    If consent was not obtained from all participants, please state the reasons for this and note whether this was approved by the ethics committee.
    If research participants are identifiable, authors should complete and upload a Consent Form. Where someone is deceased, please ensure you have written consent from the family or estate.
  7. Author Details – At the end of the manuscript list the affiliations and countries at the time the work described in the paper was carried out. Identify one corresponding author with an email address appropriate for publication.
  8. References – 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. Read our guide to Vancouver 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 to the research including their roles in formulating the research question(s), designing the study, carrying it out, analysing the data and writing the article.
  5. 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 http://doi.org/[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. 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. Please ensure tables are a reasonable size. Tables over two typeset pages (around 1,400 words) will be moved to supplementary material.
  2. 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.
  3. Supplementary Material – Material related to a paper but not essential to a general understanding of the paper will be published as an online data supplement. 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
    • 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.
    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. Please see our general guidance on supplementary materials for further information.
  4. CONSORT, PRISMA, or CHEERS Checklist/Flow Diagram – If relevant, see here for more information.

During Online Submission:

The following must be provided as part of the online submission process:

  1. Relevance statement - Authors are required to provide a relevance statement that explains in no more than 100 words the relevance of the research to practising psychiatrists.
  2. Fast-track assessment - Authors of editorials addressing fast moving debates and topical areas may request expedited assessment and publication. To do this please select the ‘fast-track assessment’ option during online submission. In your relevance statement please justify clearly why you feel your article should be considered for fast-track assessment.
    The word count should not exceed 1,500 words with a summary paragraph of less than 50 words and may include one figure or table and up to 5 essential references. The submission should also include full author names, brief biographical details (up to 25 words) for each author, a photograph of the lead author (optional), and a declaration of interest statement for each author to ensure expedited publication.
    Examples of reasons why an article may qualify for fast-track assessment include but are not limited to:
    • Comment on clinical guidelines or policies that are to be released imminently
    • Opinion piece on fast moving key debates in clinical, academic or social and political spheres of psychiatry
    • Response to recently published government documents, papers and other editorials - especially those featured in BJPsych
    • Opinion piece that is likely to significantly influence public policy.

    A decision regarding the fast-track route will be made within 1 week of submission. All manuscripts approved for the fast-track route will be assessed and published within 30 days of submission.
  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.


Article Types

Jump to: Paper | Review | Short Report | Editorial | Analysis | CommentaryBook Review | Extra | Correspondence & e-Letters

Paper
  • The word count should be between 3,000 and 4,000 words (excluding references, tables and figure legends) and may include up to 25 essential references beyond those describing statistical procedures, psychometric instruments and diagnostic guidelines used in the study.
  • Structured abstract of up to 250 words with the headings: Background; Aims; Method; Results; Conclusions (Trial Registration Number and Data Set Information where appropriate). Please find further guidance on writing an effective abstract here.
    • Quantitative studies: abstracts should provide effect sizes with confidence intervals (not P-values alone).
    • Conclusions, in isolation, are likely to be used by others citing or promoting the work and must therefore be an accurate reflection of the study's main findings.
  • Main text should include the following sections: Introduction, Method, Results and Discussion.
    • Introductions should be no more than one paragraph. Longer introductions may be permissible but should be split with subheadings if they exceed two paragraphs.
    • Discussion section should always include limitations of the paper to ensure balance, use of subheadings is encouraged in this section.
    • A Conclusions section is not required in the main text.
  • In total, up to four tables and figures may be included in the print version of each paper (e.g. three tables and one figure). Additional tables and figures may be included as online only supplementary material. All large tables (exceeding one journal page) will be published as online only supplementary material. Authors are encouraged to present key data within smaller tables for print publication.


Review
  • Systematic reviews submitted to BJPsych should be 'first in field', explicating important findings in fields where no systematic review has yet been published or where information in the literature is conflicting. They are expected to be a clear building block upon which further research in the field is undertaken.
  • BJPsych prioritises systematic reviews and narrative reviews will be published only under exceptional circumstances. Please consider submitting narrative reviews to BJPsych Open or BJPsych Bulletin.
  • We require authors to register the protocol for systematic reviews before data extraction on an accessible, searchable site such as PROSPERO and include the registration number in the manuscript file. If the review has not been registered, we are unable to consider your submission.
  • The word count should not exceed 6,000 words (excluding references, tables and figure legends) and may include up to 75 essential references (in addition to articles included as part of the review). Only papers directly referred to should be directly referenced in the main manuscript file; large data sets should be included in the supplementary material.
  • Please include a structured abstract of up to 250 words with the headings: Background, Aims, Method (including data sources, study selections, synthesis approach), Results, Conclusions.
  • The main text should include the following sections: Introduction, Method, Results and Discussion.
  • It is important that the Method section clearly describes the search strategy, study selection criteria and synthesis approach in sufficient detail to ensure the method can be replicated to extract the same data with the same or similar analysis. This should include information about the protocol registration, review software, data sources (bibliographic databases such as PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO and reference lists from journals or books), MeSH and free text search terms and filters, dates included in the search, screening process, language limitations, inclusion and exclusion criteria, study selection and synthesis approach. To ensure a comprehensive review of the literature, we encourage consideration of publications in non-English languages. Ideally the search should be as current as possible with the search date noted in the manuscript. Please describe how the quality of evidence was evaluated and explain whether heterogeneity between studies was investigated and explored.
  • The results section should report the results and summarise the quality of the evidence. Where necessary, a statement should be made as to how quality has been used to inform interpretation of results and/or analysis.
  • The Discussion section should summarise key findings and describe the impact of the results on clinical practice. Authors should discuss both the strengths and the limitations of the evidence and the review.
  • In total, up to seven tables and figures identifying the primary finding(s) may be included in the print version of each paper (e.g. five tables and two figures). Additional tables and figures will be included as online only supplementary material. All large tables (exceeding one journal page) will be published as online only supplementary material. Authors are encouraged to present key data within smaller tables for print publication.
  • Supplementary tables, figures and data should include (in this order):
    1. PRISMA-P (or equivalent) table
    2. Search strings used for various platforms such as MEDLINE, Scopus etc.
    3. PICOS table (if relevant)
    4. List of all included papers
    5. Additional sensitivity analyses or additional analyses (if relevant)
    6. Publication bias: a funnel plot and additional analyses undertaken where necessary
    7. Quality assessment
  • Authors should include a GRADE assessment of the findings or equivalent approach to place the importance of the findings in context.
  • Previously published Reviews for groups such as the Cochrane Collaboration and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence should be submitted with the latest version of the parent review and its status, so an informed decision can be made about the added value of the submitted paper.


Short Report
  • The word count should not exceed 1,200 words (excluding references, tables and figure legends) and may include one figure or table and up to 10 essential references.
  • Short reports require an unstructured summary paragraph not exceeding 100 words.
  • Short reports must not exceed two printed pages and may require further editing after acceptance.


Editorial
  • The word count should not exceed 1,500 words and may include one figure or table and up to 5 essential references.
  • Editorials require an unstructured summary paragraph not exceeding 50 words.
  • Editorials may only exceed two printed pages at the Editor's discretion and may require further editing after acceptance.
  • Please include brief biographical details (up to 25 words) for each author in your manuscript. Please submit a good-quality photograph (minimum resolution 300 dpi) of the lead author for publication (optional).
  • If you would like your editorial considered for fast-track assessment and publication please follow the guidance above.


Analysis
  • The word count should not exceed 2,500 words and may include one figure or table and up to 25 essential references.
  • Analysis articles require an unstructured summary paragraph not exceeding 50 words.
  • Analysis articles are commissioned to discuss a clinical, scientific, ethical, legal or policy issue that is relevant to clinical practice and patient care. Demonstrating an unbiased approach in evaluating the relevant evidence, with a clear line of argument and justifiable conclusion. Submissions addressing recent developments are particularly welcome and authors must bear in mind the international readership of the BJPsych.
  • Unsolicited material is considered and pre-submission enquiries should be sent to bjp@rcpsych.ac.uk.


Article Commentary
  • Article Commentaries are commissioned to be published alongside accepted manuscripts
  • The word count should not exceed 1,200 words and may include up to 5 essential references.
  • Article Commentaries require an unstructured summary paragraph not exceeding 50 words.
  • Article Commentaries may only exceed two printed pages at the Editor's discretion and may require further editing after acceptance.


Book Review
  • Book reviews are commissioned and should include the name and email address of the corresponding author as well as full book details (title, author(s), price, publisher, publication year and number of pages) and a picture of the book cover


Extra
  • These comprise a wide range of material considered to be of interest to readers of the BJPsych. Manuscripts are submitted online via https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjpsych.
  • Extras may be up to 500 words in length and should not include references.
  • Authors should specify the type of Extra they are submitting in their manuscript file.
  • Extra types include: Psychiatry in music, Psychiatry in movies, Psychiatry in history, Psychiatry in literature, Psychiatry in pictures, Psychiatry in theatre, Psychiatry in the Bible, Psychiatry in sacred texts, Reflections, Poems (including poems by doctors), 100 years ago, 100 words and miscellaneous.


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 5 references.
  • All letters must include a Declaration of Interest statement.
  • All eLetters will be screened by the Correspondence Editor prior to publication online, a selection from these eLetters will subsequently be included in the printed Journal.


Case reports, cost-of-illness and cost studies are not considered for publication in the BJPsych and should be submitted to BJPsych Open.

Transparent Reporting

BJPsych believes in the importance of transparent and reproducible research.

Where possible we encourage authors to make evidence, data, code, and other materials that underpin their findings available to readers.

We also encourage authors to cite materials and data they have used in their research, alongside literature citations, to recognise the importance of all kinds of research outputs.

We expect authors to follow best practices in reporting their methodology. Reporting guidelines for many study designs, including quantitative and qualitative scholarship across many disciplines, can be found in the EQUATOR Network.

Authors must abide by the following guidelines and documentation, if applicable:

  • CONSORT guidelines: Randomised controlled trials (submit a completed checklist and flowchart). Note: Trials assessed by the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool 2 as having low risk of bias are more likely to be published in the BJPsych, though topic areas which may inevitably score less will not be penalised.
  • STROBE guidelines: Cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional observational studies in in epidemiology
  • PRISMA guidelines: systematic reviews or meta-analyses of evaluations studies including randomised controlled trials (submit a completed checklist and flowchart)
  • MOOSE guidelines.: meta-analyses of observational studies in epidemiology
  • CHEERS guidelines: economic evaluations (submit a completed checklist)
  • SAGER Guidelines: We encourage authors to consult the Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER) Guidelines for reporting sex and gender information in study design, data analyses, results and interpretation. Authors should use the terms sex and gender carefully in order to avoid confusing both terms and include separate reporting and interpretation of the data by sex and gender. If sex and/or gender information are not reported, this should be explained.
  • PPI Guidelines: The journal encourages active patient and public involvement (PPI) in research. If appropriate, please report PPI in your manuscript using GRIPP2-LF, a longer checklist for studies where PPI forms the primary focus of a study or GRIPP2-SF, a short checklist for studies where PPI is a secondary or tertiary focus.


Statistics

Attention should be paid to providing a clear description of study designs and objectives, and evidence that the statistical procedures used were both appropriate for the hypotheses tested and correctly interpreted. The statistical analyses should be planned before data are collected and full explanations given for any post hoc analyses carried out. The value of test statistics used (e.g. t, F-ratio) should be given as well as their significance levels so that their derivation can be understood. Standard deviations and errors should not be reported as ± but should be specified and referred to in parentheses.

Trends should not be reported unless they have been supported by appropriate statistical analyses for trends. The use of percentages to report results from small samples is discouraged, other than where this facilitates comparisons. The number of decimal places to which numbers are given should reflect the accuracy of the determination and estimates of error should be given for statistics. Use of confidence intervals is encouraged but not mandatory. Authors are encouraged to include estimates of statistical power where appropriate. To report a difference as being statistically significant is generally insufficient, and comment should be made about the magnitude and direction of change.

Economic evaluations

Trial-based economic evaluations

Priority will be given to trial-based economic evaluations submitted to the BJPsych that meet the following criteria (in order of importance):

  • Submitted with the main clinical trial outcome results in a single manuscript
  • Submitted alongside the main clinical trial manuscript, or subsequent to the main clinical trial manuscript being accepted for publication in the BJPsych and demonstrating added value in the form of original and important results not reported in the clinical trial manuscript
  • Submitted in isolation from the main clinical trial manuscript, published elsewhere and demonstrating added value in the form of original and important results not reported in the clinical trial manuscript.


Economic evaluations based on decision analysis

Priority will be given to economic evaluations based on decision modelling that meet all the following criteria:

  • Original and important results, not reported elsewhere, that are likely to have an impact on real decisions in clinical practice or on mental health policy
  • Methods/results that are described and reported clearly enough to be accessible to a primarily clinical audience
  • Based on data from systematic literature reviews/meta-analyses, randomised controlled trials and/or routine data sources (such as hospital episode statistics or patient registries).


Manuscripts that do not meet this criterion may still be considered, if the first two criteria are clearly met.

Qualitative research

The Editorial team recognises that the term 'qualitative research' encompasses diverse methods, manuscripts will be evaluated based on the appropriateness of the selected framework, the coherence of the report and its adherence to quality criteria consistent with the methodology and method as follows:

Epistemological and/or theoretical frameworks
  • The epistemological underpinnings and/or theoretical framework are made explicit and applied consistently


Study design and method
  • The research goal is clear, justified and in context regarding the literature
  • The approach matches the purpose of research and is justified
  • Methods of sampling, data collection, data management and analysis are made explicit and consistent with the methodology
  • Analytical and interpretative processes are described in full


Findings, discussion and implications
  • Findings represent the depth and breadth of data
  • Findings and interpretations are supported by the data
  • Direct quotations, exemplars or other data presentations are used judiciously to illustrate the findings
  • Findings are presented in a way that is consistent with the methodology, method and study aims
  • Authors are appropriately cautious about knowledge claims
  • Findings are explored theoretically and applications discussed


Process issues
  • The report provides an account of reflexive practice in keeping with the methodology


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.