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BMJ Neurology Open will be published continuously online and aims to operate a fast submission and review process, to ensure timely, up-to-date research is available worldwide. The Journal adheres to a rigorous and transparent peer review process and all papers will be considered on the basis of ethical and methodological soundness rather than their novelty, significance, or relevance to any particular audience.

Submissions should be made through the Journal’s online submission system, which is available here. Articles should not be under review by any other journal when submitted to BMJ Neurology Open.

Editorial policy

BMJ Neurology Open adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics and scientific misconduct. The journal follows guidance produced by bodies that include the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) the Council of Science Editors and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page.

Research ethics and consent

Authors are required to submit a statement that their study obtained ethics approval (or a statement that it was not required and why) and that participants gave informed consent. Our Editors will consider whether the work is morally acceptable as determined by the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki. In addition to this an article that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual requires patients explicit consent (in the format of a signed BMJ patient consent form) before we will publish it. Please find further details on BMJ research ethics policies (human participants and animals) and consent for publication; including a link to the downloadable consent form.

Competing interests

To make the best decision on how to deal with a manuscript, BMJ Neurology Open needs to know about any competing interests authors may have; this includes any commercial, financial or non financial associations that may be relevant to the submitted article. Authors must download and complete a copy of the ICMJE Conflict of Interest disclosure form. In addition to this BMJ Neurology Open ensures that all advertising and sponsorship associated with the journal does not influence editorial decisions, is immediately distinguishable from editorial content and meets all other BMJ guidelines. Please find more information about competing interests and a link to the form.

Publication misconduct

We take seriously all possible misconduct. If an Editor, author or reader has concerns that a submitted article describes something that might be considered to constitute misconduct in research, publication or professional behaviour they should forward their concerns to the journal. The publisher will deal with allegations appropriately following ICMJE and COPE guidelines. Corrections and retractions are considered where an article has already been published; corrections, expressions of concern or a retraction notices will be published as soon as possible in line with the BMJ correction and retraction policy.


Copyright and authors’ rights

As an open access journal, BMJ Neurology Open adheres to the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access. Articles are published under an exclusive licence or non-exclusive licence for UK Crown employees or where BMJ has agreed CC BY applies. For US Federal Government officers or employees acting as part of their official duties, the terms are as stated in accordance with our licence terms. Authors or their employers retain copyright. Such open access articles can be reused under the terms of the relevant Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC or CC-BY) to facilitate reuse of the content. please refer to the BMJ Neurology Open Author Licence. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.

When publishing in BMJ Neurology Open, authors choose between two licence types – CC-BY-NC and CC-BY (Creative Commons open access licences require payment of an article processing charge). As an author you may wish to post your article in an institutional or subject repository, or on a scientific social sharing network. You may also link your published article to your preprint (if applicable). What you can do with your article, without seeking permission, depends on the licence you have chosen and the version of your article. Please refer to the BMJ author self archiving and permissions policies page for more information.


Article processing charges

BMJ Neurology Open is an open access journal levies an Article Processing Charge (APC) of GBP 1500; EUR 2200; USD 2400 (exclusive of VAT) for original research and GBP 1250; EUR 1750; USD 2000 (exclusive of VAT) for all other article types. ANZAN members are eligible for a 25% discount on their APC.

There are no submission or page charges, and no colour charges. Payment of the APC may be made online by credit card, or by bank transfer following receipt of an invoice.

As one of the founding members of the HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme, we provide free access to all of our journals, and journals archive to local, not-for-profit institutions in low income countries. In addition, we appreciate that some authors do not have access to funding to cover publication costs and we offer waivers through our Open Access Waiver Fund. We will accept part payment where only limited funds are available, and we offer waivers to authors in exceptional circumstances, on request.

Find out if you are eligible for institutional funding

A number of institutions have open access agreements with BMJ which can either cover the whole cost of open access publishing for authors at participating institutions or can allow authors to receive a discount of the Article Processing Charge (APC).

Visit BMJ’s open access agreements page to find out whether your institution is a member and what discounts you may be entitled to.

BMJ also grants waivers and discounts* in specific circumstances, for more information on publishing open access with BMJ visit our Author Hub.

*Please note that applications for waivers or discounts should be made during initial submission and not after an article has been accepted. Editors are not involved in this process and the ability to pay has no bearing on editorial decisions. Payment will not be required unless your article is accepted. Accepted articles will not be published until payment has been received. BMJ does not refund APCs once paid.


Preprints

Preprints foster openness, accessibility and collaboration by allowing authors to make their findings immediately available to the research community and receive feedback on an article before it is submitted to a journal for formal publication.

BMJ fully supports and encourages the archiving of preprints in any recognised, not-for-profit server such as medRxiv. BMJ does not consider the posting of an article in a dedicated preprint repository to be prior publication.

Preprints are reports of work that have not been peer-reviewed; Preprints should therefore not be used to guide clinical practice, health-related behaviour or health policy. For more information, please refer to our Preprint policy page.


Peer review

Articles submitted to BMJ Neurology Open are subject to peer review. The journal operates single blind peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author; usually two external reviewer reports are obtained before an Original research or Review article is accepted for publication. Manuscripts authored by a member of a journal’s editorial team are independently peer reviewed; an editor will have no input or influence on the peer review process or publication decision for their own article. For more information on what to expect during the peer review process please refer to BMJ Author Hub – the peer review process.

BMJ requests that all reviewers adhere to a set of basic principles and standards during the peer-review process in research publication; these are based on the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Please refer to our peer review terms and conditions policy page.

BMJ is committed to transparency. Every article we publish includes a description of its provenance (commissioned or not commissioned) and whether it was internally or externally peer reviewed.

Plagiarism is the appropriation of the language, ideas or thoughts of another without crediting their true source and representation of them as one’s own original work. 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. BMJ runs manuscripts through iThenticate during the peer review process. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting www.ithenticate.com.

Reader responses, questions and comments to published content are welcomed by BMJ Neurology Open; these should be submitted electronically via the journal’s website. Please find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.


Manuscript transfer

Your article will not automatically be transferred to BMJ Neurology Open if rejected from another BMJ Journal; however, you can choose BMJ Neurology Open as an alternate journal when submitting an article to any BMJ Journal; any reviewer comments will be shared, resulting in a reduced time to decision.

Manuscripts will be evaluated separately by the BMJ Neurology Open editorial team, with different criteria for acceptance.


Data sharing

BMJ Neurology Open adheres to BMJ’s Tier 3 data policy. We strongly encourage that data generated by your research that supports your article be made available as soon as possible, wherever legally and ethically possible. All research articles must contain a Data Availability Statement. For more information and FAQs, please see BMJ’s full Data Sharing Policy page.

Reporting patient and public involvement in research

BMJ encourages active patient and public involvement in clinical research as part of its patient and public partnership strategy. To support co-production of research we request that authors provide a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the methods section of their papers, under the subheading ‘Patient and public involvement’.

We appreciate that patient and public involvement is relatively new and may not be feasible or appropriate for all papers. We therefore continue to consider papers where patients were not involved.
The Patient and Public Involvement statement should provide a brief response to the following questions, tailored as appropriate for the study design reported (please find example statements here):

  • At what stage in the research process were patients/the public first involved in the research and how?
  • How were the research question(s) and outcome measures developed and informed by their priorities, experience, and preferences?
  • How were patients/the public involved in the design of this study?
  • How were they involved in the recruitment to and conduct of the study?
  • Were they asked to assess the burden of the intervention and time required to participate in the research?
  • How were (or will) they be involved in your plans to disseminate the study results to participants and relevant wider patient communities (e.g. by choosing what information/results to share, when, and in what format)?
  • If patients were not involved please state this.

    In addition to considering the points above we advise authors to look at guidance for best reporting of patient and public involvement as set out in the GRIPP2 reporting checklist.

    If the Patient and Public Involvement statement  is missing in the submitted manuscript we will request that authors provide it.

ORCID

BMJ Neurology Open mandates ORCID iDs for the submitting author at the time of article submission; co-authors and reviewers are strongly encouraged to also connect their ScholarOne accounts to ORCID. We strongly believe that the increased use and integration of ORCID iDs will be beneficial for the whole research community.

Please find more information about ORCID and BMJ’s policy on our Author Hub.


Submission guidelines

Please review the below article type specifications including the required article lengths, illustrations, table limits and reference counts. The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements, contributions and references. Manuscripts should be as succinct as possible.

For further support when making your submission please refer to the resources available on the BMJ Author Hub. Here you will find information on writing and formatting your research through to the peer review process and promoting your paper. We encourage authors to ensure that research articles are written in accordance with the relevant research reporting guideline. You may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services.


Original research

Original research papers should follow the basic structure of abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, references, and tables and figures as appropriate.

Supplementary and raw data can be placed online separately from the text, and we may request that you separate out some material into supplementary data files to make the main manuscript clearer for readers.

Word count: up to 3500 words
Abstract: up to 300 words
Tables/illustrations: maximum 8 tables and/or figures
References: up to 40


Review

Reviews will usually be solicited by the Editor and are subjected to a review process.

Authors wishing to submit a review should seek the advice of the Editor in advance. The inclusion of additional material, e.g. video clips and sound files, and links to useful websites is strongly encouraged.

Word count: 5000 words maximum – bullet points encouraged
Tables/illustrations: should not normally exceed 5
References: up to 40


Editorial

BMJ Neurology Open welcomes editorials. The purpose of an editorial is to provide a novel perspective on a clinically-relevant issue. We welcome suggestions for possible topics and authors.

Word count: up to 1500 words
Tables/illustrations: 1 table or figure
References: should not normally exceed 25

Protocol

BMJ Neurology Open will consider protocols for any study design, including observational studies and systematic reviews.

Protocol manuscripts should report planned or ongoing research studies. If data collection is complete we will not consider the manuscript.

Publishing study protocols enables researchers and funding bodies to stay up to date in their fields by providing exposure to research activity that may not otherwise be widely publicised. This can help prevent unnecessary duplication of work and will hopefully enable collaboration. Publishing protocols in full also makes available more information than is currently required by trial registries and increases transparency, making it easier for others (editors, reviewers and readers) to see and understand any deviations from the protocol that occur during the conduct of a study.

Following the lead of The BMJ and its patient partnership strategy, BMJ Neurology Open is encouraging active patient involvement in setting the research agenda. As such, we require authors of Research Articles to add a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the Methods section. Please see more details above.

Protocols should have the following structure:

Title: this should include the specific study type, e.g. randomised controlled trial.

Abstract: this should be structured with the following sections: Introduction; Methods and analysis; Ethics and Dissemination. Registration details should be included as a final section, if appropriate.

Introduction: explain the rationale for the study and what evidence gap it may fill. Appropriate previous literature should be referenced, including relevant systematic reviews.

Methods and analysis: provide a full description of the study design, including the following: how the sample will be selected; interventions to be measured; the sample size calculation (drawing on previous literature) with an estimate of how many participants are needed for the primary outcome to be statistically, clinically and/or politically significant; what outcomes will be measured, when and how; a data analysis plan.

Ethics and dissemination: ethical and safety considerations and any dissemination plan (publications, data deposition and curation) should be covered here.

Full references

Authors’ contributions: state how each author was involved in writing the protocol.

Funding statement: preferably worded in one of two ways: ‘This work was supported by [name of funder] grant number [xxx]’ or ‘This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors’.

Competing interests statement

Protocols for studies that will require ethical approval, such as trials, are unlikely to be considered without having received that approval.

Short report

Topics suitable for presentation for short reports include single case reports which illustrate important new phenomena, or reports of short, original research studies.

Word count: up to 1500 words
Abstract: structured, 200 words
Tables/illustrations: 1 table or figure
References: should not normally exceed 15

Viewpoint

Viewpoints should provide a commentary on a topic of interest to the BMJ Neurology Open readership.
We encourage the use of subheadings where appropriate (not in the introduction). Typically, any discussion section should have two or more subheadings.

Additional material may be presented as supplementary information, which will be published in a single Word/PDF file in the Appendix should the article be accepted (this can be in any format: text, tables, images, videos, etc).

Word count: up to 1500 words
Abstract: up to 200 words
Tables/illustrations: up to 4 tables and/or figures.
References: up to 30.

Please include 3-4 Key points.

Supplements

Journals from BMJ are willing to consider publishing supplements. 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 Group 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).