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Instructions for Authors

For guidelines on policy and submission across our journals, please click on the links below:
Manuscript preparation
Editorial policies
Patient consent forms
Licence forms
Peer review
Submission and production processes

Editorial policies

BMJ Open Respiratory Research is an open access peer-reviewed journal dedicated exclusively to publishing respiratory and critical care medicine research. The journal aims to provide rapid publication of research across a range of medical disciplines and therapeutic areas in respiratory medicine, through a continuous publication model.

Submissions should be made through our online submission system. All submissions are subject to peer review and will only be published after peer review. Articles should not be under review, or submitted for review, with any other journal when submitted to BMJ Open Respiratory Research. This includes other BMJ journals.

Authors retain copyright; articles are published under a Creative Commons licence.

Submission to BMJ Open Respiratory Research implies that the work described has not been accepted for publication elsewhere, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere and does not duplicate material already published.

Article Publishing Charges
BMJ Open Respiratory Research levies an Article Publishing Charge that reflects the true cost of the services provided. The standard charge (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors) is 1,700 GBP / 2,380 EUR / 3,000 USD. Charges for publishing a study protocol are 1,000 GBP / 1,450 EUR / 1,650 USD. There are no submission or page charges, and no colour charges. Unless a waiver has been granted, accepted articles will not be published until payment has been received.

BMJ are unable to process cancellations, refunds or returns for open access charges.

Waivers and Discounts
We appreciate that some authors do not have access to funding to cover publication costs. The journal will accept part payment where only limited funds are available, and offers a waiver to authors unable to pay on request. No payment information is requested before an article is accepted, so the ability to pay cannot affect editorial decisions. BMJ Open Respiratory Research offers a 100% waiver to corresponding authors from institutions based in Hinari Band 1 countries, and a 50% waiver to authors from institutions based in Hinari Band 2 countries. In recognition of reviewers' support, any reviewer that returns a full review, on time, can receive a 25% discount on article publishing charges for a paper for which they are the corresponding author, if submitted within 12 months of completing the review.

Language Polishing Service
If you are not a native English speaker, we recommend that you have your manuscript edited by a native speaker prior to submission. Professional editing will improve the grammar, spelling and punctuation of your manuscript, providing clear language which will mean that reviewers and editors are better able to concentrate on the scientific content of the paper. Click here for more information.

Submission Policies

All articles will be subject to the BMJ high standards of ethics and transparency. See the following links for general BMJ policies.

Manuscript formatting
Editorial policies
Patient consent forms
Licence forms

Peer Review Process

All articles published in BMJ Open Respiratory Research will have been sent for external peer review. Reviewers will not be asked to judge importance or breadth of appeal. Readers will be able to make these judgements for themselves. We recommend you use our instructions for reviewers as a checklist to ensure that your article is complete.

Article Types

The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements and contributions and the references. For guidance on how to improve your graphs and tables please view these BMJ demonstration videos.

Information on our publication turnaround times and acceptance rates can be found here.


These usually accompany manuscripts published in the journal and are commissioned by the editors. They are short (600-880 words) commentaries that discuss the research manuscript in the context of the wider field and have up to 20 references. They will usually reviewed by the editorial team, though on occasion they may be subject to external review.

Original Research

Full 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 alongside the article, and we may request that you separate out some material into supplementary data files to make the main manuscript clearer for readers. We also recommend, but do not insist, that the discussion section is no longer than five paragraphs.

At upload you would be asked to choose one subject area that applies to your article - it will be published under this banner on the main table of contents. You will also be asked to select specific keywords to help identify reviewers.

  1. Word count: up to 4000
  2. Abstract: up to 300
  3. Tables/illustrations: up to 5 (colour figures are encouraged), any more at the Editors discretion
  4. References: up to 100


Protocol manuscripts should report planned or ongoing studies. If data collection is complete, we will not consider the manuscript. BMJ Open Gastroenterology will consider for publication protocols for any study design, including observational studies and systematic reviews.

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 the study.

Protocols should follow the following structure:

  1. Title: this should include the specific study type, e.g. randomised controlled trial.
  2. 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.
  3. Introduction: explain the rationale for the study and what evidence gap it may fill. Appropriate previous literature should be referenced, including relevant systematic reviews.
  4. 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 will be 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.
  5. Ethics and Dissemination: ethical and safety considerations and any dissemination plan (publications, data deposition and curation) should be covered here.
  6. References.
  7. Authors' Contributions: state how each author was involved in writing the protocol.
  8. Funding Statement: preferably worded as follows. Either: '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'.
  9. Competing Interests Statement.

Review Articles

Review articles will address any aspect of respiratory or critical care medicine. Prior discussion with the Editor is recommended. Accepted reviews are subject to the same Article Publishing Charges as research articles. All review articles are subject to peer review and editorial approval.

  1. Word count: up to 3000
  2. Unstructured Abstract: up to 200
  3. Tables/illustrations: up to 5 images and tables
  4. References: up to 100


The BMJ Group journals are willing to consider publishing supplements. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of:

  1. 1. 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.
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. BMJ itself may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary.
  4. 4. 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. All supplements are fully peer-reviewed. For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the supplements guidelines (PDF).

Plagiarism Detection

BMJ is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting

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