As mentioned in the Warm Up in the November issue, BJSM receives nearly 1000 submissions a year. Given that we only have budget to print about 15 papers a month, it means that only about 10% of ‘original submissions’ can be accepted. It doesn’t seem fair to authors or reviewers to send all these papers to peer review – most authors prefer a fast rejection over a slow one. Thus, our policy is to reject 40% of papers at the editorial board level. This means that about 600 papers go for review per year and of those about 1/3 will be published.
This means a paper might report fine research but be passed over for BJSM. Priority areas for BJSM are papers that are of interest to clinicians including family doctors, sports physicians, physiotherapists and public health and policy staff. We love papers that will change what clinicians and sports scientists do. Randomized trials, systematic reviews and large, longitudinal cohort studies are, of course, very much in demand. Basic science needs to have a clear, short-run, clinical implication to be accepted.
As active researchers and clinicians, the editorial team appreciates the hard work that goes into every research study. However, we also have a responsibility to shape BJSM for its readership – and we do not apologise for that.