Tips for authors – what does BJSM accept?

BJSM has a mission to provide clinically-relevant material for clinicians in the broad field of sport and exercise medicine. BJSM aims to serve member societies such as BASEM (UK), AMSSM (US), ACSP (Australia and New Zealand), SASMA (South Africa) SSPTA (Switzerland) and ECOSEP (Europe). Will your paper be of interest to those readers? Because we receive 1000 papers annually, and can only publish about 8-10 original submissions in each of our 16 issues annually, our acceptance of original submissions is limited to around 150 per year – say 10-15%.

Thus, to help authors, we only send 40% of submissions out for external peer review. The editor and deputy editors (Khan, Pluim, Cook) screen papers for (i) relevance to our field and (ii) study design. Papers that are unlikely to be of interest to the target audience and those with a design that is open to biased conclusions are redirected to authors rapidly so they can be submitted elsewhere. Thus, recent acceptances show fewer cross-sectional studies. Case series and case reports are not part of BJSM anymore but the BMJ has its own Case Reports journal ‘BMJ Case Reports’ which is proving wildly popular.

We appreciate that many ‘publishable’ papers cannot fit inside our small envelope but fortunately there are many good journals in our field. We are always delighted to see papers that didn’t make it through our filter show up in associated sports medicine and physiotherapy journals. And one paper we rejected was resubmitted to BMJ and got published there! Great news! Peer review has limitations and has more than an element of subjectivity.

Clinical relevance, superior quality study designs where appropriate. Studies that clinicians can build on or that influence policy. BJSM is aiming for impact – in the true sense of that word!

Thanks for considering BJSM and keep those high-quality submissions coming!

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