Systematic reviews in BJSM
Systematic reviews provide level 1 evidence and form a critical part of the literature. Here we provide some ground rules for SRs of interest in BJSM. These guidelines are meant to inform authors but are not absolute.
Is the review of interest to our core readership?
BJSM is a clinical journal so the topic must have relevance and some application to clinical practice. Ask the key question ”will the findings change what practitioners do?”
The scope of the question and review:
Very specific questions and very broad questions may both have limited appeal. Those that ask and answer ‘meaty’ questions that reflect clinical issues have greater interest to BJSM readers.
Is the review worth the journal space?
Succinct and focussed reviews are always of more interest. Questions that are topical, novel or controversial that will attract readers and researchers to the journal will be more likely to be accepted.
Do the authors have broad knowledge in the topic area?
We are looking for experts to synthesise the literature and to comment on the outcomes of the review in a meaningful and clinically relevant way. The conclusion that ‘more research is needed’ does not add value for readers – it is uninformative.
After you consider these questions, please send in your SRs. Also, we are open to amending these guidelines – feel free to contact us with your suggestions.
BJSM Editorial Office