Introducing BMJ Open’s new article type: The Communication Article

The editorial team at BMJ Open are pleased to announce a new article type. In this blog, we introduce the communication article, highlight our first published example, and tell you how you can submit one of your own.

What is a communication article?

Since launching in 2011, BMJ Open has focused on three key article types: research articles, study protocols, and cohort profiles. Recently we have received more submissions and enquiries related to material that is of interest to the journal’s readership and values, but does not fit into our existing framework of article types. We believe that the publication of this material is important as it helps encourage  discussion of how clinical research should best be conducted. To help facilitate the discussion, we are delighted to announce the launch of a new article type: The communication article.

The communication article will cover content that does not fit within our existing article types, but is of interest to BMJ Open’s readership. Rather than presenting primary research, it is an opportunity to present ideas, examples, and innovations relating to the conduct of clinical research. As with all content in BMJ Open, communication articles will relate to key research issues in clinical medicine, public health, and epidemiology. Examples of topics of relevance to BMJ Open include:

  • Encouraging patient and public involvement
  • Improving research transparency and reproducibility
  • Reducing research waste through collaboration
  • Improving best practice in publishing and peer review

All communication articles will undergo external open peer review. As with our other content, the peer reviewer reports and previous versions of the manuscript will be posted alongside the final article. We also encourage readers to participate in the discussion by posting comments on the articles. 

If you are interested in submitting a communication article to BMJ Open, we ask that you send us a presubmission enquiry via our online submission system. You will be asked to provide a title, an abstract and a cover letter explaining why you think your work is appropriate as a communication article for BMJ Open.

The economic returns to medical research funding

To coincide with the launch of the communication article, we have published our first example. Written by Jonathan Grant and Martin Buxton, the article examines the economic returns to investment in medical research. Grant and Buxton argue for the need of transparency in clinical research so that we can understand where, how, and when we acquire returns from clinical research. With funding under threat, it is crucial that we understand what aspects of research are truly beneficial and what aspects are wasteful.

We are thrilled to have published this important and thoughtful work as our first communication article–we hope the first of many.

How to submit a communication article

Communication articles will be considered at the discretion of the editorial team at BMJ Open based on the relevance of the topic and the quality of a presubmission enquiry. You can complete your presubmission enquiry via our submission site. If approved, you will be invited to upload a complete manuscript.

As with our other article types, there will be an article publishing charge applied to accepted communication articles.

For guidance on how to prepare your submission, please visit our Instructions for Authors. 

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