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Instructions for authors


Professor Paul M Salkovskis – Editor

Editorial Office:

Editorial Statement

Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy is an international multidisciplinary journal for the publication of original research of an experimental, or clinical nature that contributes to the theory, practice and evaluation of cognitive and behavioural therapies. As such the scope of the journal is very broad, and articles relevant to most areas of human behaviour and human experience which would be of interest to members of the helping and teaching professions will be considered for publication.

As an applied science the concepts, methodology and techniques of behavioural psychotherapy continue to change. The journal seeks both to reflect and to influence those changes. While the emphasis is placed on empirical research, articles concerned with important theoretical and methodological issues as well as evaluative reviews of the behavioural literature are also published. In addition, given the emphasis of behaviour therapy on the experimental investigation of the single case, the journal from time to time publishes case studies using single case experimental designs.

For the majority of designs this should include a baseline period with repeated measures; in all instances the nature of the quantitative data and the intervention must be clearly specified. Other types of case report can be submitted for the Brief Clinical Reports section.

Articles should concern original material that is neither published nor under consideration for publication elsewhere. This applies also to articles in languages other than English.

Preparing Your Manuscript

Articles must be under 5,000 words at the point of submission, excluding references, tables and figures. Manuscripts describing more than one study may exceed no more than 6000 words but please make this clear in your cover letter.

Brief Clinical Reports should be no more than 1800 words (see more information below).

Please note that we currently do not usually accept studies carried out on student samples unless there is a clear indication of generalisability to clinical populations.

The journal strongly encourages blind review. Authors who want a blind review should indicate this at the point of submission of their article, omitting details of authorship and other identifying information from the main manuscript. Authors who do not omit this information will be assumed as submitting a non-blinded manuscript.

All submissions should be submitted via this portal:

Article Types

Reports of original research employing experimental or correlational methods and using within or between subject designs. Review or discussion articles that are based on empirical data and that have important new theoretical, conceptual or applied implications.

Empirically Grounded Clinical Interventions
This section is intended for reviews of the present status of treatment approaches for specific psychological problems. It is intended that such articles will draw upon a combination of treatment trials, experimental evidence and other research, and be firmly founded in phenomenology. It should take account of, but also go beyond, treatment outcome data.

Brief Clinical Reports
Material suitable for this section includes unusual case reports and accounts of potentially important techniques, phenomena or observations; for example, descriptions of previously unreported techniques, outlines of available treatment manuals, descriptions of innovative variations of existing procedures, details of self-help or training packages, and accounts of the application of existing techniques in novel settings. The BCR section is intended to extend the scope of the clinical section. Submissions to this section should be no longer than 1800 words and should include no more than six references, one table or figure, and an extended report that contains fuller details. There are no restrictions on the size or format of the extended report as it will be published online only. It may, for instance, be a treatment manual, a fully detailed case report, or a therapy transcript. If a submission is accepted for publication as a Brief Clinical Report, the author(s) must be prepared to send the fuller document to those requesting it, free of charge. The extended document will also be mounted on the journal’s website as a PDF format (the document will not be copyedited).

Study Protocols
Protocols of proposed and ongoing trials in behavioural and cognitive therapies will be considered. Your study must be registered and have ethical approval, and proof of this will be required. The abstract should be structured under the following four headings; Background, Aims, Method, Discussion.

Please use the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trail (SPIRIT) checklist for protocols of randomised controlled trials (see the reporting standards section below). Manuscripts should be under 2000 words at the point of first submission, and include no more than 15 references, and no more than three tables/figures in total. A PDF with additional, unlimited text, figures and tables may be included designated for online only publication.

Style Guide

The following should be included in all manuscripts:

Title page
This should be a separate file to the main text to ensure blind review.

The title should phrase concisely the major issues. Author(s) to be given with departmental affiliations and addresses, grouped appropriately. A running head of no more than 40 characters should be indicated.

The following statements should be included on the title page:

You may acknowledge individuals or organizations that provided advice, support (non-financial).

Conflict of Interest

Authors should include a Conflicts of Interest declaration in their title page. Conflicts of Interest are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on an author’s presentation of their work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. Conflicts of Interest do not necessarily mean that an author’s work has been compromised. Authors should declare any real or perceived Conflicts of Interest in order to be transparent about the context of their work. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting the title page must include Conflicts of Interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors.

Example wording for your Conflicts of Interest declaration is as follows: “Conflicts of Interest: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no Conflicts of Interest exist, your declaration should state “Conflicts of Interest: None”.

Financial support

Please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers. For example, "This work was supported by the Medical research Council (grant number XXXXXXX)". Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma and space, and where research was funded by more than one agency the different agencies should be separated by a semi-colon, with "and" before the final funder. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors’ initials. For example, "This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (A.B., grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (C.D., grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (E.F., grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (A.B., grant number GGGG), (E.F., grant number HHHH)". Where no specific funding has been provided for research, please provide the following statement: "This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors."

Main Text (anonymised with no author information)
This should be uploaded as a .doc file with the following running order. The following format is based on APA style which should be followed throughout:

Should consist of no more than 250 words and structured under the following five headings: Background, Aims, Method, Results, and Conclusions. Include up to six key words that describes the article.

Main Text
This should contain the sections Introduction (including overview and theoretical background), Method (participants, design, data analyses and Ethical Statement- see below), Results (described in detail with summary figures and tables), Discussion (including conclusions and limitations).

Ethical statements
All papers should include a statement indicating that authors have abided by the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct as set out by the BABCP and BPS. Authors should also confirm if ethical approval was needed, by which organisation, and provide the relevant reference number. If no ethical approval was obtained, the authors should state what governance arrangements were in place (e.g. audit committee approval).

Please use APA style for the in-text citations and references. In the reference list there is an additional requirement that author names be listed in bold face. For example:

Grady, J. S., Her, M., Moreno, G., Perez, C., & Yelinek, J. (2019). Emotions in storybooks: A comparison of storybooks that represent ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 8(3), 207–217.

Authors are encouraged to make use of referencing software packages (e.g. Endnote, Mendeley, Reference Manager etc.) to assist with formatting - extensions for APA formatting are easily accessible. Authors are also reminded to use bold face for author names in the reference list.

Tables and Figures
Manuscripts should usually not include more than five tables and/or figures. These should not be included in the body of the manuscript text but uploaded as individual files.

Use text anchors to show their intended position within the paper within the manuscript.

Numbered figure captions should be provided.

Tables should be provided in editable Word format. They should be numbered and given explanatory titles

Colour figures are free of charge for online published articles but if authors wish figures to be published in colour in the print version the cost is £200.

Numbered figure captions should be provided.

All artwork should be submitted as separate TIFF format files.

Please follow this link for further guidance on artwork.

Supplementary Information – Online only
Where unpublished material e.g. behaviour rating scales or therapy manuals are referred to in an article, copies should be submitted as an additional document (where copyright allows) to facilitate review. Supplementary files can be used to convey supporting or extra information to your study, however, the main manuscript should be able to ‘stand-alone’. Supporting documents are reviewed but not copyedited on acceptance of the article. They can therefore be submitted in PDF format, and include figures and tables within the text. There is no word limit for supporting online information.

Reporting Standards

Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy supports standardised reporting practices, consult the following table to ensure your submission meets the reporting standards for your manuscript type. Please include the relevant supporting information (such as diagrams and checklists) with your submission files. See for more information on manuscript types not described below.

The journal also encourages clarity in describing interventions sufficient to allow their replication through the use of the Template for Intervention Description and Replication Checklist (TIDieR).

Randomised Controlled Trial CONSORT
Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis PRISMA
Study Protocols SPIRIT

Suggested Reviewers

During the submission process, you will be asked to indicate your preferred and non-preferred reviewers, and the reasons for your choices.

Preferred reviewers:

  • Should not have a conflict of interest (such as a recent or current close working relationship, or from the same institution)
  • At least half of the list should be international to yourself
  • Please consider early career researchers as well as field leaders
  • Please suggest both niche experts and those with wider knowledge of the subject

Non-preferred reviewers:

  • May have personal or subjective bias to your work which disregards the scientific merit
  • May have seen or commented on the submitted manuscript, or prior versions.


Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy encourages authors to identify themselves using their ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript to the journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

  • Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you’ve authored.
  • Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.
  • Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

You can register for an ORCiD account and iD here: If you already have an iD, please use this when submitting, either by linking it to your Scholar One account or supplying it during submission by using the "Associate your existing ORCID ID" button.

Transfer Of Files For Submission To the Cognitive Behavioural Therapist

Editors for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BCP) can choose to recommend submission of a manuscript not suitable for BCP to the Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (tCBT). Selection of a manuscript to be transferred to tCBT is at the Editor’s discretion, and is then subject to the peer-review process of that journal. No guarantee of suitability for tCBT or acceptance is made.

If your manuscript is recommended to be transferred to tCBT then you will be notified by the Journal Office for your permission and further information.

Publication Ethics

Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy is committed to actively investigating any cases of suspected misconduct, even in the event of the manuscript being withdrawn. All editors and reviewers are asked to disclose any conflicts of interest when they are assigned a manuscript. If deemed necessary, alternative or additional opinions will be sought in order to maintain the balance of fair and thorough peer review. All authors are also required to provide statements pertaining to conflicts of interest and ethical principles.

The journal is a member of COPE and abides by the COPE code of conduct. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy and Cambridge University Press take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism, or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of articles published in the journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked using duplication-checking software. Where an article is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal, or appropriate legal action.

For further information on Cambridge's Ethical Guidelines, please visit these pages: Publication Ethics and Ethical Standards.

Open Access

Upon acceptance of your paper, you may choose to publish your article via Gold Open Access (following payment of an Article Processing Charge). Current APC rates for the journal can be found here.

Please note: APC collection is managed by Rightslink, who will contact authors who have elected to publish via Open Access.

Green Open Access is also supported by Cambridge Open and full details can be found on the journal copyright form.

Note: Open Access publication under a CC-BY licence may be required when funding has been received from some funding bodies. If this applies to your paper make sure to let us know during the submission process, and complete the appropriate Open Access copyright form. You can also indicate through the Scholar One system that your paper should deposited in PubMed Central if accepted, which may also be required by funders.

Proofs and Copyright

Proofs of accepted articles will be sent electronically to authors for the correction of printers’ errors; authors’ alterations may be charged. Authors submitting a manuscript do so on the understanding that if it is accepted for publication exclusive copyright of the paper shall be assigned to the Association. The publishers will not put any limitation on the personal freedom of the author to use material contained in the paper in other works.

Author Language Services

Cambridge University Press recommends that authors have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission; this will ensure that submissions are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. Cambridge partners with a third-party service specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Use of such services is voluntary, at the author's own expense, and no guarantee of having an article accepted in the journal.

Updated 9th March 2020