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Instructions for authors

Jump To: Preparing your Submission | Submission Types | Policies | After Acceptance


BJPsych Advances is an international peer-reviewed journal owned by The Royal College of Psychiatrists. It distils current clinical knowledge into a single resource written and peer-reviewed by expert clinicians to meet the CPD needs of consultant psychiatrists and practising mental health professionals. Please see the journal’s Aims & Scope for further information about its focus and readership.

BJPsych Advances is not responsible for statements made by contributors and material in BJPsych Advances does not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor-in-Chief or the College.


Manuscripts should be submitted online as a Word document via For assistance with online submission, please email or call +44 (0)20 3701 2719.

Peer Review

All submissions will be initially assessed for suitability by the journal Editor-in-Chief (or a Handling Editor, if the Editor-in-Chief has a conflict of interest, or if she has delegated editorial responsibility for certain topic areas). After the initial assessment, submissions are single blind peer reviewed by a minimum of two independent, anonymous expert referees and the Learning Objectives and Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) are reviewed separately. Find out more about what to expect during peer review here.

All articles in this journal are peer-reviewed. No person is permitted to take any role in the peer-review of a paper in which they have an interest, defined as follows: fees or grants from, employment by, consultancy for, shared ownership in, or any close relationship with, an organisation whose interests, financial or otherwise, may be affected by the publication of the paper.

When editorial board members of this journal submit papers, the journal follows the below process:

  1. Editorial board members include a declaration of interest statement in their submission stating their role with the journal.
  2. Editorial board members submit through ScholarOne and do not take part in the review or decision-making process regarding their own paper.
  3. Editorial board members who have submitted papers to the journal are blinded from accessing information on their paper in the system and are notified of decisions in the usual way.

Preparing your Submission

Checklist: What to Include

Authors will be asked to confirm the following elements are included during submission. Any omissions may cause delays.

Word Document:

  1. Title – Titles are often recommended at the stage of commissioning but may be modified at the authors’ discretion. Please ensure that the title included in the system matches the title within the paper upon submission.
  2. Author Names – The full names of the authors should appear on the title page in the form that is wished for publication. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, please specify the name of the group and identify the group members on the title page who can take credit and responsibility for the work as authors. Other group members (non-author contributors) should be listed under Acknowledgements or in Supplementary Material.
  3. Author Details – At the end of the manuscript list the names, degrees, job titles, full affiliations and country at the time the work was carried out. Identify one corresponding author with an email address appropriate for publication.
  4. Author Biography – A short biographical summary, of about 50 words, on each author is required. This should contain full names, job titles, brief details of any other posts held and research interests.
  5. Abstract – A brief unstructured abstract should be included for each article type. This must not be repeated in the text. Abstracts are used for review purposes and they also form the basis of the "Summary" published at the start of the paper in the journal.
  6. Main Text – See relevant Article Type for individual specification.
  7. Case Vignettes and Consent Statement – Fictional case vignettes (indicated as such) are preferable to case studies of real patients. Even if consent is obtained, please anonymise the account as much as possible. Submissions involving human participants must include the following statement in the Introduction section: Written [or verbal] informed consent was obtained from all subjects/patients. Where verbal consent was obtained this must be followed by a statement such as: Verbal consent was witnessed and formally recorded. This confirms that any participant has consented to the inclusion of material pertaining to themselves, that they acknowledge that they cannot be identified via the manuscript and that the participant has been fully anonymised by the author. If a real individual is described and identifiable, authors should complete and submit a Consent Form. Where someone is deceased, please ensure you have written consent from the family or estate.
  8. References – References should appear in the reduced Harvard system of referencing (the first-named author and the date are cited in parenthesis in the text). All reported data, results and diagnostic systems should be referenced. References may also indicate further reading and evidence key points. Authors may draw particular attention to a small number of references that a reader may wish to follow up, and this can be done by the use of an asterisk. See relevant Article Type for individual reference specification. Read our guide to Harvard referencing here.

Required Statements:

  1. Declaration of Interest – Authors should include a Declaration of Interest statement in their manuscript, detailing all conflicts of interest. 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 manuscript must include a Declaration of Interest statement relevant to all contributing authors. Example wording for your declaration is as follows: “Declaration 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 “Declaration of Interest: None”.
  2. Funding – Authors must include a Funding Statement in their manuscript. Within this statement please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers, for example: “Funding Statement: This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (grant number XXXXXXX)”. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors’ initials, for example: “Funding Statement: This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (AB, grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (CD, grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (EF, grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (AB, grant number GGGG), (EF, grant number HHHH).” Where no specific funding has been provided for research, you should include the following statement: “Funding Statement: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.”
  3. Acknowledgements – Authors may acknowledge individuals or organisations who provided non-financial advice and/or support. Names and descriptions of the contributions of all non-author contributors should be included (as identified in the ICMJE guidelines). If a professional medical writer has been employed in connection to the work, the writer must be named in the Acknowledgements section with their contact information.
  4. Author Contribution – All authors should meet all four ICMJE criteria for authorship. Please provide a very brief description of the contribution of each author.

Other Documents:

  1. Authors are encouraged to use figures, boxes, illustrations, black and white photographs, and tables to illustrate points. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce images and credit information should be provided with the image file.
  2. Tables - Tables should be numbered (e.g. Table 1, Table 2 …) and referenced in the text of the manuscript. Authors must indicate the desired position of the table in the manuscript. Authors must obtain permission from the original publisher if they intend to use tables from other sources, and due acknowledgement should be made in a footnote to the table as follows: Permission to replicate this table has been given to the authors by XXX. Authors are responsible for paying any related fees for material originally published elsewhere. Please ensure tables are a reasonable size. Tables over two typeset pages (around 1,400 words) will be moved to supplementary material.
  3. Figures - Figures should be numbered (e.g. Fig 1, Fig 2, Fig 3…) and referenced in the text of the manuscript. Authors must indicate the desired position of the figure in the manuscript. Please consult the journal artwork guide for a detailed specification on accepted file formats. Authors must obtain permission from the original publisher if they intend to use figures from other sources, and due acknowledgement should be made in the legend as follows: Permission to replicate this figure has been given to the authors by XXX.
    Any figures supplied in colour will be published online in colour but converted to tints of the journal’s Pantone shade for printing. The optional charge for full colour figure print publication is £200/$320 per figure (up to a maximum of £1000/$1600 per article). To request colour figures in print, please tick the appropriate box when submitting your manuscript.
  4. Supplementary Material – Material related to a paper but not essential for a general understanding of the paper may be published as an online-only data supplement. Supplementary material is peer reviewed but will not be copyedited or typeset and should be supplied as authors wish it to appear online. Supplementary material should be uploaded as a separate file and referenced in the manuscript. This material includes, but is not restricted to:
    • Additional data presented as tables or figures
    • Details of a search strategy employed in a literature review
    • Details of the literature retrieved but not further discussed in the body of the paper
    • Technical details of specialist (but not novel) methodology, statistical analysis and supporting references
    • Authors who have contributed in some sense to the paper but don’t qualify for an authorship credit (e.g. group authorship) should be added to supplementary material rather than included in the footnote or acknowledgement section
    • Long lists of contributors who don’t qualify for an authorship credit (e.g. group authorship) should be added to supplementary material. Shorter lists can be included in the acknowledgement section.

  5. Author Publishing Agreement - A signed Author Publishing Agreement Form must be submitted online when submitting a revised version of the manuscript, or immediately after acceptance if no revision is required.

During Online Submission

BJPsych Advances is largely (but not exclusively) clinical in orientation. Its articles are not scientific reviews as such and are practical, covering all areas of good medical practice and good psychiatric practice.

  1. Covering letter - Authors may include a covering letter upon submission.
  2. Responding to reviewers - When submitting a revised manuscript, authors are expected to respond to reviewers' comments on the previous submission, point by point, where prompted on the online submission site. Authors should also highlight in yellow those sections of the manuscript that have been changed in response to reviewers' comments. Note that comments on the manuscript made using track changes will not be visible to the Editor.
  3. ORCID - The corresponding author is required to register for an ORCID profile during manuscript submission. We recommend that all authors register for an ORCID profile and link their ORCID to their ScholarOne account. Please find more information about registration here.

PMC/Europe PMC Deposit

Authors have the option to have their accepted manuscript automatically exported to PubMed Central or EuropePMC where their funder requires it and may indicate this choice by answering a custom question on submission. If an author requests deposit to PubMed Central, a clean, unmarked and complete version of the manuscript should be uploaded, ie, with no revisions shown by highlighted/strikethrough text.

Submission Types

Jump to: Article | Commentary | Clinical Reflection | Refreshment

BJPsych Advances does not publish original research papers, although you may refer to research studies/findings if the main focus of your article is on existing knowledge and practice. Please read How to write for BJPsych Advances for more information.


Articles should be educational pieces, not research or systematic review papers, and academic quality is crucial. They should be factual, lucid and informative, with a clear explanation of any points of technique that can be used in everyday practice. Ideally, an article should be both a digest of many opinions on a subject and also give a clear lead as to what, in the authors’ opinion, would be good practice.

In addition to the detail required for all Word documents (see section above) the following elements are required in an Article:

  • Word Count - The word count should be between 4000 and 5000 words excluding references, tables, etc.
  • Main text - Articles should be structured carefully, with an introduction, a conclusion and plenty of clear headings.
  • Tables and Figures - Make full use of displayed lists, case vignettes/studies, tables, figures, etc. to illustrate points.
  • Boxes - Boxes should be included for key learning points, good-practice points and lists of controversial issues. They should be included at the end of the manuscript or saved as separate files. All boxes must be cited in the text.
  • Learning Aids - Learning aids such as boxes, tables, visual images, case vignettes, bullet points, headings and subheadings are encouraged.
  • Learning Objectives - Three learning objectives must be included in an article. Learning objectives should describe what the reader will be able to do or do differently after reading and reflecting on the article. A lead sentence should be added before the list: “After reading this article you will be able to:”. Please see further information on how to write learning objectives in the How to write for BJPsych Advances page.
  • MCQs - All full articles must include exactly five multiple choice questions (MCQs) and their answers. Each question should comprise a stem and five options: the reader selects the single best option for each question stem (see further information on how to write MCQs below). The MCQs should be straightforward, derived from the article and test only whether it has been read and understood. See also How to write for BJPsych Advances.
  • References - No more than 40 references should be included in a standard article.

Commentaries comment on the content of a specific article. They are usually commissioned by the Editor-in-Chief and published in the same issue as the full article. The aim of a commentary is to concentrate on what is missing from the original article, what the Commentator thinks should be emphasised and what the Commentator disagrees with. Authors should remember to reference the article they are commenting on.

In addition to the detail required for all Word documents (see section above) the following elements are required in a Commentary:

  • Word Count - The word count should be 750–1000 words excluding references.
  • References - No more than 10 references are allowed.
Clinical Reflections

The purpose of Clinical Reflections is to consider clinical, ethical or research dilemmas or uncertainties that present in day-to-day practice. They are the equivalent of thinking aloud and deliberating on the matter in hand.

In addition to the detail required for all Word documents (see above) the following elements are required in a Clinical Reflection piece:

  • the word count should be 1000–1500 words excluding references
  • a summary of between 50 and 75 words
  • up to 6 references
  • they may contain a box, figure or table but when typeset, should not exceed three journal pages.

Refreshments provide a short, succinct summary of a single topic to be read as a quick update by practising psychiatrists. The aim is to help readers improve their knowledge and practice in areas outside their field of expertise.

In addition to the detail required for all Word documents (see above) the following elements are required in a Refreshment:

  • Word Count - The word count should be 500–800 words. Pieces at the lower end of the word limit could also contain a single box, figure/illustration or table.
  • References - a maximum of 6 references or further reading are allowed.


BJPsych Advances now requires that all corresponding authors 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.

If you don’t already have an iD, you’ll need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to BJPsych Advances. You can register for one directly from your user account on Scholar One or via

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.

Language Editing Service

Where English is not a native language we encourage authors to have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission. This will ensure that manuscripts are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. Cambridge University Press partners with American Journal Experts to provide a high-quality service to authors. More information can be found here. Use of this service is entirely voluntary and does not guarantee acceptance, nor does its use require authors to later submit to a Cambridge journal.


Publication ethics

BJPsych Advances follows ICMJE's Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.

Naming of psychiatrists criticised in legal judgments

As a general rule, where psychiatrists, or other medical experts, are named in legal judgments, the journal's policy is to anonymise their names, for example, referring to them as 'Dr X' and / or 'Dr Y'. This rule applies not only to cases where expert medical witnesses are criticised; it applies also in cases where expert medical witnesses are complimented and where comments are in neutral terms. The editors of the journal will at their discretion make exceptions to this rule. Authors are expected to anonymise the paper and this will be checked by the Editor.

The journal will maintain a list of exceptions that should be considered on an article by article basis. These currently include:

Professor Sir Roy Meadow (paediatrician), Dr Richard Pool, Dr Anil Kumar and Dr Waney Squier (neuropathologist).

They are exceptions because their names appear as the appellant party in the titles of the actions that form part of the case citations of the judgments of the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court.

Appeals & Complaints

If an author believes their manuscript has been incorrectly rejected, an appeal letter can be submitted by responding to the decision email directly or contacting

To have an appeal considered, please provide full details regarding your reasoning for the appeal letter. All appeals are reviewed and discussed by the Editorial Board with a final decision communicated to the author via email. We can consider only one appeal per manuscript.

Please direct all complaints to the Editor-in-Chief or the editorial office at

After Acceptance


The policy of BJPsych Advances is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant the Royal College of Psychiatrists a licence to publish their work. In the case of gold open access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish the article without this. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here.

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.

Open Access

There is no submission or publication fee for papers published in BJPsych Advances. All papers published in BJPsych Advances become freely available online 12 months after publication.

Authors have the option to publish their paper under an Open Access agreement, on payment of an open access article-processing charge (APC). In this case, the final Version of Record will be made freely available from publication and in perpetuity, under a creative commons license enabling its reuse. The APC is currently £1,640 (or $2,190) per article plus VAT where applicable. Please complete the relevant sections of the Licence to Publish Form. Find out more information about license options, embargo periods and APCs here.


Following acceptance, papers are sent through to Cambridge University Press for production and first proofs sent to the corresponding author after acceptance. (NB: proof emails are sometimes filtered into junk and authors should look out for this). Authors should check their first proofs and answer any queries that have arisen during copyediting and typesetting within five working days. Authors must check proofs carefully as once the article has been published online no further changes can be made. For more details on the Production process, see our comprehensive guide.

Online Publication

BJPsych Advances articles are published online as a Version of Record (VoR) using the Cambridge FirstView model. Articles are published in final form 2-3 weeks after receipt of corrected author proofs.  Articles are paginated independently, fully citable with an assigned digital object identifier (DOI) and made available to the journal's subscribers.

Press Releases

To coordinate and provide additional publicity surrounding a press release, including Twitter and Facebook, for your publication please email as soon as possible after acceptance.

Sharing Your Article

The corresponding author will receive a code to download their final article on publication. The journal’s Green Open Access policy allows authors to share their article in the following ways:

Personal web page

Department or institutional repository

Non-commercial subject repository

Commercial repository or social media site (e.g. ResearchGate,, SSRN)

Accepted Manuscript

On acceptance

6 months after publication

6 months after publication

Abstract only plus link to VoR on

Version of Record

Abstract only plus link to VoR on

Abstract only plus link to VoR on

Abstract only plus link to VoR on

Abstract only plus link to VoR on

Note that BJPsych Advances offers Cambridge Core Share, which allows authors, readers and subscribers to share a link to a read-only version of an article anywhere at any time. Please see Open Access resources for more information about how you can share your article.

Authors are encouraged to actively promote their articles to their colleagues and contacts around the world. Our suite of resources are available to help you engage with your readership, increase your visibility and make your article more discoverable online. When tweeting about your article, please include the journal portfolio handle, @TheBJPsych and the hashtag #BJPAdvances.

Digital Preservation

If the research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, participating US-based or European funders/funding institutions you are required to deposit the accepted paper to PubMed Central/Europe PubMed Central. Cambridge University Press automatically transfer the accepted manuscript to PubMed Central/ Europe PubMed Central, provided you indicate that this is a requirement on submission.

BJPsych is deposited in the following digital archives to guarantee long-term digital preservation:

Last updated 15 April 2020