Authors

BMJ Open Ophthalmology is an online-only open access journal that aims to operate a fast submission process with continuous publication online, to ensure that timely, up-to-date research is available worldwide. The journal adheres to a rigorous and transparent peer review process and adheres to the highest ethical standards concerning research conduct.


Editorial policy

BMJ Open Ophthalmology adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics and scientific misconduct. consent and peer review criteria. The journal follows guidance produced by bodies that include the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Council of Science Editors and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page.

Authors are required to submit a statement that their study obtained ethics approval (or a statement that it was not required and why) and that participants gave informed consent. Our Editors will consider whether the work is morally acceptable as determined by the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki. In addition to this, in line with General Medical Council guidelines, an article that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual requires patients explicit consent (in the format of a signed BMJ patient consent form) before we will publish it. Please find further details on BMJ research ethics policies (human participants and animals) and consent for publication; including a link to the downloadable consent form.

To make the best decision on how to deal with a manuscript, BMJ Open Ophthalmology needs to know about any competing interests authors may have; this includes any commercial, financial or non financial associations that may be relevant to the submitted article. Authors must download and complete a copy of the ICMJE Conflict of Interest disclosure form. In addition to this BMJ Open Ophthalmology ensures that all advertising and sponsorship associated with the journal does not influence editorial decisions, is immediately distinguishable from editorial content and meets all other BMJ guidelines. Please find more information about competing interests and a link to the form.

We take seriously all possible misconduct. If an Editor, author or reader has concerns that a submitted article describes something that might be considered to constitute misconduct in research, publication or professional behaviour they should forward their concerns to the journal. The publisher will deal with allegations appropriately following ICMJE and COPE guidelines. Corrections and retractions are considered where an article has already been published; corrections, expressions of concern or a retraction notices will be published as soon as possible in line with the BMJ correction and retraction policy.

Copyright and authors’ rights

As an open access journal, BMJ Open Ophthalmology adheres to the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access.. Articles are published under an exclusive licence or non-exclusive licence for UK Crown employees or where BMJ has agreed CC BY applies. For US Federal Government officers or employees acting as part of their official duties, the terms are as stated in accordance with our licence terms. Authors or their employers retain copyright. Such open access articles can be reused under the terms of the relevant Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content. please refer to the BMJ Open Ophthalmology Author Licence. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.

As the author you may wish to post your article in a PrePrint service, institutional or subject repository or a scientific social sharing network. For more information on author self archiving and rights to reuse content – which are dependent on the licence you have obtained – please refer to the BMJ author self archiving and permissions policies page.

Article processing charges

BMJ Open Ophthalmology is an open access journal and levies an Article Processing Charge (APC) of 1,700 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). Protocols have a discounted APC of 1,000 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). There are no submission, colour or page charges.

Please see our Author Hub for detailed information on discounts and waivers. Applications for waivers or discounts should be made during initial submission and not after an article has been accepted. Editors are not involved in this process and the ability to pay has no bearing on editorial decisions. Payment will not be required unless your article is accepted. Accepted articles will not be published until payment has been received. BMJ does not refund APCs once paid.

As one of the founding members of the HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme, we provide free access to all of our journals, and journals archive to local, not-for-profit institutions in low income countries. In addition, we appreciate that some authors do not have access to funding to cover publication costs and we offer waivers through our Open Access Waiver Fund. We will accept part payment where only limited funds are available, and we offer waivers to authors in exceptional circumstances, on request.

For more information on open access, funder compliance, discounts and waivers please refer to the BMJ Author Hub open access page.


Provenance and peer review

BMJ Open Ophthalmology submissions are predominantly unsolicited, all articles submitted are subject to peer review. The journal operates single blind peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author; usually two external reviewer reports are obtained before an Original research or Review article is accepted for publication. Manuscripts authored by a member of a journal’s editorial team are independently peer reviewed; an editor will have no input or influence on the peer review process or publication decision for their own article. For more information on what to expect during the peer review process please refer to BMJ Author Hub – your paper’s journey.

BMJ is committed to transparency. Every article we publish includes a description of its provenance (commissioned or not commissioned) and whether it was internally or externally peer reviewed.

BMJ requests that all reviewers adhere to a set of basic principles and standards during the peer review process; these are based on the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Please refer to our peer review terms and conditions policy page.

Plagiarism is the appropriation of the language, ideas or thoughts of another without crediting their true source and representation of them as one’s own original work. BMJ is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. BMJ runs manuscripts through iThenticate during the peer review process. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting www.ithenticate.com.

Reader responses, questions and comments to published content are welcomed by [BMJ Open Ophthalmology]; these should be submitted electronically via the journals website. Please find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.


Manuscript transfer

BMJ has the facility for transferring manuscripts among their ophthalmology and other BMJ journals. Authors submitting to the British Journal of Ophthalmology can choose BMJ Open Ophthalmology as an ‘alternate journal’.

Once authors agree for their manuscript to be transferred to another BMJ journal, all versions of the manuscript, any supplementary files and peer review comments will automatically be transferred on the author’s behalf. Please note that there is no guarantee of acceptance. Contact the editorial team for more information or assistance.


ORCiD

BMJ Open Ophthalmology mandates ORCID iDs for the submitting author at the time of article submission; co-authors and reviewers are strongly encouraged to also connect their ScholarOne accounts to ORCID. We strongly believe that the increased use and integration of ORCID iDs will be beneficial for the whole research community.

Please find more information about ORCID and BMJ’s policy on our Author Hub.

Data sharing

BMJ Open Ophthalmology adheres to BMJ’s Tier 2 data policy. We strongly encourage that data generated by your research that supports your article be made available as soon as possible, wherever legally and ethically possible. We also require data from clinical trials to be made available upon reasonable request. To adhere to ICMJE guidelines, we require that a data sharing plan must be included with trial registration for clinical trials that begin enrolling participants on or after 1st January 2019. Changes to the plan must be noted in the Data Availability Statement and updated in the registry record. All research articles must contain a Data Availability Statement. For more information and FAQs, please see BMJ’s full Data Sharing Policy page.

The DataCite organisation has a growing list of other repositories for research data. Authors that agree to share their data are eligible for a 25% discount on the Article Processing Charge.

Reporting patient and public involvement in research

BMJ encourages active patient and public involvement in clinical research as part of its patient and public partnership strategy. To support co-production of research we request that authors provide a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the methods section of their papers, under the subheading ‘Patient and public involvement’.

We appreciate that patient and public involvement is relatively new and may not be feasible or appropriate for all papers. We therefore continue to consider papers where patients were not involved.

The Patient and Public Involvement statement should provide a brief response to the following questions, tailored as appropriate for the study design reported (please find example statements here):

  • At what stage in the research process were patients/the public first involved in the research and how?
  • How were the research question(s) and outcome measures developed and informed by their priorities, experience, and preferences?
  • How were patients/the public involved in the design of this study?
  • How were they involved in the recruitment to and conduct of the study?
  • Were they asked to assess the burden of the intervention and time required to participate in the research?
  • How were (or will) they be involved in your plans to disseminate the study results to participants and relevant wider patient communities (e.g. by choosing what information/results to share, when, and in what format)?

If patients were not involved please state this.

In addition to considering the points above we advise authors to look at guidance for best reporting of patient and public involvement as set out in the GRIPP2 reporting checklist.

If the Patient and Public Involvement statement  is missing in the submitted manuscript we will request that authors provide it.


Submission guidelines

Please review the below article type specifications including the required article lengths, illustrations, table limits and reference counts. The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements, contributions and references. Manuscripts should be as succinct as possible.

For further support when making your submission please refer to the resources available on the BMJ Author Hub. Here you will find information on writing and formatting your research through to the peer review process and promoting your paper.  You may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services.

For the reporting and analysis of refractive data please adhere to the guidelines available here.

If your article is accepted you can take advantage of BMJ’s partnership with Kudos, a free service to help you maximise your article’s reach.

Original Research

Original Research should include the following:

  • Title – include the research question and the study design
  • Keywords – up to four
  • Structured Abstract – include the following headings “Objective”, “Methods and Analysis”, “Results” and “Conclusion”
  • Introduction
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion

Authors are encouraged to submit their original data as supplementary files. If including refractive data, please see our guidelines for the presentation and inclusion of refractive data here.

Following the lead of The BMJ and its patient partnership strategyBMJ Open Ophthalmology is encouraging active patient involvement in setting the research agenda. As such, we require authors of Research Articles to add a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the Methods section. Please see more details above.

Abstract Style/Limit: Structured; 250 words
Word Limit: 4,000
Figure/Table Limit: 5
Reference Limit: 100

The abstract should be followed by a key messages box which outlines the significance of the study. This should address the following questions:

  • What is already known about this subject?
  • What are the new findings?
  • How might these results change the focus of research or clinical practice?

Protocol

Protocol manuscripts should report planned or ongoing studies. The journal will consider any study design, including observational studies and systematic reviews.

Following the lead of The BMJ and its patient partnership strategyBMJ Open Ophthalmology is encouraging active patient involvement in setting the research agenda. As such, we require authors of Research Articles to add a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the Methods section. Please see more details above.

  • Title – include the study design
  • Structured Abstract – include the following headings “Introduction”, “Methods and Analysis”, “Ethics and Dissemination” and “Trial Registration Number”
  • Introduction
  • Methods and Analysis
  • Ethics and Dissemination

Review

These are mainly commissioned.

Abstract Style/Limit: Unstructured; 250 words
Word Limit: 4,000
Figure/Table Limit: 5
References: 100


Editorial

These are mainly commissioned.

Abstract Style/Limit: none
Word Limit: 2,000
Figure/Table Limit: 2
Reference Limit: 25


e-Letters/ Rapid Responses

eLetters are electronic responses to published BMJ Open Ophthalmology articles. To submit an eLetter use the ‘submit a response’ option in the content box menu seen in the abstract, full text and PDF views of a published article. All eLetters are subject to editorial approval, but do not undergo peer review. The author of the published article may be invited to reply to any responses received. The journal does not publish any other correspondence. eLetters are not subject to an article processing charge and do not receive a DOI.


Supplements

The BMJ Publishing Group journals are willing to consider publishing supplements to regular issues. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of:

  • The journal editor, an editorial board member or a learned society may wish to organise a meeting, sponsorship may be sought and the proceedings published as a supplement.
  • The journal editor, editorial board member or learned society may wish to commission a supplement on a particular theme or topic. Again, sponsorship may be sought.
  • BMJOO itself may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary.
  • A sponsoring organisation, often a pharmaceutical company or a charitable foundation, that wishes to arrange a meeting, the proceedings of which will be published as a supplement.

In all cases, it is vital that the journal’s integrity, independence and academic reputation is not compromised in any way.

For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the supplements guidelines.

When contacting us regarding a potential supplement, please include as much of the information below as possible.

  • Journal in which you would like the supplement published
  • Title of supplement and/or meeting on which it is based
  • Date of meeting on which it is based
  • Proposed table of contents with provisional article titles and proposed authors
  • An indication of whether authors have agreed to participate
  • Sponsor information including any relevant deadlines
  • An indication of the expected length of each paper Guest Editor proposals if appropriate