Articles are considered on the basis of quality and originality alone. The professional background of the authors (and whether or not they are RCGP Members) is of no importance. Priority is given to research articles asking questions of direct relevance to patient care and, in the practice and policy section, to articles likely to be of interest to a wide, international primary care readership.
BJGP Open is published by RCGP, based in the UK, but has complete editorial independence. Opinions expressed in BJGP Open should not be taken to represent the policy of RCGP unless specifically stated.
The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This will be all those who have made a substantial contribution to the concept and design, conduct, analysis, or writing up of a study. Normally we would not expect to list more than 12 authors.
Authors may, if they wish, supply details of their individual contributions to the work, but we do not insist on it and the data will not be published.
Contributions are expected to fall into at least two of the following categories:
- conceiving and designing the study
- obtaining funding and/or ethical approval
- collecting the data
- analysing the data
- interpreting the data
- writing the report (wholly or in part)
- revising the report
Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content relevant to their own contribution. We do not require all authors to sign the initial letter accompanying submission but all authors must sign the declaration form sent with the Editor’s response at the conclusion of peer review.
In addition, at least one author should be designated as the guarantor for the integrity of the data on which the article is based. This will normally be the author for correspondence.
Submission of articles
It is not essential that the first submission conform to these instructions in every particular. However, where there are obvious major breaches (for instance, if your article is much longer than recommended) it may be rejected without being sent out for peer review.
Normally, we only insist on strict adherence to submission guidelines in revised files. The Editor's letter will provide instructions to help you achieve this.
Processing submitted articles
All articles are screened by the Editor. Any that are unlikely to be accepted, whatever the result of peer review, are rejected at this stage. The grounds for rejection at this stage are usually either:
- a major flaw in the design
- the work falls outside the BJGP Open remit
Since the grounds for rejection are so clear, it is not possible to appeal against a decision at this stage. Each year the BJGP Open Editorial Board reviews a sample of screening decisions to ensure that this policy is being followed consistently.
You will be sent a formal acknowledgement of your initial submission whether or not the article is likely to be accepted for publication.
Most articles require some form of revision, and we ask you to submit the revised version within 2 months of receiving the Editor’s letter. We aim to respond to revised submissions within 2 weeks.
BJGP Open operates an open peer review system, so the identities of the authors and reviewers are known to each other. Articles are assessed according to clearly-defined criteria. We advise authors to view these criteria before submitting an article.
We aim to have reviewers’ comments back in the BJGP Open journal office within 2 weeks of receipt of the article, and to give authors an initial decision about acceptance within a further 2 weeks.
If your article has been rejected and you feel that a mistake has been made, you can appeal. Write to the Editor within 2 months of receiving the Editor’s decision, setting out where you think the reviewers’ reviews or the Editor’s letter is incorrect.
At this stage, you must not make any revisions to take account of reviewers’ comments. The appeal process will go ahead if a reviewer or the Editor could have made a mistake with the technical aspects of a study, misinterpreted some aspect of the article, or if bias could have entered into the reviewers’ comments. The process is unlikely to be used where an article has been rejected on the basis of editorial policy.
If the Editor feels that there are grounds for challenging the original decision, the views of the Editorial Board will be sought and the article may be sent out to a new reviewer. The Editor will be guided by this reviewer’s report. Reviewers used in the appeal process will usually be members of the Editorial Board. Appeal reviewers will be sent a copy of the appeal letter and the previous reviews.
The final decision will be made with reference to the following criteria:
- the article is new, innovative, representing a discovery
- it is timely or interesting
- it is methodologically sound
- the quality of analysis and data presentation
- the conclusions warranted
- the quality of discussion, analysis, and writing; and
- the importance and impact
Publication of articles
All articles are accepted subject to copy editing, which may be considerable. Proofs of articles are sent to authors who are asked to check them for errors and return them promptly.
Open access publication
BJGP Open operates an open access publication policy for all its articles. We make accepted papers freely available where the funder of the research has agreed to pay for open access publication, and the authors can claim the Article Processing Charge (APC). Payment of APCs and open access publication do not affect the Journal's usual peer review processes.
Many funders such as the Research Councils, the National Institute for Health Research, the Wellcome Foundation and some major charities now require authors to make their a research available through open access, and the costs of the APCs are included in research funding applications. The APC for the BJGP Open has been set at £1000 (plus VAT where applicable) for Research and Review articles and £250 (plus VAT where applicable) for Practice & Policy articles. Open access not only allows free publication of publicly funded research to everyone, but also enables it to be shared and re-used with minimal restrictions.
Open access articles are published under a Creative Commons licence that allows reuse subject only to the use being non-commercial and to the article being fully attributed. The default license type is CC BY-NC 4.0 license; however, requests for CC BY 4.0 license will be granted if specified. The articles are fully available on publication via the BJGP Open website and are also sent to PubMed Central, where they are also made fully available. The BJGP Open also offers open access publication, using the same mechanisms, to any author wishing to pay the APC, irrespective of the source of funding for the research. Please contact us if you would like further information on open access.
Contact BJGP Open
BJGP Open Office
Royal College of General Practitioners
30 Euston Square, London NW1 2FB
Tel: 020 3188 7542 / Fax: 020 3188 7401