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RMD Open is an online-only open access journal dedicated to publishing research on musculoskeletal disorders, rheumatism and connective tissue diseases, including osteoporosis, spine and rehabilitation. The journal aims to provide rapid publication of research through a continuous publication model.


Editorial policy

RMD Open adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics, scientific misconduct, consent and peer review criteria. To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page.

Articles are published under a Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content and authors retain copyright; please refer to the RMD Open Copyright Author Licence Statement.


Manuscript transfer

BMJ and EULAR have a facility for transferring manuscripts among their journals. Authors submitting to the flagship journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases can choose RMD Open 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.


Article publishing charges

RMD Open is an open access journal and levies an Article Publishing Charge (APC) of 1700 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). A 50% discount will be given to authors of short reports, clinical cases, editorials and viewpoints. There are no submission, colour or page charges.

No payment information is requested before an article is accepted, so the ability to pay cannot affect editorial decisions. Accepted articles will not be published until payment has been received. BMJ does not refund APCs once paid.

There is a 25% discount for articles where the corresponding author has reviewed for RMD Open within the previous 12 months. 

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

Data sharing

Authors of original research articles are encouraged to include a data sharing statement when submitting their article. The statement should explain which additional unpublished data from the study—if any—are available, to whom, and how these can be obtained.

At present there is no major repository for clinical data, but Dryad has declared its willingness to accept medical datasets. Authors can start the deposition process while submitting to any BMJ journal. Dryad provides authors with a DOI for the dataset to aid citation and provide a permanent link to the data. Note that Dryad hosts data using a CC0 licence so authors should check that this is suitable for the data that they are depositing. The DataCite organisation has a growing list of other repositories for research data.

Subject areas and keywords

When submitting your manuscript you will be asked to choose one subject area from the list provided that most closely relates to the topic of your article. Your paper will be published under this section heading on the journal’s table of contents.

You will also be asked to select up to five specific keywords to assist in the identification of suitable reviewers.

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 can also find general formatting guidelines across BMJ and a formatting checklist.

Original article

Full original research papers should follow the basic structure of abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, references, and tables and figures as appropriate. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should also be submitted as original articles.

Please include a section entitled ‘Key messages’ consisting of 4-5 bullet points (of no more than one sentence each) summarising the key points of your article under the following question headings:

What is already known about this subject?
What does this study add?
How might this impact on clinical practice?

Word count: usually up to 5000 words (although this is negotiable and can be extended in specific circumstances)
Abstract: up to 250 words
Tables/Illustrations: up to 6 tables and/or figures
References: up to 50


Short report

Short clinical or laboratory investigations may be presented as a short report. Short reports do not require an abstract and do not need to be structured into sections. They undergo the same review process as original articles.

Please include a section entitled ‘Key messages’ consisting of 4-5 bullet points (of no more than one sentence each) summarising the key points of your article under the following question headings:

What is already known about this subject?
What does this study add?
How might this impact on clinical practice?

Word count: up to 1000 words
Tables/Illustrations: up to 2 tables and/or figures
References: up to 10


Clinical case

Case reports may be published if the case is original, rare, or of educational value. Cases should be presented in the following sections: abstract/summary, introduction, case report, discussion and key messages.

Word count: up to 1500 words
Abstract/summary: up to 200 words
Tables/illustrations: up to 3 tables and/or figures
References: up to 20


Review

Although these are usually commissioned, authors are invited to discuss possible topics directly with the Editor. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should be submitted as original articles.

The structure of the article is at the author’s discretion, but please include a section entitled ‘Key messages’ consisting of 3-4 bullet points (of no more than one sentence each) summarising the key points of the article.

Word count: usually up to 5000 words (although this is negotiable and can be extended in specific circumstances)
Abstract: up to 250 words
Tables/Illustrations: up to 6 tables and/or figures
References: up to 50


Editorial and Viewpoint

Occasional editorials and viewpoints will be published, and will usually be commissioned by the Editor. Authors wishing to publish unsolicited articles are invited to contact the Editor prior to submission to discuss their manuscript.


Rapid response

Letters in response to articles published in RMD Open are welcomed and should be submitted electronically as eLetters via the journal’s website. Contributors should go to the abstract or full text of the article in question. In the right hand column on the article webpage is a section entitled ‘Responses’. Click on ’Submit a response’ and complete the online form.

Letters relating to or responding to previously published items in the journal will be reviewed by the editor and shown to the authors of the original article, when appropriate.


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.
  • The BMJPG 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