Authors

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 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 RMD Open 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 RMD Open 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, RMD Open 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 RMD Open 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

RMD Open is an open access journal and levies an Article Processing 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.

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.

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

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

Original research submissions to RMD Open are unsolicited, Editorials, Viewpoints and Review articles are predominantly commissioned. All articles submitted to RMD Open are subject to external 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. 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 is welcomed by RMD Openthese 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 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.


Data sharing

RMD Open adheres to BMJ’s Tier 3 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.

All research articles must contain a Data Availability Statement. For more information and FAQs, please see BMJ’s full Data Sharing Policy page.

ORCID

RMD Open 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.

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 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.

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 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’ that summarises the key points of your article in a total of up to 5 bullet points, structured under the following question headings:

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

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