Instructions for authors
The Bone & Joint Journal is owned and published by The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery.
We welcome original articles from any part of the world. The papers are assessed by members of the Editorial Board and our international panel of expert reviewers, then either accepted for publication or rejected by the Editor. We receive over 2000 submissions each year and accept about 250 for publication, many after revisions recommended by the reviewers, editors or statistical advisers. A decision usually takes between six and eight weeks. Each paper is assessed by two reviewers with a special interest in the subject covered by the paper, and also by members of the editorial team. Controversial papers will be discussed at a full meeting of the Editorial Board. Publication is between three and four months after acceptance.
Proofs of the edited paper and illustrations are emailed to the corresponding author for correction and to respond to any queries from the Editor. The corresponding author will receive a free PDF of the paper within a few days of publication; professional reprints can be ordered (minimum order quantity 50).
Please note: The Bone & Joint Journal is no longer publishing Case Reports and they will be rejected without review.
Preprints: Please note that The Bone & Joint Journal will not consider any papers posted to preprint servers. Click here to read our editorial outlining this policy.
Online Submissions Through ScholarOne Manuscripts
In order to make a submission through ScholarOne Manuscripts, please visit https://mc04.manuscriptcentral.com/bjj. If you are visiting the website for the first time, you will need to create an account before logging in.
To submit through ScholarOne Manuscripts, all papers must adhere to the following guidelines, otherwise, the manuscript will be declined.
Article length: We only accept papers with a maximum of 4000 words including the Abstract, body of the text and References. If you have more words than this please edit your manuscript until you reach the required word count.
- There is a limit of eight (8) authors.
- Each author must have contributed significantly to, and take public responsibility for, one or more of the following study aspects: -- Design -- Data acquisition -- Analysis and interpretation of data.
- Individuals who have contributed to only one section of the manuscript or have contributed only cases should be treated as a non-author and be credited in the “Acknowledgements” section instead. -- More information on authorship and non-author contributors can be found on the ICMJE author definitions
- All authors must have been actively involved in the writing and revising of the manuscript, and each must provide final approval of the version to be published. If a research group is listed as the author of an article, please visit our Research Group Authorship Policy
- Each author must declare their roles on the ‘Title Page’ of the paper in accordance with the CRediT Taxonomy initiative
- Any change to authorship after peer review needs to be formally requested with a letter to the Editor-in-Chief. Please state the change required and ensure all authors have signed the letter.
We ask that authors add an ORCID ID to their user account, if available, before making a submission. For authors who do not have an ORCID ID, we encourage you to register using the following link: https://orcid.org/register. If you are unable to access the ORCID website, please let us know.
AI Policy: You can find our policy surrounding artificial intelligence and its use in publication here.
Data: The raw data associated with your paper should be available for submission if required by the Editor-in-Chief.
Tables: We only accept a maximum of 8 tables. Text included in tables will not count towards overall word count. Each table should have a short, descriptive heading. Tables must not duplicate information already given in the text.
Figures: We only accept papers with 10 figures or less, counting a, b and c separately. Please ensure you split composite figures into their separate images (eg 1a, 1b, 1c etc), as they will need to be uploaded individually to ScholarOne. Each figure will need a full descriptive legend identifying the area of interest and any arrows or lettering. For radiographs please ensure you state view used and the time point at which it was taken. For further information regarding guidelines for figures, please see our comprehensive guide on how to structure a paper, along with our preparing a paper checklist, both of which can be found below:
Other: Your main document should be completely blinded and all identifying information should be on a separate title page.
Worldometers are not an acceptable data source. Authors should use government-produced data where possible and if this is not possible, Johns Hopkins can be used.
Please read our comprehensive guide on how to structure a paper.
Please use our preparing a paper checklist to assist you in writing your paper.
Study Design and Ethics
In the preparation of a manuscript, authors should, in general, follow the recommendations in "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication" by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.
All studies should be carried out in accordance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. Patient consent must be obtained for all human studies, and that must be stated in the manuscript. If such consent has not been obtained, a letter of explanation must be included with the submission. The authors are responsible for obtaining and retaining the documentation of such permission, which should not be forwarded to the Journal office in order to protect the privacy of the patients.
All studies submitted must include a letter indicating ethical approval by an Institutional Review Board or approval by a similar ethics board, and this should be noted in the manuscript. If ethical approval is not included, a full explanation must be provided to the Editor-in-Chief, who may investigate further.
All manuscripts dealing with experimental results in animals must include a statement that the study has been approved by an animal utilization study committee. The Editor-in-Chief may further investigate that statement. The ARRIVE guidelines should be followed for in vivo experiments and a completed ARRIVE Checklist should be uploaded as Supplementary Material.
Information about the management of postoperative pain for both animal and human subjects must be included.
Please ensure you have selected the correct reporting guidelines for your study type and adhere to these when preparing your paper for submission. Click here for links to the guidelines we support.
Randomized Controlled Trials
From the beginning of 2018 all RCTs must be prospectively registered (ie before the trial was started) for us to consider them for publication. Please see an editorial outlining this policy here.
Please be ready to submit your raw data should the Editor-in-Chief require it.
Once you have read the guides and are ready to make your submission, please make sure you have the following documents available:
Your complete manuscript including Abstract, Introduction, Main Text, References, Tables and Acknowledgments. Please ensure all elements are included in the same document. You will only be able to upload one word.doc file. Please ensure this document adheres to the guidelines above. If it does not meet the criteria, it will be declined. A title page containing all author information should also be submitted.
Upon acceptance if you have not already done so, please forward high quality versions of any figures, as explained in our comprehensive guides above.
Reprints can be ordered at the time of printing; there is a minimum order quantity of 50. Please contact Deborah Gray (email@example.com) for a quote.
We would now like to open the infographics up to our wider author base. Once your paper is accepted, please let us know if you would like to have your paper assessed for an infographic. We charge a nominal fee to cover our production costs.
If you have any comments about their usability, we would love to hear them. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Infographics should be approximately 300 words and have a maximum of ten references.
For illustrations, we ask that the largest and best-quality versions available are uploaded, as images in jpeg or tiff format.
Please create the illustration to the following dimensions:
- Width: 585 pixels/154.78 millimetres
- Height: 640 pixels/169.33 millimetres
Please fill these dimensions as closely as possible, and ensure that the image does not exceed these.
Permission to reproduce any material or illustrations in your BJJ submission which have been previously published elsewhere must be obtained from the author and the publisher, and written evidence of this must accompany the submitted article.
If the paper is accepted for publication we require the authors to sign an Assignment of Copyright before the article can be published. The form will be sent with the acceptance e-mail.
Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest statement is required for every article which is accepted for publication. This statement will have no bearing on the decision to publish, or not to publish. The Bone & Joint Journal will publish in each article a summary of the information collected in the author(s)' ICMJE Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest documents. For BJJ articles, all author ICMJE forms are uploaded to the website as supplementary material to the paper. In addition, a choice of one of the following statements is available:
- The author(s) received no financial or material support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
- The author(s) disclose receipt of the following financial or material support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: _______.
- The author(s) choose not to disclose receipt of any financial or material support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
BJJ Open Access
The BJJ offers authors of accepted papers the option of paying an open access publication charge to make their paper freely available online immediately via the journal website, meaning that readers will not need a journal subscription to view open access content. Gold Open Access articles are deposited in PubMed Central upon publication.
In general, if the funder requires deposit in less than 12 months then authors will need to request Gold Open Access at submission of their paper and pay the relevant fee (£2730 GBP + VAT for CC-BY-NC-ND and £3500 GBP + VAT for CC-BY-ND and CC-BY)*. They should also clarify their funder’s requirements upon acceptance of their paper (including selecting the correct licence to be compliant e.g. CC-BY-NC-ND, CC-BY-ND, CC-BY). The standard licence used is CC-BY-NC-ND. Full details of the licences are available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses. We are compliant with The Wellcome Trust and UKRI (see below).
*Note that from 1 January 2024 new pricing comes into effect. The new prices will be as follows: £2866 GBP + VAT for CC-BY-NC-ND and £3675 GBP + VAT for CC-BY-ND and CC-BY.
Authors may be able to comply with funder mandates by archiving their work in an institutional or subject repository. The embargo on subject or institutional repository archiving is 12 months following publication unless otherwise stated below. Therefore, for any funder which requires deposit after 12 months, Green Open Access is sufficient at no cost. The version to be archived is the accepted, unedited version. The published final version should be acknowledged and the DOI included.
The Wellcome Trust
The Bone & Joint Journal confirms compliance with the UK Wellcome Trust’s revised requirements, including publication under a CC-BY licence. The publishers confirm that they will refund Author Publication Charges to the Wellcome Trust for any article where they fail to comply with these requirements, unless the failure to comply is caused by circumstances outside the control of the publishers (such as authors not informing the journal of the funder). The Bone & Joint Journal complies with Wellcome Trust's guidance as detailed here.
UK Research Councils (UKRI)
The Bone & Joint Journal complies with the UKRI guidance as detailed here and will publish any Gold open access papers under a CC-BY licence.
For UKRI-funded authors, who wish to self-archive their manuscript to comply with UKRI policy, the following steps apply:
- Authors need to keep a copy of their manuscript, which may include any author-incorporated changes suggested through the peer review process (also called an accepted manuscript AM).
- Post this version on their institutional repository for public access at the time of publication.
- Authors should add a link back to the final version of the article hosted on https://boneandjoint.org.uk
- To choose this option there are no fees for either the author or institution.
- Authors should inform the journal at acceptance of their intentions.
We recommend The Charlesworth Group, who provide academic editing services to help authors refine their language and clarify information in their texts, cover letters, and other materials needed to communicate clearly. If you would like to use this service please follow this link.
For a guide to the publication ethics for The Bone & Joint Journal, please click here.
This procedure applies to complaints about the publishing policies, procedures and actions of publishing and editorial staff and the Editor-in-Chief of The Bone & Joint Journal.
We define a complaint as:
- anything defined as a complaint by the complainant
- anything we believe goes beyond an expression of disagreement with a decision and identifies a perceived failure of process or severe misjudgement
The complaint must relate to content or a procedure that was the responsibility of the BJJ or our editor.
Registering a complaint
Complaints may be made by phone, email or letter. Our preference is by email as it provides the most reliable audit trail. The complaint should be directed initially to the person the complainant is already in contact with over the relevant matter. If that is not appropriate please email the Director of Publishing.
Whenever possible complaints will be dealt with by the person to whom they are made. Where that is not possible or appropriate the complaint will be referred to the most appropriate person.
All complaints will be acknowledged within three working days of receipt if made by email or post.
If possible a definitive response will be made within two weeks. If this is not possible an interim response will be given within two weeks. Interim responses will be provided until the complaint is resolved.
If the complainant is unhappy with the initial response they can ask for the complaint to be escalated to the relevant manager.
If a complainant remains unhappy after a reply considered definitive by the editor-in-chief or publisher, the complainant may complain to an external body, when that body has relevant oversight.
Committee on Publication Ethics
COPE publishes a code of practice for editors of scientific, technical, and medical journals. It will consider complaints against editors but only once a journal's own complaints procedures have been exhausted.