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Instructions for authors

We invite authors of original articles exploring topics such as the correction or prevention of deformity disorders or injuries of the skeleton and associated structures, treatment of the musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons), surgical techniques and nonsurgical approaches to submit. Specialties covered in the journal include (but are not limited to): Foot and Ankle, Arthroplasty, Arthroscopy, Basic Science, Children’s Orthopaedics, Hand and Wrist, Hip, Knee, Limb Reconstruction Procedures, Oncology, Shoulder and Elbow, Spine and Spinal Deformities, Sports Medicine and Trauma.


Please note that Bone & Joint Open will not consider any papers posted to preprint servers. Click here to read our editorial outlining this policy.

Online Submissions Through ScholarOne Manuscripts

Manuscripts for consideration by Bone & Joint Open should be submitted via Scholar One Manuscripts. In order to make a submission through ScholarOne Manuscripts, please visit https://mc04.manuscriptcentral.com/bjopen. If you are visiting the website for the first time, you will need to create an account before logging in.

Peer Review Policy

Peer review ensures that we only publish papers that are scientifically sound. Our peer reviewers help us to maintain a high standard of publishing within orthopaedics.

Bone & Joint Open utilises a rigourous, double-blind peer review process, to the same standard as that offered by The Bone & Joint Journal.

All submissions will be assessed in-house by the Editor-in-Chief, and if deemed suitable they will then be sent out for peer review. They are sent to reviewers from our international panel of experts, and are then either accepted or rejected by the Editor.

To submit through ScholarOne Manuscripts, all papers must adhere to the following guidelines, otherwise, the manuscript will be declined.

Open Access and author publication charges

For information on BJO's Open Access policy, Creative Commons license information and applicable author publication charges (APCs), please click here.

PubMed Central and MEDLINE

All BJO papers are published in full in PubMed Central (PMC) and are therefore fully searchable in PubMed. Publication of articles in PMC complies with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy, and similar policies of other major funding bodies.

PubMed Central index

Directory of Open Access listing

The NLM abbreviation for BJO is Bone Jt Open.

Manuscript Guidelines

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.

Text recycling: For guidance on the appropriate and transparent use of text recycling in your article, please refer to the Text Recycling Research Project's Best Practices for Researchers, available here.

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 fewer, 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.

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.

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.

Information about the management of postoperative pain for both animal and human subjects must be included.

Reporting Guidelines

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.

Consensus Statements

Please ensure all consensus statements comply with the guidelines published here.


Study protocols are welcomed, and do not need to comply with the word limit for article submissions. However, all other guidelines of the instructions for authors need to be complied to.


Protocols need to cover proposed or ongoing trials that have not completed participant recruitment at the time of submission, and must have ethical approval.

For protocols covering clinical trials, please use the SPIRIT checklist ahead of submission, which provides guidance to those conducting the study, serves as the basis for trial registration, and facilitates study appraisal by participants and external reviewers.

For protocols covering systematic reviews or meta-analyses, please use the PRISMA-P reporting guideline ahead of submission, which aids the development and reporting of systematic review protocols.

For protocols covering pilot or feasibility studies, please use the CONSORT 2010 extension statement for the checklist and flow diagram.

Authors should also include the protocol version number and date, the date recruitment commenced, and the anticipated date when recruitment will be completed.


We welcome infographics created by our authors. Please let us know at acceptance if you have an infographic to go with your paper.

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 which have been previously published must be obtained from the author and the publisher, and written evidence of this must accompany the submitted article.

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. Bone & Joint Open will publish in each article a summary of the information collected in the author(s)' ICMJE Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest documents. These are retained by the Journal, and can be made available upon request. 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.

Language Editing

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.

Publication Ethics and Malpractice

For a guide to the publication ethics and malpractice for Bone & Joint Open, please click here.

Complaints Procedure

For a guide to the procedure for complaints about the publishing policies, procedures and actions of publishing and editorial staff and the Editor-in-Chief of Bone & Joint Open, please click here.