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Instructions for authors

Submit your paper via ScholarOne Manuscripts https://mc04.manuscriptcentral.com/bjr

Aims and Scope

Bone & Joint Research (BJR) is a gold open access journal with an impact factor of 4.6, dedicated exclusively to publishing research related to disorders of the musculoskeletal system and their treatment. Through a continuous publication model, the journal aims to provide rapid publication of research across a range of disciplines in the musculoskeletal sciences and in the clinical areas of orthopaedics and rheumatology, including but not limited to: basic science, bioengineering, regenerative medicine, stem cells, inflammation, immunology, infection, cancer genetics, genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, tissue research, ligaments, veterinary orthopaedics, clinical and translational laboratory studies that conform to CONSORT and STROBE guidelines, and studies from the device and pharmaceutical industries.

BJR will consider papers covering all orthopaedic and trauma specialties, such as: 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, as well as a wide range of research study types. Suitable study types fall broadly into clinical studies and translational laboratory studies (where there is a clear relevance to the treatment of disorders in humans). Available in PubMed Central, and therefore fully searchable on PubMed, BJR offers maximum exposure of your work.

We are keen to support studies by young and new researchers who want and need to publish their work while they are learning and developing their ideas and skills. We will consider early-phase and post-marketing studies from the device and pharmaceutical industries. We believe it is essential to the research record that such studies are published and with open access.

Other research BJR will not publish includes: case series of nonconsecutive patients; studies that lack a clear research question; case reports and theses.

Submitted manuscripts must be related to the musculoskeletal system in order to be considered for publication. We are unable to accept manuscripts written in other areas of research that have no relation to the musculoskeletal system, e.g. neurology, dermatology.


Please note that BJR does not encourage the use of preprint servers. However, the following exceptions will be considered:

  • The study is based on animal/preclinical models.
  • For any studies based on human/clinical subjects, we will ask the authors to explain why they put it on a preprint server first. If authors can justify this, e.g. the manuscript is an urgent update related to COVID-19, then this would be considered for publication. However, if a manuscript is eventually accepted for publication then authors must ensure that once the manuscript is published, the preprint record is updated within one week with a publication reference, including the DOI and a URL link to the published version of the manuscript on the BJR website.

As BJR is a gold open access journal, unless authors can justify an urgent necessity to add a manuscript to a preprint server, for example, it is based on COVID-19, then the correct process should be to proceed to peer review before the manuscript enters the public domain.

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.

The guidelines listed below should be followed where appropriate. The Equator Network (Enhancing the Quality and Transparency Of health Research) provides a comprehensive list of reporting guidelines. Please use these guidelines to structure your article.

  • CONSORT Statement (for reporting of randomized controlled trials). RCTs should include the registration number of the trial and the trial registry as the last line of the abstract.
  • STARD (for reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies)
  • STROBE (for reporting of observational studies in epidemiology)
  • PRISMA (for reporting of systematic reviews)
  • MOOSE (for reporting of meta-analyses of observational studies)
  • STREGA (for reporting of gene-disease association studies)

For preclinical studies: ARRIVE guidelines (for in vivo studies).

Human and Animal Rights


When reporting a study involving human participants, authors should include a statement that the study was approved (or granted exemption) by the appropriate institutional and/or ethics research committee (including the name of the ethics committee), and certify that the study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards outlined in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki. Authors should clearly indicate in the manuscript that such guidelines were followed.

In accordance with the Medical Research Council’s new guidelines to include both sexes in experimental design ((https://www.ukri.org/councils/mrc/guidance-for-applicants/policies-and-guidance-for-researchers/sex-in-experimental-design/)), please also report the sex in any experiments using cells and tissues. If your studies have used a single-sex, please include the justification as to why only one sex was investigated.


BJR adheres to the nc3rs principles for in vivo studies. If live animals have been involved in a study, you must include an ARRIVE checklist to show you have conformed to the ARRIVE guidelines (see fillable checklist), which will be included in the supplementary files. In this link, you will be offered two types of checklist: ARRIVE Essential 10 checklist and Full ARRIVE 2.0 checklist.

Please complete the Full ARRIVE 2.0 checklist if possible; however, if this is unworkable we may accept the ARRIVE Essential 10 checklist as a minimum requirement.

Please note that all of the information requested in the ARRIVE checklist must be provided in the main document or supplementary material, and the section or line number(s) where this information is presented must be included in the ARRIVE checklist.

Informed Consent

Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be included in the submission. Appropriate consent and permission must be obtained where an author wishes to include personal information or patient images in BJR. Written consent must be retained by the author, though not included in the manuscript or supplementary material. However, in exceptional circumstances, such as a legal issue, the author must provide to the journal copies of consent or proof that consent was obtained.

Randomized Controlled Trials

All RCTs must be prospectively registered (i.e. before the trial was started) for us to consider them for publication.

Please ensure that for all RCTs you include details of the trial registration number in your covering letter.

Open Access and Licensing

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

PubMed Central and MEDLINE

All BJR 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

NLM catalogue record

Directory of Open Access listing

The NLM abbreviation for BJR is Bone Joint Res.

Impact Factor

BJR has a 2023 Impact Factor of 4.6.

Submissions and Peer Review

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 two reviewers from our international panel of experts, and are then either accepted or rejected by the Editor. All articles published in BJR will have undergone rigorous, double-blinded peer review, to the same standard as that offered by The Bone & Joint Journal.

We aim to have an initial decision within six weeks of submission. The vast majority of reviewed papers go through resubmission stages where the authors are asked to respond to the editor's and reviewers' comments. If you are asked to resubmit, in the author's response letter, it is important to itemise each reviewer comment, then outline the authors' response and then the authors' action.

e.g. Reviewer 1 comment:


Author response:


Author action:


Online Submissions Through ScholarOne Manuscripts

In order to make a submission through ScholarOne Manuscripts, please visit (https://mc04.manuscriptcentral.com/bjr). If you are visiting the website for the first time, you will need to create an account before logging in. Articles should not be under review, or submitted for review, with any other journal when submitted to BJR.


  • 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 the reason(s) for making this change, and ensure that 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.

We encourage authors to recommend reviewers when submitting a manuscript, to aid the peer review process.

AI Policy

The following instructions apply to artificial intelligence (AI) applications:

  • AI applications cannot be listed as authors.
  • Whether and how AI applications were used in the research or the reporting of its findings must be described in detail in the Methods section and should be mentioned again in the Acknowledgements section.

Original Research Articles

These represent a substantial body of laboratory or clinical work. Reports should not exceed 4000 words including references; articles that exceed this word limit may be returned for revision before peer review. Additional data may be presented as supplementary information, which can be in any format: text, tables, images, videos, etc. Extended reports should be presented in sections - namely:

Abstract: No more than 250 words, summarising the problem being considered, how the study was performed, the salient results and the principal conclusions under subheadings 'Aims', 'Methods', 'Results', and 'Conclusion'.

Key words: No more than five. These should be given beneath the Abstract.

Article summary: Section consisting of three headings (placed after the abstract): 'Article focus' (with up to three bullet points on the research questions or hypotheses addressed); 'Key messages' (with up to three bullet points showing the key messages or significance of the study); 'Strengths and limitations of this study' section (also with up to three bullet points).

Introduction: Brief description of the background that led to the study (current results and conclusions should not be included).

Methods: Details relevant to the conduct of the study. Ethics and dissemination. Wherever possible give numbers of subjects studied (not percentages alone). Statistical methods should be clearly explained at the end of this section.

Results: Work should be reported in SI units. Undue repetition in text and tables should be avoided. Comment on validity and significance of results is appropriate but broader discussion of their implication is restricted to the next section. Subheadings that aid clarity of presentation within this and the previous section are encouraged.

Discussion: The nature and findings of the study are placed in context of other relevant published data. Caveats to the study should be discussed. Avoid undue extrapolation from the study topic.

References: (no limit but usually below 50). References should be from published work only. They should be presented using the Vancouver system by superscript numbers in the order of their appearance. Not in alphabetical order. They should be formatted in the style shown below.

Journal Reference:

Allen GM, Wilson DJ. Ultrasound and the diagnosis of orthopaedic disorders. Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:944-51.

Book Reference:

Watson-Jones R. Fractures and joint injuries. Vol. 2. Fourth ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 1955:744-5.

Chapter in a Book:

Winquist RA, Frankel VH. Complications of implant use. In: Epps CH Jr, ed. Complications in orthopaedic surgery. Vol. 1. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott Company, 1978:99-129.

Web Reference:

International commission on radiological protection. http://www.icrp.org (date last accessed 20 September 2009).

Abstract Reference:

Peterson L. Osteochondritis of the knee treated with autologous chondrocyte transplantation [abstract]. ISAKOS Congress, 2001.

Figures: We only accept papers with 10 figures or fewer in the main document. Any additional figures should be uploaded as supplementary material. Please ensure you supply figures as a composite, for example, 1a, 1b, and 1c should be uploaded as a single image. Each figure will need a full descriptive legend identifying the area of interest and any arrows or lettering, including separate parts. For radiographs please ensure you state view used and the timepoint at which it was taken.

We ask authors to display the individual data points in graphs alongside an error bar. Bar graphs which contain only statistical information (such as mean, error, and number of replicates) can be misleading and are discouraged. Showing all data points for experiments with relatively small sample sizes allows the reader to visualise the distribution of the data, along with outlying values.

Tables: We only accept a maximum of eight 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.

Title Page

Please include the following sections in the Title Page document only:

Funding statement: Should be worded as follows. Either 'The author(s) received no financial or material support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.' or 'The author(s) disclose receipt of the following financial or material support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: [xxx]'

Conflicts 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 ICMJE conflict of interest form must be completed by all authors. Bone & Joint Research will publish in each article a summary of the information collected in the ICMJE Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest documents. These are retained by the Journal, and can be made available upon request.

Acknowledgements and affiliations: Individuals with direct involvement in the study but not included in authorship may be acknowledged. The source of financial support and industry affiliations of all those involved must be stated.

Author's contributions: State how each author was involved.

Data protocol

BJR requires that authors make all materials, data, and protocols associated with the publication be made available to readers from the date of publication, and requires published manuscripts include a statement of data availability. We also encourage authors to follow FAIR Data Principles, i.e. findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. Examples of materials include, but are not limited to, cell lines, plasmids, antibodies, reagents, and mouse strains. Prior to publication, data and materials must be submitted through publicly available data repositories, and a URL link to that repository should be included in the Methods section of the manuscript as well as a persistent identifier (e.g. entry name/ID, accession number). Data repositories are widely available, and many can be found at (https://www.re3data.org/). Examples include ArrayExpress, Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), GenBank, and miRbase, which collect functional genomics and sequence data.

Editorials and Infographics

For editorials and infographics, no abstract or article summary is required.

The specified word counts given below for editorials and infographics do not include the list of references.

Please also do not include headings within editorials or infographics.

There is no Article Publication Charge for editorials or infographics; publication is completely free.


Editorials should be 1200 to 1500 words in length and should not include figures or tables.


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.


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, Key words, Article Summary, Introduction, Main Text, References, and Tables. Please ensure all elements are included in the same document. You will only be able to upload one word document. Please ensure this document adheres to the guidelines above.

In the Main Document, please ensure that the text has 1.5- or double-line spacing throughout.

Please upload the Title Page and Main Document files separately; these should not be merged into one file.

If it does not meet the criteria, it will be declined. Individual jpegs or tiffs of each figure are to be uploaded separately (no more than 10 can be uploaded). It is not necessary to keep the figures embedded in the Word document.


Please could all authors add an ORCID ID to their user account, if available, before making a resubmission (or to the Title Page document if unable to add to user accounts). For authors who do not have an ORCID ID, we suggest that you register using the following link: https://orcid.org/register. If you are unable to access the ORCID website, please let us know at d.gray@boneandjoint.org.uk.


Upon acceptance please forward high quality versions of any figures. These should be the largest, best quality versions available, as images in jpeg or tiff format. Graphs should, if possible, be presented in EPS or Excel formats. If adding labels to halftone photographs or radiographs, where possible please send a separate version without labels. Authors will be sent proofs of their paper before it is published.


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.

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.

Manuscript Polishing

BJR 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 click here.

Publication Ethics

For a guide to the publication ethics for BJR, please click here.

Complaints Procedure

This procedure applies to complaints about the publishing policies, procedures and actions of publishing and editorial staff and the Editor-in-Chief of BJR.

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 BJR 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 immediately if made on the telephone or 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.

External bodies

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.