Copyright and author licences

Since 2000, authors publishing with BMJ can retain copyright for any article published in one of our journals (excluding BMJ Case Reports, Veterinary Record and In Practice). Authors grant BMJ an exclusive licence to publish the article (there are exceptions, e.g. UK and US Government employees). Check the specific licence for each journal for full details.

If you opt for Open Access, the article may be reused according to the relevant Creative Commons licence. The default BMJ licence is CC BY-NC, but where the funder requires it you can select CC BY. Open Access articles have fewer copyright restrictions and can be adapted and shared without having to seek permission. Commercial users will require permission to reuse content included in CC BY-NC articles.

We will deposit all Open Access articles with PMC on print publication in an issue or, if not published in print, from being published online and authors may deposit the final published version in the repositories of their choice.

In many cases, funders include Open Access fees or Article Publishing Charges within the research grant or by block grants to institutions. Upon acceptance, you will be given the option to pay a fee to make the article Open Access.


For information about copyright and licences for non-open access articles, please visit this section.