Preparing your manuscript

There is no shortage of general advice on the web on how to write all kinds of scholarly medical articles. The most influential resource is the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (ICMJE), and this is the best place to start when sitting down to write a paper.

These guidelines were initiated 30 years ago to save authors the bother of completely reformatting a manuscript when submitting it sequentially to several general medical journals. But now these uniform requirements have now been adopted by more than 800 journals, and they encompass a wide range of editorial policies and advice on publication practice and ethics.

Guidance from WAME (the World Association of Medical Editors), CSE (the Council of Science Editors), and COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) echoes and complements the uniform requirements.


Other resources from BMJ Editors

A series of videos by Prof Maarten Boers, Editor, ARD

Writing papers, responding to reviewers, and appealing by Trish Groves, Editor-in-Chief, BMJ Open

How to write and publish a study protocol (Free module from Research to Publication eLearning programme)

Introduction to randomized blinded trials (Free module from Research to Publication eLearning programme)

For advice on formatting your manuscript see our Instructions for Authors section, and download the BMJ Reference Style.

For more information on how to plan your study, visit the section on Planning your research.