My paper has been accepted – what next?

Once your manuscript has been accepted, all correspondence will be sent to the email address of your corresponding author.

  1. The editorial office will give a final check of your manuscript.
  2. Your manuscript will go to our production team to prepare your proof.
  3. You’ll get an email with a timeline for your proof, and the contact email for the Production Editor:
  4. Your article will go through three stages before your proof (approximately 10-15 days after acceptance, or after payment for Open Access):
    • Clean up
    • Copy editing
    • Typesetting
  5. You’ll receive a link where you can access your paper. You will be able to view the tracked changes to see the edits made during the copy editing stage.
  6. Using the annotation tool you can add comments, answer any questions raised during the copy editing stage, as well as make direct changes to your paper.
  7. Within 2 working days of receiving the proof link, the paper will need to be signed back to Production in the proofing system. Let the Production Editor know if you won’t be able to make this deadline.
  8. Any changes you highlighted will be addressed by the production editor
  9. Your article will be published within 4-5 working days, unless extensive changes are required.
  10. After online publication, we’ll send you a toll-free link to your article if it’s not Open Access. For print journals, your article will be on the Online First page until it can be placed in a print issue.


Paying for Open Access or colour printing

If you have selected for your article to be published open access or in colour in the print edition of the Journal you will receive an email within 2-3 working days with payment options and instructions from Rightslink, a payment system managed by BMJ’s e-commerce partner, Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). Keep an eye out for it, and check your spam if it hasn’t arrived. If you don’t receive the email within 2 days of your article going to production, please email to request it.

You will be able to choose either to pay by credit card or invoice. If you are not making the payment yourself, you may forward the email to the person or organisation that will be paying on your behalf. Your article will not be processed by production until you have paid the Article Processing Charge or requested an invoice. Find more details on open access publication on our Author Hub.

Please note, that if your institution is part of one of BMJ’s Publish and Read or prepay agreements your request for funding will be automatically processed based on this acceptance and you will only receive an email accepting or denying your funding request. To find out if your institution is part of a Publish and Read or prepay agreement visit BMJ’s open access agreements page:




Using RightsLink:
  • You do not have to be the corresponding author to pay the fee (eg: a member of your finance or admin team can process this on your behalf).
  • As this is a new system, you will need to create an account on RightsLink as your ScholarOne account details won’t be transferred across.
  • On RightsLink, you will be able to de-select open access or colour fees if you have not opted for either of these at submission.
  • You have two payment options:
    1. Debit/credit card
    2. Create an invoice to be paid by card, cheque or bank transfer/wire
  • When creating an invoice, you will have the option to add in a Purchase Order number as a reference, or add a tax number if applicable.
  • If you have selected the invoice option, it will be generated overnight and emailed to you the next day.