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:
    • Timeline for your proof
    • Contact email for the production editor
    • Link to Publishing At Work, where you can track your article’s status.
  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 download your PDF proof. In the same email, you’ll also be able to view a locked PDF with track changes to see what changes went through the copy editing stage.
  6. Using annotation tools in the PDF, you can make changes and answer any questions that came up in the copy editing stage
  7. Within 2 working days of downloading your PDF proof, it will need to be sent back to the production editor. 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.


Tracking your article in Publishing At Work

Publishing At Work (PAW) is our production system where you can track your article’s status. To start using this tool, you’ll make an account on PAW using the same email you used on ScholarOne.
Once you’re logged into PAW, you’ll see a list of articles on which you’re an author and their production stages in blue, underlined text. As it is a tracking system, you won’t be able to view or download the articles.


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.