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.

This is what to expect:

  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:
    1. Timeline for your proof
    2. Contact email for the production editor
    3. 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):
    1. Clean up
    2. Copy editing
    3. 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

BMJ is partnered with a third-party payment collection company, Copyright Clearance Centre (CCC), who have an ecommerce system called RightsLink.
If you’re paying an Open Access or colour printing charge, CCC will send you an email with a link to RightsLink. 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.
If you’ve agreed to pay Open Access or colour printing charges, CCC will send you regular, automated reminders until payment is made.

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.


PubMed indexing

If the journal you submitted to is indexed in Medline or PubMed Central your article will be deposited in PubMed approximately 2-3 weeks after publication for a fully open access (OA) journal, or 12 months for a hybrid journal (mix of OA and non-OA articles).
If you don’t choose OA, you can self-deposit the final accepted paper (not the typeset version) 12 months after print publication, unless the journal is online only.

Please note that not all article types are PubMed indexed, such as meeting abstracts and book reviews. Please get in touch with the editorial team if there is an issue with the indexing of your manuscript.

NIH compliance
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system to facilitate the submission of peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts (AM) for inclusion in PubMed Central (PMC) in support of the NIH Public Access Policy. The NIHMS system allows users such as authors, principal investigators, and publishers to supply material for conversion to XML documents in a format that can be ingested by PMC. Depositing a manuscript in NIHMS for inclusion in PMC is a multi-step process, requiring an author to approve the deposited files and associated funding before conversion and the PMC-ready version after conversion.
BMJ now supports the initial deposit of NIH-funded AMs on behalf of authors and commits to depositing the peer reviewed AM to PMC within 1 week of acceptance for publication. Corresponding authors can then expect to receive further notification from PMC to complete the approval process of their peer reviewed AM within 1-2 weeks of acceptance. AMs are kept under a 12 month embargo.
After publication

Once your article is published online, readers will be able to leave comments. Use the toolbar on the side of your online article to set up alerts when:

  • A response is published
  • Your article is cited
  • A correction is posted

You can also use that toolbar to:

  • Request permissions
  • Share your article
  • View usage statistics