BMJ Transfer Service

How to avoid rejection using BMJ’s new Transfer Service.

 
Why is BMJ introducing a Transfer Service?

Researchers are often extremely disappointed when they receive a rejection letter from an editor-in-chief.  But at BMJ, we want to publish every clinical research paper that is submitted to us. If the science is strong, we promise there is a place for your research paper in a BMJ journal. But if your paper is not accepted by your 1st choice journal, our Transfer Service will quickly  find the best alternative journal for you

 
How does the Transfer Service work?

We now ask every author to choose an alternative journal when they first submit their paper.  If your paper is rejected by an editor, the paper will be transferred automatically to your second journal along with all related files and any peer reviews.  BMJ Journal editors are also encouraged to suggest a more appropriate journal for research they cannot accept in their own journal. These changes save authors’ time and reduce disappointment.

 
What are the key benefits for Authors?
  • Author choice, author control You choose the first journal to consider your paper, and an alternative journal to transfer to, if necessary. If an editor suggests a different journal, you are completely free to accept or reject their suggestion
  • Improved acceptance rate Most papers are rejected from BMJ Journals because they are out-of-scope, not because they are poor science. But BMJ publishes many open-access journals that accept all sound science papers, including specialty titles as well as BMJ Open which publishes research from every medical specialty
  • No need to resubmit All manuscript files and any peer-reviews are automatically transferred from the first journal to the to the alternative journal
  • Saving EVERYONE’s time The author does not need to spend time uploading files to a different journal or system. The editor at the alternative journal does not have to spend time finding new peer reviewers, they can use the reviews that transferred with the paper

 
What happens when my manuscript is transferred?

If you chose an ‘Alternate Journal’ when you submitted…

  1. You receive a rejection letter from the journal you originally submitted to
  2. The Editorial Production Assistant (EPA) will transfer your paper to the alternate journal you chose previously 
  3. You will receive an email from the alternate journal asking you to accept/ decline the transfer 
  4. If you decline the transfer, it will not be completed. If you accept the transfer:
  5. You may be asked to provide any additional information the alternate journal may require
  6. You will also be asked to confirm your declaration of interests and other ethics checklists
  7. You will be asked to choose a new alternate journal (The Editorial Production Assistant can provide assistance through this process)
  8. The Editorial Office of the receiving journal will now consider your paper in the usual way

If the editor rejects your paper and suggests an alternate journal…

Note: if you have already selected an alternate journal during the submission process, the editor will take this into consideration.

  1. You receive a rejection letter from the journal you originally submitted to, but it suggests transfer of your paper to an alternate journal. This letter contains links to accept/decline the offer of transfer.
  2. If you decline the transfer, it will not be completed. If you accept the transfer:
  3. You may be asked to provide any additional information the alternate journal may require
  4. You will also be asked to confirm your declaration of interests and other ethics checklists
  5. You will be asked to choose a new alternate journal.
  6. The Editorial Office of the receiving journal will now consider your paper in the usual way.

 
Will negative editor or reviewer comments damage my chances of being accepted in another journal?

No, all BMJ Journals are editorially independent and although previous editor or reviewer comments will be taken into consideration, the ultimate decision on your transferred paper will be based on the scope and editorial board of the receiving journal. Our editors will expect peer-reviews to be critical.

 
My manuscript has been transferred – what should I do next?

We recommend that you carefully read the comments about your paper from the original editor and peer reviewers. Now edit your manuscript to incorporate their suggestions. You should also start revising your manuscript to fit the formatting requirements of the journal you have transferred to. Once you have made the amendments to your files you can ask the Editorial Production Assistant to upload these to the system on your behalf.

 
Do I have to use your Transfer Service to submit to a new journal?

No, it is not compulsory. But we strongly urge you to use the transfer process because it is specifically designed to reduce effort for authors, editors and reviewers by automating the uploading of files and peer-reviews.

 
How do I select an alternate journal?

You should select an alternate journal based on the scope and subject area of your manuscript. However, we can advise you that our open access journals are likely to base an acceptance decision solely on the strength of the science in your paper. Our hybrid journals will also expect strong science but may consider the novelty of a manuscript also.
Exceptions: We have three journals at BMJ that cover submissions from any medical specialty:

  1. BMJ Case Reports, as the name suggests, accepts clinical case reports.  
  2. BMJ Open accepts all sound science clinical papers.  
  3. BMJ Open Science accepts all sound science pre-clinical, basic and translational science papers.

All of our BMJ Journals are listed here and you can find out more about each individual journal by clicking through to the journal homepage.  You can find out about the scope of a journal on the “About” page of the journal site. If you would still like more information, you can contact our Transfer Editor.