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Instructions for Authors

For guidelines on policy and submission across our journals, please click on the links below:
Manuscript preparation
Editorial policies
Patient consent forms
Licence forms
Peer review
Submission and production processes

Editorial policy

ADC includes

  1. original research reports
  2. short reports and scientific letters

There are also regular features on

  1. commentaries (editorials)
  2. reviews of clinical and policy issues
  3. clinical problem solving (Archimedes)
    1. international health
    2. patients' experience with the healthcare system
    3. abstracts from Journal Watch Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
    4. summaries of important articles from other journals (Archivist and Lucina)

Open Access

Authors can choose to have their article published Open Access for a fee of £1,950 (plus applicable VAT).

Colour figure charges

There are no colour charges.

Article types and word counts

Articles for the [Paediatric and Perinatal] Drug Therapy section should follow the same instructions (word count, etc) as the relevant article type, ie, if you are submitting a full research paper for the PPDT section it should adhere to the "Original reports" instructions.

The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements and contributions and the references.

All submissions should be double-spaced, except for tables, which should be single spaced.

If you are not a native English speaker and would like assistance with your paper there is a professional editing service available.

BMJ's pre-submission checklist

Original reports

These should report original research. (max 2500 words, excluding abstract, tables and figures and references). The body of the report should be double spaced. The tables should be single spaced and the tables and figures should be at the end of the submission after the references. Please note that all RCT must be appropriately registered and this should be noted on the cover page.

Title

The title should have no more than 10 words. If relevant, the title should include information as to whether the paper is a randomised control trial, meta-analysis, audit, observational study, etc.

Abstract

The abstract of an experimental or observational study must clearly state in sequence and in not more than 250 words (i) the main purpose of the study, (ii) the essential elements of the design of the study, (iii) the most important results illustrated by numerical data but not p values, and (iv) the implications and relevance of the results.

We require a structured abstract of up to 250 words for reports of randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses, and we encourage it for other studies, where appropriate. The following headings should be used for original research:

  • Objective
  • Design
  • Setting
  • Patients
  • Interventions
  • Main outcome measures
  • Results: give numerical data rather than vague statements that drug x produced a better response than drug y. Favour confidence intervals over p values, and give the numerical data on which any p value is based.
  • Conclusions: do not make any claims that are not supported by data in the paper in the abstract.

 

Important considerations

  • All research reports involving human subjects must contain a statement about ethics committee approval (or equivalent) at the end of the methods section.
  • On a separate page (before the references) all original papers should include:
    1. "What is already known on this topic" - followed by a maximum of 3 brief statements (no more than 25 words per statement);
    2. "What this study adds" - followed by a maximum of 3 brief statements (no more than 25 words per statement).
  • Illustrations should be used only when data cannot be expressed clearly in any other way. When graphs are submitted the numerical data on which they are based should be uploaded to ScholarOne as a supplementary file.

 

Further details of RCTs and systematic reviews.

Word count: up to 2500 words (excluding title page, abstract, tables, figures, and references)
Structured abstract: up to 250 words
Tables/Illustrations: up to 5
References: up to 40

Additional material may be considered as data supplements.

Short reports / Case reports

Short reports are brief reports of original research and case reports are any report/case history of four cases or less. The abstract of a paper that focuses on a case report(s) must summarise the essential descriptive elements of the case(s) and indicate their relevance and importance. If more illustrations are required, the text must be reduced accordingly. The title should be no longer than seven words. All case reports must be submitted with a scanned patient consent form uploaded as a supplemental file. Please click here for the Patient Consent Form.

Word count: up to 1200 words (excluding title page, abstract, tables, figures, and references)
Abstract: up to 150 words
Tables/Illustrations: up to 2 small tables or images
References: up to 5

Letters to the editor (original research)

The editor encourages submissions of original exploratory research as a letter to the editor.

Word count: up to 500 words
Abstract: not required
Tables/Illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 4

Images in Paediatrics / Images in Neonatal Medicine

Submissions to the above categories should take the form of a striking or clinically important image, bolstered by up to 250 words of text (plus up to 5 references). Two images can be submitted simultaneously, but this will require a sacrifice in the word count. Please ensure that for all Image submissions, you also upload a scanned patient consent form as a supplemental file. Please click here for the Patient Consent Form.

Correspondence

Letters in response to articles published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood are welcome and should be submitted electronically via the journal's website (http://adc.bmj.com) and NOT to Scholar One. Contributors should go to the abstract or full text of the article in question. At the top right corner of each article is a "contents box". Click on the "eLetters: Submit a response to this article" link.

Letters relating to or responding to previously published items in the journal will be shown to those authors, where appropriate.

Word count: up to 300 words
Abstract: not required
Tables/Illustrations: up to 2 (but must be essential)
References: up to 5

Editorials

These are commentaries commissioned by the editors to provide background and context for published articles.

Word count: up to 1200 words
Abstract: not required
Tables/Illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 5

Commissioned articles

ADC commissions leading articles and reviews on important topics for practising paediatricians. We welcome suggestions for topics and authors by e-mail to archdischild{at}bmjgroup.com.

Word count: discussed with Editor
Abstract: 150 words
Tables/Illustrations: up to 5
References: up to 40

Archimedes

To register a question, and to submit completed Archimedes topics, please email bob.phillips{at}doctors.org.uk first. The creation of such a topic summary follows this process:

  • Selection of a clinical scenario
  • Definition of the clinical question
  • Search for answers
  • Appraise the evidence
  • Create a critically appraised topic (CAT)
  • Summarise as a best evidence topic (BET)

 

The best evidence topic is the final accumulation of the critical appraisal. The strict format allows the casual reader to extract important information quickly and easily. An example template is available here:

Leading Articles / Reviews

Leading articles and reviews can be discussed with either the Editor in Chief or Commissioning Editor. Editors will make the final decision regarding whether an article is classified as a leading article or review. In general reviews focus on clinical issues, whereas leading articles reflect on issues that are broader in scope than a specific clinical entity. Reviews should be no longer that 2500 words (exclusive of titles, tables, figures, and references), and the word count for leading articles is at the discretion of the editor.

For Leading Articles the title should have no more than 10 words. If relevant the title should include the information as to whether the paper is a randomised control trial, meta-analysis, audit, observational study, etc. No abstract is required.

Word count: 2500 (review) and 1500-2500 (leading article).
Abstract: Brief summary of the article required

Call for self-assessment questions: Epilogue

Education and Practice is planning to improve its continuing professional development service to paediatricians. We intend to carry a series of case-based questions in extended matching, multiple-choice or other formats in a new feature called ‘Epilogue’.

We invite readers to submit cases accompanied by questions. The text should be no more than 600 words, and might be accompanied by one or two figures, which would include photographs, electrocardiograms, lab results, etc. Real-life cases must have parent/patient consent. Answers should be given, with explanations. Submissions will be peer-reviewed and may be altered significantly before publication. Authors will be credited in the journal.

If you want to know more please contact us via archdischild@bmj.com, or to submit a question to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/adc and submit under the 'Epilogue' category.

Word count: 600 words
Tables/Illustrations: 1-2

Supplements

The BMJ Publishing Group journals are willing to consider publishing supplements to regular issues. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of:

  1. The journal editor, an editorial board member or a learned society may wish to organise a meeting, sponsorship may be sought and the proceedings published as a supplement.
  2. The journal editor, editorial board member or learned society may wish to commission a supplement on a particular theme or topic. Again, sponsorship may be sought.
  3. The BMJPG itself may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary.
  4. A sponsoring organisation, often a pharmaceutical company or a charitable foundation, that wishes to arrange a meeting, the proceedings of which will be published as a supplement.

In all cases, it is vital that the journal's integrity, independence and academic reputation is not compromised in any way.

For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the supplements guidelines (PDF).

When contacting us regarding a potential supplement, please include as much of the information below as possible.

  • Journal in which you would like the supplement published
  • Title of supplement and/or meeting on which it is based
  • Date of meeting on which it is based
  • Proposed table of contents with provisional article titles and proposed authors
  • An indication of whether authors have agreed to participate
  • Sponsor information including any relevant deadlines
  • An indication of the expected length of each paper Guest Editor proposals if appropriate

Plagiarism detection

BMJ is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting www.ithenticate.com.

 

Free sample

This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of ADC.
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