Submit a paper here

The editors have provided some guidance on how to create a paper with the best chance of being accepted. Read these instructions here.

For guidelines on policy and submission across our journals, please click on the links below:

Planning your research
Writing your paper
Choosing a journal
Submitting your paper
After submitting
Promoting your paper
Open Access
Reviewing manuscripts

Editorial policy

Emergency Medicine Journal is committed to the publication of high quality research , educational material , and perspective that will be of interest to a broad audience of emergency practitioners, including physicians, nurses and paramedics, within different settings and in different countries. Our scope includes emergency department care, urgent care, pre-hospital care and the interface of emergency medicine with colleagues in other specialties and public policy. Our priorities are to:

We welcome submissions of the following types of articles. We receive far more papers than we can publish; thus all papers are reviewed by the Editor in Chief on submission but only some will be sent on for external peer review. Our goal is to give you a decision within one week for submissions we are not sending on for further review. Each month the editor will select one article (Editor’s Choice) to highlight on our website, which is free to download.

Article types and word counts

Please click on the link to see specific descriptions of each article and requirements for submission:

Original Articles
Short Reports
Top Ten
The View from Here
Letters and Rapid Responses
Image Challenge
Swing Shift: Innovations in Emergency Medicine

Please note that we no longer publish case reports; please consider submitting your article to BMJ Case Reports.

The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements and contributions and the references. BMJ’s pre-submission checklist

Language polishing service

If you are not a native English speaker, we recommend that you have your manuscript edited by a native speaker prior to submission. Professional editing will improve the grammar, spelling and punctuation of your manuscript, providing clear language which will mean that reviewers and editors are better able to concentrate on the scientific content of the paper. Please find further
details here.

Original articles

Full length articles reporting research. Authors of original articles and systematic reviews are required to comply with one of the appropriate reporting guidelines endorsed by the EQUATOR Network. A completed guideline checklist must be included with the submission.

All clinical trials require prospective registration.

Checklist choices

BMJ requires compliance with the following reporting guidelines; please upload your completed checklist with your submission and label it “Research Checklist”. Below is a list of the most commonly used research checklists which should be selected based on the type of study you are reporting. If your study’s methodology does not have a suitable research checklist you may submit the paper, but must state in the cover letter why no checklist is attached.

CONSORT statement

Required for all randomised controlled trials

PRISMA statement

Required for all systematic reviews

EVEREST statement

Required for all economic evaluations

STARD statement

Required for all diagnostic research papers

STROBE statement

Required for all observational studies

MOOSE statement

Required for all meta-analyses of observational studies

Guidance and forms are available here.


300 words

Word count:

up to 3000 words

Illustrations and tables:

up to 6



Additional information (such as data collection tools, surveys, etc) may be placed on the web site as a data supplement. In some cases, we may ask to publish the abstract in print and the full-length article on the website only. You also have the option to publish the abstract of your paper in your local language. If you wish to do this, please upload a Word copy of your abstract to your manuscript on Scholar One and save it as ‘supplementary material’. We have specific requirements for before and after (pre-post) studies. Please see Goodacre, March 2015 ‘Uncontrolled before-after studies: discouraged by Cochrane and the EMJ‘.

Recommended sections:


The article should include a brief introduction explaining why you chose to do the study – this would include a description of the importance of the topic, a summary of what is already known and why the study was needed, and the goal of the study. Three to four paragraphs should be sufficient.


Guidelines exist for the reporting of methodology and results for randomized trials, observational studies and retrospective chart review. Please see above or refer to the EQUATOR website for guidelines according to the specific type of study. The Methodology section must
include a statement about ethics approval before it can be reviewed. Clinical trials must be previously registered and the registration number given.


Please follow the standardized guidelines (as in Methods) for reporting of results. For statistics, confidence intervals are preferred to p values.


The discussion should begin with a brief summary of the findings (no more than one paragraph) followed by the following (in whatever order works best in the flow of the article): how this study is similar or different from prior studies with regards to methods and results; limitations of this study; implications of the results for practice or policy.  If you wish to offer a
conclusion, this should be done in the last paragraph of the Discussion rather than as a separate subsection.

Tables should be placed in the main text where they are first cited while figures should be provided as supplementary files.

“What this paper adds” Box

Please produce a box offering a thumbnail sketch of what your article adds to the literature, for readers who would like an overview without reading the whole article It should be divided into two short sections, each with 1-3 short sentences. Section 1: What is already known on this subject In two or three single sentence bullet points please summarise the state of
scientific knowledge on this subject before you did your study and why this study needed to be done. Be clear and specific, not vague. For example you might say:
“Numerous observational studies have suggested that tea drinking may be effective in treating depression, but until now evidence from randomised controlled trials has been lacking/the only randomised controlled trial to date was underpowered/was carried out in an unusual population/did not use internationally accepted outcome measures/used too low a dose of tea.” Or: “Evidence from trials of tea therapy in depression have given conflicting results. Although Sjogren and Smith conducted a systematic review in 1995, a further 15 trials have been carried out since
then…” Section 2: What this study adds In one or two single sentence bullet points give a simple answer to the question “What do we now know as a result of this study that we did not know before?” Be brief, succinct, specific, and accurate. For example: “Our study suggests that tea drinking has no overall benefit in depression”. You might use the last sentence to summarise any implications for practice, research, policy, or public health. For example, your study might have: asked and answered a new question (one whose relevance has only recently become clear) contradicted a belief, dogma, or previous evidence provided a new perspective on something that is already known in general provided evidence of higher methodological quality for a message which is already known.

Short report

Short reports of experimental work, new methods, or a preliminary report can be accepted as two page papers; maximum length 1,000 words not including abstract, tables, and legends. The Methodology section should include a statement about ethics approval. Additional information may be placed on the web site as a data supplement.

Word count:

up to 1,000 words not including abstract, tables, figures or references


up to 250 words

Illustrations and tables:

up to 3


up to 10


We welcome submissions of both Practical Reviews (e.g. treatment of the patient with asthma) and systematic reviews which focus on a specific question. For systematic reviews, PRISMA guidelines should be followed and a checklist submitted. In both cases, the Methods section should include a
description of the process of literature retrieval. Practical Reviews should be submitted under the heading of “Review” while Systematic Reviews should be submitted as Original Articles. Additional information may be placed on the website as a data supplement. You also have the option to publish the abstract of your paper in your local language. If you wish to do this please upload a Word copy of your abstract to our manuscript on Scholar One and save it as ‘supplementary material’.

EMJ does not accept scoping reviews.

Word count:

up to 3000 words

Illustrations and tables:

up to 6 tables


up to 40


BestBETs are brief, evidence-based reviews of a specific practice question that are published in a set format which is as follows:

  1. Title
  2. Reported by
  3. Checked by
  4. Clinical scenario
  5. Abstract
  6. 3-part question
  7. Search strategy
  8. Evidence table, columns on:
    • Author, together with county and year of publication
    • Patient group
    • Study type
    • Outcomes measured
    • Key results
    • Study weaknesses
    • Comments
  9. Clinical bottom line: The Clinical Bottom Line is written to answer the question:
    “Having found and appraised all the evidence available to me and presented in the evidence table, what would I do if faced with the same clinical situation again?”
  10. References

All Bets should be submitted via the bestbets website We do not accept Bets submitted via ScholarOne.

Word count:

up to 1000 words

Illustrations and tables:

1 table or figure


up to 25

Top Ten

Top ten articles are expert summaries of research, teaching materials and other resources important to emergency physicians. These articles are commissioned by the editors, but suggestions for topics and authors are welcome.


Editorials are written or commissioned by the editors, but suggestions for possible topics and authors are welcome.

Word count:

up to 500 words

Illustrations and tables:

at editorial discretion


up to 20, ideally 10


Commentaries are commissioned to accompany a paper being published in the EMJ. The main objectives may be: to highlight the importance of the article, to critique the article or the research method, to provide a balancing view if the article is controversial. Authors of commentaries will often be given a brief by the editorial team.

Word count:

up to 850 words

Illustrations and tables:

1 table or figure


up to 8

The view from here

This section features first-person accounts of practice, education and health care delivery in unusual settings, such as limited resource countries, disasters, countries in conflict. Additionally, we will consider insightful reflections on the practice and delivery of emergency health care in more traditional settings.

Word count:

up to 1000 words

Photo or illustration:

1 Include a 1-line description of the author’s background with relevance to the article

References are not necessary


We welcome letters, either about articles published in the EMJ or other important issues. Letters may be submitted in several ways:.

  1. Rapid Responses Letters in response to articles published in EMJ are welcome and should be submitted electronically via the website (rather than via 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, who will be offered the opportunity to reply. For particularly noteworthy letter exchanges, we may choose to also publish these in the journal after the print publication appears.
  2. Letters on items in the news, media reports, new policies etc are welcome and should be submitted via Scholar One. Particularly with regard to controversial subjects or criticism, we will attempt to obtain a letter in response prior to publication.

Image Challenge

Authors are encouraged to submit images for our Image Challenge. Images that are selected will be published on-line on the EMJ website and may also be selected for publication in the print journal at a later date. Images should be educational, not sensational. Our preference is for images that can be obtained on physical exam or with basic investigations, providing clues to the
diagnosis, or indicating the need for advanced imaging. The decision to publish the image will depend on several factors including:

  1. the importance and relevance of the entity to emergency medicine
  2. the educational value of the image
  3. the quality of the write-up, including important take-home teaching points.

All images must be accompanied by a signed patient consent.



Since the aim of these articles is to stimulate the reader to think about the case, the title should be ambiguous and not give away the final diagnosis immediately.

Number of authors:

3 maximum

Word count:

up to 300 words


up to 3

Each image challenge will be presented in two parts:

The quality of the image must be at least 300dpi and in .tif, .jpeg, .gif or .eps format. Videos for online presentation are also welcomed and should be in .mov, .avi, or .mpeg format.

Swing Shift: Innovations in Emergency Medicine

These are short reports of truly original developments, programs, or tools that fill a gap in the care of emergency patients. Reports must include description of design, and some evidence testing, utility or sustainability. The paper should explain what gap the innovation is addressing. New applications of existing technologies, performance improvement projects using standard methods, derivation of decision rules would not be considered in this category.

Word count:

up to 1,000 words not including abstract, tables, figures or references


up to 250 words

Illustrations and tables:

up to 3


up to 10

Open Access

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

We do not offer refunds for Open Access once articles have been published.

Colour figure charges

During submission you will be asked whether or not you agree to pay for the colour print publication of your colour images. This service is available to any author publishing within this journal for a fee of £250 per article. Authors can elect to publish online in colour and black and white in print, in which case the appropriate selection should be made upon submission. There is no additional charge for colour online.


The BMJ Publishing Group journals will consider publishing supplements to regular issues. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of: 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. 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. The BMJ itself may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary. 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. When contacting us regarding a potential supplement, please include as much of the information below as possible:

For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the
supplements guidelines

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