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Medical Humanities is a leading international journal that offers a platform not only for presenting, but also for shaping the conversation around medicine as practice and philosophy as it engages with humanities and arts, social sciences, health policy, medical education, patient experience and the public at large. We seek scholarly and critical submissions on subjects of interest, including: epidemics and disease, history of medicine, cultures of medicine, disability studies, gender and the body, communities in crisis, bioethics, and public health as they inform and are informed by the humanities. All articles must engage with current scholarship and will be rigorously peer reviewed.


Editorial policy

Medical Humanities adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics, scientific misconduct, consent and peer review criteria. To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page.

Articles are published under an exclusive licence or non-exclusive licence for UK Crown employees or where BMJ has agreed CC BY applies. For US Federal Government officers or employees acting as part of their official duties, the terms are as stated in accordance with our licence terms. Authors or their employers retain copyright. Open access articles can be reused under the terms of the relevant Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content; please refer to the Medical Humanities Author Licence for the applicable Creative Commons licences”.

More information on copyright and authors’ rights.


Peer Review

Medical Humanities operates double-blind peer review which requires authors to submit an anonymous version of their manuscript file (to be uploaded as the Manuscript File including abstract).

This file should be anonymous and should NOT include:

  • Any author names (including file path in document footer)
  • Author institution details
  • Author contact details
  • Acknowledgements
  • Competing interests (if declared)
  • Ethics approval statements that refer to your institution
  • Please ensure tracked changes are switched off if previously used; this file will be automatically converted to PDF once uploaded through the online submission system and will be made available to the reviewers

Reporting patient and public involvement in research

BMJ encourages active patient and public involvement in clinical research as part of its patient and public partnership strategy. To support co-production of research we request that authors provide a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the methods section of their papers, under the subheading ‘Patient and public involvement’.

We appreciate that patient and public involvement is relatively new and may not be feasible or appropriate for all papers. We therefore continue to consider papers where patients were not involved.

The Patient and Public Involvement statement should provide a brief response to the following questions, tailored as appropriate for the study design reported (please find example statements here):

  • At what stage in the research process were patients/the public first involved in the research and how?
  • How were the research question(s) and outcome measures developed and informed by their priorities, experience, and preferences?
  • How were patients/the public involved in the design of this study?
  • How were they involved in the recruitment to and conduct of the study?
  • Were they asked to assess the burden of the intervention and time required to participate in the research?
  • How were (or will) they be involved in your plans to disseminate the study results to participants and relevant wider patient communities (e.g. by choosing what information/results to share, when, and in what format)?

If patients were not involved please state this.

In addition to considering the points above we advise authors to look at guidance for best reporting of patient and public involvement as set out in the GRIPP2 reporting checklist.

If the Patient and Public Involvement statement  is missing in the submitted manuscript we will request that authors provide it.


Special issues

Medical Humanities will consider external proposals for themed or special issues to be published in the journal. If you are interested in submitting an idea for a special issue, please read the Special Issue Guidelines first. For more information on Special issues, or to put forward a proposal, please contact Jennifer Thomas, who will be able to provide you with further details.


Blog

The MH Blog provides a platform for sharing the work of the journal, for promoting articles, providing book reviews, and also for showcasing current or unfolding issues in medical humanities. The blog is open to guest submissions on a range of topics and submissions categories within the field of medical humanities. For more details, visit the blog.

Article processing charges

During submission, authors can choose to have their article published open access for 1,950 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). Authors can also choose to publish their article in colour for the print edition – instead of the default option of black and white – for 250 GBP. There are no submission, page or online-only colour figure charges.

For more information on open access, funder compliance and institutional programmes please refer to the BMJ Author Hub open access page.

Data Sharing

Medical Humanities adheres to BMJ’s Tier 3 data policy. We strongly encourage that data generated by your research that supports your article be made available as soon as possible, wherever legally and ethically possible. All research articles must contain a Data Availability Statement. For more information and FAQs, please see BMJ’s full Data Sharing Policy page.

Submission guidelines

Please review the below article type specifications including the required article lengths, illustrations, table limits and reference counts. The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements, contributions and references. Manuscripts should be as succinct as possible.

For further support when making your submission please refer to the resources available on the BMJ Author Hub. Here you will find information on writing and formatting your research through to the peer review process. You may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services.

If your article is accepted you can take advantage of BMJ’s partnership with Kudos, a free service to help you maximise your article’s reach.

Medical Humanities currently uses the Chicago notes and bibliography referencing system. ENDNOTES rather than FOOTNOTES style; please be sure to convert footnotes to endnotes format, followed by your bibliography. Please see the online style manual for details and examples.

Original research

Original research articles on all topics. We seek scholarly and critical work engaging with current literature in the field of medical humanities as an interdisciplinary field of study. Areas of interest include but are not limited to bioethics, history, sociology, anthropology, praxis and the arts as relates to health and humanities.

Following the lead of The BMJ and its patient partnership strategyMedical Humanities is encouraging active patient involvement in setting the research agenda. As such, we require authors of Research Articles to add a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the Methods section. Please see more details above.

Word count: 5,000-9,000
Unstructured abstract: up to 300 words
Tables/Illustrations: up to 5
References: excluded in word count total- please use CMS format.

Commentary

A commentary may respond to an issue as a whole, as is the case for thematic issue commentaries, or as a specific comment upon an article or series of articles, a debate topic, or a trend in the journal.

Word count: up to 1,500
References: included in word count total- please use CMS format.

Current controversies

Current controversies highlight an issue of current controversy relevant to the delivery of healthcare, the formulation of public health policy, the experience of being ill and of caring for those who are ill. We welcome different viewpoints on the same subject and encourage dialogue.

Word count: up to 3500
Abstract: up to 250
Tables/Illustrations: at editorial discretion
References: included in word count total- please use CMS format.

Review essay

A review essay is a deep engagement with a chosen set of 3-4 texts that offer a thorough critique of a specific subject. The essay should discuss a general subject from a large-scale point of view, using the texts as a foundation supporting a thesis and a theoretical framework in the context of medical humanities. Ideas for review essays should be discussed with the Editor-in-Chief prior to submission to the online system.

Word count: up to 3,500
Abstract: up to 250
Illustrations: at editorial discretion
References: included in word count total- please use CMS format.

eLetter

eLetters are electronic responses to published Medical Humanities articles posted online. To submit an eLetter use the submit a response option in the content box menu seen in all abstract/extract, Full text and PDF views of a published article. All eLetters are subject to editorial approval.

Word count: up to 400
References: included in word count total- please use CMS format.


Supplements

The BMJ Publishing Group journals are willing to 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 BMJPG 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.

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

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