Author Guidelines

Focus and Scope

The British Student Doctor aims to be a high-quality, peer-reviewed, open access, medical student-led academic journal, with a UK focus. We aim to foster academic discussion, innovation, critical thought and reflection, and to have an impact on clinical practice. We are a novel journal, in that we are primarily written, edited and peer-reviewed by students, for students. All articles published in The British Student Doctor must be original, rigorous, important and relevant to medical students and clinical practice. We encourage UK-based medical students to publish in The British Student Doctor, however studying at a UK medical school is not a compulsory requirement as long as the article is of relevance to UK medical students. A description of the article types that we publish, as well as the specific requirements for each section are detailed below. Please note that there are no processing or authorship charges for publication in The British Student Doctor.

Article Types


These will normally be written by the editorial team, or invited guest writers. We do not accept unsolicited editorials.


Original Research

  • In this section, we aim to publish high-quality research in the field of clinical practice, biomedical science and medical education. We are happy to accept articles using any research methodology, including quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods and systematic review methods.

  • All original research articles must have had relevant ethical approval. If ethical approval was deemed to not be required, then this should be stated and explained.

  • Original research articles, including systematic reviews, should be no longer than 5000 words, excluding the title, abstract, references and appendices. There should be no more than five figures or tables per article, and a maximum of 100 references.

  • The abstract and body of the article should be structured under the following headings: background, methods, results and discussion. In the introduction, all articles must analyse the existing relevant literature in order to contextualise the research. In the discussion section, all articles should consider the clinical implications of the results of the research, strengths and limitations, and directions for future research.

  • The abstract should be a maximum of 300 words, which is not included as part of the article word count.



The 'Life' section of The British Student Doctor aims to publish academic essays which stimulate discussion, reflection, and promote the ethos of life-long learning. These articles should be situated in the existing academic literature, but will provide authors the freedom to develop and express their own ideas and opinions, in order to foster critical thought and discussion.


Discussion Starters

  • These articles may take a variety of different forms, with authors having the freedom and creativity to express their views and opinions in a style that they prefer.

  • An example format could include an academic essay developing a particular argument on a controversial topic – for example the pros and cons of Euthanasia – or could be a “call to arms” on a topic personal to the author.

  • Regardless of format, all discussion starters should include a discussion of the relevant academic literature, although it is appreciated that the extent of this may vary, dependant on format.

  • These articles should be no longer than 3000 words, and should be accompanied by a maximum 300 word freeform abstract. Maximum fifty references and three figures or tables.



  • These articles should seek to educate medical students about a unique, novel and important topic related to clinical practice, which is not well covered by the standard curriculum or textbooks.

  • The beginning of the article should make clear the relevance of the subject matter to a medical student audience (i.e. “why should I know this?”).

  • These articles should be no longer than 3000 words, and should include a structured abstract with the following headings: summary, relevance and take home messages. Maximum fifty references and three figures or tables.



  • Reflection pieces are short articles written in the personal pronoun, reflecting on an experience personal to the author, which has important learning points relevant to clinical practice, and from which other students can learn. Given their personal nature, it is expected that these articles will normally have a maximum of three authors.

  • These articles should be no longer than 1500 words. No abstract is required, and references may also not be required (but maximum ten references and two figures or tables).

  • Longer reflections with more academic discussion or authors may be better suited to the discussion starters section.



  • We accept two types of correspondence for publication: a) post-publication peer-review in the format of responses to articles recently published in The British Student Doctor, and b) short letters to the editor commenting on a current, important and relevant topic to medical students – this could include a description of research or innovation at an early stage of development.

  • All correspondence should be no longer than 500 words, and abstracts are not required. Maximum of five references and no figures or tables.

Standard Requirements For All Submissions

  • Although we encourage submissions from UK medical students, we place no compulsory requirements on authors. We will be pleased to accept and review submissions from students and professionals from any discipline, and based in any country, provided that the submissions are relevant to our target audience of UK medical students.

  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx).

  • Font size 12, single-spaced and in an easily readable font. Please include page numbers at the bottom of each page of the submission.

  • References should be submitted in The British Student Doctor Vancouver format.

  • All figures should be included at the end of the manuscript, with in-text markers to indicate their intended print position.

  • Manuscripts should not be blinded as we use an open peer-review process (this means that the submission manuscript should contain all of the author and affiliation details, without anonymisation).

  • All manuscripts should be accompanied with a cover page containing the article’s full title, all author details (see below), accurate word count, declaration of any conflicts of interest, authorship and originality statements (see below) and an abstract of maximum 300 words (please see article types for a description of the required abstract for each section – reflections and correspondence do not require an abstract).

  • Expected author details are a) corresponding author’s full contact details (institution, email address, telephone number and address for written correspondence), and b) name, institution and email address of all other authors.

  • All individuals identified as authors of the submission must meet the ICMJE criteria for authorship, as described here. Please include a statement of the exact contribution of each of the authors to the work, following the four domains of the ICMJE criteria.

  • All manuscripts must be original; this means that they should not have been previously published in any other format, in any other publication, in whole or in part. We will however accept work which has been presented at conferences, either orally or as a poster. Please include on the cover page of your submission a statement that the work is original, and whether or not it has been previously presented. All submissions to The British Student Doctor will be scanned for plagiarism. Please also ensure that your article is not currently under consideration for publication at any other journal or publisher.

  • All articles must comply with our equality and diversity policy, and must not contain any potentially libellous or offensive content. Authors should also take all necessary steps to maintain patient confidentiality.

  • Any article featuring personal or de-identified patient information, for example case reports, or articles including interviews with healthcare professionals, experts, academics or others must comply with our policy on informed consent. Where applicable, please upload a signed consent form as a 'supplementary file' with your submission.

  • Upon submission of the manuscript, all authors must additionally upload to the journal management platform a signed copyright transfer agreement form and a pre-submission article checklist as a ‘supplementary file’, available here. For more information, please see our policy on copyright and publishing agreements.

Ready to submit?

  • To submit, please click here and create an account on our online journal system. Then click here to start a new submission. Please ensure that you complete every stage of the submission process fully, including uploading a signed copyright assignment agreement form and pre-submission checklist (included after the copyright agreement) as a supplementary file (upload these documents under the 'Data' option on page four of the submission process). Only submissions made through the online system will be accepted. After submitting, you should receive a confirmation email – if you do not receive this, then please let us know.

  • After submission, your article will enter the peer review process. It will normally take up to six weeks before you receive a first decision, although we cannot guarantee this.

  • If you have any questions on the submission requirements for The British Student Doctor, then please do not hesitate to contact us.