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Article Guidelines

Artice Specifications
Submission Guidelines

Article Specifications

The BSDJ accepts a range of articles. Please read the guidelines carefully when preparing your article for submission, to ensure your article meets the required formats.

Original Research

Life: Education

Life: Discussion Starters

Life: Reflections


In addition, the BSDJ accepts blog posts, for publication on our website as part of the 'BSDJ Blog'. For information on blog post requirements, click here. 

Submission Guidelines

All BSDJ articles must meet a standard set of submission guidelines, which are outlined below. Please use this list as a checklist prior to submitting, as your article will be desk rejected or returned if it does not meet the submission specification.

  1. Format: Articles must be submitted in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx)

  2. Text: Arial font size 12, single spacing

  3. Page Numbers: Included at the bottom right corner of each submission page

  4. Cover Page: Should include article’s full title, all author details (see Authorship Guidelines for requirements), accurate word count, conflicts of interest declarations, authorship and originality statements, and an abstract if required

  5. Figures: Included at the end of the manuscript, with in-text markers to indicate their intended print position

  6. Pre-Submission Forms: The BSDJ copyright agreement and pre-submission checklist MUST be included alongside submission; these forms can be found here. Any articles featuring personal or de-identified patient information must comply with our policy on informed consent; please upload a signed patient/interviewee consent form as a 'supplementary file' with your submission.​

  7. ReferencingAll references must be formatted as per the BSDJ's referencing system; the British Student Doctor Vancouver format. Instructions on how to format references to meet this system can be found here.

When preparing your submission, we encourage you to use the BSDJ template which meets the above requirements. This template can be downloaded here (coming soon!).

Reporting Guidelines

In line with standard academic practices, the BSDJ encourages authors to follow reporting guidelines appropriate for their study design when writing their submissions. Key guidelines to consider using include:

  • PRISMA - for systematic reviews

  • STROBE - for observational studies

  • SQUIRE 2.0 - for quality improvement studies

  • SRQR - for qualitative studies

These internationally recognised reporting guidelines are freely available on the internet to peruse.

Cover Letters

When preparing your submission, please include a cover letter addressed to the Editor-in-Chief, which covers all of the following points:​​

  • Which section you are submitting your article to

  • Whether the research has been presented previously

  • Whether the article is under consideration at

  • Confirmation that the pre-submission forms have been completed and attached 

  • Confirmation that all authors have approved submission to the BSDJ

Supplementary Materials

  • The BSDJ expects that the pre-submission forms as outlined in the Submission Guidelines will be attached as supplementary files with their submission

  • If authors wish to include supplementary materials with their article, please submit this as a supplementary file, ensuring the content meets the formatting guidelines outlined above

Reporting guidelines
Cover Letters
Supplementary Materials

Author Guidelines

Authorsip Guidelines

Authorship Guidelines and Conflicts of Interest

All individuals identified as authors of the submission must meet the ICMJE criteria for authorship. In your submission, please include the following statement regarding the authors of the article:

  • Corresponding author’s full contact details (institution, email address, telephone number and address for written correspondence) 

  • Full names, institutional address and e-mail address for all authors

  • Statement of contribution for all authors, following the four domains outlined by the ICMJE criteria

Conflicts of Interests

Authors, editors and peer reviewers must abide by the ICMJE guidelines for reporting conflicts of interest. The ICMJE state that “a conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients' welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Perceptions of conflict of interest are as important as actual conflicts of interest.” Financial relationships, personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs can all lead to such conflicts of interest.

The BSDJ asks that all authors are honest and transparent when making conflict of interest declarations.  All submissions to the journal should be accompanied by a statement of all relevant conflicts of interest of all authors, including:

  • All author conflicts of interests

  • Sources of support for the work, financial or otherwise, including sponsor names along with explanations of the role of those sources in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing of the report; the decision to submit the report for publication; or a statement declaring that the supporting source had no such involvement.

  • Whether the authors had access to the study data, with an explanation of the nature and extent of access, including whether access is on-going.

If the authors have no conflicts of interest to declare, then this should be stated.


All BSDJ articles must be original, meaning 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. 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. 

Plagiarism and Misconduct

Plagiarism is a serious academic offence. Prior to submitting your article, please ensure that you check your article includes appropriate citations and references and texts are paraphrased appropriately. 


As an accredited member of COPE since 2018, the BSDJ screens all articles for plagiarism and strictly follows the Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines in any identified instances of plagiarism and academic misconduct. As per the COPE guidelines, if plagiarism or misconduct is detected, we reserve the right to notify the author(s) institution.

Research Ethics

Research Involving Human and Animal Participants

The BSDJ strictly follows the ICMJE guidelines regarding informed consent and research studies involving human and/or animal participants:

  • Investigators should ensure the planning, conduct, and reporting of human research are in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration (2013).

  • Ethical approval for research should be sought from independent local, regional or national review body

  • If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the local, regional or national review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.

  •  When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.

Patient Identifiable Information and Informed Consent

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Non-essential identifying details should be omitted. However, if patient identifiable information is required, the following guidelines must be adhered to:

  • Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent/guardian) gives written informed consent for publication having been shown the manuscript to be published

  • Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the Internet as well as in print after publication

  • Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained

  • If identifying characteristics are de-identified, authors should provide assurance that such changes do not distort scientific meaning

  • Patient consent should be written and archived with the authors

  • Authors must provide the BSDJ with a written statement showing they have received and archived written patient consent

  • When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the published article

De-identified Case Reports

In case reports discussing the presentation and clinical management of patients, patient identifying information should be omitted. However, due to the risk that even in de-identified form, patients coud be identified from case reports, we expect case reports to be submitted with a signed patient consent form. If patient consent in unable to be collected (i.e. because the patient was seen in the distant past or is deceased), then the case report could be written in a generalised and generic manner focusing on typical presentation of patients with the condition rather than on a specific patient's case.

Interview Articles

The BSDJ frequently receive submissions of manuscripts containing interviews with healthcare professionals, academics, medical leaders or other experts. These manuscripts must also be submitted with a signed consent form of the interviewee that they understand that the interview is being recorded and that verbatim or paraphrased quotes from the interview will be published and attributed to them by name. In the case of interviews conducted for research purposes, including those conducted with patients, medical students or healthcare providers (in a research setting), these must always have been collected with ethical approval from a suitable institutional review board and informed consent obtained.

The BSDJ provides template consent forms for the use of consenting patients and interview participants.

Equality and Diversity

The BSDJ believes all articles that are original, rigorous, academically important and relevant to medical students should be published, regardless of the discipline, institution, location, nationality, gender, race, religion or sexuality of the author(s). Any submission made to the journal will therefore be given full consideration for publication, subject to the standard editorial processes. All submissions must reflect this policy by not containing any potentially libelous or offensive content. 

Copyright Policy

All authors submitting to the journal are required to sign the Copyright Assignment Agreement’, giving the BSDJ sole copyright ownership of the work. If publication of the manuscript is subsequently declined by the journal, then this assignment of copyright will be immediately nullified. If the submission is subsequently accepted for publication, including if minor revisions are requested, however, then the agreement will be considered irrevocable.


Subject to the assignment of copyright, the journal will publish the author’s work according to the following conditions:

  • All individuals reported as authors of the work must meet the ICMJE criteria for authorship. The list of authors must be complete, and no individual who has the right to be considered as an author of the work should be omitted

  • The work must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere at the time of submission, nor at any time during the editorial process of the BSDJ

  • The work must not have been previously published elsewhere, in any form.

  • The authors must only assign to the BSDJ intellectual property for which they have the legal rights to assign. Any aspect of the work which is not owned by the authors must be made clear, and appropriate permission for publication in the BSDJ must have been sought and agreed

  • All works published in the journal will normally be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives 4.0 International License, that will allow others to share the ork as long as an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in the BSDJ is made

  • Subject to the Creative Commons license, authors will be fully permitted to distribute the journal's published version of the work through any authorised means provided authors acknowledge its initial publication in the journal

  • All authors agree to indemnify the BSDJ, its publisher and its editorial team against any claims or expenses arising from a breach in the ‘author’s warranty’, as detailed in the copyright assignment agreement and pre-submission article checklist. This includes, but is not limited to, any violation of any existing copyright or other third party rights, or the publication of any material of an obscene, indecent, libellous or otherwise unlawful nature

Research Ethics

Journal Policies

Peer Review

Management Policy

  • All editorial staff and peer reviewers undertaking editorial work for the BSDJ must observe our Equality and Diversity policy at all times, and must not allow the identity or affiliation of the author(s) influence their judgement

  • If at any time an editor or peer reviewer feels that they are unable to remain objective and impartial regarding a submission to the journal, then they are duty bound to raise this issue with the Editor(s)-in-Chief, who will take appropriate action

  • the journal will also seek to support and uphold diversity and human rights

  • The journal will not publish any work, under any circumstances, which, directly or indirectly, seeks to marginalise the rights of any individual or group

Conflict of Interest Policy

The unique editorial position of The British Student Doctor as a student-led journal unfortunately engenders the possibility of a certain potential conflict of interest; that editorial decisions may be influenced by the personal relationships of authors, peer reviewers and editors, as fellow students. To mitigate this potential conflict of interest:

  • Submissions made to the journal will handled by peer reviewers or editors who have a personal relationship with any of the submission’s authors

  • In the case where an editor or peer reviewer is assigned to a submission authored by a colleague, they must declare this conflict of interest and recuse themselves from the assignment

  • In the specific case where a section editor must recuse themselves, a section editor from a different section will be assigned to make all editorial decisions regarding that submission

  • In the case where both Editors-in-Chief/sole Editor-in-Chief have a conflict of interest, the submission should be referred to a member of the Faculty Advisory Board to make the final editorial decision

  • As the editorial team of the BSDJ is primarily based at Cardiff University, submissions made to the journal by Cardiff University medical students, where the conflict of interest described above does not exist, should be peer reviewed by at least one peer reviewer not affiliated with Cardiff University, in order to ensure institutional neutrality

Peer Review Criteria

The BSDJ uses an open, non-blinded, peer-review process to select high quality manuscripts for publication. Criteria for judging a submission's suitability for publication in The British Student Doctor:


  1. Originality (based on the previous literature in the area)

  2. Methodological Rigour (if applicable)

  3. Importance to the readership of the BSDJ, as well as to the medical & research community

Peer reviewers for all submissions will be asked to complete a standard template review form which will cover the above outlined criteria. Ethical and legal issues will also be considered. All articles will be read by at least two peer reviewers.

Privacy Policy

The BSDJ safeguards its readership's data in line with the EU’s data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

When do we collect information?

There are several circumstances in which The British Student Doctor will collect personal information. These include:

  • Applications for editorial team and Faculty Advisory Board positions.

  • Registering as a peer reviewer for the journal.

  • Subscribing to The British Student Doctor newsletter.

  • Registering an account on the online journal platform (OJS) for authorship, readership, editorial and peer reviewer purposes.

  • Submitting manuscripts for consideration for publication.

  • Submitting peer reviews of submissions made to the journal

What data do we collect?

  • The personal information we collect may include one or more of the following: forename, surname, email address, country of residence, associated institution, research interests, relevant experiences and information linking to your social media accounts and ORCID

  • Technical information about your use of the BSDJ including details of your domain name, location and internet protocol (IP) address, content you view and how long you stayed on a page

How long do we keep this data for?

We will not keep your data for longer than is necessary than for the purpose it was collected. We also keep the data as long as necessary to fulfil our editorial duties to you and to the management team.


To whom will the information be disclosed?

No information will be shared outside of the organisation, with the exception of the uses described in our policy on plagiarism and academic misconduct, and for the purposes of open-peer review and the publication of the journal.


How is the data being stored?

All personal information collected by the BSDJ will be kept confidential, used solely for internal purposes, and stored using encrypted means. The journal website is hosted on the platform. provides us with the online platform that allows us to sell our products and services to you. Your data may be stored through’s data storage, databases and the general applications. They store your data on secure servers behind a firewall. Cardiff University Press provides the journal platform for the BSDJ.


How we use cookies

Cookies are small pieces of data stored on a site visitor's browser, usually used to keep track of their movements and actions on a site. For a full list of cookies used by Wix, follow this link. We also use third party services such as Google Analytics, which have their own cookie and tracking policies.


Your rights

You have the right to request details about the information we collect about you, to amend or correct any of that information and to request transfer of this information to another party. However, we may decline any such request if we feel the information is still required for incidences of academic misconduct, if it comprises the privacy of other users or if the request is extremely impractical. If you would like to access your data please contact: [email protected]


If you want to discuss our Privacy Policy or any of the content in further details, please contact us at [email protected]

Open Access Policy

In line with our ethos, the BSDJ publishes content under a fully open access system, with no authorship charges.

Open Access
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