BMJ Mental Health (formerly Evidence-Based Mental Health) is an open access, peer reviewed journal publishing innovative research, systematic reviews, and methodological papers in the area of mental health. It facilitates multidisciplinary collaboration among psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals, encourages debate on clinically relevant topics, and informs real world practice to improve patient and carer outcomes. BMJ Mental Health invites submissions in all areas of mental health including digital health; medical statistics; precision mental health; evaluation of psychotherapies; studies in children, young people and in the elderly; forensic psychiatry; health economics; data science and computational mental health. BMJ has a long-standing reputation as a pioneering publisher and champion of open access research and as we become a fully open access journal in 2023 we look forward to making research published in the journal more accessible, transparent, and compliant with the principles of Plan S

Editorial policy

BMJ Mental Health adheres to the highest standards concerning its publication ethics and scientific misconduct. The journal follows guidance produced by bodies that include the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Council of Science Editors and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page, including information about our Editors’ roles and responsibilities. Authors are required to submit a statement that their study obtained ethics approval (or a statement that it was not required and why) and that participants gave informed consent. Our Editors will consider whether the work is morally acceptable as determined by the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki. In addition to this, in line with General Medical Council guidelines, an article that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual requires patients explicit consent (in the format of a signed BMJ patient consent form) before we will publish it. Please find further details on BMJ research ethics policies (human participants and animals) and consent for publication; including a link to the downloadable consent form.
To make the best decision on how to deal with a manuscript, BMJ Mental Health needs to know about any competing interests authors may have; this includes any commercial, financial or non financial associations that may be relevant to the submitted article. Authors must download and complete a copy of the ICMJE Conflict of Interest disclosure form. In addition to this BMJ Mental Health ensures that all advertising and sponsorship associated with the journal does not influence editorial decisions, is immediately distinguishable from editorial content and meets all other BMJ guidelines. Please find more information about competing interests and a link to the form. We take seriously all possible misconduct. If an Editor, author or reader has concerns that a submitted article describes something that might be considered to constitute misconduct in research, publication or professional behaviour they should forward their concerns to the journal. The publisher will deal with allegations appropriately following ICMJE and COPE guidelines. Corrections and retractions are considered where an article has already been published; corrections, expressions of concern or a retraction notices will be published as soon as possible in line with the BMJ correction and retraction policy.

Plan S compliance

BMJ Mental Health is a fully open access and online journal and compliant with Plan S. All articles are published as CC-BY NC as default and authors are required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) on acceptance.

Copyright and authors’ rights

As an open access journal, BMJ Mental Health adheres to the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access. 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. Such 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 BMJ Mental Health Author Licence. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.
When publishing in BMJ Mental Health, authors choose between two licence types – CC-BY-NC and CC-BY (Creative Commons open access licences require payment of an article processing charge). As an author you may wish to post your article in an institutional or subject repository, or on a scientific social sharing network. You may also link your published article to your preprint (if applicable). What you can do with your article, without seeking permission, depends on the licence you have chosen and the version of your article. Please refer to the BMJ author self archiving and permissions policies page for more information.


Preprints foster openness, accessibility and collaboration by allowing authors to make their findings immediately available to the research community and receive feedback on an article before it is submitted to a journal for formal publication. BMJ fully supports and encourages the archiving of preprints in any recognised, not-for-profit server such as medRxiv. BMJ does not consider the posting of an article in a dedicated preprint repository to be prior publication.
Preprints are reports of work that have not been peer-reviewed; Preprints should therefore not be used to guide clinical practice, health-related behaviour or health policy. For more information, please refer to our Preprint policy page.

Article processing charges

BMJ Mental Health is an open access journal and levies an article processing charge (APC) of 3,245 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). There are no submission, colour or page charges. As a thank you to our peer reviewers, authors who review for the journal are entitled to 25% off the APC if they choose to submit to BMJ Mental Health within a year of completing their review. Members of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) receive a 15% discount on the Article Processing Charge. Please tick the relevant box in the submission form to benefit from this discount.

Waivers and discounts

BMJ journals offer waivers for the full Article Processing Charge (100% discount of the APC) where all authors are based in low-income countries. See full waiver list*. Requests for waivers should be made before or during initial submission**. If an article reports funding from a funder with an open access mandate or policy that covers paying APCs, BMJ expects that the APC will be paid. Visit our author hub to learn more about our waivers policy and how to request one. You might be eligible for institutional funding. A number of institutions have open access agreements with BMJ which can either cover the whole cost of open access publishing for authors at participating institutions or can allow authors to receive a discount of the Article Processing Charge (APC).
Visit BMJ’s open access agreements page to find out whether your institution is a member and what discounts you may be entitled to. * These lists are based on the HINARI Core Offer Groups A and B, and the World Bank Country and Lending Groups, downloaded in July 2021. They will be updated annually. **Please note that applications for waivers or discounts should be made during initial submission and not after an article has been accepted. Editors are not involved in this process and the ability to pay has no bearing on editorial decisions. Payment will not be required unless your article is accepted. Accepted articles will not be published until payment has been received. BMJ does not refund APCs once paid.

Peer review

Articles submitted to BMJ Mental Health are subject to peer review. The journal operates single anonymised peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author; usually two external reviewer reports are obtained before an Original research or Review article is accepted for publication. Manuscripts authored by a member of a journal’s editorial team are independently peer reviewed; an editor will have no input or influence on the peer review process or publication decision for their own article. For more information on what to expect during the peer review process please refer to BMJ Author Hub – your paper’s journey. BMJ is committed to transparency. Every article we publish includes a description of its provenance (commissioned or not commissioned) and whether it was internally or externally peer reviewed. BMJ requests that all reviewers adhere to a set of basic principles and standards during the peer-review process in research publication; these are based on the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Please refer to our peer review terms and conditions policy page.
Plagiarism is the appropriation of the language, ideas or thoughts of another without crediting their true source and representation of them as one’s own original work. 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. BMJ runs manuscripts through iThenticate during the peer review process. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting Reader responses, questions and comments to published content are welcomed by BMJ Mental Health; these should be submitted electronically via the journal's website. Please find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.


BMJ Mental Health mandates ORCID iDs for the submitting author at the time of article submission; co-authors and reviewers are strongly encouraged to also connect their ScholarOne accounts to ORCID. We strongly believe that the increased use and integration of ORCID iDs will be beneficial for the whole research community. Please find more information about ORCID and BMJ’s policy on our Author Hub.

Data Sharing

BMJ Mental Health 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.

Article transfer service

BMJ is committed to ensuring that all good quality research is published. Our article transfer service helps authors find the best journal for their research while providing an easy and smooth publication process. If authors agree to transfer their manuscript, all versions, supplementary files and peer reviewer comments are automatically transferred; there is no need to resubmit or reformat. Authors who submit to the BMJ Mental Health and are rejected will be offered the option of transferring to another BMJ Journal, such as BMJ Open.
Please note that the article transfer service does not guarantee acceptance but you should receive a quicker initial decision on your manuscript. Contact the Transfer Editor at

Rapid responses

A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in BMJ Mental Health; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed. Selected high quality rapid responses may be invited to submit a fully indexed "Correspondence" article at the Editor's discretion. Find out more about responses and how to submit a response.

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. Once your manuscript is prepared according to the guidelines, please submit through our dedicated manuscript submission site. 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. We encourage authors to ensure that research articles are written in accordance with the relevant research reporting guideline. Please note we do not accept anonymised submissions. You may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services.


Editorials are commissioned only articles, and may be about commentaries or other articles published in BMJ Mental Health.
Word count: up to 1,500 References: up to 20


Perspectives are essays that express a point of view or opinion, highlight a current evidence-based medicine issue, discuss hypotheses, or discuss topics relevant to evidence-based medicine practice, teaching or methodology. Although citation and discussion of evidence is welcome, these articles generally do not include primary data.
Word count: up to 1,500 Abstract: up to 250, unstructured Tables/illustrations: up to 2 References: up to 20

Systematic review

This article type includes all research reviews that systematically synthesise evidence (e.g. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Scoping reviews, Mixed methods reviews, etc). Systematic reviews report on the answer to a clinical question by describing article selection, summarising and synthesising study quality and results, and drawing conclusions about the answer to the question. Please include the research type in your title to make the nature of your study clear.
Word count: up to 3,500: ‘Background’, ‘Objective’, ‘Study selection and analysis’, ‘Findings’, ‘Conclusions and clinical implications’ Abstract: up to 250: ‘Question’, ‘Study selection and analysis’, ‘Findings’, ‘Conclusions’ Tables/Illustrations: up to 5 References: up to 50 Please include the key messages of your article after your abstract using the following headings. This section should be no more than 3-5 sentences and should be distinct from the abstract; be succinct, specific and accurate.
  • What is already known on this topicsummarise the state of scientific knowledge on this subject before you did your study and why this study needed to be done
  • What this study adds summarise what we now know as a result of this study that we did not know before
  • How this study might affect research, practice or policy summarise the implications of this study
This will be published as a summary box after the abstract in the final published article.

Clinical review

Clinical reviews provide a broad update of recent developments and their likely clinical applications in primary and secondary care. The article should indicate other sources of information (for example Cochrane reviews), should try to highlight the bridge between primary and secondary care and offer specific information on what general practitioners should know about the condition. Research reviews that systematically synthesise evidence (e.g. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Scoping reviews, Mixed methods reviews, etc) are classified by the journal as Systematic reviews and must be submitted as such.
Word count: up to 3,000: ‘Introduction’, ‘Methods’, ‘Presentation’ Abstract: up to 250, unstructured Tables/Illustrations: up to 4 References: up to 50

Original research

Original research reports results of studies of the practice of evidence-based mental health (e.g. of the impact of implementing EBM practices such as providing evidence at the point of care, or of using evidence to make health decisions). Research reviews that systematically synthesise evidence (e.g. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Scoping reviews, Mixed methods reviews, etc) should be submitted as Systematic reviews.
Word count: up to 3,500: ‘Background’, ‘Objective’, ‘Methods’, ‘Findings’, ‘Discussion’ and ‘Clinical implications’ Abstract: up to 250: ‘Background’, ‘Objective’, ‘Methods’, ‘Findings’, ‘Conclusions’ and ‘Clinical implications’ Tables/Illustrations: up to 4 References: up to 30 Please include the key messages of your article after your abstract using the following headings. This section should be no more than 3-5 sentences and should be distinct from the abstract; be succinct, specific and accurate.
  • What is already known on this topicsummarise the state of scientific knowledge on this subject before you did your study and why this study needed to be done
  • What this study adds summarise what we now know as a result of this study that we did not know before
  • How this study might affect research, practice or policy summarise the implications of this study
This will be published as a summary box after the abstract in the final published article.

Statistics in practice

Statistics in practice focuses on tools and concepts that are basic and central to teaching and practicing evidence-based mental health (“How to explore and account for publication bias in mental health” or “Demystifying fixed and random effects meta-analysis “) or on educational methodologies.
Word count: up to 3,500: ‘Introduction’, ‘Methods’, ‘Results’, ‘Discussion’ Abstract: up to 250 words: ‘Objective’, ‘Methods’, ‘Results’, ‘Conclusions’ Tables/Illustrations: up to 5 References: up to 30


Responses to articles published in BMJ Mental Health are welcomed and should be submitted online via the journal’s website as a Rapid Response. Occasionally, and at the Editor's discretion, BMJ Mental Health publishes selected responses as a fully indexed Correspondence article, together with the author’s response where applicable. If a response is selected for full publication, the contributor will be notified and asked to upload this to the journal’s submission system as Correspondence. Correspondence articles will receive a DOI and be indexed, and the APC will be waived.
Word count: up to 400 Tables/Illustrations: up to 2 References: up to 5


Letters are concise, focused reports of original research. For responses to articles published in BMJ Mental Health, see 'Rapid Responses'
Word count: up to 800 Small Tables and/or Figures: up to 2 References: up to 8 No Abstract


BMJ  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.
  • 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.
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