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Evidence-Based Mental Health systematically searches a wide range of international medical journals applying strict criteria for the validity of research and relevance to psychiatrists and psychologists. Content is critically appraised then the most clinically relevant articles are summarised into a succinct expert commentary focusing on the papers key findings and implications for clinical practice. Evidence-Based Mental Health also publishes articles relevant to the study and practice of evidence-based medicine including Original Research and Reviews; submissions in these areas are subject to peer review.

Evidence-Based Mental Health believes that to make the best decision on how to deal with a manuscript authors should disclose any competing interests they may have. Authors must have no relevant financial ties to industry (companies that produce drugs, devices, or tests, or other companies that have an interest in the topic of the article). See here for more information on competing interests.

Commentaries can be published online only as electronic pages to an issue, unless selected for print publication by the Editor in Chief. Authors can choose to have their article published Open Access for a fee of £1,950 (plus applicable VAT).

Submission to Evidence-Based Mental Health implies that the work described has not been accepted for publication elsewhere, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere and does not duplicate material already published.

Submission guidelines

For guidelines on submission and editorial policies for Evidence-Based Mental Health please refer to the BMJ Author Hub. Here you will find information on planning your research through to submitting and promoting your research.

Article types

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


Editorials are commissioned only articles, and may be about commentaries or other articles published in EBMH.

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, or discuss hypotheses. 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

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.

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

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.

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).

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

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

Expert commentary

Expert commentaries are commissioned only and summarise evidence-based mental health relevant content that has been published elsewhere in the peer-reviewed literature.

Word count: up to 2,000
Tables/Illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 15

Evidence-based case conference

The Evidence-based case conference series aims to help clinicians learn and apply the evidence-based approach in their own clinical practices. The clinical question that authors seek to solve in each of this series should come from a real clinical case (completely anonymised). The case conference should illustrate how to find, critically appraise and apply the best available evidence to the specific clinical presentation.

Word count: up to 2,000: ‘Introduction’, ‘Clinical case’, ‘Formulate your clinical question’, ‘Literature search’, ‘What will you do with your patient?’
Box (mandatory): Summarise the critical appraisal of the literature: “Are the results at risk of bias?”; “What are the results?”; “How can I apply the results to patient care?”
References: up to 5

Statistics in pills

The Statistics in pills series are are commissioned only articles that aim to provide essential information about the topics that are addressed in the “Statistics in practice” paper published in the same issue.

Word count: up to 600
References: up to 3


Letters may be related to a recent commentary or article published in EBMH, or may be relevant to evidence-based medicine practice, teaching or methodology. EBMH also has an eLetter option for responding to content that appears in the journal which appear online only.

Word count: up to 400
Tables/Illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 5


Commentaries are commissioned only articles that summarise and critically appraise clinically relevant studies and their impact on evidence based practice. Commentaries should follow the following format:

1) Title – provide a declarative title that closely reflects the main finding of the article and that is supported by the evidence presented (i.e. that holds up after your critical appraisal). About 30 words.

2) “What is already known on this topic” – summarise in two-three sentences the context of the problem addressed by the paper (e.g. epidemiology, history, question addressed etc), and how this research fits with previous work in this area

3) “Methods of the study” – briefly describe the methods of the study, covering the following points:

For intervention studies, diagnostic studies or prognostic studies:

Population: What was the population under study? how many were sampled? where and when were the data collected? who were excluded?
Intervention/Test/Prognostic factors: What was the intervention being tested and how was it delivered? What was the diagnostic test(s) under study, what was the diagnostic (gold) standard that it was being compared to? What was assessed (test scores, scales etc) at the beginning and/or during the study, and by whom?
Outcomes: What were the outcomes measured (e.g. sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value)? how were they measured and by whom?
Allocation (if applicable): Was the allocation of participants to interventions randomised/concealed and how?
Blinding (if applicable): Who was blinded? how was blinding checked?
Follow up (if applicable): How long was the follow up period?

For systematic reviews and meta-analyses:

Data sources: What were the data sources used (e.g. databases used, use of registers, contact with experts etc)?
Study selection: What were the inclusion and exclusion criteria? who applied them?
Analysis: Were the results meta-analysed? If not, why not? If they were, what types of models were used to calculate the meta-analysis? Was heterogeneity or publication bias assessed?
Outcomes: What were the outcomes measured? how were they measured and by whom?

4) “What this paper adds” – write two-three bullet points to explain what this article adds to the literature and our scientific knowledge

5) “Limitations” – write two-three bullet points to highlight your major concerns of the study, considering both methodological (i.e. internal validity) and clinical issues (i.e. external validity)

6) “What next in research” – write two-three sentences which will be in your opinion the next steps or directions to be taken to increase our knowledge in the field

7) “Do these results change your practices and why?” – write two-three sentences on which are for you the most important clinical implications from the study and if and how it will change your practice


Evidence-Based Mental Health is willing to consider publishing supplements to regular issues. For more information on supplement proposal please see the BMJ Author Hub.