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.

Editorial policy

Evidence-Based Mental Health adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on 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, Evidence-Based 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 Evidence-Based 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

Evidence-Based Mental Health is a Plan S compliant Transformative Journal. Transformative Journals are one of the compliance routes offered by cOAlition S funders, such as Wellcome, WHO and UKRI. Find out more about Transformative Journals and Plan S compliance on our Author Hub.

Copyright and authors’ rights

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 Evidence-Based Mental Health Author Licence for the applicable Creative Commons licences. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.

When publishing in Evidence-Based Mental Health, authors choose between three licence types – exclusive licence granted to BMJ, 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.

Peer review

Articles submitted to Evidence-Based Mental Health are subject to peer review. The journal operates single blind 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 Evidence-Based Mental Health; these should be submitted electronically via the journals website. Please find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.


Evidence-Based 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

Evidence-Based 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 Evidence-Based 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 Product Owner of BMJ’s Article Transfer Service for more information or assistance.

Article processing charges

During submission, authors can choose to have their article published open access for 2,300 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). Publishing open access has multiple benefits including wider reach, faster impact and increased citation and usage. There are no submission, or page charges.

Find out if you are 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 off the 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.
For more information on publishing open access with BMJ visit our Author Hub.

Rapid responses

A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in Evidence-Based Mental Health; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed. 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.

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 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


Evidence Based Mental Health will consider for publication protocols for any planned or ongoing study design, including observational studies and systematic reviews. We encourage the submission of protocol manuscripts at an early stage of the study.

Publishing study protocols enables researchers and funding bodies to stay up to date in their fields by providing exposure to research activity that may not otherwise be widely publicised. This can help prevent unnecessary duplication of work and will hopefully enable collaboration. Publishing protocols in full also makes available more information than is currently required by trial registries and increases transparency, making it easier for others (editors, reviewers and readers) to see and understand any deviations from the protocol that occur during the conduct of the study.

The SPIRIT (Standard Protocol Items for Randomized Trials) statement has now been published. It is an evidence-based tool developed through systematic review of a wide range of resources and consensus. It closely mirrors the CONSORT statement and also reflects important ethics considerations. We ask investigators to adhere to the SPIRIT recommendations when drafting their protocols and include a completed SPIRIT checklist with their trial protocol submission.

The PRISMA-P (Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocol) checklist contains 17 items considered to be essential and minimum components of a systematic review or meta-analysis protocol. Systematic review authors and assessors are strongly encouraged to make use of PRISMA-P when drafting and appraising review protocols and authors should include a completed PRISMA-P checklist with their protocol submission.

We strongly encourage you to register your study (i.e. for trials or PROSPERO for systematic reviews). Prospective registration is mandatory for any clinical trials.

Protocols should include the following items:

Title: this should include the specific study type, e.g. randomised controlled trial.

Abstract: this should be structured with the following sections. Introduction; Methods and analysis; Discussion. Registration details should be included as a final section, if appropriate.

Introduction: explain the rationale for the study and what evidence gap it may fill. Appropriate previous literature should be referenced, including relevant systematic reviews.

Methods and analysis: provide a full description of the study design, including what outcomes will be measured, when and how, and a data analysis plan.

Discussion: highlight the innovative components of the study or the clinical implications.

Word Count: up to 3,500 
up to 3
Full references: 
up to 30

Authors’ contributions: state how each author was involved in writing the protocol.

Funding statement: preferably worded as follows. Either: ‘This work was supported by [name of funder] grant number [xxx]’ or ‘This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors’.

Competing interests statement.

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.

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



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