Journal of Clinical Pathology (JCP) is committed to the advancement of all disciplines within the broader remit of human pathology. This also encompasses molecular biology and its applications in the understanding of human biology and pathology. The journal is intended to have world-wide readership and will publish articles that have a wide appeal even though they are regionally based. Issues with a narrower restricted focus may be submitted as Letters to the Editor or as correspondence. JCP wishes to publish cutting edge, original clinical and laboratory-based articles, especially those with a clear clinical relevance. Provision of an educational platform for trainees, scientists and pathologists is an important function and aim of the journal. As such, state of the art reviews, viewpoints and editorials will be published.
The editorial team wishes to produce a balanced, informative and meaningful journal that is sensitive to the needs of its readership and the specialty at large, as well as being in tune with contemporary issues. In pursuit of these goals we wish to publish work that is ethical (morally and scientifically), of a high quality and governed by a fair, independent peer review system.
Journal of Clinical Pathology adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics, scientific misconduct, consent and peer review criteria. To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page.
Plan S compliance
Journal of Clinical Pathology 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 Journal of Clinical Pathology Author Licence for the applicable Creative Commons licences. More information on copyright and authors’ rights. When publishing in Journal of Clinical Pathology, 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 process
Articles submitted to Journal of Clinical Pathology are subject to peer review. In most instances we aim for two external opinions (and often additional statistical assessment) for reasons of fairness and science. The journal is not prepared to compromise on this stance. The journal operates single anonymised peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author; 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 – the peer review process. 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.
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. During the submission process, authors must not suggest reviewers who are current or recent colleagues of themselves or their co-authors. For more information about suggesting reviewers please visit our Author Hub. 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 www.ithenticate.com.
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 Journal of Clinical Pathology 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Article processing charges
During submission, authors can choose to have their article published open access for 3,090 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. Authors can also choose to publish their article in colour for the print edition – instead of the default option of black and white – for 415 GBP. There are no submission, page or online-only colour figure charges.
Waivers and Discounts
If authors choose to publish their article open access, an APC waiver may be available. Before applying for an APC waiver please consider: (1) Does your institution have an open access agreement with BMJ? If it does, then this may cover all or part of the APC for your article. Check BMJ’s open access agreements page to find out whether your institution is a member and what discounts you may be entitled to. (2) Have you received funding from a funder with an open access mandate or policy that covers paying APCs? If so, BMJ expects that the APC will be paid in full. If neither (1) nor (2) above apply then consider (3) Are all the authors of your article based in low-income countries*? If so, you are eligible to apply for a full or partial waiver from BMJ. Visit our author hub to learn more about our waivers policy and how to request one. Please note that regardless of the funding situation, authors can still choose to publish with us at no cost, and articles will be made available to our subscribers. *This list is reviewed annually and is based upon HINARI Core Offer Groups A and B, and the World Bank Country and Lending Groups.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 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.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 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.
A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in Journal of Clinical Pathology; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed. Find out more about responses and how to submit a response.
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 and promoting your paper. You may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services.
Original research should report original research of relevance to the understanding and practice of clinical pathology. They should be written in the standard form: abstract; introduction; methods; and discussion. Research reviews that systematically synthesise evidence (e.g. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Scoping reviews, Mixed methods reviews, etc) should be submitted as Systematic reviews. The journal uses a structured form of abstract in the interests of clarity. This should be short (no more than 250 words) and include four headings:
- Aims – the main purpose of the study
- Methods – what was done, and with what material
- Results – the most important results illustrated by numerical data but not p values
- Conclusions – the implications and relevance of the results
- Experimental studies – CONSORT Statement
- Observational Studies – STROBE Statement
- Diagnostic accuracy studies – STARD Statement
- Biospecimen reporting – BRISQ
- Reliability and agreement studies – GRRAS
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 topic – summarise 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 article type includes all research reviews that systematically synthesise evidence (e.g. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Scoping reviews, Mixed methods reviews, etc). Please include the research type in your title to make the nature of your study clear.
Please see Original research for more guidance on article requirements.
Short technical notes and brief investigative studies are welcomed and usually published in the form of a Short/Technical report. At the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief some short reports will be published in the Letters section but will undergo the usual peer review process.
Word count: up to 2000 words Abstract: up to 150 words Tables/Illustrations: up to 6. If more are required the text must be reduced accordingly References: up to 20
Review articles are usually commissioned, but suggestions are welcomed. Proposals for reviews articles should be discussed with the Reviews Editor before submission. 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 4000 words (negotiable) Abstract: up to 250 words Tables/Illustrations: at editorial discretion References: up to 150
Gene of the month
This section includes short reviews on the role of specific genes in disease pathogenesis. These articles are usually commissioned, but unsolicited manuscripts are also welcomed.
Word count: up to 2000 words Abstract: up to 150 words Tables/Illustrations: up to 6 References: up to 50
Molecules in pathogenesis
This section includes short reviews on the role of specific molecules in disease pathogenesis. These articles are usually commissioned, but unsolicited manuscripts are also welcomed.
Word count: up to 2000 words Abstract: up to 250 words Tables/Illustrations: minimum of 2, maximum of 6 References: up to 50
Grand rounds are intended to provide educational value to readers through multidisciplinary clinicopathological discussions of interesting cases. Interesting clinical cases that combine the findings of several disciplines to integrate pathophysiology and diagnosis are particularly welcome. The extended multidisciplinary case discussions should place an emphasis on pathology/laboratory diagnostic findings and on information that helps understand pathophysiology. The title should not give the final diagnosis but should be presented as a clinical problem. The main text of the manuscript should consist of a clinical presentation or description, laboratory investigations, discussion and final diagnosis, and up to 5 key messages/learning points. There should be 3-5 questions about the case to stimulate discussion; these should be placed after the clinical presentation/description or laboratory investigations. The questions and learning points are included in the total word count. Please note that a signed patient consent form is usually required for cases involving living patients. If the patient is dead the authors should try to obtain permission from a relative (ideally the next of kin). If consent cannot be obtained, please anonymise the patient’s details as much as possible, e.g. specific age, ethnicity, occupation. The handling editor will commission two expert commentaries to be published with the case. These will be limited to 500 words, with no abstract, tables or figures. These commentaries will discuss additional information useful to the understanding of the case or diagnosis, as well as comments about the features of the case.
Word count: up to 2000 words Abstract: not required Tables/Illustrations: maximum of 5 tables and 2 figures References: up to 10
Best practice articles are published by editorial invitation but the Best Practice Reviews Editor is always pleased to receive suggestions. The ‘Best Practice’ series is geared to practising pathologists as well as trainees on how to approach some of the more difficult/contentious issues in Pathology. We are looking for diagnostic algorithms, investigative trees and/or any other useful hint(s) that will facilitate making the best/right diagnosis. These can include molecular techniques which may not be within the remit of every laboratory but certainly something that can be performed.
Word count: up to 3000 words Abstract: up to 250 words Illustrations: at editorial discretion References: up to 150
These articles are usually commissioned, but unsolicited manuscripts are also welcomed.
Word count: up to 1500 words Abstract: not required Tables/Illustrations: up to 2 References: up to 20
Editorials are usually published by editorial invitation. Unsolicited editorials are unlikely to be accepted but the Editor-in-Chief is always pleased to receive suggestions.
Word count: at editorial discretion Abstract: not required Tables/Illustrations: at editorial discretion References: up to 10
Significant preliminary research findings and single case reports of outstanding interest or clinical relevance may be submitted as a letter article. The title should be brief. No abstract, keywords or subheadings are needed. A brief introduction of a few sentences followed by a succinct report and discussion is all that is required. Letters may be included in the print edition of the Journal at the Editor’s discretion.
Word count: up to 1000 words Abstract: Not required Tables/Illustrations: up to 4 References: up to 8
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
An invitation to submit accompanying MCQs for publication on the BMJ Learning website may be extended to the corresponding author at the time of acceptance of the manuscript. The questions need to be submitted to the journal within 2 weeks, otherwise this may cause delays in the publication of the article. Please see below for some guidelines on what to provide in your MCQ document:
- The title, authors and manuscript ID number of the article with which the MCQs are associated.
- The author of the MCQs (even if the same) must be clearly stated.
- The MCQ set must contain at least 5 questions.
- Each question must have 5 possible answers, with only *one* answer being correct (the correct answer must be marked with an asterisk)
- Additional explanation text (for the user to see after taking the test) can be submitted for *each individual answer* if appropriate. It is allowable to have some answers with an explanation and some without, but an explanation for every answer is preferred.
- Figures can be included in questions (must be submitted as gif/jpeg files).
The BMJ Publishing Group journals 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.
- The BMJPG 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.
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