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Lupus Science & Medicine is a global, peer reviewed, Open Access, online journal that provides a central point for publication of basic, clinical, translational, and epidemiological studies of all aspects of lupus and related diseases.

Research on lupus will be considered from fields including, but not limited to: rheumatology, dermatology, nephrology, immunology, pediatrics, cardiology, hepatology, pulmonology, obstetrics and gynecology, and psychiatry. Submissions from groups of investigators engaged in international collaborations are especially encouraged.

Benefits for authors include:

  • Fast editorial decisions
  • Efficient production, resulting in a very short time to publication
  • A global audience that can access publications free of charge
  • High level of discoverability through PubMed Central (and PubMed)
  • Compatibility with funder and institutional mandates and policies regarding Open Access publication

Submissions should be made through our online submission system. All submissions are subject to single blind peer review and will only be published after peer review. Articles should not be under review by any other journal when submitted to Lupus Science & Medicine. This includes other BMJ journals.

Authors retain copyright in their work and articles are published under a Creative Commons licence. Publishing in Lupus Science & Medicine enables you to fulfil the Open Access requirements of funders such as the Wellcome Trust, NIH and Research Councils UK, including using their preferred CC-BY licence.

General information about BMJ’s Open Access programme, including copyright policies and institutional memberships, is available via our author website.

Submission guidelines

For guidelines on submission and editorial policies for Lupus Science & Medicine please refer to the BMJ Author Hub. Here you will find information on planning your research through to submitting and promoting your research.

Article publishing charges

Lupus Science & Medicine levies an article publishing charge that reflects the true cost of the services provided. The standard charge (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors) is $3,000.

Unless a waiver has been granted, accepted articles will not be published until payment has been received. We are aiming to publish articles online within approximately 20 days following acceptance. BMJ does not refund article processing charges once paid.

There are no submission or page charges, and no colour charges. Online payment is preferred; there may be a surcharge for authors that require an invoice to be raised.

Waivers and discounts

We appreciate that some authors do not have access to funding to cover publication costs. The journal may accept part payment where only limited funds are available. No payment information is requested before an article is accepted, so the ability to pay cannot affect editorial decisions. We expect authors to exhaust all funding sources, including personal funds, before requesting a discount.

Requests for discounts will be considered using the following criteria:

  • Whether the research was conducted largely or entirely in a country that is in the Hinari Core Offer (Lupus Science & Medicine offers a 100% waiver to corresponding authors from institutions based in Hinari Group A countries, and a 50% waiver to authors from institutions based in Hinari Group B countries)
  • Whether there was external funding for the research for any of the authors
  • Whether the authors could contribute from their personal accounts

In recognition of reviewers’ support, any reviewer that returns a full review on time can receive a 25% discount on the article processing charge for a paper for which they are the corresponding author, if submitted within 12 months of completing the review.

Manuscript transfer

BMJ has a facility for transferring manuscripts among its journals. Authors submitting related journals such as Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases will, where appropriate, be given the option for their manuscript to be considered by Lupus Science & Medicine if ARD is unable to accept their manuscript for publication. Authors can choose Lupus Science & Medicine as an ‘alternate journal’ when submitting to ARD.

Data sharing

Authors of original research articles are encouraged to include a data sharing statement when submitting their article. The statement should explain which additional unpublished data from the study—if any—are available, to whom, and how these can be obtained.

At present there is no major repository for clinical data, but Dryad has declared its willingness to accept medical datasets. Authors can start the deposition process while submitting to any BMJ journal. Dryad provides authors with a DOI for the dataset to aid citation and provide a permanent link to the data. Note that Dryad hosts data using a CC0 licence so authors should check that this is suitable for the data that they are depositing. The DataCite organisation has a growing list of other repositories for research data.

Editorial policies

Article types

Original research

Full research papers should follow the basic structure of abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, references, and tables and figures as appropriate. We recommend your article does not exceed 4000 words (excluding references), with up to five figures and/or tables. This is flexible, but exceeding this will impact upon the paper’s readability.

Supplementary and raw data can be placed online separately from the text, and we may request that you separate out some material into supplementary data files to make the main manuscript clearer for readers.

Authors are encouraged to submit figures and images in colour as there are no colour charges.

Authors may find it useful to consult our pre-submission checklist.


When you choose a title bear in mind that others will have to find your work using bibliographic searches. Check that it represents the content of the paper and is not misleading. Maximum of 50 words.


Authors of original scientific papers must supply a structured abstract of no more than 300 words under the following sub-headings:

  • Objective.
  • Methods – include study design, setting, patients, interventions and main outcome measures.
  • Results – give numerical data rather than vague statements that drug x produced a better response than drug y. Favour confidence intervals over p values, and give the numerical data on which any p value is based.
  • Conclusions – do not make any claims that are not supported by data in the paper.

Section head

You will be asked to choose the most relevant topic area for your article from the list of sections published in the journal.


Supply 3 to 5 keywords from the list provided.

Research checklist

Authors are encouraged to use the relevant research reporting guidelines for the study type provided by the EQUATOR Network.

The key reporting guidelines are:

Research checklists should be uploaded during the submission process.


Brief description of the background that led to the study (current results and conclusions should not be included).


Details relevant to the conduct of the study. Wherever possible give numbers of subjects studied (not percentages alone). Statistical methods should be clearly explained at the end of this section.


Undue repetition in text and tables should be avoided. Comment on validity and significance of results is appropriate but broader discussion of their implication is restricted to the next section. Subheadings that aid clarity of presentation within this and the previous section are encouraged.


The nature and findings of the study are placed in context of other relevant published data. Caveats to the study should be discussed. Avoid undue extrapolation from the study topic.

Acknowledgments and affiliations

Individuals with direct involvement in the study but not included in authorship may be acknowledged. The source of financial support and industry affiliations of all those involved must be stated.

Measurements and abbreviations

Restrict the use of abbreviations (apart from conventional units of measurement) to two or three per paper. Spell out each abbreviation at first mention in the abstract and paper.
All acronyms of trials referred to in a paper should be listed alphabetically and explained in a separate glossary. Measurements must be given in SI units. Blood pressure should be given in mm Hg.

Brief communications

The purpose of a brief communication is to facilitate publication of novel or confirmatory work which can be concisely communicated. These short papers are likely to represent sub-studies of larger work previously published e.g. with regard to a therapeutic trial, the paper may convey a specific sub-analysis not covered in a full length manuscript of the entire trial. Another example might be a confirmatory study of a previously described disease mechanism in which additional reporting further contributes to the validity of the finding. In summary, brief communications may represent investigations into disease mechanisms, reports of therapeutic trials or contributions to diagnosis, treatment, etiopathology, and epidemiology of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. However, case reports are generally discouraged and not to be considered brief reports.

These should follow the same structure as full original research papers, but should not exceed 1500 words (excluding references), with up to three figures and/or tables and no more than 15 references.

A 50% discount on the standard article publishing charge will apply to brief communications.

Editorials, reviews and meta-analyses

Occasional editorials, reviews and meta-analyses will be published, and will usually be commissioned by an Editor. Authors wishing to publish unsolicited review articles are invited to contact an Editor prior to submission to discuss their manuscript.

Meeting report

We will accept a brief synopsis of topics covered in a recent meeting of high relevance to the field of lupus.  These reports will NOT be considered for peer review but are meant to be informative to the community to enable dissemination of  new advances and future directions.

Rapid responses and online comments

Letters in response to articles published in Lupus Science & Medicine are welcomed and should be submitted electronically as eLetters via the journal’s website. Contributors should go to the abstract or full text of the article in question. In the right hand column on the article webpage is a section entitled ‘Responses’. Click on ‘Submit a response’ and complete the online form.

Letters relating to or responding to previously published items in the journal will be reviewed by the editor and shown to the authors of the original article, when appropriate.

Supplementary data

Additional material (figures, video clips, references, tables etc.) can be published online as supplementary data for any article type.


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.

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 BMJ supplement guidelines.

Plagiarism detection

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. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting

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