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.
Lupus Science & Medicine® 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, Lupus Science & Medicine® 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 Lupus Science & Medicine® 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.
Copyright and authors’ rights
As an open access journal, Lupus Science & Medicine® 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 Lupus Science & Medicine® Author Licence. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.
When publishing in Lupus Science & Medicine®, 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.
Benefits of publishing with Lupus Science & Medicine®
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
Article processing charges
Lupus Science & Medicine® is an open access journal and levies an Article Processing Charge (APC) of GBP 1,950 (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). The APC for a Protocol, Brief Communication or Letter is 1000 GBP. There are no submission, colour or page charges.
Please see our Author Hub for detailed information on discounts and waivers. 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.
There is a 25% discount for articles where the corresponding author has reviewed for Lupus Science & Medicine within the previous 12 months.
For more information on open access, funder compliance, discounts and waivers please refer to the BMJ Author Hub open access page.
Provenance and peer review
Lupus Science & Medicine® submissions are predominantly unsolicited, all articles submitted 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. Articles 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; 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 www.ithenticate.com.
Reader responses, questions and comments to published content are welcomed by Lupus Science & Medicine®; these should be submitted electronically via the journals website. Please find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.
Lupus Science & Medicine® 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.
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.
Lupus Science & Medicine® 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.
Reporting patient and public involvement in research
BMJ encourages active patient and public involvement in clinical research as part of its patient and public partnership strategy. To support co-production of research we urge authors to provide a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the methods section of their papers, under the subheading ‘Patient and public involvement’. However, this is not mandatory.
We appreciate that patient and public involvement is relatively new and may not be feasible or appropriate for all papers. We therefore continue to consider papers where patients were not involved.
The Patient and Public Involvement statement should provide a brief response to the following questions, tailored as appropriate for the study design reported (please find example statements here):
- At what stage in the research process were patients/the public first involved in the research and how?
- How were the research question(s) and outcome measures developed and informed by their priorities, experience, and preferences?
- How were patients/the public involved in the design of this study?
- How were they involved in the recruitment to and conduct of the study?
- Were they asked to assess the burden of the intervention and time required to participate in the research?
- How were (or will) they be involved in your plans to disseminate the study results to participants and relevant wider patient communities (e.g. by choosing what information/results to share, when, and in what format)?
If patients were not involved please state this.
In addition to considering the points above we advise authors to look at guidance for best reporting of patient and public involvement as set out in the GRIPP2 reporting checklist.
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. We encourage authors to ensure that research articles are written in accordance with the relevant research reporting guideline.
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.
Following the lead of The BMJ and its patient partnership strategy, Lupus Science & Medicine® is encouraging active patient involvement in setting the research agenda. As such, we require authors of Research Articles to add a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the Methods section. Please see more details above.
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:
- 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.
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.
Authors are encouraged to use the relevant research reporting guidelines for the study type provided by the EQUATOR Network.
The key reporting guidelines are:
- Randomised controlled trials (RCTs): CONSORT guidelines
- Systematic reviews and meta-analyses: PRISMA guidelines and MOOSE guidelines
- Observational studies in epidemiology: STROBE guidelines and MOOSE guidelines
- Diagnostic accuracy studies: STARD guidelines
- Quality improvement studies: SQUIRE guidelines
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.
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 be no more than 1,500 words, up to 3 tables and/or illustrations and up to 15 references. A 50% discount on the standard article publishing charge will apply to brief communications.
Short clinical or laboratory observations may be presented as a research letter. The purpose of this specific category is to facilitate new observations at the bedside or bench that have a very straightforward message.
These are limited to 1,000 words, one table/illustration and up to 3 references. Letters are not usually subject to external peer review. A 50% discount on the standard article publishing charge will apply to letters.
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.
Protocol manuscripts should report planned or ongoing studies. If data collection is complete or nearing completion we will not consider the manuscript. Protocols may be for any study design, including observational studies and systematic reviews.
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.
A 50% discount on the standard article publishing charge will apply to protocols.
Protocols should follow the following structure:
- 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; Ethics and dissemination. 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 the following. How the sample will be selected; interventions to be measured; the sample size calculation (drawing on previous literature) with an estimate of how many participants will be needed for the primary outcome to be statistically, clinically and/or politically significant; what outcomes will be measured, when and how; a data analysis plan.
- Ethics and dissemination: ethical and safety considerations and any dissemination plan (publications, data deposition and curation) should be covered here.
- 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
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.
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.
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 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