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Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal focusing on the topics of primary care, family medicine, general practice and community health. FMCH strives to be a leading international journal that promotes ‘Health Care for All’ through disseminating novel, rigorous and pragmatic knowledge in these areas. FMCH publishes original research, systematic review, methodology, commentary and reflection articles through the lens of population health. FMCH’s focus on Asia Pacific section features reports of primary care and family medicine development in the Asia-Pacific region.

FMCH will prioritise publications in the following nine thematic areas:

  • Global population health and primary care
  • Patient-oriented outcomes research
  • Social determinants of health and health inequity
  • Primary care and community integration
  • Digital technology and artificial intelligence in primary care
  • Shared-decision making in primary care
  • Multilevel and mixed-method research
  • Quality improvement and value-based, patient-centred primary care
  • Healthcare transformation and practice redesign

FMCH aims to serve a diverse audience including researchers, educators, policymakers and leaders of family medicine and community health. We also aim to provide content relevant for researchers working on population health, epidemiology, public policy, disease control and management, preventative medicine, disease burden and social risk factors. FMCH is an open access journal and does not impose any article processing charges (APC) or submission charges.


Editorial policy

Family Medicine and Community 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, Family Medicine and Community 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 Family Medicine and Community 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.


Copyright and authors’ rights

As an open access journal, Family Medicine and Community Health adheres to the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access. Articles are published under a Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content and authors retain copyright; please refer to the Family Medicine and Community Health Author Licence. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.

When publishing in Family Medicine and Community Health, authors choose between two licence types – CC-BY-NC and CC-BY. 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

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.


Provenance and peer review

Family Medicine and Community Health submissions are predominantly unsolicited, all articles are subject to peer review. Family Medicine and Community Health operates double-blind peer review which requires authors to submit an anonymous version of their manuscript file (to be uploaded as the Manuscript File including abstract):

This file should be anonymous and should NOT include:

  • Any author names (including file path in document footer)
  • Author institution details
  • Author contact details
  • Acknowledgements
  • Competing interests (if declared)
  • Ethics approval statements that refer to your institution
  • Please ensure tracked changes are switched off if previously used; this file will be automatically converted to PDF once uploaded through the online submission system and will be made available to the reviewers

When a paper has been submitted from the Editor, Deputy or Associate Editors’ departments, they have no role in the reviewing or decision making process,  usually two external reviewer reports are obtained before an Original research or Review article is accepted for publication. This also applies to any Associate Editors who are authors, in which instance the reviewing process is handled by the Editor-in-Chief. 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.

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 Family Medicine and Community 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.

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 Family Medicine and Community 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.


Data Sharing

Family Medicine and Community Health adheres to BMJ’s Tier 2 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. We also require data from clinical trials to be made available upon reasonable request. To adhere to ICMJE guidelines, we require that a data sharing plan must be included with trial registration for clinical trials that begin enrolling participants on or after 1st January 2019. Changes to the plan must be noted in the Data Availability Statement and updated in the registry record. 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.


Article processing charges

Family Medicine and Community Health is an open access journal which does not levy an Article Processing Charge (APC). There are no submission or page charges, and no colour charges.


ORCID

Family Medicine and Community 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.


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.

Editorial
Original research
Commentary
Focus on Asia Pacific
Review
Reflection
Methodology
Letter to the Editor
Supplements

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. Please see the SPIRIT-AI Extension  and CONSORT-AI Extension for AI trials where applicable. Please refer to the following reporting guidance: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27198112

You may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services. These services are paid for by the author and do not guarantee that your paper will be considered or accepted by the journal.

Editorial


These are commissioned only articles. These articles focus on the frontier of primary care, family medicine, general practice, and community health development. Original papers should not be submitted under this category.

Word count: up to 1500 words
Tables/illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 8

Original research

Authors submitting papers reporting original research data (for example, quantitative research, qualitative research, and mixed-method research) should not exceed a limit of 4000 words, eight figures and/or tables, and 40 references. Articles that significantly exceed this word limit may be returned for revision before peer review.

Original research papers should follow the basic structure of abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, references, and tables and figures as appropriate.  We recommend authors to use the guidance of different types of research (Observational studies: STROBE Checklists; Qualitative studies: COREQ Checklist; Quality improvement studies: SQUIRE 2.0 Checklist) as the checklist when submitting their manuscript. Authors are also encouraged to add Key Points to Original articles, please find out more information here.  FMCH also encourages authors using SAMPL Guidelines to check Basic statistical reporting.

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.  The editorial office is flexible on the number of references for this article type.

General guidelines on manuscript preparation
Pre-submission checklist

Word count: up to 4000 words
Structured Abstract: up to 400 words, please find FMCH guidance here.
Tables/Illustrations: maximum 8 tables and/or figures
References: follows the Vancouver style

Commentary

Commentaries are usually commissioned; authors are invited to discuss possible topics directly with the Editor-in-Chief. It comments on current policy, system, research and clinical practice of primary care based on social reality and research reports, from the perspectives of general practitioners, researchers, educators, policymakers, patients and other stakeholders of family medicine and community health.  The editorial office is flexible on the number of references and total word count for this article type.

Structured or unstructured abstract: up to 300 words
References:
follows the Vancouver style

Focus on Asia Pacific

Focus on Asia Pacific articles are academic reports or commentaries focussing on the latest development of primary care, family medicine, general practice, and community health research and discipline.

Word count: up to 4000 words
Structured Abstract: up to 400 words, please find FMCH guidance here.
Tables/Illustrations: maximum 8 tables and/or figures
References: follows the Vancouver style

Review

Reviews gather research and summarize the best evidence and knowledge. FMCH tend to prioritise the publication of reviews, including systematic review, meta-analysis, mixed methods systematic review, and qualitative synthesis.

Review papers should follow the basic structure of title, key point, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion, references, and tables and figures as appropriate.

Authors of reviews should follow the PRISMA checklist and flow diagram or the most the appropriate PRISMA extension, and upload their completed research checklist when submitting their manuscript. The flow diagram should be included in the main body of the text and the checklist should be provided as an additional file. Tables summarizing literature used in the systematic review should be included as appendix material.

Word count: up to 5000 words
Structured Abstract:up to 400 words, please find FMCH guidance here.
Tables/illustrations: up to 5
References: up to 40, follows the Vancouver style

Reflection

Reflections are short pieces that discuss personal experiences in Family Medicine and Community Health. They can focus on an area of practice, or debate contemporary issues that are relevant to the community.

Word count: up to 2500 words
Structured or unstructured abstract: up to 250 words
Tables/illustrations: up to 5
References: up to 20, follows the Vancouver style

Methodology

These articles detail novel and/or innovative methodologies or techniques used to answer specific research questions or to change specific health outcomes(e.g. Mixed method research, qualitative improvement study, Flash-mob research, etc). Authors should illustrate how the research method/technique provides an advantage over other approaches. The editorial office is flexible on the number of references and total word count for this article type.

Structured or unstructured abstract: up to 300 words
References: follows the Vancouver style

Letter to the Editor

Letters should be related to a recent article published in Family Medicine and Community Health. Original data may be included if it is relevant and gives added weight to the comment on the previously published article.

Word count: up to 600
References: up to 20, follows the Vancouver style

Supplements

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