For Authors

Guidelines for authors

The British Journal of Midwifery (BJM) welcomes unsolicited articles on various midwifery issues. The journal publishes original research, literature reviews and clinical case studies. All articles submitted to BJM are subject to double-blind peer review. Following acceptance for publication, MA Healthcare will hold exclusive rights to articles. The journal is indexed on CINAHL.

Articles should be approximately 3000 words, although this can be exceeded in special cases when agreed in advance with the editor. All manuscripts should be submitted online here. Articles should be double-spaced and pages should be numbered. All tables and figures should be included and numbered.

If you have any queries relating to potential articles, please contact the Editor on 0207 501 6777 or


  1. Your article should be submitted online at
  2. Articles should be typed double-spaced (and referenced), preferably in Microsoft Word. If you are not using Microsoft Word, please save the document as an ASCII or text file.
  3. For purposes of confidentiality, author identification should not appear anywhere in the article.
  4. You will receive proofs for correction before publication.

MA Healthcare Ltd, publishers of BJM, will hold copyright of all articles published in BJM.


Title page

The title page, which must be submitted as a separate file from the main manuscript, should carry only the title of article. Author details will be entered during submission.


An abstract of between 100 and 150 words must be submitted giving a brief outline of the content of the article, including major findings.


Relevant subheadings should be used to structure the article.


Your conclusions should be succinct and logically ordered. Identify gaps in present knowledge and suggest future initiatives.

Key phrases

You must supply 4–6 full sentences that adequately summarize the major themes of your article.

Tables and figures

Figures (illustrations, graphs, bar charts and photographs) and tables (information listed in a boxed off row-and-column format) are popular with readers and are encouraged:

  1. Please clearly indicate the number of the figure or table in the text of the article and also on the figure/table.
  2. In the case of illustrative figures, our artists can transform rough drawings you provide into finished artwork. Graphs, bar charts etc must have all percentages/numbers clearly marked on them, as our artists also redraw these.
  3. Photographs and slides can be supplied in hard copy or electronically. If supplied electronically, please ensure that the images are high-resolution. It is preferable that they each be sent separately (i.e. not embedded in a Word document or Powerpoint presentation).
  4. If you are sending photographs or slides, please indicate the locations of any arrows or labels on an an accompanying illustration. Also indicate the detail you particularly want to illustrate and the degree of cropping that can be made.
  5. You must have written consent to publish photographs of patients and/or their conditions. Please indicate that such consent has been obtained in your submission.
  6. Please ensure that permission has been granted to use them. If they are from another publication, seek the original publisher’s permission.


The Harvard system must be used . Provide full details of the original source of the material used (do not use ‘cited in…’):

In the text

  1. For one or two authors, give surnames plus the year of publication:
    As Black and White (1987) have shown...
    As already reported (Black and White, 1987)...
  2. For three or more authors print the first author’s name followed by et al:
    As Black et al (1987) have shown...
  3. When several references are cited simul-taneously, the order should be chronological:
    Ross, 1990; James, 1997; Levi, 1998

In the reference list

  1. Arrange references alphabetically by first author’s name.
  2. Print the names and initials of all authors for references with six or less authors:
    Black B, Green G (1965)...
    Black B, White W (1963)...
    Black B, White W, Green G, Brown B, Tan T (1973)...
    Black B, Green G, Tan T (1974)...
    Black B, Abel C, Tan T (1975)...
    The last three references in the above list are in chronological order as they are cited in the text as ‘Black et al’. For seven or more authors print the first three and add ‘et al’–these references are arranged chronological order.
  3. The sequence for a journal article is: author(s) (year) Title. Journal (abbreviated as in PubMed) volume(issue): first–last page numbers. For example:
    Smith B, Abel CH (1987) Sexual hypersensitivity. Br J Hosp Med 33(1): 40–6
  4. The sequence, layout and punctuation for books are:
    Personal author:
    Ellis H (1980) Lecture Notes on Psychiatry. 5th edn. Blackwell, Oxford
    Scott H, Brown B, eds (1973) Histocompatability Testing. Vol 5. Raven Press, New York: 418–19
    Chapter in book:
    Samuels B (1979) Pulmonary complications of AIDS. In: Rand A, Long B, eds. Management of AIDS. Butterworths, London: 387-–95
  5. Articles that have been submitted for publication but not yet accepted are not acceptable as references. They should be cited in the text as ‘unpublished observations’ (XY Smith, unpublished observations, with or without a date). Similarly, ‘personal communication’ should be inserted in the text in parentheses.
  6. Articles that have been accepted for publication but not yet published may be included in the reference list: Abel HL (1988) Endometriosis. Br J Hosp Med (in press)

Abbreviations and units

Abbreviations are acceptable as long as they are defined at first mention. SI units should be used, except for measurement of blood pressure (mmHg) and haemoglobin (g/dl).

Conflict of interest

It is the journal’s editorial policy to ask authors to declare any conflict of interest, including any possible interest, financial or otherwise, that may embarrass the author or the journal if revealed at a later date. If you believe that applies to you, please provide a statement when prompted during the submission process.

Ethical approval

If your article involves the use of human subjects, you need to ensure that the article contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has/ve approved them.