Policy on publication of sponsored supplements, themed issues and special reports
BMJ Group is willing to consider publishing supplements to regular issues of BMJ Journals (http://journals.bmj.com).
Supplement proposals may be made in the following circumstances:
· 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.
· BMJ Group itself may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary.
· A sponsoring organisation, often a pharmaceutical company or a charitable foundation may wish to arrange a meeting, the proceedings of which may be published as a supplement.
· A sponsoring organisation may wish to commission a supplement on a particular theme or topic.
In all cases, the criteria listed below must be met. It is vital that the journal’s integrity, independence, and academic reputation are not compromised in any way. If the criteria listed below are adhered to then the journal’s reputation should be protected.
(a) Editorial and peer review issues
All manuscripts submitted for a supplement will be subjected to normal peer review processes of the journal, and you must ensure your authors are aware of this and have agreed to this before submitting these to us. The editor of the journal in question has the right of veto on any manuscript that she or he considers unsuitable for publication.
Supplements will be considered for publication only where their content is unbiased and of educational value or constitutes a professional service to clinicians. Manuscripts should be original work or original reviews or commentaries of previous studies. If work is included that has previously been published elsewhere this must be made clear, and the original publication must be acknowledged, with the onus for obtaining permission from third parties being on you. The quality and independence of the content are paramount.
The potential profitability of the supplement must not influence the decision process. The journal editor will accept or reject a supplement purely on its academic merit.
Supplements that are clearly for promotional purposes will not be considered.
Journal editors must be alert to series of manuscripts advocating the use of one particular drug or formulation, particularly where the sponsor may have an interest. This type of promotional material will be rejected.
The journal editor may elect to edit the supplement himself or herself or may appoint a specialist guest editor.
The appointed supplement editor must declare any competing interests.
The supplement editor must be involved at an early stage in the planning of the supplement or meeting and the selection of authors and/or speakers.
Any supplement published will be circulated to all regular journal subscribers and/or be made available to them on the journals website.
Manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with the journal’s instructions for contributors. The supplement will conform to the journal’s style and format and will include details of the journal’s affiliations and editorial board.
Manuscripts must be submitted on ScholarOne Manuscripts (our electronic manuscript submission and review system).
The sponsor will be entitled to see proofs but cannot make any alterations, except with the consent of the supplement editor.
A publication schedule will be agreed in advance and adhered to as far as possible.
A journal subscription order card and/or one page journal or BMJ Group advertisement may be bound in all copies.
The supplement pagination should be distinct from that of regular issues (for example, s1-s12).
(c) Commercial issues
The journal’s Publisher and/or Journal Manager must be involved at an early stage. They will consult the journal’s editor, coordinate the reviewing process, oversee production, and negotiate the financial arrangements with the sponsor.
The sponsor will be given a comprehensively prepared quote. This will be based on the likely pagination, colour requirements, the number of copies required by the sponsor (in addition to the copies for subscribers) and the arrangements for online publication. Any subsequent costs will be notified to the sponsor should they arise.
The sponsor must agree to underwrite the costs of making the supplement available to all regular subscribers in print and/or online. No upper or lower limit will be imposed on the number of additional copies that the sponsor may purchase. Additional copies purchased after the original agreement will be invoiced separately.
The sponsor must underwrite the costs of posting the full text of the supplement on the journal’s website.
The supplement editor should not participate in any financial negotiations. All monies will be held by the publisher, who will arrange payments as required.
The publisher, not the sponsor, will be responsible for the supplement editor’s remuneration and expenses.
The publisher reserves the intellectual property rights of the content. Authors will be required to sign an exclusive licence that allows us to publish the article in the chosen journal (including any derivative products) and any other BMJ Group products, and allows us to sub-licence such rights and exploit all subsidiary rights.
The sponsor may wish to allow free online access to the supplement content through the Journal's home page. An additional charge will be negotiated for this service (BMJ Group Open Access).
(d) Advertising and sponsorship
Supplements funded entirely by one commercial sponsor may carry one page of corporate (but not product) advertising in the print version and one corporate (but not product) banner advertisement on the online version. Advertisements may incur and additional charge.
Supplements without, or with only partial sponsorship may seek to offset costs by the sale of advertisements in print and/or online.
Acknowledgement of sponsorship will be confined to the following statement on the title page or inside front cover of the print version or the first page of the online version: “Publication of this supplement is made possible by an education grant from … .” The sponsor’s corporate logo may also appear. A particular product brand or product brand logo will be permitted to appear on the supplement, providing it complies with local market regulations.
The commissioning of authors is the responsibility of BMJ Group and not a sponsoring company. A sponsor will not be allowed to influence the content of publications at any stage.