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Instructions to authors

Please read these guidelines carefully and ensure that your manuscript conforms to the specifications exactly. This will prevent unnecessary delay and the need for extensive revisions before publication.

Guide to contributors

BJA Education (formerly known as Continuing Education in Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain) is a joint venture of the British Journal of Anaesthesia and the Royal College of Anaesthetists in collaboration with the Intensive Care Society, the British Pain Society, the College of Anaesthetists of Ireland, the Hong Kong College of Anaesthesiologists and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.

The journal is published by Oxford University Press.

The purpose of BJA Education is to publish material to support the continuing medical education and professional development of specialists in Anaesthesia, Critical Care Medicine & Pain Medicine.

BJA Education is published monthly and each issue contains structured, authoritative articles covering core knowledge, current controversies and future trends. Basic science is also included, but with a clinical emphasis. The senior authors are recognized specialists in the relevant field who also provide suggestions for further reading, key points and multiple choice questions.

The Editorial Board consists of 20 Editors plus the Editor-in-Chief, details of the Editorial Board can be found here.

Publishing in BJA Education

The Editorial Board of BJA Education consists of consultants/senior clinicians who are clinically active across all areas of Anaesthesia, Critical Care & Pain Medicine. Therefore there is broad representation from across the speciality; in addition members of the Editorial Board are geographically distributed around the UK. The location and areas of expertise of Editors are published in every edition of BJA Education and can also be found at this link.

Although the vast majority of articles are commissioned directly by members of the Editorial Board, occasionally the Editors will be able to consider unsolicited proposals. It is helpful to prepare a 250 word summary of your potential article, outlining the scope of the article. You should include details of the authors (at least one author must be a consultant/senior clinician) and an explanation as to why you feel that you are qualified to write on the topic.

Please contact the Editorial Office with your initial idea for an article at bjaeducation@rcoa.ac.uk for consideration by the Editorial Board or to discuss your proposal with an Editor with the relevant expertise if required.


  • Articles that are already written in full and then emailed unsolicited to the Editors are never accepted.
  • Before sending a proposal, we strongly advise proposing authors to carry out a search in the BJA Education and CEACCP archives to ensure that the topic has not already been covered recently.
  • Completion of the proforma does not guarantee that the Editors will accept your proposal for commissioning; the Editorial Board/Editorial Office will contact you directly if they wish to progress your proposal.
  • All commissioned articles are subject to external peer review by experts on the Editorial Board or other experts in the field, prior to editing.

    Please note that all articles submitted to BJA Education will be analysed using software to detect and prevent copying of material.

    Advance Access Publication

    All articles will be published online as Advance Access as soon as they are ready for publication. Appearance in Advance Access constitutes publication. For further information about the Advance Access process, please go to the Advance Access information web page.


    BJA Education uses ScholarOne (previously known as Manuscript Central) for the commissioning and tracking of articles. Once you have provisionally agreed with an Editor to write an article, you will be officially invited to write the article via ScholarOne and an account will be created for you. We will agree a timeframe for you to produce the article; this is normally 4 months from the commissioning date. The system will generate automatic email reminders for authors. Email reminders will be sent at 2 months and 1 month from the agreed date. A reminder will also be sent when an article is due. Authors will have access to their own Author centre on ScholarOne, where they can view the articles that they have been invited to write and complete the submission. Articles submitted outside of Scholar One will not be accepted.

    Each BJA Education article is now mapped to the Royal College of Anaesthetists CPD matrix, which is available in the online submission form. For each article you need to identify which matrix box it maps to.

    There may be more than one, either within a level or across multiple levels.

    The code for each matrix cell is made up of a 1, 2 or 3 for the level, a letter to identify the column and a 2 digit number to represent the cell in that columns.

    Hence 1A01 represents Level 1, Scientific principles, and the first row (physiology & biochemistry) or put another way the top left hand cell of the Level 1 matrix sheet.

    Editorial Office

    BJA Education has administrative support provided within the Royal College of Anaesthetists, London. The contacts at the Royal College of Anaesthetists are Elena Fabbrani and Anamika Trivedi and can be reached at bjaeducation@rcoa.ac.uk.

    Correspondence regarding the content of your article should be with the Editor who originally commissioned your article.

    PODCASTS: The British Journal of Anaesthesia and BJA Education now provide free interview podcasts by authors with each published issue to complement the articles. The Podcast Editor will contact you to discuss possible recording of a podcast to accompany your article. Although this is entirely voluntary, the podcasts are an important part of the journal and we would greatly appreciate it if you could spare the time to record them. If you are interested in presenting a podcast, please let the Editorial Office know at bjaeducation@rcoa.ac.uk.


    The senior author (who is ultimately responsible for the article) will normally be a consultant/senior clinician with expertise and knowledge of the area concerned. However, we welcome the recruitment of other post-fellowship specialists as co-authors. If one author has contributed more to the article than his/her colleague, then that person should be the first author.

    We would normally expect a maximum of two authors for an article, although we can accept three authors if a clear indication of the role played by each author in the production of the manuscript is provided. We would not expect there to be more than one trainee author.

    Manuscript Format

    The submitted manuscript should include the following sections:

    • Title page
    • Key points
    • Text of manuscript with references
    • Tables (including legends)
    • Figures
    • Legends to figures
    • Multiple choice questions and Multiple choice question answers and explanation

    Please send the following sections as separate files choosing the appropriate file type from Scholar One at submission stage:

    • Key points
    • Tables (including legends)
    • Figures
    • Legends to figures
    • Multiple choice questions and Multiple choice question answers and explanation

Title page

The title page should include:

1. Title of the article

2. Full name, qualifications, position and institution of each author

3. Name, full postal address, email address, telephone and fax number of the corresponding author who will be the senior author.

4. Keywords- please use BJA keywords, a maximum of 3 per article. You will find the list of BJA keywords in the online submission portal.

Key points

The article will be published with 5 key points on the first page. Please supply these on a separatepage. Each point should be concise e.g.

Preoxygenate all patients before rapid sequence induction

Succinylcholine is contraindicated in malignant hyperpyrexia

Gabapentin may be an effective treatment for neuropathic pain

The key points section should, in total, be no more than 100 words in length.

Text of manuscript

Article should be 3500 words not including references (but see tables and figures below) and written in Microsoft Word. The manuscript should be double-spaced, font size 12, paginated and with wide margins. MCQs should not be included in the word count.

Please use no more than 3 ranks of headings and label them A, B or C in the manuscript.

Remember to retain your own copy in case of loss and in order to check proofs.

Tables, figures & illustrative clinical examples

Each article should include at least 2 tables or figures (or 1 of each). The average table or figure is equivalent to 250 words. Therefore, if you include 2 tables and 1 figure, the word count for the text of the article should be no greater than 2750 words (i.e. 3500- (250x3)).

We also strongly encourage the inclusion of illustrative clinical examples (to appear as a box in the text) of up to 1000 words; if you include one of these, please allow for this text in your final word count.


Each table should be submitted as a separate file and should be of simple text with no complex formatting. Please insert a legend at the top of the page.


Ideally, the proportions of each figure should correspond to those of an A5 sheet of paper; please submit each figure electronically to the ScholarOne system, .tif being the preferred format. Figures should be of high resolution, at least 300dpi.

Note that .jpg is not a recommended file format as files produced as JPGs condense every time they are opened (and thus lose quality).

We strongly discourage authors from copying and pasting images from websites, as these images are often low quality and will not have the necessary copyright permission to be reproduced.

Line drawings should be of a resolution of at least 600 dpi and half-tones at least 300 dpi.

The drawing of figures is the responsibility of the authors.

If there are any queries about the format of any figures (including photographs) please discuss this with the commissioning Editor at an early stage in the preparation of the manuscript.

Please include legends to figures on a separate page.

Further information about figure requirements and preparation of figures can be found here.


Please cite a maximum of 20 references in the text (numbered in order of citing, superscript). List the numbered references in the order you have cited them in the text. References should be cited using the format adopted by the British Journal of Anaesthesia.


Please give the names of all authors, but the names and initials of more than six authors and/or Editors should be abbreviated to three names followed by et al. Journal title should be in italics and abbreviated, volume number in bold, only give the change in the last page number and no full stop at the end of the reference e.g.

1. Brown AB, White SJ, Green BG. Efficacy of acupuncture in septic shock. Br J Anaesth 2000; 99: 223-7

Chapter in a book

1. Anaesthetist A.N. The safe use of volatile anaesthetics in space craft. In: Blogg F, Doe J, eds. Anaesthesia in Space. London: Medical Press Ltd, 2000; 155-79


Stabber, AN. Regional Anaesthesia, 5th Edn. London: Medical Press Ltd, 1998

    Units and doses

    Use SI units at all times and use superscript as follows:

    • mg ml-1
    • µg ml-1
    • mg h-1

    Before sending your manuscript please check doses of drugs very carefully, especially µg and mg.


    Videos can now be published in the online article with a still image of the video appearing in the print version. Authors should submit videos in MP4 format according to our video submission guidelines. Still images to be used in the article need to be provided and should represent as best as possible the main subject of the video. Video files should be clearly named as video 1, video 2 etc, and still images should be named ‘video 1 still image’. Any supplementary videos that should not be published in the article should be uploaded as supplementary data.

    All videos should have an accompanying legend and should not contain patient identifiable information, e.g. dates and locations of scans etc.

    Clinical vignettes

    Clinical Vignettes are a brief clinical report describing a unique image.

    Format guide:
    Word limit: 200 words.
    Tables/Figures: a maximum of 1 figure.
    References: 2 or fewer.
    Clinical Vignettes should be submitted as a separate word document, under file type 'Clinical Vignette'.

    Patient consent

    For publication of material that contains detailed patient information about a living individual, signed patient consent should be obtained irrespective of whether there are any photos of the patient.

    Images of patients

    For publication of pictures and clinical images of patients, when there is any chance the patient may be identified from the photo/image or legend, consent is also required from the patient. The Editorial Board reserves the right to reject papers for which the ethical aspects are, in the Board’s opinion, open to doubt. Please contact the Editorial Office if you have any queries regarding consent.

    Permission for use of third party material

    Permission MUST be obtained for the use or adaptation of third party material in your article. It is the author's responsibility to obtain written permission from the holder of the copyright for that material.

    We strongly advise authors against copying and pasting figures from websites, as these images will have poor resolution.

    Instead we advise authors to obtain permission from publishers for the figures they wish to use or adapt, and request at the same time a high resolution copy of the image. Permission should be cleared to reproduce the material in both the print and online versions of the BJA Education journal without a time limit.

    Guidance on obtaining copyright permission can be found here.

    All documents granting permissions should be uploaded with the rest of the manuscript files at the submission stage as ‘Permissions files’.

    Multiple-choice questions

    MCQs are used for self-assessment via a web-based system. A certificate and points of Continuing Professional Development are awarded to a participant provided 80% of the available marks are obtained. Before submitting your manuscript, we would be grateful if you would follow the MCQ guidance below.


    Please ensure that your questions test aspects of learning such as application, understanding, situational judgement and interpretation of data rather than just recall of facts.For example, a question that tests the recall of facts contained in a guideline would not be as useful as one that tests the application and understanding of a guideline in a specific situation.So, please try to avoid writing questions that test only factual recall.

    Number, location, type, layout and examples

    Four MCQs should be typed on separate pages at the end of the manuscript. MCQs should be of the true-false variety. Each MCQ comprises a stem followed by five parts, in alphabetical order (a, b, c, d and e). Scenarios, figures and numerical values for interpretation may be included.

    Please see examples of past MCQs here.

    Answers and explanations

    Please provide the answers and an explanation for each part, after the question.Explanations must be given even if the answers are very obvious.All explanations must be written in complete sentences.Please ensure that each explanation is related directly to the question.


    The language must be simple and concise.Please pay particular attention to the following areas:

    • Complex scenarios and answers. Please ensure that the content is presented in a structured fashion, without repetition.
    • Descriptors such as 'always', 'never', 'may', ‘only’ and 'except'.Please avoid these terms as the answer is predictably false or ambiguous. Please consider indicating the probability of an occurrence by terms such as “likely” or “unlikely”.
    • Double negative expressions. Please avoid them as they are likely to confuse the reader.
    • Statements with the words such as: 'more', 'greater' or 'less' without the comparator. If you would like to make a comparison, then please state the comparator. For example, a 5 year old boy compared with an infant.
    • Imprecise use of scientific language. Please ensure that your descriptions are as correct as possible. For example, a sentence which says that the patient was intubated and ventilated is not correct. You should say that the patient’s trachea was intubated and that the lungs were ventilated.
    • Ambiguous reference to patients. If you are referring to groups such as children, adults and the elderly, then please specify the age range. In cases of obesity, please state the body mass index that you have in mind. In general, please provide readers with as much information as possible so that your question is not misinterpreted.
    • Ambiguous therapeutic range. Statements involving effectiveness of an intervention should contain the range or limit which is most appropriate. For example, for anticoagulants, please quote the range or limit (INR of 0.9 to 2.5). For volatile anaesthetic agents, please quote the % concentration (1% to 2%) which is applicable to your question.
    • Absence of units of measurement.Please ensure that you include the units of measurement. Any divisions are in superscript and need to be formatted as such. Please ensure that you include units for variables such as body mass index and haemoglobin.
    • Abbreviations with prior explanation. In each question, please ensure that all abbreviations (such as BMI, INR, CT and MRI) are written out fully even if they appear in the main text or in the previous question. If in doubt, please write out all abbreviations and ensure that they integrate correctly within a sentence. Acronyms of studies must be written out in full please.
    • Statements in which a proportion or percentage is quoted without reference to a variable. For example, please ensure that you state: ‘% body surface area’.


    The copyright of the commissioned article will be held by the Board of the British Journal of Anaesthesia.

    Copyright licence to publish

    Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form.

    Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. Please notify OUP immediately if your details change, otherwise OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process.


    A link to the PDF proof will be sent to the author by email. These should be corrected and uploaded to the online site within 48 hours of receipt.

    If there is a problem, contact by telephone, email or fax either the publisher (contact details will be sent with the proof), the commissioning Editor or the Editor-in-Chief (Dr J.A. Langton, email: bjaeducation@rcoa.ac.uk).

    Crossref Funding Data Registry

    In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here.

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