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BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning seeks to contribute to research, innovation and knowledge translation for practitioners, teachers, students and leaders in all health and social care professions who wish to improve clinical outcomes, patient experience, and safety.

Editorial policy

BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning 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, BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning 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 BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning 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.

Plan S compliance

BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning is a Plan S compliant Transformative Journal. Transformative Journals are one of the compliance routes offered by cOAlition S funders, such as Wellcome, WHO and UKRI. Find out more about Transformative Journals and Plan S compliance on our Author Hub.

Copyright and authors’ rights

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. 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 BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning Author Licence for the applicable Creative Commons licences. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.

When publishing in BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning, authors choose between three licence types: exclusive licence granted to BMJ; CC-BY-NC; or 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.

Provenance and peer review

BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning 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

Reader responses, questions and comments to published content are welcomed by BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning; these should be submitted electronically via the journals website. Please find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.

Data Sharing

BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning 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.


BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning 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.

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 BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning 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.

Article processing charges

During submission, authors can choose to have their article published open access for 2,300 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). Publishing open access has multiple benefits including wider reach, faster impact and increased citation and usage. There are no submission, page or colour figure charges.

Corresponding authors who have completed 4 or more reviews to BMJ STEL will be eligible to publish one open access paper with the article processing charges waived, subject to acceptance.

Find out if you are eligible for institutional funding

A number of institutions have open access agreements with BMJ which can either cover the whole cost of open access publishing for authors at participating institutions or can allow authors to receive a discount off the APC.

Visit BMJ’s open access agreements page to find out whether your institution is a member and what discounts you may be entitled to.
For more information on publishing open access with BMJ visit 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.

Note that all papers with more than 8 authors will require a contributorship statement justifying each author’s contribution to the work.

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.

You may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services.

Original research

BMJ STEL welcomes submission of original research manuscripts from quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods paradigms. Original Research papers should follow the basic structure of abstract, introduction, methods, results/findings, discussion, references and tables/illustrations/ and figures as appropriate (uploaded as separate files).

Please refer to published reporting guidelines for your research design. For example, see

Qualitative research may require an increased word count. It is important that your research word count is fit for purpose. Longer papers will be considered with appropriate justification. Contact the Editor-in-Chief if you are concerned about exceeding the word count.

If your research describes a simulation-based education intervention, please see Table 3 of the reporting guidance by  Cheng et al.

Please also include up to 3 bullet points on “What is already known on this subject” and “What this study adds”.

Word count: up to 3500 words
Abstract: structured, up to 300 words
Tables/Illustrations: maximum 8 tables and/or figures
References: up to 40

Systematic review

We accept various systematic reviews including integrative, narrative or other conventional types with protocols clearly articulated and referenced. Please refer to reporting guidelines reflecting your type of review.

Word count: up to 3500 words
Abstract: up to 250 words, structured, to include background, objective, study selection, findings and conclusions
Tables/Illustrations: up to 4
References: 50, exclusive of lists of articles considered or summarised.


BMJ STEL welcomes unsolicited editorials. The purpose of an editorial is to provide a novel perspective on important and/or contested issues in simulation and/or technology-enhanced learning. The Editor-in-Chief also welcomes suggestions for possible topics and authors.

Word count: up to 1500 words
Tables/Illustrations: 1 table or figure
References: up to 25


BMJ STEL publishes two types of letters. The first is a web submission in direct response to a published article. These letters are usually not peer reviewed but are approved for publication by the Editor-in-Chief. The second type of letter is submitted through ScholarOne. This can be in response to an article, report on an innovation or other topic of relevance to the BMJ STEL audience. These letters are peer reviewed and are published in the journal. These letters receive a DOI.

Word count: 1000 words
Tables/Illustrations: 1 table or figure
References: 5

Short report

Topics suitable for presentation for short reports include single case reports which illustrate important new phenomena, or reports of short, original research or reports of innovations that inform simulation and or technology enhanced learning practices.

Word count: no more than 1500 words
Abstract: structured, 200 words
Tables/Illustrations: up to one of each
References: up to 15

In practice report

*We are currently not accepting this article type*

In practice reports are short descriptions of work that you want to share with colleagues and the wider research and practice communities. This may be an example of simulation practice in your institution, or an account of an ongoing project which may not otherwise be written up as a conventional research article. The report may be structured conventionally (using the headings Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion), or may be a more free-form descriptive narrative. Although no abstract should be provided, the first paragraph should serve as a brief summary of the work described.

In practice reports are internally reviewed and once accepted will be rapidly published online. Please ensure that all submissions comply with the specifications below.

Word count: up to 1000 words (submissions that are longer than this will be returned to the author)
Abstract: not required
Tables/Illustrations: maximum 1 table or figure
Multimedia: a short video or audio file may be included
References: up to 5

Guideline update

We are happy to consider important audit findings with national or international implications, brief descriptions of the protocol of forthcoming important research projects and brief updates to guideline documents.

Word count: up to 1500 words
Unstructured abstract: up to 100 words
Tables/illustrations: up to 1
References: up to 5

Video feature

Processes, products or ideas are sometimes best captured and transmitted using videos. We encourage original (and preferably professionally produced) video for conveying to the audience a very strong message. A short text summary of up to 250 words should be submitted to accompany the video.

Video files are preferred in .WMF or .AVI formats, but can also be supplied as .FLV, .Mov, and .MP4. The journal can recommend video editing services (for which a fee would be payable). Authors are encouraged to submit raw footage as well as the final edited video.

If your video file is too large to submit via our online submission system, or if you wish to enquire about video editing services, please contact the

Review or essay

A review or essay explores an element or subject of simulation and technology enhanced learning. It is likely to offer a nuanced critique of a simulation and/or technology enhanced learning practice, policy or philosophy. We encourage debate and/or challenge of contemporary issues.

Interdisciplinary fields of study are especially welcome including reviews or essays on how the arts engage with simulation and technology enhanced learning. These articles will be tagged as ‘The Art of Simulation’.

Ideas can be discussed with the Editor-in-Chief prior to submission.

Word count: 5000 words maximum.
Abstract: up to 300 words.
Tables/Illustrations: should not normally exceed 5.
References: should not normally exceed 50.


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