Editorial Process

On this page: Summary of the editorial process | Online Submission | Peer Review | Post-acceptance | E-Proofs | Advance Online Publication

Summary of the editorial process

  • The author submits a manuscript and the Editorial Office performs an initial quality check on the manuscript to ensure that the paper is formatted correctly
  • The manuscript receives a tracking number and a Subject Editor is assigned to the manuscript and decides whether to send the manuscript out to review. If the decision is not to send the manuscript for review, the Subject Editor contacts the author with the decision
  • If the Subject Editor decides the paper is within the Journal's remit, peer reviewers are selected and assigned. This can take some time dependent on the responsiveness and availability of the reviewers selected.
  • Reviewers are given 14 days from acceptance to submit their reports. Once the required reports are submitted, the Subject Editor will make a final decision based on the comments received.

You will be able to monitor the status of your manuscript online throughout the editorial process.

Online Submission

We only accept manuscript submission via our online manuscript submission system. Before submitting a manuscript, authors are encouraged to consult both our Editorial Policies and the Submission Instructions for our online manuscript submission system. If you have not already done so, please register for an account with our online manuscript system.

Peer Review

Manuscripts sent out for peer review are evaluated by at least two independent reviewers (often three or more). Authors are welcome to suggest independent reviewers to evaluate their manuscript. All recommendations are considered, but the choice of reviewers is at the Editor’s discretion. To expedite the review process, only papers that seem most likely to meet editorial criteria are sent for external review. Papers judged by the Editors to be of insufficient general interest or otherwise inappropriate are rejected promptly without external review.

The Editors will then make a decision based on the reviewers' evaluations. Available decision terms are outlined below:

  • Accept, with or without editorial revisions.
  • Revise (Minor/Major revision), with the author addressing concerns raised by the reviewers before a final decision is reached.
  • Reject, but indicate to the authors that further work might justify a resubmission.
  • Reject outright, typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems.

Submission of Revisions

Authors submitting a revised manuscript after review are asked to include the following:

  1. A rebuttal letter, indicating point-by-point how you have addressed the comments raised by the reviewers. If you disagree with any of the points raised, please provide adequate justification in your letter. 
  2. A marked-up version of the manuscript that highlights changes made in response to the reviewers' comments in order to aid the Editors and reviewers.
  3. A 'clean' (non-highlighted) version of the manuscript

Accept in principle

Once a manuscript has successfully been through the peer review process and has been recommended for acceptance, the Subject Editor will send an “accept-in-principle” decision. This signifies that the manuscript is ready to be accepted pending quality control checks performed by the Editorial Office and provision of the required publication forms (see Publishing Licences). Authors will need to supply the final version of the manuscript in an editable form along with the appropriate publication forms.

Anonymity & Confidentiality

The peer review process is confidential and conducted anonymously. Editors, authors and reviewers are required to keep confidential all details of the editorial and peer review process on submitted manuscripts. All details about submitted manuscripts are kept confidential and no comments are issued to outside parties or organizations about manuscripts under consideration or if they are rejected. Editors are restricted to making public comments on a published article’s content and their evaluation.

Upon accepting an invitation to evaluate a manuscript, reviewers must keep the manuscript and associated data confidential, and not redistribute them without the journal’s permission.  If a reviewer asks a colleague to assist in assessing a manuscript, confidentiality must be ensured and their names must be provided to the journal with the final report.

We ask reviewers not to identify themselves to authors without the Editor's knowledge. If they wish to reveal their identities while the manuscript is under consideration, this should be done via the Editor; if this is not practicable, we ask authors to inform the Editor as soon as possible after the reviewer has revealed their identity. Our own policy is to neither confirm nor deny any speculation about reviewers' identities, and we encourage reviewers to adopt a similar policy.

We deplore any attempt by authors to confront reviewers or try to determine their identities. Reviewers should be aware that it is our policy to keep their names confidential and that we do our utmost to ensure this confidentiality. We cannot, however, guarantee to maintain this confidentiality in the face of a successful legal action to disclose identity.

Regardless of whether a submitted manuscript is eventually published, correspondence with the journal, referees’ reports, and other confidential material must not be published, disclosed, or otherwise publicised without prior written consent.

Selecting Peer Reviewers

Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choice on many factors, based on expertise, reputation, and specific recommendations.  A reviewer may decline the invitation to evaluate a manuscript where there is a perceived conflict of interest (financial or otherwise).


Once a manuscript is accepted and typeset, the corresponding author will be prompted via the Springer Nature platform called Open Access System Solution to complete and sign a License to Publish form on behalf of all authors. Failure to complete the form will result in delay of publication.

Springer Nature does not require authors of original research papers to assign copyright of their published contributions. Authors grant Springer Nature an exclusive licence to publish, in return for which they can re-use their papers in their future printed work. Springer Nature’s author licence page provides details of the policy.

Standard Publication 
Manuscripts published under the standard method of publication will be behind a paywall. Readers will be able to access manuscripts through their institutional or personal subscriptions or on a pay-per-view basis. Authors will need to complete the standard Licence to Publish form when prompted. Government employees from the United States, Canada and UK are required to complete the license to publish form relevant to them.

Open Access Publication (gold open access)
Upon acceptance, authors can indicate whether they wish to pay an optional article processing charge (APC) for their article to be made open access online immediately upon publication. Open access articles are published under Creative Commons licenses, which allow authors to retain copyright to their work while making it open to readers.

The cost for open access publication in BJC is 3,580 EUR/ 4,480 USD/ 3,060 GBP for a full article or review, and 3315 EUR/ 4110 USD/ 3050 GBP for comments and correspondence (VAT or local taxes will be added where applicable). For information about the Creative Commons license options and APC prices for BJC, please visit the section on Open Access and Self-archiving and this site.

If authors opt to publish via the open access route then the corresponding author will receive instructions to complete an open access License to Publish (LTP) form on behalf of all authors, and will be contacted to arrange payment of the associated Article Processing Charge (APC). Please note this process must be completed prior to publication and failure to do so will result in delay of publication. Government employees from the United States, Canada and the UK are required to complete the government open access license to publish form relevant to them.

To facilitate self-archiving we deposit open access articles in PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central on publication if the article meets the PMC deposition guidelines; full details of our deposition policies are found under the “Self-archiving, manuscript deposition, and digital preservation” information here. Authors are also permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a website, institutional repository or other free public server, immediately on publication.
Visit our open research site for further information about licenses, APCs, and our free OA funding support service.  

Please note with regards to payment that usual credit terms are 30 days from receipt of invoice. Failure to pay your invoice within the stated credit term may result in the open access status of the paper being rescinded, with the paper being placed behind the paywall. You may also be subject to such penalties as restrictions on your ability to publish with Springer Nature in the future, involvement of a third party debt collection agency and legal proceedings.


The Springer Nature e-proofing system enables authors to remotely edit/correct your article proofs.

The corresponding author will receive an e-mail containing a URL linking to the e-proofing site. Proof corrections must be returned within 48 hours of receipt. Failure to do so may result in delayed publication. Please note that extensive corrections cannot be made at this stage.

Advance Online Publication (AOP)

The final version of the manuscript is published online in advance of print. AOP represents the official version of the manuscript (Version of Record) and will subsequently appear, unchanged, in print.