Guide to Authors

On this page: Article types | Preparing your manuscript 

Please also see the Editorial Policies and Editorial Process pages.

Article types

Article: Research articles describe novel findings that are of broad interest to cancer researchers and/or oncologists. Systematic Reviews, Meta-analyses, and Clinical Trials are classified as an Article. Specifications: Structured abstract, max. 200 words; main body of text (excluding abstract, tables/figures, and references) not to exceed 5,000 words; max. of 8 tables or figures; max. 80 references. 

Review: Reviews are focused articles on topics of interest to a broad audience. The lead author should upload their CV or a short bio. highlighting their publication history on the topic covered by the review article. Specifications: Unstructured abstract, max. 200 words; main body of text (excluding abstract, tables/figures, and references) not to exceed 5,000 words; max of 4 tables or figures; max. 100 references.

Case Report: Case reports must first be approved for submission by contacting the Editorial Office with a presubmission query and should include one of the following:

  • Unreported or unusual side effects or adverse interactions involving medications;
  • Unexpected or unusual presentations of a disease;
  • New associations or variations in disease processes;
  • Presentations, diagnoses and/or management of new and emerging diseases;
  • An unexpected association between diseases or symptoms;
  • An unexpected event in the course of observing or treating a patient;
  • Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect.

Authors are required to follow the CARE guidelines. The CARE checklist should be provided as an additional file. Specifications: Unstructured abstract, max. 200 words; main body of text (excluding abstract, tables/figures, and references) not to exceed 3,000 words; max. of 4 tables or figures; max. 60 references.

Comment: Comments are invited by editors to highlight recent advances not published in BJC Reports. These articles are not usually peer reviewed. Specifications: Unstructured abstract, max. 50 words; main body of text (excluding abstract, tables/figures, and references) not to exceed 1,000 words; max of 1 table or figure; max. 10 references.

Consensus Statement: Guidelines and Consensus Statements on clinical or laboratory practice that are of international significance. Please contact the Editorial Office with a presubmission query. Specifications: Unstructured abstract, max. 200 words; main body of text (excluding abstract, tables/figures, and references) not to exceed 5,000 words; max. of 4 tables or figures; max. 100 references.

Correspondence: Correspondence articles, which are typically peer reviewed, generally take one of the following forms: (1) A substantial re-analysis of a previously published article in BJC Reports or in another journal; (2) An article that may not cover 'standard research' but that is of general interest to the broad readership of BJC Reports; (3)  A brief report of research findings adequate for the journal's scope and of particular interest to the community. Specifications: Unstructured abstract, max. 50 words; main body of text (excluding abstract, tables/figures, and references) not to exceed 1,000 words; max. of 1 table or figure; max. 10 references.

Debate: Debate articles present an argument that is not essentially based on practical research. It can report on all aspects of a subject including sociological and ethical aspects. Each article should present a well-argued viewpoint or position that addresses the topic or issue in a ‘pro’ or ‘con’ format. Manuscripts should present appropriate evidence for scientific content and factual statements. Debates are normally by invitation only. Unsolicited articles are rarely considered, but if you wish to enquire further about the suitability of your article, please email the Editorial Office. Specifications: Unstructured abstract, max. 50 words; main body of text (excluding abstract, tables/figures, and references) not to exceed 5,000 words; max. of 4 tables or figures; max. 60 references.

Editorial: Editorials are invited by editors to accompany the publication of key articles. These articles are not usually peer reviewed. Specifications: Unstructured abstract, max 50 words; main body of text not to exceed 1,000 words (excluding abstract, tables/figures, and references); max. of 1 table or figure; max. 10 references.

Matters Arising: Matters Arising articles denote formal post-publication scientific commentary on published papers that can include either challenges or clarifications of the published work. These are typically, though not always, peer reviewed. Specifications: No abstract; main body of text (excluding tables/figures and references) not to exceed 1,200 words; max. of 2 tables or figures; max. 15 references.

Perspective: Perspective articles are focused articles on topics of interest to a broad audience, but are written from a personal viewpoint. They are intended to provide a forum to be more speculative than Reviews, but should remain balanced and are intended to cover timely and relevant topics in oncology. Specifications: Unstructured abstract, max 200 words; main body of text (excluding abstract, tables/figures, and references) not to exceed 3,000 words; max. of 4 tables or figures; max. 60 references.

Preparing your manuscript

*To facilitate the submission process, we are flexible with regard to the format, style and length of initial submissions.

For the purpose of peer review, please provide one editable document (such as .doc .docx or .RTF), with figures and tables placed in the body of the text at the point where they are referenced. Figures should also be uploaded as individual files.

Only LaTeX manuscripts should be submitted as a .pdf. You will be asked to provide .tex files at a later date.

Supplemental information and cover letters should be uploaded separately. Please refer to our Data Availability and Policy page for our policy on data.

Journal-specific formatting is required only once manuscripts have completed a first round of peer review.

Article formatting
The information below details the sections that you should include in your manuscript and what information should be within each section.

Cover letter: Authors should provide a cover letter that briefly discusses the importance of the work and explains why it is considered appropriate for the diverse readership of the journal. The cover letter must also include the following:

  • A statement confirming that submission is to BJC Reports, the material is original research, has not been previously published (except as a preprint; see Editorial Policies for more details) and has not been submitted for publication elsewhere while under consideration.
  • The affiliation and contact information for the corresponding author.
  • A competing interests statement; see Editorial Policies for more details.

Title page: The title page should contain:

  • Title of the paper – titles should be informative, should be 150 characters or less and should not make a statement or conclusion.
  • Full names of all the authors and their affiliations, together with e-mail address of the corresponding author.
  • The corresponding author should also provide an ORCID identifier. For more information about ORCID click here.
  • If authors regard it as essential to indicate that two or more co-authors are equal in status, they may be identified by an asterisk symbol with the caption ‘These authors contributed equally to this work’ immediately under the address list.

Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, do not currently satisfy our authorship criteria. Notably an attribution of authorship carries with it accountability for the work, which cannot be effectively applied to LLMs. Use of an LLM should be properly documented in the Methods section (and if a Methods section is not available, in a suitable alternative part) of the manuscript.

Abstract: Research articles must be prepared with a structured abstract designed to summarise the essential features of the paper in a logical and concise sequence under the following mandatory headings: Background, Methods, Results, Conclusions, Clinical Trial Registration (if appropriate).

All other article types use unstructured abstracts, please check the relevant article type for details on abstract length.

Background: This section should provide a brief introduction to the topics discussed including the context and purpose of the study.

Methods: This section should contain sufficient detail so that all experimental procedures can be reproduced. Methods that have been published in detail elsewhere do not need to be described in detail.

Authors should provide the name of the manufacturer and their location for any specifically named medical equipment and instruments, and all drugs should be identified by their pharmaceutical names, and by their trade name if relevant.

Results: The Results section should briefly present the experimental data in text, tables or figures. Tables and figures should not be described extensively in the text.

Discussion: The Discussion should focus on the interpretation and the significance of the findings with concise objective comments that describe their relation to other work in the area. It should not repeat information in the results. The final paragraph should highlight the main conclusion(s) and should provide some indication of the direction future research should take.

Additional Information
All manuscripts must contain the following sections in this order under the heading Additional Information:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Authors' contributions
  • Ethics approval and consent to participate
  • Consent for publication
  • Data availability
  • Competing interests
  • Funding information

Please see below for details on the information to be included in these sections:

Acknowledgements: These should be brief, and should include sources of material (e.g. novel drugs) not available commercially. Preprints on recognised servers, published conference abstracts and numbered patents should be included here and cited in the reference list (unless cited within the main text of your manuscript).

Authors' contributions: The authorship section is mandatory. The individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section (for example, ‘JS designed experiments and helped write the manuscript’). Guidance and criteria for authorship can be found in the Editorial Policies page.

Ethics approval and consent to participate: Manuscripts reporting studies involving human participants, human data or human tissue must include all of the following:

  • A statement on ethics approval and consent from the participants (even where the need for approval was waived).
  • The name of the ethics committee that approved the study and the committee’s reference number if appropriate.
  • A statement that the study was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.  

Studies involving animals must provide a completed ARRIVE2.0 checklist (i.e. both the Essential 10 and Recommended Set) checklist and should include a statement on ethics approval. See Editorial Policies for more information.

Consent for publication: If your manuscript contains any individual person’s data in any form (including individual details, images or videos), consent for publication must be obtained from that person, or in the case of children, their parent or legal guardian. If the participant is deceased, consent must be sought from the next of kin of the participant. In all such instances, all reasonable measures must be taken to protect patient anonymity.

Data availability: All manuscripts must include a ‘Data availability’ statement. Data availability statements should provide information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study. We strongly encourage authors to make all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely available to readers. Please see the BJC Reports guidelines on Research Data policy here.   

Competing interests: Authors must declare any competing financial and/or non-financial interests in relation to the work described. This information must be included at the submission stage and will be published as part of the paper. If the authors do not have any conflict of interest, then please write 'The authors declare no conflict of interest'. See our Editorial policies for more information.

Funding information: Authors must declare sources of study funding including sponsorship (e.g. university, charity, commercial organization). If you did not receive any funding for this study, please state 'The author(s) received no specific funding for this work'.

Reporting guidelines
Where applicable, authors should write their manuscripts in accordance with the relevant reporting guideline(s), as outlined on the EQUATOR network.

In addition, completed checklists should also be provided as supplementary information alongside the manuscript where applicable. For example:

  • Randomised controlled trials (CONSORT)
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA)
  • Pre-clinical animal studies (ARRIVE)
  • Tumour marker prognostic studies (REMARK)
  • Observational studies (STROBE)

Authors of systematic reviews are encouraged to prospectively register their systematic reviews in a suitable registry (for example PROSPERO); in such cases, the registration number should be included as the last line of the abstract of the manuscript.

References should follow the Vancouver format and should be numbered sequentially throughout the text. All authors should be listed for papers with up to six authors; for papers with more than six authors, the first six only should be listed, followed by et al. (see examples below).

References that appear only in tables, figure legends or boxes should be included at the end of the reference list. When cited in the text, reference numbers should be superscript, not in brackets.

Only articles that have been published, or accepted by a named publication, should be in the reference list; papers in preparation and personal communications should be mentioned in the text with a list of authors as unpublished work (or initials if any of the authors are co-authors of the present contribution).

Preprints uploaded on to recognised servers (for example, medRxiv, bioRxiv etc), published conference abstracts, numbered patents and research datasets that have been assigned a digital object identifier should be included in reference lists.

Abbreviations for titles of medical periodicals should conform to those used in the latest edition of Index Medicus. The first and last page numbers for each reference should be provided. Abstracts and letters must be identified as such. Papers in press may be included in the list of references.


Journal article: McAndrew, N.P., Dickson, M.A., Clark, A.S., Troxel, A.B., O’Hara, M.H., Colameco, C. et al. Early treatment-related neutropenia predicts response to palbociclib. Br. J. Cancer 123, 912–918 (2020).

Journal article, e-pub ahead of print: Shimura, T., Dayde, D., Wang, H., Okuda, Y., Iwasaki, H., Edi, M. et al. Novel urinary protein biomarker panel for early diagnosis of gastric cancer. Br J Cancer (2020).

Journal article, in press: Gallardo, R.L., Juneja, H.S., Gardner, F.H. Normal human marrow stromal cells induce clonal growth of human malignant T-lymphoblasts. Int. J. Cell Cloning (in press).

Preprint: Cheng, D.K., Oni, R.E., Park, Y., Thalappillil, J.S., Ting, H.-c., Prasad, N. et al. Oncogenic KRAS engages an RSK1/NF1 complex in pancreatic cancer. bioRxiv, Preprint posted online 14 September 2020, (2020).

Meeting abstract: Collinson, M., Mason, E., Farrin, A., Ashley, L., Richards, S., Brunt, G. et al. Cancer Together with other Chronic Health conditions (CATCH): understanding population characteristics and healthcare resource use in general practice. Br. J Cancer 121 (Suppl 1): S1 (abstract 87) (2019).

Correspondence: Milano, G., Gal, J. Comment on: “Exploring the best treatment options for BRAF-mutant metastatic colon cancer”. Br J Cancer 122, 1724–1725 (2020).

Complete book: Atkinson, K., Champlin, R., Ritz, J., Fibbe, W., Ljungman, P., Brenner, M.K. (eds). Clinical Bone Marrow and Blood Stem Cell Transplantation, 3rd edn. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 2004).

Chapter in book: Coccia, P.F. Hematopoietic cell transplantation for osteopetrosis. In: Blume KG, Forman SJ, Appelbaum FR (eds). Thomas' Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, 3rd edn. (Blackwell Publishing Ltd: Malden, MA, USA, 2004) pp 1443–1454.

Websites: References to websites should provide authors, if known, title of cited page, URL in full, date of access, and year of posting in parentheses.

Tables and figures
Figure legends: These should be brief, specific, and appear on a separate manuscript page after the References section.

Tables: Tables should only be used to present essential data; they should not duplicate what is written in the text. It is imperative that any tables used are editable. Each table must be embedded in the text where it is referenced and uploaded separately with a title or caption. Please make sure each table is cited within the text and in the correct order, e.g. (Table 1, Table 2 etc.).

Figures: Figures and images should be labelled sequentially and cited in the text. Figures should be both embedded within the text where they are referenced and also uploaded as separate files. The use of three-dimensional histograms is strongly discouraged unless the addition of the third dimension is important for conveying the results. All parts of a figure should be grouped together. Where possible large figures and tables should be included as supplementary material.

Figures should be supplied at 300 dpi resolution for .jpeg and .tiff or as .eps files. Figures should not include figure number labels in the image.

Detailed guidelines for submitting artwork can be found by downloading the artwork guidelines. Using the guidelines, please submit production quality artwork with your initial online submission. If you have followed the guidelines, we will not require the artwork to be resubmitted following the peer-review process, if your paper is accepted for publication.

Graphs, histograms and statistics

  • Plotting individual data points is preferred to just showing means, especially where n<10. 
  • If error bars are shown, they must be described in the figure legend.
  • Axes on graphs should extend to zero, except for log axes.
  • Statistical analyses (including error bars and P values) should only be shown for independently repeated experiments, and must not be shown for replicates of a single experiment.
  • The number of times an experiment was repeated (n) must be stated in the legend.

Graphical abstracts
BJC Reports encourages authors to provide a graphical abstract (GA) with their submission. A GA is a single-image, concise, visual summary that captures the content of the article at a single glance and serves to enhance the impact and engagement of the article.

Submitted GAs will be peer reviewed along with the article and can be provided at any point prior to the end of the peer review process. If accepted, the GA will appear alongside the published article in the online version.

GAs should be submitted in colour and be in one of the following file types: .tiff, .eps, .jpg, .bmp, .doc, or .pdf. It should be 8 cm (3.15 inches) wide x 4 cm (1.57 inches) high when printed at full scale (100%), and should have high quality image and text. Please ensure that the illustration maintains this aspect ratio and is still informative upon reduction.

Supplementary information
Supplementary Information is material directly relevant to the conclusion of an article that cannot be included in the printed version owing to space or format constraints. The article must be complete and self-explanatory without the Supplementary Information, which is posted on the journal's website and linked to the article. Supplementary Information may consist of data files, graphics, movies or extensive tables. Please see the artwork guidelines for information on accepted file types.

Authors should submit Supplementary Information files in the final format as they are not edited, typeset or changed, and will appear online exactly as submitted. When submitting Supplementary Information, authors are required to: 

  • Include a text summary (no more than 50 words) to describe the contents of each file.
  • Identify the types of files (file formats) submitted.

Where possible, all of the supplementary files should be combined into one file.

Please note: We do not allow the resupplying of Supplementary Information files for style reasons after a paper has been exported to production, unless there is a serious error that affects the science and, if by not replacing, it would lead to a formal correction once the paper has been published. In these cases, we would make an exception and replace the file; however, there are very few instances where a Supplementary Information file would be corrected post-publication.

House style
Authors should adhere to the following formatting guidelines:

  • All pages and lines are to be numbered.
  • Lines should be 1.5 spaced.
  • Colour should be distinct when being used as an identifying tool.
  • At first mention of a manufacturer, the town (and state if USA) and country should be provided.
  • Units: Use metric units (SI units) as fully as possible.
  • Abbreviations: On first using an abbreviation place it in parentheses after the full item. Very common abbreviations such as FFA, RNA, need not be defined. Note these abbreviations: gram g; litre l; milligram mg; kilogram kg; kilojoule kJ; megajoule MJ; weight wt; seconds s; minutes min; hours h. Do not add ‘s’ for plural units. Terms used less than four times should not be abbreviated.