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Researchers need to check the guidance for authors on PPI before submission. Currently the BMJ and BMJ Open require authors to provide a short paragraph as a subsection within the Methods section of their papers entitled Patient and Public Involvement detailing how they involved the patients and the public in their research.

BMJ Open also asks patients and public to peer review randomised controlled trials and other relevant studies. The section should provide answers to the requirements below about the involvement of patients and public in a research project.

If they were not involved in any way this information should be formally documented in the Patient and Public Involvement section. Papers will still be considered where patients and the public were not involved but this will need strong justification.

Other medical and healthcare journals do not have these defined PPI requirements currently. However, this may change as it is good practice to include PPI in a study.

PPI contributors should always be acknowledged in the acknowledgements of contributorship statement, and if they are co-applicants they should be on the author list.

BMJ Open and The BMJ requirements  

The PPI statement should appear at the end of the Methods section. It should answer the following questions:

  • How was the development of the research question and outcome measures informed by patients’ priorities, experience, and preferences?
  • How did you involve patients in the design of this study?
  • Were patients involved in the recruitment to and conduct of the study?
  • How will the results be disseminated to study participants?
  • For randomised controlled trials, was the burden of the intervention assessed by patients themselves?
  • If patients were not involved, please state this  

If this information is not in the submitted manuscript, BMJ Open and BMJ will ask that it is provided during the peer review process.

Article types and preparation | The BMJ
Authors – BMJ Open
Patient and public partnership – BMJ Author Hub