British Journal of Nutrition (BJN) is an international peer-reviewed journal that publishes original papers and review articles in all branches of nutritional science. The underlying aim of all work should be to develop nutritional concepts.
This journal uses ScholarOne Manuscripts for online submission and peer review.
Complete guidelines for preparing and submitting your manuscript to this journal are provided below.
BJN encompasses the full spectrum of nutritional science and reports of studies in the following areas will be considered for publication: Epidemiology, dietary surveys, nutritional requirements and behaviour, metabolic studies, body composition, energetics, appetite, obesity, ageing, endocrinology, immunology, neuroscience, microbiology, genetics, and molecular and cell biology. The focus of all manuscripts submitted to the journal must be to increase knowledge in nutritional science.
The journal does NOT publish papers on the following topics: Case studies; papers on food technology, food science or food chemistry; studies of primarily local interest; studies on herbs, spices or other flavouring agents, pharmaceutical agents or that compare the effects of nutrients to those of medicines, complementary medicines or other substances that are considered to be primarily medicinal agents; studies in which a nutrient or extract is not administered by the oral route (unless the specific aim of the study is to investigate parenteral nutrition); studies using non-physiological amounts of nutrients (unless the specific aim of the study is to investigate toxic effects); food contaminants.
Studies involving animal models of human nutrition and health or disease will only be considered for publication if the amount of a nutrient or combination of nutrients used could reasonably be expected to be achieved in the human population.
Studies involving in vitro models will only be considered for publication if the amount of a nutrient or combination of nutrients is demonstrated to be within the range that could reasonably be expected to be encountered in vivo, and that the molecular form of the nutrient or nutrients is the same as that which the cell type used in the model would encounter in vivo.
Studies involving extracts will only be considered for publication if the source of starting material is readily accessible to other researchers and that there are appropriate measures for quality control, that the method of extraction is described in sufficient detail with appropriate quality control measures, that the nutrient composition of the extract is characterised in detail and that there are measures to control the quality of the composition of the extract between preparations, and that the amount of extract used could reasonably be expected to be achieved in in the human population (or in animals if they are the specific target of an intervention).
Studies involving extracts in in vitro models will only be considered for publication if the above guidelines for studies involving extracts are followed, and that the amount and molecular form of the extract is the same as that which would be encountered by the cell type used in the model in vivo.
Studies involving probiotics may be considered provided that the primary focus of the study/review is the effects on nutrient absorption and/or metabolism. Studies/reviews that focus primarily on probiotics per se will not be considered.
Manuscripts submitted to BJN that are outside of the journal’s scope or do not meet the above requirements will be rejected immediately.
BJN uses a single blind review process.
As part of the online submission process, authors are asked to affirm that the submission represents original work that has not been published previously, and that it is not currently being considered by another journal. Authors must also confirm that each author has seen and approved the contents of the submitted manuscript. Finally, authors should confirm that permission for all appropriate uses has been obtained from the copyright holder for any figures or other material not in his/her copyright, and that the appropriate acknowledgement has been made to the original source.
At submission, authors are asked to nominate at least four potential referees who may then be asked by the Editorial Board to help review the work. Manuscripts are normally reviewed by two external peer reviewers and a member of the Editorial Board.
When substantial revisions are required to manuscripts after review, authors are normally given the opportunity to do this once only; the need for any further changes should at most reflect only minor issues. If a paper requiring revision is not resubmitted within 2 months, it may, on resubmission, be deemed a new paper and the date of receipt altered accordingly.
BJN considers all manuscripts on the strict condition that:
The Journal adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on research and publications ethics.
Text taken directly or closely paraphrased from earlier published work that has not been acknowledged or referenced will be considered plagiarism. Submitted manuscripts in which such text is identified will be withdrawn from the editorial process. If a concern is raised about possible plagiarism in an article submitted to or published in BJN, this will be investigated fully and dealt with in accordance with the COPE guidelines.
BJN publishes the following: Research Articles, Review Articles, Systematic Reviews, Horizons in Nutritional Science, Workshop Reports, Invited Commentaries, Letters to the Editor, Obituaries, and Editorials.
Research Articles, Reviews, Systematic Reviews, Horizons Articles, Letters to the Editor and Workshop Reports should be submitted to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjn. Please contact the Editorial Office on [email protected] regarding any other types of article.
BJN is willing to accept critical reviews that are designed to advance knowledge, policy and practice in nutritional science. Current knowledge should be appropriately contextualised and presented such that knowledge gaps and research needs can be characterised and prioritised, or so that changes in policy and practice can be proposed along with suggestions as to how any changes can be monitored. The purpose or objective of a review should be clearly expressed, perhaps as question in the Introduction, and the review’s conclusions should be congruent with the initial objective or question. Reviews will be handled by specialist Reviews Editors. Please contact the Editorial Office with any queries regarding the submission of potential review articles. All reviews, including systematic reviews and meta-analyses, should present the uncertainties and variabilities associated with the papers and data being reviewed; in particular BJN cautions against uncritical acceptance of definitions and non-specific global terminology, the advice of advisory bodies, and reference ranges for example.
Letters are invited that discuss, criticise or develop themes put forward in papers published in BJN. They should not, however, be used as a means of publishing new work. Acceptance will be at the discretion of the Editorial Board, and editorial changes may be required. Wherever possible, letters from responding authors will be included in the same issue as the original article.
Papers submitted for publication must be written in English and should be as concise as possible. We recommend that authors have their manuscript checked by someone whose first language is English before submission, to ensure that submissions are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. Please see the Author Language Services section below for more information.
Spelling should generally be that of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (1995), 9th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Authors are advised to consult a current issue in order to make themselves familiar with BJN as to typographical and other conventions, layout of tables etc. Sufficient information should be given to permit repetition of the published work by any competent reader of BJN.
Published examples of BJN article types can be found below:
The Journal conforms to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) definition of authorship, as described by P.C. Calder (Br J Nutr (2009) 101, 775). Authorship credit should be based on:
The contribution of individuals who were involved in the study but do not meet these criteria should be described in the Acknowledgments section.
The required standards for reporting studies involving humans and experimental animals are detailed in an Editorial by G.C. Burdge (Br J Nutr (2014) 112).Experiments involving human subjects
The notice of contributors is drawn to the guidelines in the World Medical Association (2000) Declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects, with notes of clarification of 2002 and 2004 (http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/), the Guidelines on the Practice of Ethics Committees Involved in Medical Research Involving Human Subjects (3rd ed., 1996; London: The Royal College of Physicians) and the Guidelines for the ethical conduct of medical research involving children, revised in 2000 by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health: Ethics Advisory Committee (Arch Dis Child (2000) 82, 177–182). Articles reporting randomised trials must conform to the standards set by the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) consortium.
Required disclosures: A paper describing any experimental work on human subjects must include the following statement in the Experimental Methods section: “This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki and all procedures involving human subjects/patients were approved by the [insert name of the ethics committee; a specific ethics number may be inserted if you wish]. Written [or Verbal] informed consent was obtained from all subjects/patients. [Where verbal consent was obtained this must be followed by a statement such as: Verbal consent was witnessed and formally recorded].” For clinical trials, the trial registry name, registration identification number, and the URL for the registry should be included.
PLEASE NOTE: From 1 October 2014, as a condition for publication, all randomised controlled trials that involve human subjects submitted to BJN for review must be registered in a public trials registry. A clinical trial is defined by the ICMJE (in accordance with the definition of the World Health Organisation) as any research project that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Registration information must be provided at the time of submission, including the trial registry name, registration identification number, and the URL for the registry.Experiments involving the use of other vertebrate animals
Papers that report studies involving vertebrate animals must conform to the ‘ARRIVE Guidelines for Reporting Animal Research’ detailed in Kilkenny et al. (J Pharmacol Pharmacother (2010) 1, 94-99) and summarised at www.nc3rs.org.uk. Authors must ensure that their manuscript conforms to the checklist that is available from the nc3Rs website. The attention of authors is drawn particularly to the ARRIVE guidelines point 3b (‘Explain how and why the animal species and model being used can address the scientific objectives and, where appropriate, the study’s relevance to human biology’, point 9c (‘Welfare-related assessments and interventions that were carried out prior to, during, or after the experiment’) and point 17a (‘Give details of all important adverse events in each experimental group’). The Editors will not accept papers reporting work carried out involving procedures that cause or are considered likely to cause distress or suffering which would confound the outcomes of the experiments, or experiments that have not been reviewed and approved by an animal experimentation ethics committee or regulatory organisation.
Required disclosures: Where a paper reports studies involving vertebrate animals, authors must state in the Experimental Methods section the institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of animals that were followed and that all experimental procedures involving animals were approved by the [insert name of the ethics committee or other approving body; wherever possible authors should also insert a specific ethics/approval number].
The requirements of BJN are in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals produced by the ICMJE.
Typescripts should be prepared with 1.5 line spacing and wide margins (2 cm), the preferred font being Times New Roman size 12. At the ends of lines, words should not be hyphenated unless hyphens are to be printed. Line numbering and page numbering are required.
Manuscripts should be organised as follows:Cover letter
Papers should be accompanied by a cover letter including a brief summary of the work and a short explanation of how it advances nutritional science. The text for the cover letter should be entered in the appropriate box as part of the online submission process.Title Page
The title page should include:
Authors’ names should be given without titles or degrees and one forename may be given in full. Identify each author’s institution by a superscript number (e.g. A.B. Smith1) and list the institutions underneath and after the final author.Abstract
Each paper must open with an unstructured abstract of not more than 250 words. The abstract should be a single paragraph of continuous text without subheadings outlining the aims of the work, the experimental approach taken, the principal results (including effect size and the results of statistical analysis) and the conclusions and their relevance to nutritional science.Introduction
It is not necessary to introduce a paper with a full account of the relevant literature, but the introduction should indicate briefly the nature of the question asked and the reasons for asking it. It should be no longer than two manuscript pages.Experimental methods
The methods section must include a subsection that describes the methods used for statistical analysis (see the section on statistical analysis in the Appendix) and the sample size must be justified by the results of appropriate calculations and related to the study outcomes.
For studies involving humans subjects or experimental animals, the Methods section must include a subsection that reports the appropriate ethical approvals for the study (see Ethical Standards above).
All analytical procedures must be accompanied by a statement of within and between assay precision.
Diets: The nutrient composition of diets used in studies published in BJN must be described in detail, preferably in a table(s). Experimentally relevant differences in composition between diets are essential. For instance, studies of fat nutrition should always include fatty acid compositions of all diets.
PCR analysis: Where experiments involve measurement of mRNA including microarray analysis, for analysis of individual genes, mRNA should be measured by quantitative RTPCR. A statement about the quality and integrity of the RNA must be provided together with the results of eletrophoretic analysis of the purity of the PCR products. Unless published elsewhere, full details of the oligonuceoltide primers and of the PCR protocol must be stated either in the text or in Supplementary Material. The stability of reference genes used for normalisation of PCR data must be reported for the experimental conditions described. Where possible, analysis of mRNA levels should be accompanied by assessment of either protein levels or activities.
Microarray analysis: Studies involving microarray analysis of mRNA must conform to the “Minimum Information about a Microarray Experiment” (MIAME) guidelines including deposition of the raw data in an appropriate repository (the Access Code must be state din the Methods). All microarray experiments must be accompanied by appropriate validation by quantitative RTPCR.Results
These should be given as concisely as possible, using figures or tables as appropriate. Data must not be duplicated in tables and figures.Discussion
While it is generally desirable that the presentation of the results and the discussion of their significance should be presented separately, there may be occasions when combining these sections may be beneficial. Authors may also find that additional or alternative sections such as ‘conclusions’ may be useful. The discussion should be no longer than five manuscript pages.Acknowledgments
Here you may acknowledge individuals or organizations that provided advice and/or support (non-financial). Formal financial support and funding should be listed in the following section.Financial Support
Please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers. For example, “This work was supported by the Medical research Council (grant number XXXXXXX)”. Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma and space, and where research was funded by more than one agency the different agencies should be separated by a semi-colon, with “and” before the final funder. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors’ initials. For example, “This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (A.B., grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (C.D., grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (E.F., grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (A.B., grant number GGGG), (E.F., grant number HHHH)”.
This disclosure is particularly important in the case of research that is supported by industry. Support from industry not only includes direct financial support for the study but also support in kind such as provision of medications, equipment, kits or reagents without charge or at reduced cost and provision of services such as statistical analysis; all such support must be disclosed here and if no such support was received this must be stated. Where no specific funding has been provided for research, please provide the following statement: “This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.”
In addition to the source of financial support, please state whether the funder contributed to the study design, conduct of the study, analysis of samples or data, interpretation of findings or the preparation of the manuscript. If the funder made no such contribution, please provide the following statement: "[Funder's name] had no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article.”Conflict of Interest
Please provide details of all known financial, professional and personal relationships with the potential to bias the work. Where no known conflicts of interest exist, please include the following statement: “None.”
For more information on what constitutes a conflict of interest, please see the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines.Authorship
Please provide a very brief description of the contribution of each author to the research. Their roles in formulating the research question(s), designing the study, carrying it out, analysing the data and writing the article should be made plain.References
References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they first appear in the text using superscript Arabic numerals in parentheses, e.g. ‘The conceptual difficulty of this approach has recently been highlighted(1,2)’. If a reference is cited more than once, the same number should be used each time. References cited only in tables and figure legends should be numbered in sequence from the last number used in the text and in the order of mention of the individual tables and figures in the text.
Names and initials of authors of unpublished work should be given in the text as ‘unpublished results’ and not included in the References. References that have been published online only but not yet in an issue should include the online publication date and the Digital Object Identifier (doi) reference, as per the example below.
At the end of the paper, on a page(s) separate from the text, references should be listed in numerical order using the Vancouver system. When an article has more than three authors only the names of the first three authors should be given followed by ‘et al.’ The issue number should be omitted if there is continuous pagination throughout a volume. Titles of journals should appear in their abbreviated form using the NCBI LinkOut page. References to books and monographs should include the town of publication and the number of the edition to which reference is made. References to material available on websites should follow a similar style, with the full URL included at the end of the reference, as well as the date of the version cited and the date of access.
Examples of correct forms of references are given below.
Books and monographs
Sources from the internet
Figures should be supplied as separate electronic files. Figure legends should be grouped in a section at the end of the manuscript text. Each figure should be clearly marked with its number and separate panels within figures should be clearly marked (a), (b), (c) etc. so that they are easily identifiable when the article and figure files are merged for review. Each figure, with its legend, should be comprehensible without reference to the text and should include definitions of abbreviations. The nature of the information displayed in the figures (e.g. mean (SEM)) and the statistical test used must be stated.
We recommend that only TIFF, EPS or PDF formats are used for electronic artwork. Other non-preferred but usable formats are JPG, PPT and GIF files and images created in Microsoft Word. Note that these non-preferred formats are generally NOT suitable for conversion to print reproduction. For further information about how to prepare your figures, including sizing and resolution requirements, please see our artwork guide.
In curves presenting experimental results the determined points should be clearly shown, the symbols used being, in order of preference, ○, ●, ∆, ▲, □, ■, ×, +. Curves and symbols should not extend beyond the experimental points. Scale-marks on the axes should be on the inner side of each axis and should extend beyond the last experimental point. Ensure that lines and symbols used in graphs and shading used in histograms are large enough to be easily identified when the figure size is reduced to fit the printed page. Statistically significant effects should be indicated with symbols or letters.
Colour figures will be published online free of charge, and there is a fee of £350 per figure for colour figures in the printed version. If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect colour charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.
Images submitted with a manuscript should be minimally processed; some image processing is acceptable (and may be unavoidable), but the final image must accurately represent the original data. Grouping or cropping of images must be identified in the legend and indicated by clear demarcation. Please refer to the Office of Research Integrity guidelines on image processing in scientific publication. Authors should provide sufficient detail of image-gathering procedures and process manipulation in the Methods sections to enable the accuracy of image presentation to be assessed. Authors should retain their original data, as Editors may request them for comparison during manuscript review.Tables
Tables should be placed in the main manuscript file at the end of the document, not within the main text. Please do not supply tables as images (e.g. in TIFF or JPG format). Be sure that each table is cited in the text. Tables should carry headings describing their content and should be comprehensible without reference to the text. Tables should not be subdivided by ruled lines.
The dimensions of the values, e.g. mg/kg, should be given at the top of each column. Separate columns should be used for measures of variance (SD, SE etc.), the ± sign should not be used. The number of decimal places used should be standardized; for whole numbers 1.0, 2.0 etc. should be used. Shortened forms of the words weight (wt) height (ht) and experiment (Expt) may be used to save space in tables, but only Expt (when referring to a specified experiment, e.g. Expt 1) is acceptable in the heading.
Footnotes are given in the following order: (1) abbreviations, (2) superscript letters, (3) symbols. Abbreviations are given in the format: RS, resistant starch. Abbreviations in tables must be defined in footnotes in the order that they appear in the table (reading from left to right across the table, then down each column). Symbols for footnotes should be used in the sequence: *†‡§||¶, then ** etc. (omit * or †, or both, from the sequence if they are used to indicate levels of significance).
For indicating statistical significance, superscript letters or symbols may be used. Superscript letters are useful where comparisons are within a row or column and the level of significance is uniform, e.g. ‘a,b,cMean values within a column with unlike superscript letters were significantly different (P<0•05)’. Symbols are useful for indicating significant differences between rows or columns, especially where different levels of significance are found, e.g. ‘Mean values were significantly different from those of the control group: *P<0•05, **P<0•01, ***P<0•001’. The symbols used for P values in the tables must be consistent.Supplementary material
Additional data (e.g. data sets, large tables) relevant to the paper can be submitted for publication online only, where they are made available via a link from the paper. The paper should stand alone without these data. Supplementary Material must be cited in a relevant place in the text of the paper.
Although Supplementary Material is peer reviewed, it is not checked, copyedited or typeset after acceptance and it is loaded onto the journal’s website exactly as supplied. You should check your Supplementary Material carefully to ensure that it adheres to journal styles. Corrections cannot be made to the Supplementary Material after acceptance of the manuscript. Please bear this in mind when deciding what content to include as Supplementary Material.
Authors or their institutions retain copyright of papers published in BJN. The corresponding author should complete a License to Publish form on behalf of all authors, and upload this with the manuscript files at the time of submission. If the manuscript is not accepted, the form will be destroyed.
Authors in BJN have the option to publish their paper under a fully Open Access agreement, upon payment of a one-off Article Processing Charge. In this case, the final published Version of Record will be made freely available to all in perpetuity under a creative commons license, enabling its re-use and re-distribution. This Open Access option is only offered to authors upon acceptance of an article for publication.
Authors choosing the Open Access option are required to complete the Open Access License to Publish form. More information about Open Access in BJN, including the current Article Processing Charge, can be found on our website.
AuthorAID is a global network that provides free support, mentoring, resources and training to help researchers in low- and middle-income countries to write, publish and otherwise communicate their work.
Key features of AuthorAID are:
For any authors new to publishing research articles, we encourage you to make use of the AuthorAID resources before submitting your paper to BJN. Through the AuthorAID network, guidance can be found to help researchers through the process of writing and submitting scientific papers, advice about responding to reviewer comments, as well as research design and grant applications.
Please note that seeking support through AuthorAID will not guarantee acceptance for publication in BJN, or affect the editorial process in any way.
BJN recommends that authors have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission; this will ensure that submissions are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and/or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense.
PDF proofs are sent to authors in order that they make sure that the paper has been correctly set up in type. Only changes to errors induced by typesetting/copy-editing or typographical errors will be accepted.
Corrected proofs should be returned within 2 days by email to:
If corrected proofs are not received from authors within 7 days the paper may be published as it stands.
A PDF file of the paper will be supplied free of charge to the corresponding author of each paper, and offprints may be ordered on the order form sent with the proofs.
Cambridge University Press publications are deposited in the following digital archives to guarantee long-term digital preservation:
Further information can be found here.
Prospective authors may contact the Editorial Office directly on +44 (0) 1223 325977 (telephone) or [email protected].