Submit to Bulletin

How to submit to the Bulletin

Submission guidelines
Preparing your submission
Peer review
Open access
Publication ethics
Plagiarism screening
Enquiries and assistance with submissions

The Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England) aims to amplify the voice of the entire surgical community – cultivating diversity and innovation by raising awareness and discussing key issues within the profession, showcasing forward-thinking initiatives, and publishing topical, credible research. 

The Bulletin publishes peer-reviewed original research, feature articles, surgical news, and letters as well as regular columns and editorials.

The Bulletin has two primary goals:

  1. We want to generate engagement with our membership and the wider profession.
  2. We want to guide the national conversation around surgery and healthcare and put RCS England at the centre of this conversation.

These two goals are best served by a journal that is first and foremost a credible, peer-reviewed, professional publication. To do this effectively, we break from the conventional template for membership organisations by committing to complete editorial independence, and a willingness to publish content that may be controversial, not necessarily aligned with RCS England policy, and that, on occasion, challenges the received wisdom of the profession.

So, the Bulletin is not only the membership journal for RCS England’s 29,000+ members worldwide. It is a strong voice shaping conversations around healthcare, surgery and the NHS, raising awareness of important issues such as mental health, professional behaviours and diversity. It has a remit to challenge ingrained norms and change the profession for the better – ultimately advancing surgical care for everyone, not just surgeons.

Submission guidelines

The Bulletin accepts the following article types:
  • Original research (non-clinical)
  • Letters and Commentary
  • Features
  • Training
All manuscript submissions must be made online via our ScholarOne submission and peer review site: However, Letters and Feature proposals may be sent by email to [email protected].

Submissions are welcomed from all authors - you do not need to be a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England to submit.

Please read the manuscript guidelines below carefully to check that your article meets the criteria for submission, then click the link above and follow the on-screen instructions. If you have not submitted through this site before, you will be required to create a new account.

The first version of your submission will be sent for peer review. If you submit additional parts at a later date, they will not be considered as part of your paper.

Do not submit your paper more than once. If you are asked to make revisions, please follow the instructions in ScholarOne and upload your revised manuscript to your existing submission record.

Preparing your submission

As part of the submission process, authors are required to comply with all of the following points. Submissions may be returned to authors who do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it with another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided to the editor-in-chief).
  2. All authors listed on the paper have reviewed and approved the manuscript in its current form and are aware that it has been submitted to the Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
  3. consent form must be signed by the patient or their guardian/relative for any images of the patient used in the manuscript, whether or not the patient is identifiable. The consent form must be produced upon request by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
  4. If your submission contains any previously published material, statements of permission from the original authors/publishers must be included with your submission.
  5. Any conflict of interest and/or financial support received must be declared upon submission.
  6. The manuscript must be a DOC or DOCX file. The text is double-spaced, uses a 12-point font and employs italics rather than underlining (except with URL addresses).
  7. Figures should be submitted as separate files (not embedded in the document) with appropriate legends listed at the end of the manuscript.
  8. Tables should be embedded in Word format at the end of the manuscript file. If your manuscript includes graphs or tables, please also supply the raw data.
  9. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  10. The title page should be an integral part of your manuscript. It should contain the title of your article and the complete details of all authors, including accurate contact information and email addresses.
  • If there is funding to report for your article, please add a funding statement at the end of the main text file, including the name of the funding organisation(s) and the grant number(s).
  • If no funding has been received, please include the following default statement: The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Conflict of interest (COI)
  • If any authors have to declare a conflict of interest, please add a statement at the end of the main text file, listing COI as relevant for each author.
  • If none of the authors have any conflict of interest, please include the following default statement: The author/s declare/s no conflict of interest.
  • Please follow ICMJE guidelines in declaring any COI.
  • It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure that all authors declare all relevant COI.
  • References should be kept to a minimum, comprising only works that have been studied in full by the authors, and should only cite published work. All references must be cited within the body of the article. The majority of references should refer to peer-reviewed literature published within the last 5 years.
  • References should be presented using the Vancouver system, whereby references are numbered according to the order of citation in the text (not in alphabetical order). The reference list should appear at the end of the article. Do not use an Endnote style which abbreviates the reference list in your submitted article.
  • Download our reference style guide here.
Audio, video and multimedia 
  • Audio and video clips and other complementary multimedia material are very much encouraged and will be published as supplementary material with the article. Multimedia material should be of the highest possible quality. The supplementary files should be uploaded with the submission to the ScholarOne Manuscripts site.
  • In the interest of hosting and downloading capabilities, video content should not exceed 2 mins length and 10 MB.

Peer review

Please find details for our peer review process here. If you are interested in becoming a peer reviewer for our journals, please contact us at [email protected].

Open access

Please read our Open Access policy here.

The author/s will retain copyright for all content published in the Bulletin.

Publication ethics

The Royal College of Surgeons of England are a member of the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) and expect all authors and members of our Board to uphold the ethical standards and integrity described in the COPE guidelines. RCS England journals will pursue cases of suspected research and publication misconduct (including falsification, fabrication, plagiarism, inappropriate image manipulation, redundant publication and authorship misdemeanours). In such cases, we will follow the processes set out in the COPE flowcharts.

Authors found guilty of misconduct can expect their behaviour to be reported to the head of the relevant institution, and if appropriate, a retraction, an expression of concern or a correction may be issued. If you have concerns regarding the legitimacy of an article published in any of the RCS England journals, please report it to [email protected] and it will be investigated with due diligence by the Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board.

Please find our full Ethics policy here.

Plagiarism screening

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a member of CrossCheck. All accepted manuscripts are subject to plagiarism screening to verify the originality of content submitted before publication, and we reserve the right to decline publication if a manuscript is found in breach of the guidelines.


Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere.

No patient identifying information should be published in written descriptions, photographs, or multimedia material unless essential, in which case written informed consent must be provided.


Authors are entitled to appeal against a rejection decision made by a journal. Appeals should be submitted to the journal via email to [email protected]. We must receive your valid appeal within four weeks of the original decision, otherwise it will not be considered. An appeal is considered an extension of the peer review process, so you should not submit your article to another publication while an appeal is ongoing.

To be considered, appeals must directly address the reason(s) given for the initial rejection decision. If reviewer reports were included with the decision letter, then these criticisms must be responded to in the appeal, however, you should not prepare and submit a revised version of your article with the appeal. Appeals that are received late, do not address reviewers’ criticisms, are dismissive of the reviewer comments, or contain offensive language will not be considered.

Valid appeals will be sent to a member of the journal’s Editorial Board for consideration. Where possible, an independent member of the Editorial Board who was not connected to the original decision will oversee the appeal.

If successful, an appeal may result in the decision being rescinded and a continuation of the peer-review process. If the appeal is rejected, then the original rejection decision is upheld and no further consideration of that article is possible.

Enquiries and assistance with submissions

For enquiries, contact the publications team at [email protected]