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Aims and scope

BMC Health Services Research is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on all aspects of health services research. The journal has a special focus on eHealth, governance, health policy, health system quality and safety, healthcare delivery and access to healthcare, healthcare financing and economics, implementing reform, and the health workforce.

Research we consider 

Health services research is a unique and multidisciplinary field of research that examines how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and behaviors impact access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and population health and wellbeing. 

BMC Health Services Research welcomes submissions covering the following broad areas of research. 

Designing and implementing health system reform

We consider implementation science research examining the methods, trialing, and uptake of research into routine healthcare settings for the benefit of patient health. This section also considers research promoting healthcare reforms and the de-implementation of low-value care. Submissions that include public and patient involvement (PPI) or co-production in the research process are particularly encouraged. 

eHealth, mHealth and informatics

We consider all aspects of research relating to the design, development, trialing, adoption, and application of information technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and mobile health-based innovations in health service management, planning, and delivery of care.

Health policy, politics and power

We consider all aspects of research concerning the decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific healthcare goals in society. This section also considers studies on pharmaceutical policy, legislation, guidelines, and regulations that impact health systems, services, and movements towards universal health coverage.

Health system quality and safety

We consider all aspects of research concerning the review, monitoring, evaluation, communication, and achievement of high-level health system goals based on health system strategies. The section also encourages submissions evidencing improvement and innovation to advance the quality and safety of patient care at the health system and service level. Studies examining the perspectives of health systems, health care providers, service users, and caregivers are also considered. 

*Studies concerning clinical practice, clinical decision-making, and measurement of clinical outcomes, including quality of life, should be directed to the relevant BMC Series medical journal

Healthcare delivery and access to healthcare

We consider all aspects of research relating to the organization of people, institutions, and resources to deliver health care services to meet the healthcare needs of the population. This section particularly encourages submissions reporting advancing universal health coverage and healthcare equity. Geospatial and epidemiological studies related to healthcare delivery and access to healthcare are also considered.

Healthcare financing and economics

We consider all aspects of research relating to the mobilization, accumulation, and allocation of money to finance the healthcare needs of people, individually and as a population. This section considers studies looking at the various models that exist to finance healthcare, such as private insurance, personal financing, social health insurance, and taxation. This section also considers economic and cost-effectiveness evaluations of health policy, interventions, performance, and services. 

*Please note that the journal does not consider research focused on increasing for-profit healthcare revenue; monetizing healthcare or personal health data; or advertising/marketing for-profit healthcare, health/medical/insurance products. 

Healthcare governance and management

We consider all aspects of research aiming to inform best practice and continuous improvement for commissioners, decision-makers, and managers, for the benefit of service users and their carers. This section considers studies concerning risk assessments, upholding healthcare standards, incident management and reporting, and auditing.

The health workforce

We consider all aspects of health workforce research including planning, resourcing, and staffing, assessment of healthcare staff attitudes and behaviors, and occupational health and wellbeing of healthcare staff. Studies considered by this section include demographic and diversity studies, healthcare professional market analyses, methods to improve wellbeing, motivation, and productivity, and health workforce migration studies. This section will also consider studies that have developed and validated psychometric scales for measuring health worker health and well-being. 

*For studies concerning the clinical knowledge and practice of healthcare professionals, please consider BMC Family Practice, BMC Medical Education, BMC Nursing, and BMC Pharmacology & Toxicology as possible venues for your research. 

Related journals in the BMC Series 

Not sure if your article fits the scope of the journal? Why not explore some of our related journals in the BMC Series

Open access

All articles published by BMC Health Services Research are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.

As authors of articles published in BMC Health Services Research you are the copyright holders of your article and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate your article, according to the BMC license agreement.

For those of you who are US government employees or are prevented from being copyright holders for similar reasons, BMC can accommodate non-standard copyright lines. Please contact us if further information is needed.

Article-processing charges

Open access publishing is not without costs. BMC Health Services Research therefore levies an article-processing charge of £1890.00/$2690.00/€2290.00 for each article accepted for publication, plus VAT or local taxes where applicable.

If the corresponding author's institution participates in our open access membership program, some or all of the publication cost may be covered (more details available on the membership page). We routinely waive charges for authors from low-income countries. For other countries, article-processing charge waivers or discounts are granted on a case-by-case basis to authors with insufficient funds. Authors can request a waiver or discount during the submission process. For further details, see our article-processing charge page.

Visit Springer Nature’s open access funding & support services for information about research funders and institutions that provide funding for APCs.

Springer Nature offers agreements that enable institutions to cover open access publishing costs. Learn more about our open access agreements to check your eligibility and discover whether this journal is included.

For more information on APCs please see our Journal Pricing FAQs

Society affiliation information

BMC Health Services Research is affiliated with Health Systems Global. Health Systems Global is a unique organization driven by a diverse, global membership of researchers, decision-makers, and implementers who are dedicated to promoting health systems research and knowledge translation. 

The activities of Health Systems Global span three broad areas: 

  1. To foster the creation of new knowledge
  2. To support knowledge translation focusing on bridging knowledge creation with practical application
  3. To foster research on the application of new knowledge in real-world settings. 

Members of Health Systems Global can receive a 20% discount on the article-processing charges of submissions to journals published by BMC, including BMC Health Services Research and the BMC Series journals, when they provide a discount code at submission. The discount code can be obtained by contacting

Indexing services

All articles published in BMC Health Services Research are included in:

  • CABI
  • CAS
  • DOAJ
  • EmCare
  • Google Scholar 
  • Journal Citation Reports
  • PubMed Central
  • Science Citation Index Expanded
  • SCImago
  • Scopus
  • Semantic Scholar 

The full text of all articles is deposited in digital archives around the world to guarantee long-term digital preservation. You can also access all articles published by BioMed Central on SpringerLink.

Peer-review policy

Peer-review is the system used to assess the quality of a manuscript before it is published. Independent researchers in the relevant research area assess submitted manuscripts for originality, validity and significance to help editors determine whether the manuscript should be published in their journal. You can read more about the peer-review process here.

In cases where the journal is unable to find sufficient peer reviewers, the services of a publishing partner, Research Square, may be used to identify suitable reviewers and provide reports to avoid further delays for authors. Reviewers recruited by Research Square are paid a small honorarium for completing the review within a specified timeframe. Honoraria are paid regardless of the reviewer recommendation. With Research Square, a double-blind peer review system is in operation.

In cases where reports have been obtained by Research Square, the peer review reports will be unsigned unless the reviewer opts in to sign the report.

BMC Health Services Research operates a transparent peer-review system, where, if the article is published, the reviewer reports are published online alongside the article under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 but the reviewer is not named.

The benefit of transparent peer review is that it increases transparency. In addition, published reports can serve an educational purpose in helping facilitate training and research into peer review.

Manuscripts submitted to BMC Health Services Research are assessed by our editors. All published articles are peer-reviewed. Overall editorial responsibility for the journal is with the Editor, with Editorial Board Members acting as handling editors. 

BMC Health Services Research is part of the BMC series which publishes subject-specific journals focused on the needs of individual research communities across all areas of biology and medicine. We do not make editorial decisions on the basis of the interest of a study or its likely impact. Studies must be scientifically valid; for research articles this includes a scientifically sound research question, the use of suitable methods and analysis, and following community-agreed standards relevant to the research field. 

Specific criteria for other article types can be found in the submission guidelines.

BMC series - open, inclusive and trusted.

Editorial policies

All manuscripts submitted to BMC Health Services Research should adhere to BioMed Central's editorial policies.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Appeals and complaints

Authors who wish to appeal a rejection or make a complaint should follow the procedure outlined in the BMC Editorial Policies.

Citing articles in BMC Health Services Research

Articles in BMC Health Services Research should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal. Because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number.

Article citations follow this format:

Authors: Title. BMC Health Serv Res [year], [volume number]:[article number].

e.g. Roberts LD, Hassall DG, Winegar DA, Haselden JN, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL: Increased hepatic oxidative metabolism distinguishes the action of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor delta from Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma in the Ob/Ob mouse. BMC Health Serv Res 2009, 1:115.

refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.

Benefits of publishing with BMC

High visibility

BMC Health Services Research's open access policy allows maximum visibility of articles published in the journal as they are available to a wide, global audience. 

Speed of publication

BMC Health Services Research offers a fast publication schedule whilst maintaining rigorous peer review; all articles must be submitted online, and peer review is managed fully electronically (articles are distributed in PDF form, which is automatically generated from the submitted files). Articles will be published with their final citation after acceptance, in both fully browsable web form, and as a formatted PDF.


Online publication in BMC Health Services Research gives you the opportunity to publish large datasets, large numbers of color illustrations and moving pictures, to display data in a form that can be read directly by other software packages so as to allow readers to manipulate the data for themselves, and to create all relevant links (for example, to PubMed, to sequence and other databases, and to other articles).

Promotion and press coverage

Articles published in BMC Health Services Research are included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be highlighted on BMC Health Services Research’s pages and on the BMC homepage.

In addition, articles published in BMC Health Services Research may be promoted by press releases to the general or scientific press. These activities increase the exposure and number of accesses for articles published in BMC Health Services Research. A list of articles recently press-released by journals published by BMC is available here.


As an author of an article published in BMC Health Services Research you retain the copyright of your article and you are free to reproduce and disseminate your work (for further details, see the BMC license agreement).

For further information about the advantages of publishing in a journal from BMC, please click here.