Word count is important because it influences A) the amount of time copyeditors should spend improving your manuscript, and B) the amount of time it takes JMIR staff to typeset your article. As of Oct 19, 2020, fees for additional editorial work will be applied to papers which are considered excessively long (over 10,000 words).
Word count does include:
✔ Manuscript body
✔ Table content
✔ Table captions
✔ Figure captions
✔ Acknowledgements section
✔ Authors' Contributions section
✔ Conflicts of Interest statement
Word count does not include:
✘ Author metadata (names, affiliations, addresses, etc)
✘ Figure content
✘ Multimedia Appendices
Inclusion/exclusion of elements is directly based on what the copyeditor needs to address.