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About Critical Care

This page includes information about the aims and scope of Critical Care, editorial policies, open access and article-processing charges, the peer review process and other information. For details of how to prepare and submit a manuscript through the online submission system, please see the instructions for authors.

Aims & scope

Critical Care is a high quality, peer-reviewed, international open access clinical medical journal. Critical Care aims to improve the care of critically ill patients by acquiring, discussing, distributing, and promoting evidence-based information relevant to intensivists.

The journal publishes commentaries, reviews, and research in all areas of intensive care and emergency medicine. Critical Care aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the intensive care field.

Critical Care is also affiliated with the International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (ISICEM).

Open access

All Research Articles, Book reports, Commentaries, Editorials, Letters, Meeting reports, Retraction Notes, Reviews and Viewpoints articles published by Critical Care 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.

Authors of Research Articles, Book reports, Commentaries, Editorials, Letters, Meeting reports, Retraction Notes, Reviews and Viewpoints articles published in Critical Care are the copyright holders of their articles and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the BioMed Central copyright and license agreement.

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

Article-processing charges

The publication costs for Critical Care are covered by the journal, so authors do not need to pay an article-processing charge.

Critical Care is involved in a pilot study of new technology enabling the setting of article processing charges (APCs) at an article-type level within a journal instead of charging at a flat rate. APCs on this journal are as follows for the duration of the pilot:


Payments from within the EU are subject to VAT. EU customers must supply their VAT Number to be exempt from VAT charge. UK Customers are not exempt from VAT charge

Indexing services

All articles published in Critical Care are included in PubMed, the most widely used biomedical bibliographic database service, which is run by the US National Library of Medicine. Other bibliographic databases that index articles published in Critical Care include:

  • CABI
  • Citebase
  • Current contents
  • Embase
  • EmCare
  • Global Health
  • Google Scholar
  • Medscape
  • OAIster
  • PubMed
  • PubMed Central
  • Science Citation Index
  • Science Citation Index Expanded
  • SCImago
  • Scopus
  • Zetoc

The full text of all research articles is deposited in PubMed Central, the US National Library of Medicine's full-text repository of life science literature, and other digital archives including e-Depot (The Netherlands).

The full text of all research articles published by BioMed Central is also available on SpringerLink.

Critical Care is tracked by Thomson Reuters (ISI) and has an Impact Factor of 4.95.

Publication and peer review process

Criteria for publication

Research articles: reports of data from exceptional original research. Critical Care invites research articles of exceptional interest in any aspect of intensive care and emergency medicine.

Reviews: provide a full and factual account of recent developments within an area of research and are usually commissioned by the journal. There are two main types of reviews:

  • Bench-to-bedside reviews describe the science underlying clinical situations
  • Clinical reviews describe purely clinical situations

Whilst there is potential for overlap, the aim of dividing the review section in this way is to help readers find the type of material they are searching for. Each type of review is lead by a Section Editor.

Commentaries: short, focused and opinionated articles of contemporary interest on any subject within the journal's scope. Most are commissioned, although unsolicited commentaries are welcome and are routinely peer reviewed.

Editorials: describe policy issues directly relevant to Critical Care and are written by select members of the Editorial Board.

Letters: may discuss material published in Critical Care or particular issues of general interest to the readership. Letters are not usually peer reviewed but on occasion we may invite replies for publication in the same issue.

Viewpoints: short opinion pieces focusing on new topics in the critical care field that are more systematic than editorials and commentaries. They are written by the Editorial Board, but unsolicited articles may also be considered.

Reports: Critical Care aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the intensive care field by reporting on published books and meetings relevant to intensive care and emergency medicine.

Authors will be able to check the progress of their manuscript through the submission system at any time by logging into My Critical Care, a personalized section of the site.

Copyediting and proofs

All articles published in Critical Care are copyedited before publication of the final version.

Research Articles, Book reports, Commentaries, Editorials, Letters, Meeting reports, Retraction Notes, Reviews and Viewpoints articles published in Critical Care are published immediately on acceptance in the form of a provisional PDF. Copyedited and fully formatted PDF and full-text (HTML) versions are made available shortly after that.

Edited versions will be sent by email and corrections should be returned within two working days. Please provide a typed list of corrections clearly indicating where the corrections should be made and please send this list by email.

The editing of Research Articles, Book reports, Commentaries, Editorials, Letters, Meeting reports, Retraction Notes, Reviews and Viewpoints articles is designed only to correct such things as misused words, spelling errors, missing references or incomplete citation information.


High-quality, bound reprints can be purchased for all articles published. Please see our reprints website for further information about ordering reprints.


Critical Care will consider supplements based on proceedings (full articles or meeting abstracts), reviews or research. All articles submitted for publication in supplements are subject to peer review. Published supplements are fully searchable and freely accessible online and can also be produced in print. All full length articles (proceedings, reviews or research articles) are indexed by PubMed. PubMed displays the title of the supplement only in the case of meeting abstract collections. For further information, please contact us.

Editorial policies

All manuscripts submitted to Critical Care should adhere to BioMed Central's editorial policies.

Citing articles in Critical Care

Articles in Critical Care 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. Crit Care [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. Crit Care 2009, 1:115.

refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.

Why publish your article in Critical Care?

High visibility

Critical Care's open access policy allows maximum visibility of research articles published in the journal as they are available to a wide, global audience. Articles that have been especially highly accessed are highlighted with a 'Highly accessed' graphic, which appears on the journal's contents pages and search results.

Speed of publication

Critical Care 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; the article will then be available through Critical Care, BioMed Central and PubMed Central and will also be included in PubMed.


Online publication in Critical Care gives authors 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 Critical Care are included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be included in abstract books mailed to academics and are highlighted on Critical Care's pages and on the BioMed Central homepage.

In addition, articles published in Critical Care 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 Critical Care. A list of articles recently press-released by journals published by BioMed Central is available here.

Authors of articles published in Critical Care retain the copyright of their articles and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work (for further details, see the BioMed Central copyright policy and license agreement).

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