​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Instructions for Authors:

CRITICAL CARE EXPLORATIONS
INSTRUCTIONS FOR AUTHORS
(Updated March 21, 2022, effective April 1, 2022)​​

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If you are unsure whether your article type or topic is likely to meet publication priority for one of the SCCM family of journals, please email an informal presubmission inquiry of no more than 150 words to [email protected]. Describe your study and indicate why your findings will be important to the members of the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
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Critical Care Explorations is an official journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).

  • Mission
  • Description
  • Presubmission Consultation​​
  • Manuscript Submission​
  • Peer Review Process
  • Features, Processes, and Policies
  • Diversity​​
  • Financial Model​
  • Authorship and Contributorship
  • Mandatory License to Publish Forms
  • Human Subjects and Animal Research​​
  • Statistical Review​
  • Manuscript Preparation
  • Manuscript Content
  • Supplemental Digital Content​​
  • Article Type Notes​
  • Editorial Review and Disposition
  • Acceptance
  • Publishing Ethics​​
  • Contact
  • MISSION​

    The mission of Critical Care Explorations is to foster rapid communication and global dissemination of novel findings relevant to the care of critically ill patients.

    DESCRIPTION

    Critical Care Explorations is the official open-access journal of SCCM. The journal rapidly evaluates and disseminates new data and analyses that stimulate further innovation and inquiry toward optimal care of the critically ill adult or child. The journal publishes basic and translational science reports, clinical investigations, narrative and systematic reviews, meta-analyses, quality improvement studies, predictive modelling studies, advances in therapies and monitoring, implementation science reports, methodologic and technical advances, and health services research related to critical illness at all life stages. The diversity of topics and article types is intentional and reflects the multidisciplinary approach that underpins the practice of critical care medicine and the multiprofessionalism of the SCCM membership. Priority for publication is given to findings that are novel, generalizable, or likely to stimulate further investigation, including pilot and hypothesis-generating studies. Critical Care Explorations prioritizes manuscripts that stand to change perceptions about or influence the practice of critical care medicine. Multiple media (text, figure, audio, video, and supplemental data files) are accepted; interactive tools for end users are valued. ​ ​ ​​

    PRESUBMISSION CONSULTATION

    The editor-in-chief ensures that journal content reflects the subject categories stated in the journal description. If authors are unsure whether a submission is appropriate for Critical Care Explorations, to avoid needless work leading to a desk rejection, authors are strongly encouraged to email the editor-in-chief with a brief (typically 150 words) synopsis of the proposed submission and an explanation of its significance to journal readers. Use “PRESUBMISSION CONSULTATION" as the subject line and email your inquiry to [email protected]. Such consultation does not constitute submission nor does a response constitute a review. The editor-in-chief will typically respond within 48 hours of receipt.

    MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION

    Detailed instructions on preparing and submitting your manuscript follow. Adherence to these instructions will lessen the risk of your manuscript being returned to you for reformatting.​

      ​• Submit your main manuscript as a single Microsoft Word document that includes title page, abstract, key points, main body of the text, references, acknowledgments, and figure legends.
      •Each table should be submitted as a separate Microsoft Word file, including the table title and any caption. Each column must have a heading.

      • Each figure should be submitted as a separate file. These must be TIF or EPS files at a resolution of 300 dpi or higher and should contain a single figure each, without the figure legend.

      • The main manuscript can contain no more than a combined total of six tables and figures.

      • All supplementary material should be merged into a single PDF file and uploaded as supplemental digital content.

      • Review your manuscript for typographical and grammatical errors, as well as clarity and accuracy of prose. We recommend that careful copyediting be undertaken by all the named authors prior to submission. We encourage the use of spellchecking and language editing software (e.g., Microsoft Word spelling and grammar check, Grammarly.com, other third-party resources), as well as professional English-language editing services as appropriate. Poorly written manuscripts will be returned to the authors without review.

      • This journal uses Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT) to represent each contributor’s specific contribution to the submission. Inclusion as an author requires not only that each author attest to at least one of the 14 CRediT roles but also that each author accept responsibility for the manuscript’s data, analysis, and conclusions as prescribed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

      • These bullet points do not constitute a full set of author instructions. Authors submitting manuscripts are referred to the detailed instructions and article grid below.​

    Manuscripts are submitted to SCCM through Editorial Manager, a Web-based manuscript tracking system that allows authors to add a new manuscript while shortening the time needed for processing manuscripts in the editorial office and through peer review. To submit manuscripts for consideration, go to www.editorialmanager.com/ccx. Once you reach the Editorial Manager home page, log in to  your existing account or create a new account.

    Editorial Manager guides authors through the manuscript submission process. Required information includes the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the first author and all contributing authors; affiliated institutions; manuscript title; abstract; and key words. With limited exceptions, a Key Points section must be included with the initial submission. Authors may provide optional information such as suggested reviewers and nonpreferred reviewers. The editorial office is automatically notified of the submission and emails the author(s), confirming the manuscript submission.

    It is the author's responsibility to ensure that submission is complete, which always includes author's approval of a PDF file and acknowledgment that the file is a complete submission. If this acknowledgment has not been received, the manuscript has not been completely submitted. Authors are strongly advised to check their manuscript status in Editorial Manager to verify that submission is complete. After editorial office review of the submission and verification that it is complete, a manuscript number will be assigned to each submitted manuscript, which will be used in all correspondence. It is the corresponding author's responsibility to ensure that all aspects of the submission meet the criteria listed in the author instructions.

    SCCM accepts no responsibility for manuscripts that are lost or destroyed through electronic or computer problems. Authors are encouraged to keep copies of submitted manuscripts, including figures. If an author does not receive confirmation of submission into Editorial Manager within 48 business hours, the author should contact the editorial office at [email protected].

    PEER REVIEW PROCESS

    The review process is single-blinded. Editors and reviewers know the identities of the authors. After the managing editor confirms that a submission contains required elements and is compliant with the submission guidance described below, the manuscript is assigned a submission number and forwarded to the editor-in-chief, who reads all submissions. A manuscript may be rejected, returned for clarification, referred to another official SCCM journal, or assigned to an associate editor for further handling. The handling associate editor reads the manuscript, further assesses appropriateness for the journal, and either recommends rejection or invites one or more expert reviewers (including members of the editorial board) to comment and make a provisional assessment as to suitability for publication. When these reviews are completed, the handling associate editor makes a recommendation to the editor-in-chief concerning the disposition of the manuscript. Again, the manuscript may be rejected, returned for revision, or provisionally accepted for publication. Further cycles of submission and review are often required to reach a final disposition.

    Manuscripts Reviewed and Declined Elsewhere: It is generally to the authors' advantage to indicate in their cover letter that a manuscript has been previously reviewed and declined at another journal. It is also to the authors' advantage to include, as a supporting material file, reviews obtained elsewhere along with their point-by-point responses to the critiques. This tends to expedite the review process and in some cases allows for acceptance with only minor revisions.
     
    In-House Submissions Policy: Critical Care Explorations welcomes submissions from its editors and editorial board members. To manage conflict of interest, submissions including the editor-in-chief as an author are referred directly to an associate editor (acting as editor-in-chief) to lead the peer review process. Editors who submit manuscripts for possible publication in Critical Care Explorations and their collaborators are excluded from the review panel and do not participate in the selection of peer reviewers.

    Appeals Process: From time to time, authors disagree with the final disposition of their manuscript. Appeals must be submitted in writing to [email protected] within seven (7) days of a decision and include a detailed exposition of errors of fact. The editor-in-chief reviews all appeals and may assign an editor previously uninvolved with the manuscript to review the entire file. Since the editor-in-chief bears ultimate responsibility for journal content, the editor-in-chief exercises that authority in determining the outcome of any appeal. Authors are advised that acceptance for publication is based on a variety of factors including but not limited to content area, impact of the manuscript on the field, novelty, generalizability, and the likelihood of changing thinking or practice.​

    FEATURES, PROCESSES, AND POLICIES

    Critical Care Explorations differs from more traditional professional journals in the following respects:

    • Design: Critical Care Explorations is open access by design. All manuscripts accepted for publication will be accessible at no cost in perpetuity to all users via the internet.
    • Immediacy: Critical Care Explorations publishes as a continuous publication. The journal will provide a monthly online compendium of all articles published within the prior month.
    • Rapid initial evaluation: Critical Care Explorations is rapid by design. All submissions are immediately evaluated by the editor-in-chief and an associate editor. If both the editor-in-chief and an associate editor think the submission is of potential interest and sufficient quality, it will be sent out for rapid review by one to three additional expert reviewers, depending on the number of domains touched by the submission. Otherwise, manuscripts deemed of low priority for publication in the journal will be promptly returned to the author(s). Generally Critical Care Explorations will plan a single cycle of review and revisions before making an accept/reject decision. However, complicated manuscripts may require additional cycles of review and revision. Critical Care Explorations aims to complete the cycle of submission, review, and revision within 35 business days. Accepted manuscripts are published as soon as they are copyedited, typeset, and receive final author approval. Post-acceptance processing through to publication typically is complete within 23 business days.
    • Critical Care Explorations reports may include text, figure, audio, video, and data files. Tools aimed at end users, including but not limited to data exploration tools, online calculators, modular software (applications), and scripts are valued.
    • Critical Care Explorations spans basic, translational, clinical, implementation, and data explorations. Examples of article classes of special interest to Critical Care Explorations include those that may be immediately applicable in other settings:
      • Quality assurance, quality improvement, value enhancement, or patient safety reports, including single-center experiences that can be rapidly adapted and adopted
      • Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic reports that may enhance therapeutic accuracy
      • Evaluations of new and new-to-market diagnostics, theragnostics, and therapeutics
      • Comparisons of existing and new technologies
      • Case reports and case series that illuminate novel approaches to rare and/or vexing conditions
      • Contemporary narratives and systematic reviews that provide immediate and reliable guidance at the bedside
      • Experimental insights into new and/or unexpected mechanisms
      • Reports detailing experiences, strategies, and outcomes of efforts to improve health and wellness of those who surround the critically ill patient, including friends, families, and critical care professionals
      • Follow-up studies that illuminate long-term outcomes of previously reported studies
      • Educational approaches and outcomes, with a special interest in multiprofessional education
      • Complementary and alternative medical approaches to critical illness and recovery
      • Contemporary surveys that illuminate aspects of patient care, clinician experience, and/or community beliefs and attitudes
      • Communications of new studies including trial design, implementation progress, intermediate analyses, and other real-time reporting that may be required by funding agencies and/or valuable to the communities.​

    DIVERSITY

    Critical Care Explorations defines diversity broadly, including diversity of disciplinary background, practice setting, locality, and personal characteristics that influence perspectives on research and practice, including gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, and other important characteristics. The journal endorses diversity and inclusion among authors of all manuscripts. If author teams believe that the diversity of their group adds value to the submitted report and should be considered by the editorial board, they are encouraged to speak to this in a cover letter accompanying the submitted work.

    Diversity and inclusion among committee members participating in manuscript creation that includes standards, recommendations, or guidance (e.g., curricular, evaluative, diagnostic, or treatment recommendations) is of special importance to Critical Care Explorations. The authors of such submissions must describe (typically as an appendix included with the supplemental digital content) the criteria for committee inclusion and the recruitment and vetting processes for committee members. Thus, the journal requires a description of the process used to populate the committee. The journal neither requires enumeration of member characteristics nor judges the diversity and inclusiveness of the committee. Communication of the diversity and inclusiveness of the committee is at the discretion of the authors; this information may influence reviewer opinion as to the manuscript's suitability for publication.

    FINANCIAL MODEL

    Critical Care Explorations' editorial, production, and monitoring costs are met through article processing charges. While submission and initial evaluation are undertaken at no cost to authors, the publication process has costs that reflect the article type and the complexity of production. Discounts may be provided at the sole discretion of the editor in response to special needs, including but not limited to submissions from lower middle-income nations and those with other demonstrable financial hardship and will only be considered after acceptance of an article.

    AUTHORSHIP AND CONTRIBUTORSHIP

    Critical Care Explorations acknowledges that contemporary science often involves extended collaborations of investigators. Manuscripts published in the journal represent their collective work product. The journal recognizes that all authors are contributors but not all contributors meet the stringent requirements of authorship. We refer to these other contributors as collaborators. Authorship and contributorship must be determined and communicated by the corresponding author. The journal takes no position on the selection or ordering of authors or collaborators.

    However, every person listed as an author must meet all of the criteria for authorship as described by the ICMJE:

    • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; and
    • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
    • Final approval of the version to be published; and
    • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved

    The process of submission to the journal now requires that all contributors—authors and collaborators—describe their role using the CRediT taxonomy (https://credit.niso.org/) The journal recommends that the corresponding author assess each contributor's role during creation of the manuscript and to use that assessment to determine which contributors are authors and which are collaborators. These assessments will also be helpful in preparing the enumeration of each contributor's role.

    To clarify, while the journal places no limit on the number of individuals who may be listed as contributors and identified in bibliographic databases, all contributors identified by the corresponding author as authors will be held accountable for the entire content of the submission as prescribed by the ICMJE criteria.

    All contributors—authors and collaborators—must disclose any potential financial or ethical conflicts of interest regarding the contents of the submission. Authorship inclusion and order must be determined at the initial submission. In the event revisions require the addition of expertise for further analysis or experimentation, the corresponding author must justify the additional authorships and submit verification that all other authors concur with the addition in the order proposed.

    MANDATORY LICENSE TO PUBLISH FORMS

    Upon submission, authors will be required to complete a License to Publish (LTP) form. LTP forms may be signed by the corresponding author on behalf of all authors. Authors retain copyright for all articles. Authors grant the journal a license to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher. Manuscripts will not pass to production without completed forms. LTP forms are available from the submission site home page, www.editorialmanager.com/ccx.

    Compliance With NIH and Other Research Funding Agency Accessibility Requirements
    Many research funding agencies now require or request authors to submit the postprint (the article after peer review and acceptance but not the final published article) to a repository that is accessible online by all without charge. As a service to our authors, Wolters Kluwer (WK) will identify to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) articles that require deposit and will transmit the postprint of an article based on research funded in whole or in part by the National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, or other funding agencies to PubMed Central. The revised Copyright Transfer Agreement provides the mechanism.​

    Financial Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
    Authors must state all possible conflicts of interest in the manuscript, including financial, consultant, institutional, and other relationships that might lead to bias or conflict of interest. If there is no conflict of interest, this should also be explicitly stated as none declared. All sources of funding should be acknowledged in the manuscript. All relevant conflicts of interest and sources of funding must be included on the title page of the manuscript with the heading “Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding." For example:
    Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: [Author A] has received honoraria from [Company 1]. [Author B] is currently receiving a grant (#12345) from [Organization Y] and is on the speaker's bureau for [Organization X], the CME/ACE organizers for [Company 1]. For the remaining authors, none were declared.

    The responsibility falls to the corresponding author to ensure that all contributors accurately and completely disclose financial or other potential conflicts of interest. Failure to disclose any material conflict of interest constitutes scientific misconduct. All contributors are advised to err on the side of disclosure.

    HUMAN SUBJECTS AND ANIMAL RESEARCH

    Human Subjects Research
    Critical Care Explorations requires compliance with protections of human research subjects. Authors should state whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as most recently amended (https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/).

    For prospective studies involving human participants, trial registration is required and authors are expected to affirm approval of (or clearance by) a regional, national, institutional, or independent ethics committee or review board, obtaining informed consent from adult research participants and obtaining assent for minors participating in the trial. (The age beyond which assent is required may vary per regional and/or national guidelines.) Authors must protect the confidentiality of subjects and must not communicate participants' names, initials, or medical record numbers.

    At a minimum, authors must provide the following in the Methods section of the submission:

    • A statement on ethical approval (or clearance) and on all subjects' informed consent for participation in the study must be included in every manuscript involving human subjects. If study-specific informed consent was waived by an appropriate governing regulatory board, this must be stated.
    • A listing of the study number, approval date, study title, and name of the governing board granting approval or waiver should be included. (Authors may be asked to provide copies of the approval letter and of the protocol as approved at any stage of the review process.)
    • For all clinical trials, information must be included on the registration of the trial on a national site, such as www.clinicaltrials.gov or one listed at https://www.who.int/clinical-trials-registry-platform/the-ictrp-search-portal. The authors must include the registration number. The initial registration date must be prior to the commencement of subject enrollment. The manuscript must report all primary outcomes in the trial registration document unless those outcomes have been reported in a prior publication. If the primary outcome is not reported, the authors must address this in the cover letter to the editor.
    • For small-N trials where the potential for identification of a specific subject exists, the authors must provide the subjects' written informed consent or that of legally authorized representatives.

    Animal Research
    Critical Care Explorations requires protections of experimental animals used in laboratory studies published in this journal. At a minimum, authors must provide the following information in the Methods section of the submission:

    • A listing of the study number, approval date, study title, and name of the institutional animal care and use committee (e.g., American Association for Laboratory Animal Science) granting approval or waiver. (Authors may be asked to provide copies of the approval letter and the protocol as approved at any stage of the review process.)
    • Justification for the selection of species, strain, number, and sex of animals used.
    • Specific methods used to minimize animal pain and suffering during and after the study.
    • Compliance with Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) Guidelines (https://arriveguidelines.org), which are designed to ensure that reporting of animal protocols is sufficient to ensure transparency and sufficient detail for readers to evaluate the methodologic rigor and to reproduce the methods or findings. Submissions should contain documentation of the “ARRIVE Essential 10"—10 items that at a minimum should be included in manuscripts describing animal research. (These items have been operationalized in a checklist and a questionnaire; both are available on the ARRIVE website.)

    The journal will not consider any manuscript that is ethically unacceptable.

    STATISTICAL REVIEW

    Any study containing quantitative data and statistical inference should be reviewed by a consultant with formal statistical training and experience. Such review is advised in the planning stages of the study and must be completed prior to submission.

    MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION

    Manuscripts must conform to Critical Care Explorations Instructions for Authors and/or the ICMJE's Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, which can be found on the ICMJE website, https://www.icmje.org. Manuscripts must be double-spaced with pages numbered consecutively, beginning with the title page. Each paragraph should be indented with a tab. The text portion of each manuscript should be in Microsoft Word format and should include references and figure legends. Figures can be saved in TIF or EPS format at a resolution of 300 dpi or higher. Each table should be submitted as an individual Microsoft Word file; spreadsheets are not acceptable. Figures should be saved as separate files and uploaded after the text upload is complete. Specific guidelines for figure formatting are found on the Editorial Manager home page. Manuscript, table, and figure documents submitted as PDFs are not acceptable. Supplemental digital content should be merged into a PDF file and uploaded as a single document. If the supplemental digital content has multiple components, a table of contents should be included.

    When uploading the text, tables, and figures into Editorial Manager, there is the option of entering supporting files for review. Files for review are viewable by the editor, editorial staff, and reviewers under the supporting material file type; these will not be published with the article. Cover letters are seen only by the editorial staff and editors, they are not seen by reviewers.

    280-Character Summary
    A brief summary, not to exceed 280 characters and suitable for a social medium communication, must be included in the submission. This summary will be used for publicity and promotion if the manuscript is accepted and published.

    Checklist Usage
    Most categories of manuscripts require the use of standard checklists to ensure that key elements are contained in the submitted manuscript. Authors are expected to refer to the Equator Network (http://www.equator-network.org/) for up-to-date manuscript checklists. Manuscripts of the following types must use and include the associated checklist:

    Randomized trials                         CONSORT
    Observational studies                   STROBE
    Systematic reviews                       PRISMA
    Animal preclinical studies            ARRIVE
    Prediction models                         TRIPOD

    It is highly recommended that other manuscript types use standard checklists found on the Equator Network website. If a checklist is used, the completed checklist should be included as the first item in the supplemental digital content.

    MANUSCRIPT CONTENT

    A complete submission should include the following components:

    Cover letter
     Upload as separate document (Microsoft Word or PDF)
    Main documentTitle pageInclude financial disclosures and conflicts of interest

    AbstractStructured as per article type
    Key PointsRequired for original and review articles
    Article textStructured as per article type
    AcknowledgmentsInclude author contributions and other acknowledgments
    ReferencesFormatted as specified below
    Figure legends 
    Tables Upload each table as a separate Microsoft Word file
    Figures Upload each figure as a separate TIP or EPS file (300 dpi or higher)
    Supplemental digital content Merge into one single PDF (with table of contents as appropriate) and upload.

     
    Title Page
    The title page should contain 1) the title; 2) first name, middle initial, and last name of each author; 3) highest academic degrees, fellowship designations, and institutional affiliation for each author; 4) the corresponding author's name and email address; 5) financial support used for the study, including any institutional departmental funds; 6) a statement on financial disclosures and conflicts of interest for each of the authors; and 7) five key words for indexing, using terms from the NLM's Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) thesaurus (https://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshhome.html).
    Editorial Manager will prompt authors to input the above information into specific fields during the submission process. Authors should also upload their title page and structured abstract with the body of the manuscript. It is important to note that, if there is formatted text or Greek letters or symbols in the title or abstract, special coding is necessary, using the character palette in Editorial Manager. It is not necessary to code special characters and formats in the actual manuscript.​

    Abstracts
    Abstracts should conform to the article type-specific format mentioned in the article type grid below. It is important to note that if there is formatted text or Greek letters or symbols in the title or abstract, special coding is necessary, using the character palette in Editorial Manager. It is not necessary to code special characters and formats in the actual manuscript.
     
    Key Points
    With the exception of editorials, correspondence, guidelines, and viewpoints, all submissions must include a separate “Key Points" section. This section should generally not exceed 100 words and must respond to the following three prompts.

    • Question: What specific question does the manuscript address? State the hypothesis, goal, or purpose of the study. Limit to one sentence.
    • Findings: What is the key result? Mention the design (e.g., clinical trial, cohort study, case-control study, meta-analysis, predictive model). State the primary outcome(s) or finding(s) only. Omit secondary outcomes. Report basic numbers only but state whether results are statistically significant or not significant; do not include results of statistical tests or measures of variance. Limit to no more than two sentences.
    • Meaning: What are the key conclusion and implication based on the primary finding(s)? Limit to one sentence.

    Text Material
    The text must conform to standard scientific English. Authors should carefully proofread their text prior to submission. Poorly written text will lead to summary rejection. Authors are strongly advised to obtain an informal opinion of their writing from a colleague fluent in scientific English or a professional editing service and to have the manuscript thoroughly reviewed by all contributing authors for language, grammar, and typographical errors.

    The text should generally be organized into the following sections: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions, followed by Acknowledgments, References, and Figure Legends. Results may be presented in the text, in the figures, or in the tables.

    Scientific contributors who do not qualify for full authorship may be included as collaborators or simply acknowledged. Secretarial and editorial assistance are not acknowledged. Results may be presented in the text, in the figures, or in the tables. The Discussion section should interpret the results without unnecessary repetition. Authors are strongly encouraged to use supplemental digital content to the greatest extent possible for detailed explanation of methods, presentation of complete data tables, and similar enhancements. References to related studies should be included in the text section. Authors may wish to refer to standard guidance on writing scientific articles.

    In addition, the following guidance should be observed:

    • The full term for which an acronym stands should be used at its first occurrence in the text unless it is a standard unit of measure or a commonly recognized acronym (e.g., “ICU" or “COVID-19"). The acronym should appear in parentheses after the full term. Except for common acronyms, abbreviations should not be used in the title, figure legends, or table titles.
    • For standard American units, do not use values that are more significant than your analysis is capable of accurately measuring (e.g., Pao2 84 torr [11.2 kPa], not 83.7 torr).
    • Hemodynamic measurements for pressure (e.g., mean arterial pressure) should appear in mm Hg and gas tension measurements (e.g., Po2) should appear in torr with SI units in parentheses. The units of vascular resistance are dyne·sec/cm5.
    • Please provide r2 values for parametric data.

    References
    All references should be cited in sequential order in the text. If any part of the study has been previously reported, e.g., as a parent study or as presentation in a published abstract, that report must be cited in the references. References should be identified in text, tables, and legends by full-size Arabic numerals on the line and in parentheses. Correct formatting may be simplified by using third-party reference management software that offers style files specific to this journal. Titles of journals should be set in italics and abbreviated according to the style used in NLM's MeSH thesaurus. If journal titles are not listed in MeSH, they should be spelled out. Unpublished data or personal communications should be noted parenthetically within the text but not in the References section. Inclusive page numbers (e.g., pp. 1-10) should be used for all references. Listed below are samples of standard references; a complete listing of references can be found on the ICMJE website, www.icmje.org.

    • Standard journal article: Buchman TG, Draghia-Akli R, Adam SJ et al: Accelerating coronavirus disease 2019 therapeutic interventions and vaccines—selecting compounds for clinical evaluation in coronavirus disease 2019 clinical trials. Crit Care Med 2021; 49:1963-1973
    • Standard book with authors: Civetta JM, Taylor RW, Kirby RR. Critical Care. Third Edition. Philadelphia, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 1996
    • Standard book with editors: Norman IJ, Refern SJ (Eds): Mental Health Care for Elderly People. New York, Churchill Livingstone, 1996
    • Standard chapter in a book: Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP: Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM (Eds). Hypertension: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Management. Second Edition. New York, Raven Press, 1995, pp 465-478
    • Standard website/electronic format: Marion DW, Domeier R, Dunham CM, et al: Practice management guidelines for identifying cervical spine injuries following trauma. Available at: http://www.east.org. Accessed July 1, 2020

    Equations
    Equations should be created as normal text or via the equation function in Microsoft Word, not as an image. The use of equation editors or utilities may not convert correctly during the manuscript submission process and their use is discouraged.

    Tables and Figures
    The number of figures and tables should be appropriate for the length of the manuscript and should not exceed a combined total of six figures and tables (e.g., four figures and two tables); additional figures and tables can be submitted as supplemental digital content. Materials reproduced from another published source must be labeled “Reproduced with permission from …." In addition, a letter granting permission to reproduce the materials from the copyright holder must be uploaded when the manuscript is submitted for review. Manuscripts lacking this document will be returned to the author and will not be sent for peer review. Letters of permission are also required for adapted materials.

    Tables. All tables should be prepared using Microsoft Word. Text-heavy tables should not exceed a single formatted journal page. Tables that do not comply must be included only as supplemental digital content. Tables that are exceedingly text heavy and with many lines must be submitted as supplemental digital content. If, when processing your manuscript, we find that your tables do not comply, the manuscript will be sent back for correction. Every table submitted must have applicable table headings and a table title (a short and to-the-point explanation of what the table is and not a full description; this should be reserved for the text). Do not use tabs to create tables and do not use table editors. Do not reiterate tabular data in the text. Do not use abbreviations in table titles. Do not use all capital letters in table headings and text. Do not use center, decimal tab, and justification commands. Do not use spaces to separate columns. Use a space on either side of the ± symbol. Do not underline or draw lines within tables. Footnoted information should be referenced using italicized, superscript, lowercase letters (i.e., a, b) in alphabetical order (reading from left to right). Avoid lengthy footnotes and insert descriptive narratives either in the text or in the supplemental digital content as appropriate.

    Figures. Figures should have no more than four subcomponents or panels; figures containing multiple subcomponent or panels should instead be uploaded as supplemental digital content. Figures should be uploaded separately from the main manuscript text document under the “Figure" file type. Only TIF or EPS files are accepted, at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Refer to the “Creating Digital Artwork" link on the login page for additional instructions.

    • Learn about the publication requirements for Digital Artwork: http://links.lww.com/ES/A42
    • Create, scan, and save your art­work and compare your final figure to the Digital Artwork specifications.
    • Upload each figure to Editorial Manager in conjunction with your manuscript text and tables.

      Here are the basics to have in place before submitting your digital art:
    • Artwork should be saved as TIF or EPS files.
    • Artwork should be created as the actual size (or slightly larger than) it will appear in the journal. To get an idea of the size images should be when they publish, study a copy of Critical Care Explorations. Measure the artwork typically shown and scale your image to match.
    • Crop out any white or black space surrounding the image.
    • Diagrams, drawings, graphs, and other line art must be vector or saved at a resolution of at least 1200 dpi.
    • Photographs, radiographs, and other halftone images must be saved at a resolution of at least 300 dpi.
    • Each figure must be saved and submitted as a separate file (TIF or EPS). Fig­ures should not be embedded in the manuscript text file.
    • Whenever possible, figures should depict individual data points.
    • To compare distributions between groups, box plots should be used instead of bar plots with error bars (plunger plots) or other alternatives.
    • Line charts should be restricted to figures that depict temporal trends.

    Remember:

    • Cite figures consecutively in your manuscript.
    • Number figures in the figure leg­end in the order in which they are discussed.
    • Upload figures consecutively to the Editorial Manager website and number figures consecutively in the Description box during upload.

    For captions and variables within a figure, use Helvetica or Arial font in upper- and lowercase letters. Ensure that everything is spelled correctly and consistently. Radiographic prints must have arrows (if applicable) for clarity. Figures that do not conform to these specifications will be sent back to the corresponding author for correction.

    Figure legends should contain enough information for the reader to understand the illustration without referring to the text but should be concise and should not repeat information already stated in the text. Figure legends should appear within the body of the article after the references, and not uploaded as a separate page or as part of the figure or image. Figures must be referenced sequentially in the text. Authors must assume charges for changes made to figures after manuscripts are accepted.

    Units of measure. Authors should provide units of measure in SI units. Authors should refer to the American Medical Association Manual of Style for details regarding SI units for laboratory data.

    Manufacturer. Provide in parentheses the model number and name of manufacturer for all equipment and reagents described in the manuscript.

    Drug names. Only generic drug names should be used. Trademark or brand names should not be used except in cases where the brand name is essential to reproduce or interpret the study. These exceptions should be noted in accompanying correspondence. The manufacturer must be provided for any brand name drugs.

    Permissions. Any submitted materials that are to be reproduced (or adapted) from copyrighted publications must be accompanied by a written letter of permission from the copyright holder. Accepted manuscripts will be delayed if the required permissions are not on file.​

    SUPPLEMENTAL DIGITAL CONTENT

    Authors are encouraged to prepare supplemental digital content to enhance their article's text. Supplemental digital content may include readable, audio, and video materials. Tables that are too large to fit on a single published page of the journal must be included as supplemental digital content. Journal staff will recommend moving tables or images to supplemental digital content at their discretion if they believe it is warranted. All supplemental digital content should be cited consecutively in the text. Submission of data and software is encouraged and may be included as separate files or as references to third-party sites. See Data Sharing and Software and Reporting, below.

    All readable supplemental digital content (text, figures, tables) should be submitted as a single PDF file including a title page and table of contents, including page numbers. The table of contents should include logical numbering of content types, e.g., eFigure 1, eFigure 2, eTable 1, eTable 2, Appendix 1, Appendix 2. If tables extend beyond a single page, headings must be included on each page. Different from the main text, eFigure legends should be adjacent to the eFigures.

    For audio and video files, also include the author name, videographer, participants, length (minutes), and size (MB). Authors should mask patients' faces and remove patients' names from supplemental digital content unless they obtain written consent from the patients and submit written consent with the manuscript. Copyright and permission forms for article content including supplemental digital content must be completed at the time of submission.
     
    Supplemental Digital Content Size and File Type Requirements: To ensure a quality experience for viewers of supplemental digital content, authors should submit supplemental digital files no larger than 100 MB. Audio files should be submitted with the following file extensions: MP3, WMA. Video files should be submitted with the following file extensions: WMV, MOV, QT, MPG, MPEG, MP4. Video files should be formatted with a 320 × 240-pixel minimum screen size. For more information, please review publisher requirements for submitting supplemental digital content: http://links.lww.com/A142

    Data and Software Reporting and Sharing: Critical Care Explorations requires authors of all study types to share data wherever possible to support reproducibility and transparency in research. Studies that use publicly available genomic data must report the accession numbers of the datasets used from the appropriate database, e.g., Gene Expression Omnibus (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/) or ArrayExpress (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/) for gene expression data, Genbank (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genbank/) for sequencing data, or dbSNP (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/SNP/) for genetic polymorphisms. For studies that are a first published report of genomic data, the data must be deposited in the appropriate repository by the time of publication. If data are embargoed until publication, authors are encouraged to make these available to the editors and reviewers during the review process. For data of other types, authors should consider generic repositories such as Dryad (https://datadryad.org), Harvard Dataverse (https://dataverse.harvard.edu), and Open Science Framework (https://osf.io). Patient-level data should be fully de-identified and posted with appropriate permissions. Computer code and scripts should be deposited and made publicly accessible at GitHub (www.github.com).

    Statistical Considerations: For all studies, teams should consider engaging a statistical consultant at the design stage. Description of the project plan, power calculations, evaluation methods proposed, stopping rules, and related information is especially helpful when submitted as supplementary information.

    • While criteria of “significance" are the province of the study designers and analysts, the selection of tests and the thresholds for significance must be justified, including measures taken to avoid false discovery.
    • Avoid assertion and reporting of “trends" where data are incomplete or a predetermined threshold for significance is not achieved.
    • Communication of confidence intervals is preferred over listing of P values wherever possible.
    • Where P values are used, they should not be reported in isolation; a measure of effect size should also be included.
    • Sensitivity analyses should be considered when there is the potential for unmeasured confounding or numerous ways to define either exposures or outcomes.
    • Fragility analyses should be conducted where attribution of a different outcome to a small number of individuals might substantially change the results.
    • Reference (control) group selection should be appropriate for the hypothesis being tested. When selecting reference groups in retrospect, authors should carefully distinguish between covariate matching and propensity matching.

    Predictive Models: Authors presenting predictive models must include comparison with generally accepted models that address a similar prediction problem. If the performance or usability of the new model is not substantially better than generally accepted models or models previously reported, the authors must explain in their cover letter why it is important to add their new model to the collection of previously reported models. Authors presenting predictive models must either indicate that they have implemented their model in their clinical environment and report its prospective performance or else explain in the cover letter and in the manuscript why it is important to report the performance of an unimplemented model.
     
    Specific Guidance:
    Authors of causal inference studies should consult:

    • Maslove DM, Leisman DE: Causal inference from observational data: new guidance from pulmonary, critical care, and sleep journals. Crit Care Med 2019;47(1):1-2. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000003531. PMID: 30557240.

    https://journals.lww.com/ccmjournal/Fulltext/2019/01000/Causal_Inference_From_Observational_Data__New.1.aspx

    • Lederer DJ, Bell SC, Branson RD, et al: Control of confounding and reporting of results in causal inference studies: guidance for authors from editors of Respiratory, sleep, and critical care journals. Ann Am Thorac Soc 2019; 16(1):22-28. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201808-564PS.

    Erratum in: Ann Am Thorac Soc 2019; 16(2):283. PMID: 30230362.

    Authors of propensity score matching studies should consult:

    • Leisman DE: Ten pearls and pitfalls of propensity scores in critical care research: a guide for clinicians and researchers. Crit Care Med 2019; 47(2):176–185. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000003567. PMID: 30543566.

    https://journals.lww.com/ccmjournal/Fulltext/2019/02000/Ten_Pearls_and_Pitfalls_of_Propensity_Scores_in.5.aspx

    Authors of prediction modeling studies should consult:

    Types of Manuscripts Published in Critical Care Explorations: General and Specific Guidance

    Type Text Guideline
     
    Authors are encouraged to be concise and stay within the boundaries provided below. Additional information my always be included as supplemental digital content.
    Abstract Guideline
     
    Word limit: 300 words for all abstracts. See notes below for additional limits on selected article types.
    Figure and Table Guidelines
     
    Each table should be numbered and cited in sequence using Arabic numerals (i.e., Table 1, 2, 3, etc.). Table titles should appear above the table and not exceed 15 words. It is the authors' responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder(s) to reproduce figures or tables that have previously been published elsewhere.

    Reference Guidelines

     

    References should be numbered consecutively, in parentheses, in the order in which they are cited in the text and should be formatted in the National Library of Medicine style. Citations in the reference list should include all named authors, up to the first three, before adding “et al." Any “in press" articles cited within the references and necessary for the reviewers' assessment of the manuscript should be made available if requested by the editorial office.

    Standard Checklists for Article Elements
     
    Be sure to submit your checklists with the manuscript submission.
    Article Processing Charge
    (conforming submissions received prior to December 31, 2022. Submissions that do not conform as of that date will be subject to 2023 APCs).
    Original clinical reportThe main text should be 3000-3500 words. 
    • Objectives (Background)
    • Design
    • Setting
    • Patients/Subjects
    • Interventions
    • Measurements and Main Results
    • (Limitations)
    • Conclusions
    Six or fewer total tables or figures Cite original research in preference to reviews where possible. Clinical trials must be registered with an appropriate agency (e.g., clinicaltrials.gov) prior to initial enrollment.Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) Statement: latest guidelines for reporting randomized trials$1,700
    Original basic science reportThe main text should be 3000-3500 words. 
    • Context (What is the problem or knowledge gap being addressed?)
    • Hypothesis (State the overarching study hypothesis)
    • Methods and Models (What models, techniques, and methods did you use; include statistical methods)
    • Results (What are your primary findings?)
    • Interpretation and Conclusions (What new knowledge has your work generated?)
    Six or fewer tables or figures Cite original research in preference to reviews where possible.Improving bioscience research reporting: the Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines for reporting animal research$1,700
    Economic evaluation of health interventionsThe main text should be 3000-3500 words. .
    • Objectives
    • Perspective
    • Setting
    • Methods (including study design and inputs)
    • Results (including base case and uncertainty analyses)
    • Conclusions
    Six or fewer tables or figuresCite original research in preference to reviews where possible.Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) checklist$850
    Observational or cohort studyThe main text should be 3000-3500 words. .
    • Importance
    • Objectives
    • Design, Setting and Participants
    • Main Outcomes and Measures
    • Results
    • Conclusions and Relevance
    Six or fewer tables or figuresCite original research in preference to reviews where possible.Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) Statement: guidelines for reporting observational studies$850
    Narrative review The main text should be 3000-3500 words. 
    • Objectives
    • Data Sources
    • Study Selection
    • Data Extraction
    • Data Synthesis
    • Conclusions

       
    Six or fewer tables or figuresCite original research in preference to reviews where possible. $1,700
    Systematic review with or without meta-analysis  
    • Objectives
    • Data Sources
    • Study Selection
    • Data Extraction
    • Data Synthesis
    • Conclusions

       
    Six or fewer tables or figures Cite original research in preference to reviews where appropriate. Mention prior recent systematic reviews of the same or similar topics.Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) Statement$1,700
    Predictive modeling report 
    • Background
    • Objective
    • Derivation Cohort
    • Validation Cohort
    • Prediction Model
    • Results
    • Conclusion:
    Six or fewer tables or figuresReferences should identify contemporary prior work addressing the question. Cite original articles in preference to review articles.Transparent Reporting of a Multivariable Prediction Model for Individual Prognosis or Diagnosis (TRIPOD)$850
    Case report800–1500 words
    • 150 words, including at least:
    • Background (What does this case report add to the medical literature?
    • Case summary (Chief complaint, diagnosis, interventions, and outcomes)
    • Conclusion (What is the main takeaway lesson from this case?)
    Three or fewer tables or figuresReferences should include all prior case reports of the situation described.Case Reporting (CARE) guidelines for consensus-based clinical case reporting$850
    Brief report800–1500 words
    • Objectives (Background)
    • Design
    • Setting
    • Patients/Subjects
    • Interventions
    • Measurements and Main Results
    • (Limitations)
    • Conclusions
    Two or fewer tables or figures

    Cite original research in preference to reviews where possible.

    Clinical trials must be registered with an appropriate agency (e.g., clinicaltrials.gov) prior to initial enrollment.

     $850
    Commentary800–1500 words150 words, unstructuredThree or fewer tables or figuresReferences should illustrate any controversies or alternate perspectives in addition to citations supporting the commenter's position. $700

    Methodology, including performance reports of new or existing technology. Trial protocols are considered new experimental methods.

     

    Generally, around 3000 words
    • Background
    • Methods
    • Results and Conclusions
    Six or fewer tables or figuresReferences should identify alternate approaches of methodology or technology, as appropriate. $700
    Quality improvement report/studyGenerally, around 3000 words
    • Background
    • Methods
    • Results and Conclusions
    Six or fewer tables or figuresReferences should identify other single-center quality improvement efforts addressing the same or similar problems. Text should make clear why the QI approach is novel and/or better than what has been previously described. $700
    Letter to the editor1000–2500 words150 words, unstructuredThree or fewer tablesTen or fewer references preferred. $700

    ARTICLE TYPE NOTES

    • Original Articles: These are reports of data from original research. They may be implementation, clinical, translational, or basic science studies. Preference is given to carefully conducted prospective evaluations. For prospective human studies, investigators are strongly encouraged to conform to Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines during trial design. Human trials must be registered at clinicaltrials.gov or a similar registration site prior to enrollment of the first subject.
    • Economic Evaluations of Healthcare: Care should be taken to accurately describe costs (not charges) in ways that may be generalized to other critical care communities.
    • Reviews: These are comprehensive, authoritative descriptions of any subject within the scope of the journal. These articles are usually written by experts in the field.
    • Predictive Modelling Reports: These may describe nomograms, scores, traditional statistical classifiers, or artificial intelligence. Preference will be given to reports that include independent derivation and validation sets. Sufficient detail must be included to allow readers and qualified researchers to evaluate the performance of the model in their own environment.
    • Case Reports: These are reports of clinical cases that can be educational, describe a diagnostic or therapeutic dilemma, suggest an association, or present an important adverse reaction. Authors should clearly describe the clinical relevance or implications of the case. All case reports should indicate that informed consent to publish the information has been granted by the patients or their guardians.
    • Brief Reports: These are short reports of original studies or evaluations.
    • Commentaries: These are short, focused opinion articles on any subject within the scope of the journal. They are usually related to contemporary issues, such as recent research findings, and are often written by opinion leaders.
    • Methodology Articles: These present a new experimental method, test, or procedure. The method described may be new or may offer a better version of an existing method. A trial protocol is considered a new experimental method. These articles can also present evaluations of new technology and/or comparisons among new and existing technology. The technology described should have immediate relevance to the care of critically ill patients.
    • Technology Articles: These present evaluations of new technology and/or comparisons among new and existing technology. The technology described should have immediate relevance to the care of critically ill patients.
    • Quality Improvement Reports/Studies: These may be accepted for publication if they describe a novel approach or one that materially improves on a previously reported quality improvement approach (e.g., greater efficacy, lower cost). Implementation of an already described method is merely confirmatory and not exploratory.
    • Letters to the Editor: These can take one of three forms: a substantial reanalysis of a previously published article, a substantial response to such a reanalysis from the authors of the original publication, or an article that may not cover standard research but that may be relevant to readers.

    EDITORIAL REVIEW AND DISPOSITION

    All manuscripts are initially reviewed by the editor-in-chief or an editor deputized to act in that role. Submissions of low quality, low interest, and/or low priority will be rejected by the editors without further review. An associate editor will be assigned to each manuscript. If both the editor-in-chief and the associate editor think that the submission is of sufficient quality for Critical Care Explorations, the submission will be sent for rapid review. One to three additional expert reviewers will be selected, depending on the number of domains touched by the submission.

    Generally, a single cycle of review and revision will be allowed before a decision is made, although in complex cases additional cycles may be required. The goal is to limit the time from submission to decision to 25 working days. Submissions accepted for publication should be published within 23 business days of receipt of article publishing charges, provided authors return proofs within 48 hours.

    ACCEPTANCE

    All information regarding the accepted manuscript and its publication date are confidential. No information regarding the manuscript can appear in print, on television or radio, or in any electronic form until the day before its publication date. It cannot be released to the media until the day before the publication date. Publicity may be delegated to the authors' home institutions at the sole discretion of the publisher and editor-in-chief.

    Manuscripts accepted for publication are copyedited and returned to the author for approval. Authors are responsible for all statements published in their work, including any changes made by the copyeditor. Authors are encouraged to proofread all edited manuscripts carefully because final responsibility for the content lies solely with the author. The journal reserves the right to charge authors for excessive changes made to the text and figures at the page proof stage. Critical Care Explorations publications will be announced to the professions and industries via social media based on authors' identification of interested audiences.

    PUBLISHING ETHICS

    Authors are advised to review the ICMJE guidelines (http://www.icmje.org/), specifically those aspects involving the responsibilities of authors. In the event that an ethical concern is raised, this journal will typically reference the guidance offered by the Committee on Publication Ethics (https://publicationethics.org/).

    Authors are advised of the following points: First, the author list and order should be complete and settled prior to initial submission. The addition of contributors to the author roster during revision will be allowed only under special circumstances, typically only when additional studies must be undertaken consequent to a reviewer or editor request. Once a manuscript is accepted for publication, no further modification of the roster or order of authors will be permitted. Second, the journal takes no position on the proffered roster or order of authors. The corresponding author is solely responsible for ensuring that the roster is complete and that the order is satisfactory to all authors prior to submission. Authorship disputes arising subsequent to submission will be referred to the corresponding author for adjudication and resolution. Third, corresponding authors are held fully responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the submitted manuscript, including the identification and verification of all contributors and of their contributions, representations of IRB approvals, and submissions to third-party repositories describing trials and experimental procedures.

    From time to time, authors consider dividing the results of studies among several manuscripts that may or may not be simultaneously submitted to a single journal. While this practice does not disqualify any manuscript from consideration, authors are required to explicitly list prior, simultaneous, and planned publications from a study in the cover letter accompanying the submission and, in the case of unpublished manuscripts under consideration elsewhere, to include that manuscript file as a supporting material file.

    Duplicate publication, in whole or in part, is unethical and constitutes scientific misconduct. Plagiarism, including self-plagiarism, is similarly unethical. Authors are required to include any previous publications or manuscripts in preparation or review for publication elsewhere that might be perceived as duplicative as an appendix to their submission and to reference that in their cover letter for review by the editors. Unless and until a submission is rejected for publication, no part of a submitted manuscript may be used in any other manuscript regardless of the target journal, book, or other publication medium.

    [email protected] and include your manuscript number in the request.

    Contact

    Questions regarding the status of submitted manuscripts are best answered by logging on to the FAQ section of Editorial Manager. If authors need additional information regarding a manuscript, please email [email protected] and include your manuscript number in the request.​

    Correspondence can also be sent to:
    Timothy G. Buchman, PhD, MD, MCCM
    Editor-in-Chief, Critical Care Explorations
    [email protected]