For Authors : Critical Care Medicine

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(updated March 21, 2022, effective April 1, 2022)


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.


Critical Care Medicine is an international, peer-reviewed journal that publishes the highest-quality scientific studies in the field of critical care medicine.


The mission of Critical Care Medicine is to communicate and discuss findings relevant to the care of critically ill patients that are novel, generalizable, and likely to change thinking or practice.


Critical Care Medicine, published continuously since 1973, is the first official journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). The journal focuses on articles that are likely to be of wide interest to the critical care community, especially to those who provide direct patient care. The journal publishes basic and translational science reports, clinical investigations, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, predictive modelling studies, advances in therapies and monitoring, implementation science reports, analytic and methodologic 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 primary reports, definitive, and actionable.

Approximately 10% to 15% of the original manuscripts submitted to the journal are accepted for publication. Manuscripts of quality that are not prioritized for publication in Critical Care Medicine are routinely considered for publication in SCCM's international, peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Critical Care Explorations, unless the authors opt out of that consideration at the time of initial submission.​


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 Medicine, 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.​​ ​ ​


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,, 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 CCM 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 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]. 


The review process is single-blinded. Editors and reviewers know the identities of the authors. After the editorial staff confirm that a submission contains the 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. If accepted for publication, the editor-in-chief will assign the manuscript for publication in print and online or online only. The editor-in-chief may request one or more editorial commentaries.

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 supporting materials, 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 Medicine welcomes submissions from its editors and editorial board members. To manage conflicts 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 Medicine 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. Because 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.


Critical Care Medicine 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:

The process of submission to the journal now requires that all contributors—authors and collaborators—describe their role using CRediT taxonomy ( 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.


Critical Care Medicine 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 manuscript 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 Medicine. The authors of such submissions must describe (typically as an appendix included in 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.


Each contributor must complete and submit the journal's Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA), which includes a section on the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest based on the recommendations of the ICMJE's Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals ( When the corresponding author submits the manuscript, the contributors are automatically sent an email containing a link to complete the form online.

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, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) 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 NIH, Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, or other funding agencies to PubMed Central (PMC). The revised CTA 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 Research
Critical Care Medicine 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 (

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, and 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, informaiton must be included on the registration of the trial on a national site, such as or one listed at https://www/ 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 author must provide the subjects' written informed consent or that of legally authorized representives. 

Animal Research
Critical Care Medicine 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 (, which are designed toensure 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.


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.


Manuscripts must conform to Critical Care Medicine Instructions for Authors and/or the ICMJE's Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, which can be found on the ICMJE website ( 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 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, figure, and table 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 ( 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.


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 TIF 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 (
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.

Structured abstracts are required for all manuscripts (except editorials, letters, and responses to letters) submitted to Critical Care Medicine. Abstracts should contain no more than 300 words and must have the following headings: Objective, Design, Setting, Patients (for clinical investigations) or Subjects (for laboratory investigations), Interventions, Measurements and Main Results, and Conclusions. For observational studies, “Interventions" should be listed as “None." Review articles and special articles should use these headings in the abstract: Objective, Data Sources, Study Selection, Data Extraction, Data Synthesis, and Conclusions. For details regarding the preparation of structured abstracts, refer to the most current edition of the American Medical Association Manual of Style. The 300-word limit of the abstract is not included in the full article word count.

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 be organized into the following sections: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions, followed by Acknowledgments, References, and Figure Legends. Articles that do not describe primary research (e.g., forewords, reviews, editorials) may not necessarily conform to these headings.

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.

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,

  • 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: Accessed July 1, 2020

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, the journal staff 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 resolution of 300 dpi or higher. Refer to the “Creating Digital Artwork" link on the login page for additional instructions.

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 print, study a copy of Critical Care Medicine. 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.


  • 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. Color photographs will be published in the journal if use of color is vital to making the point; authors will be charged the cost of color reproduction. 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.


Authors are encouraged to prepare supplemental digital content to enhance their article's text and to be considered for online-only posting. Supplemental digital content may include readable, audio, and video materials. Tables that are too large to fit on a single printed 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 and Software Sharing 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:
Data and Software Reporting and Sharing: Critical Care Medicine 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 ( or ArrayExpress ( for gene expression data, Genbank ( for sequencing data, or dbSNP ( 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 (, Harvard Dataverse (, and Open Science Framework (OSF) ( 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 (


Article type Word count Reference limit Figure/table limit Abstract headings (300 words)
Clinical Investigation3,000506Objective, Design, Setting, Patients, Interventions, Measurements and Main Results, and Conclusions
Laboratory Investigation3,000506Objective, Design, Setting, Subjects, Interventions, Measurements and Main Results, and Conclusions
Systematic Review/ Meta-Analysis3,000within reason6Objective, Data Sources, Study Selection, Data Extraction, Data Synthesis, and Conclusions
Brief Report1,500102Structured using one of the styles above
Invited Viewpoint1,500253none
Letter to the Editor5005Not applicablenone

Guidelines for the most frequent article types submitted to the journal are summarized below.
Original Articles. These may include randomized controlled trials and other types of interventional studies, observational studies, laboratory and animal research, outcome studies, and cost-effectiveness analyses. The objective and hypothesis of these articles should be clearly stated. Information should be included about study design and methodology, including study setting and time setting; participants, including inclusion and exclusion criteria; any interventions; main outcome measures; main study results; discussion that puts the results in the context of other published literature; and conclusions. The recommended length for original manuscript is 3,000 or fewer words, not including references, tables, or figures. Original articles should include no more than six tables and figures in total (e.g., four figures and two tables) and not more than 50 references. Additional figures, tables, and explanatory material should be submitted as supplemental digital content. Exceptions will be granted rarely on a case-by-case basis.

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Critical Care Medicine requires authors to provide the following information for all submitted systematic reviews and meta-analyses as part of the submission:

Scoping reviews are inherently exploratory and are ordinarily referred to Critical Care Explorations at the time of submission.

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.

  • 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.

Authors of prediction modeling studies should consult:

Brief Reports. These should be short reports of original studies or evaluations. They should contain a short, structured abstract and no more than 10 references and one to two figures or tables. Brief reports should be no more than 1,500 words.

Letters to the Editor. Authors are encouraged to contact the corresponding author of the original article prior to submitting a letter to the journal. Corresponding author contact information is listed in the footnotes of the article before the reference list. Letters to the editor must specifically address a recent article published in Critical Care Medicine. Only in exceptional circumstance should they report new data, and those data must be summarized in a single figure or table. They should be no more than 500 words with five references that must include the original article being discussed and should be limited to no more than three authors.

Invited Editorials. These are commentaries addressing newly published articles in the journal and are by invitation only. Invited editorials should be no more than 1,500 words with a maximum of 15 references and a maximum of two figures and/or tables.
Invited Viewpoints. These are opposing positions taken in a point/counterpoint format and are by invitation only. Suggestions for topics and presenters for point/counterpoint segments may be submitted to [email protected]. Suggestions will be reviewed by the editors. Invited viewpoints should be no more than 1,500 words with a maximum of 25 references and a maximum of three figures and/or tables.
Case Reports. Case reports are no longer accepted for consideration at Critical Care Medicine. Unique case reports may be considered at Critical Care Explorations.
Narrative Reviews (including Concise Definitive Reviews). Such reviews may be proposed to the editor but will not be reviewed if unsolicited. Narrative reviews may be considered at Critical Care Explorations.

Pharmacokinetic Studies. Pharmacokinetic studies should be submitted to Critical Care Explorations unless they report on a new drug.


The editors of Critical Care Medicine seek manuscripts accompanied by high-quality datasets that can be explored by readers. The associate editor for data science and the publisher work with authors to develop tools enabling such explorations. Examples may be found on the journal website, Authors are encouraged to discuss such manuscripts with the editor-in-chief prior to submission by sending an email with the subject line “MANUSCRIPT WITH DATA VISUALIZATION" to the editor-in-chief at


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. For manuscripts moving past this initial screening, editorial board members or consultants selected by the handling associate editor will review the manuscript. Initial editorial reviews usually are completed within four weeks of manuscript submission. The time required for review of revised manuscripts is variable. For further information, please see the foreword to the May 2015 issue titled “The Review Process" (, which is also accessible as a link on the login page at the submission site. Authors and reviewers are advised of the importance of novelty, generalizability, and the probability that publication will change thinking or practice.

Authors are invited to recommend content for visual abstracts including text and graphics. If an article is accepted for publication, these recommendations may be edited and revised into an official visual abstract and can be submitted as supporting material.

Following peer review, manuscripts are typically assigned one of three initial classifications:

  • “Revise and resubmit" means that there is interest in publishing the manuscript in Critical Care Medicine, but revisions are required.
  • “Refer" means that the manuscript will not reach publication priority for Critical Care Medicine; however, the manuscript may be of sufficient quality to merit consideration of publication in another official SCCM journal such as Pediatric Critical Care Medicine or Critical Care Explorations.
  • “Reject" means that the manuscript is unsuitable for publication in present form. A resubmission may be invited if the reviewers and editors believe that additional work might make the study suitable for Critical Care Medicine.

Classifications may be modified to request independent statistical review or length modification.


Because of the high volume of submissions and limited page allotment, many high-quality manuscripts will not reach priority for publication in Critical Care Medicine due to topic, focus, or findings that may be of insufficient interest to the general readership. Unless the authors have explicitly opted out during the manuscript submission process, appropriate submissions will automatically be referred for review and possible publication in Critical Care Explorations. Authors will still be able to make corrections to their submission once it is transferred and reviewed by the editors.


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 of publication. The same applies to articles released to the media. Publicity may be delegated to the authors' home institutions at the sole discretion of the publisher and editor-in-chief.​ ​

Manuscripts may be accepted for publication in the print edition and online or for online-only publication. This decision is at the sole discretion of the 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.


Authors may deposit a preprint to a preprint server prior to the time of submission. The cover letter and title page must indicate that the article is on a preprint server and a link to the article must be supplied. The article may not be modified, updated, revised, or otherwise manipulated prior to a final editorial decision of rejection or acceptance. Following acceptance, authors may not post a revised manuscript prior to the embargo date on any publicly accessible site. Following the embargo date, authors may post a copy of the accepted manuscript on their personal website but may not otherwise disseminate the manuscript unless it has been identified as an open-access article.


For permission and/or rights to use content for which the copyright holder is the Society of Critical Care Medicine or LWW, please go to the journal's website, click on the relevant article, then click on the “Permissions" link on the left side of the page. Alternatively, email [email protected].

For translation rights and licensing queries, contact the Transla­tions Rights, Licensing & Permissions Manager, Wolters Kluwer Health (Medical Research) Ltd, 250 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8RD, UK. Phone: +44 (0) 207 981 0600.

For special projects and reprints (U.S./Canada), contact the Director of Sales, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Two Commerce Square, 2001 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Phone: 215-521-8638.

For special projects and reprints (non-U.S./Canada), contact the Translations Rights, Licensing & Permissions Manager, Wolters Kluwer Health (Medical Research) Ltd, 250 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8RD, UK. Phone: +44 (0) 207 981 0600.


Authors of accepted peer-reviewed articles have the choice to pay a fee to allow perpetual unrestricted online access to their published article to readers globally, immediately upon publication. Authors may take advantage of the open access option at the point of submission. Please note that this choice has no influence on the peer review and acceptance process. These articles are subject to the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

The article processing charge (APC) is charged on acceptance of the article and should be paid within 30 days by the author, funding agency or institution. Payment must be processed for the article to be published open access. For a list of journals and pricing please visit our Wolters Kluwer Hybrid Open Access Journals page.

Authors retain copyright
Authors retain their copyright for all articles they opt to publish open access. Authors grant Wolters Kluwer an exclusive license to publish the article and the article is made available under the terms of a Creative Commons user license. Please visit our Open Access Publication Process page for more information.

Creative Commons license
Open access articles are freely available to read, download and share from the time of publication under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution-Non Commercial No Derivative (CC BY-NC-ND) license. This license does not permit reuse for any commercial purposes, nor does it cover the reuse or modification of individual elements of the work (such as figures, tables, etc.) in the creation of derivative works without specific permission.

Compliance with funder mandated open access policies
An author whose work is funded by an organization that mandates the use of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license is able to meet that requirement through the available open access license for approved funders. Information about the approved funders can be found here.

Read and Publish Agreements

Wolters Kluwer currently has read-and-publish agreements with institutional consortia listed here.

Corresponding authors who are affiliated with the participating institution and who qualify as eligible authors* can publish their eligible articles open access in the eligible LWW journals at no direct cost to them. Please see your institution's individual policy for guidance on eligible article types and license choice. To qualify for the APC waiver, the corresponding author must provide their participating institution's name and institutional email address in the journal's submission system. On acceptance, the corresponding author will be asked to place an open access order in the publisher's payment portal where they will be able to request the APC be funded in accordance with this agreement. A $0.00 APC will then be applied.​

*Eligible authors: Corresponding authors who are teaching and research staff employed by or otherwise accredited to one of the participating institutions as well as students enrolled or accredited to one of the institutions and who want to publish open access articles.

Compliance with National Institutes of Health Accessibility Requirements  
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires authors to submit the “post-print" (the final manuscript, in Word format, after peer-review and acceptance for publication but prior to the publisher's copyediting, design, formatting, and other services) of research the NIH funds to a repository that is accessible online by all without charge. As a service to our authors, LWW will identify to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) articles that require deposit and will transmit the post-print of an article based on research funded in whole or in part by the NIH to PubMed Central.

FAQ for open access 


Authors are advised to review the ICMJE guidelines (, 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 (

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.


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

Correspondence may also be addressed to:
Timothy G. Buchman, PhD, MD, MCCM
Editor-in-Chief, Critical Care Medicine
[email protected]