Instructions for Authors

Manuscript Submission Guidelines: British Journal of Intensive Care

This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site British Journal of Intensive Care to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of British Journal of Intensive Care will be reviewed.

There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

The British Journal of Intensive Care (BJIC) is a peer-reviewed journal published annually. The journal publishes original papers, review articles, critically appraised topics and audits of interest to all those involved in caring for critically ill patients. The editorial board recognises the multidisciplinary nature of critical care and encourages submissions from all specialities involved in research, clinical practice and management.

BJIC is the official journal of the Auricle Global Society of Education and Research. The primary aims of the AGSER are to foster education and research, to develop clinical standards, to enhance patient safety and to encourage professional development.

As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

  1. What do we publish?

1.1 Aims & Scope

Before submitting your manuscript to British Journal of Intensive Care, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

1.2 Article Types

The Journal considers the following kinds of article for publication:

  •  Original articles: This is for reporting the scientific results of original clinical research. Articles should be between 2000-3000 words with up to 40 references. The article should begin with a structured abstract (background, methods, results, and conclusion), which should be no longer than 250 words. The main body of the article should be dived into: introduction, methods, results, and discussion. 
        Review articles: This is for articles undertaking an evidenced-based review of the literature relating to a specific clinical topic. The article can be a systematic review. It should be between 2000-3000 words with up to 50 references. The article should begin with an abstract of no longer than 250 words.
    •    Special articles: This section includes a broad range of articles that do not naturally fit into other categories. They should be discussed with the Editor in Chief prior to submission. The article should be between 2000-3000 words with up to 50 references. The article should begin with an abstract of no longer than 250 words.
    •    Editorials: These should be discussed with the Editor in Chief prior to submission. They should be up to 2000 words with a maximum of 20 references.
    •    Correspondence :  A letter of no more than 500 words (5 references) that is in response to a publication or raising an issue of interest. They do not require an abstract and currently these are only published online.
    •   Brief communications : A brief report of scientific data of no longer than 750 words max one figure + one table (10 references), structured like original research (introduction/methods/results/discussion). An unstructured abstract of no more than 100 words should be included.
    •   Surveys: These will only be considered for publication if the response rate is of 70% or more; if the topic or findings are of particular value, lower response rates may be acceptable. The article should be limited to 2000 words with a maximum of 20 references. The article should begin with a structured abstract (background, methods, results, and conclusion) of no longer than 250 words.
    •   Study protocols: These should describe the plan for a study that has not yet completed recruitment. It should be between 2000-3000 words with up to 30 references. The article should begin with an abstract of no longer than 250 words. The article also needs to have a one page executive summary; this will be published in the print version of the journal whilst the full article (with executive summary) will be published online. Please contact the Editor in Chief to discuss potential articles. 
    •    Guidelines: These will be national guidelines generated through a rigorous and transparent process. All potential articles must be discussed with the Editor in Chief prior to submission. Depending on the length and nature of the guidelines the editorial board will determine how the article will be published. Our standard model is that a one page executive summary will be published in the print version of the journal with the full article being published online. Other models of publication can be discussed with the Editor in Chief. 
    •    Case based discussion:  The purpose of this section is to present an exam-style discussion of a fictitious case for the purpose of education. This section is not for case reports of actual patients, the journal does not accept case reports and if submitted they will be immediately rejected without review. The case based discussion should be 1500-2500 words in length with a structured abstract (background, presentation of case, discussion) no longer than 250 words. The main article should follow the same structure i.e. background, presentation of case, discussion, then a conclusion; with the discussion forming the major component of the article. A maximum of four authors are acceptable. Please contact the Editor in Chief directly if you are unsure about the structure required for this section of the journal or wish to discuss a potential article.                                                                             

1.3 Writing your paper

1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords.

  1. Editorial policies

2.1 Peer review policy

The British Journal of Intensive Care (BJIC) adheres to a rigorous single-blind reviewing policy in which the identity of the reviewers are always concealed. Each manuscript is reviewed by at least two referees. All manuscripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible, and an editorial decision is generally reached within (eg) 4-6 weeks of submission. Reviewers will have expertise in the field and must be independent.

Reviewers will be made aware of the expectations of BJIC and the review process, whether successful or unsuccessful, will be fed back the authors. Any potential conflict of interest between the reviewer, the work, or the authors will be stated.

All scientific articles will be subject to peer review. The reviewer will consider the study design and methodology, the quality of the data and its interpretation, the usefulness of the conclusions and the quality of discussion of the study, including its limitations. In a review article, the breadth, depth and the conclusions of the review should be acceptable to the reviewer. The editors consider the discussion of opinion to be an important part of BJIC – opinion pieces will state that they constitute opinion and will also be peer-reviewed. Letters will be subject to editorial approval but are not peer reviewed.

Final decision on acceptance lies with the editor.

2.2 Authorship

Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.

The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

    1. Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
    2. Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
    3. Approved the version to be published,
    4. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.

2.3 Acknowledgements

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

2.3.1 Third party submissions

Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

  • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
  • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
  • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

Where appropriate, BJIC reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

2.4 Funding

British Journal of Intensive Care requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. 

2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

It is the policy of British Journal of Intensive Care to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.

If no declaration is made the following will be printed under this heading in your article: ‘None Declared’. Alternatively, you may wish to state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. 

When making a declaration the disclosure information must be specific and include any financial relationship that all authors of the article has with any sponsoring organization and the for-profit interests the organization represents, and with any for-profit product discussed or implied in the text of the article.

Any commercial or financial involvements that might represent an appearance of a conflict of interest need to be additionally disclosed in the covering letter accompanying your article to assist the Editor in evaluating whether sufficient disclosure has been made within the Declaration of Conflicting Interests provided in the article.

2.6 Research ethics and patient consent

Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.

Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.

For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.

Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative.

Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants.

All allegations of misconduct will be referred to the editors who will review the circumstances. Initial fact-finding will include a request to all the involved parties to state their case, and explain the circumstances, in writing. In questions of research misconduct centering on methods or technical issues, the editors may confidentially consult experts who are blinded to the identity of the individuals, or if the allegation is against an editor, an outside expert. The editors will arrive at a conclusion as to whether there is enough evidence to lead a reasonable person to believe there is a possibility of misconduct. Their goal is not to determine if actual misconduct occurred, or the precise details.

When allegations concern authors, the peer review and publication process for the manuscript in question will be halted while the process above is carried out. The investigation described above will be completed even if the authors withdraw their paper, and the responses below will still be considered. In the case of allegations against reviewers or the editors, they will be replaced in the review process while the matter is investigated. All such allegations should be kept confidential; the number of inquiries and those involved should be kept to the minimum necessary to achieve this end. Whenever possible, references to the case in writing should be kept anonymous. In the event of misconduct the following options in order of severity are available:


    • A letter of explanation to the person against whom the complaint is made
    • A letter of reprimand
    • A formal letter, including a request to the supervising authority to investigate
    • Publication of a notice of duplicate publication or plagiarism if warranted
    • Formal withdrawal or retraction of the paper from the scientific literature. This will be published in BJIC and communicated to the indexing authorities. It does not require the consent of the authors and will be reported to the institution where the author(s) work. This conforms to the International Committee of Journal Editors guidance. See
  1. Publishing Policies

3.1 Publication ethics

3.1.1 Plagiarism

British Journal of Intensive Care and AGSER take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

3.1.2 Prior publication

If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a AGSER journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication.

3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

Before publication, AGSER requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. AGSER’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants AGSER the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than AGSER.

  1. Preparing your manuscript for submission

4.1 Formatting

The preferred format for your manuscript is Word.. Word templates are available on the Homepage.

4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit AGSER Manuscript Submission Guidelines.  

Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from AGSER after receipt of your accepted article.

4.3 Supplementary material

This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article.

4.4 Reference style

References should be relevant and useful. There is no merit in large numbers of unhelpful references. All material from other papers must be referenced. The list of references is placed at the conclusion of the paper, starting on a new sheet. It should be set out as follows:

    • References must be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. They should be superscripted in the text.
    • Text references to ‘unpublished observations’ or ‘personal communications’ should not be included in the final list of references. Personal communications should be cited in the text as (Brown AB, personal communication, year). Authors are responsible for verifying that the wording of references to unpublished work is approved by the persons concerned. This should be provided in writing with the first submission of the manuscript.
    • Journals
      List names and initials of up to four authors (if more than four, list three followed by et al.), title of paper, abbreviated title of journal as it appears in Medline (in italics) year of publication, volume number, page numbers, formatted as shown in the example:  Smith PR, Jones A, Clarke EW et al. How to write an article. Br J Anaesth 2008;654:321-26.
    • Electronic references
      List author if known, or institution, title of article, title of journal or book if applicable (in italics), year of publication, volume, page numbers, available at: URL or doi, date accessed: Arrami M, Garner H. A tale of two citations. Nature (Online) 2008;451(7177):397-99. Available from: Accessed 20th January 2008.
    • Monographs
      List name of author and initials, title of book (in italics), number of edition, place of publication, publisher, year of publication: Tallis R. Hippocratic Oaths: Medicine and its Discontents. London: Atlantic Books; 2005.
    • Chapter in a book
      List chapter author, title of chapter, In: editor’s name (ed), title of book (in italics), edition, place of publication, publisher, year, pages: Hull CJ. Opioid infusions for the management of post-operative pain. In: Smith G, Covino BG, (eds). Acute Pain. London: Butterworths; 2005. p.155-79.
  1. Submitting your manuscript

British Journal of Intensive Care is hosted on OJS Track, a web based online submission and peer review system.

IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. 

Papers must be submitted via the online system. If you would like to discuss your paper prior to submission, please refer to the contact details below.

Each manuscript should contain:

(i) title page with full title and subtitle (if any). The title page should contain the following:

  • Address of the corresponding author in the top left hand corner with contact details including email
  • The title of the paper
  • All authors listed with their affiliated institutions (with first names included)
  • If different, the institution where the work was performed should be listed.
  • Any disclaimers or statement of conflict of interest
  • Any financial support received should be acknowledged
  • Five key words for indexing on the website which should be MeSH terms.

(ii) structured (where appropriate) abstract of up to 150 words

(iii) up to 10 key words

(iv) main text and word count suggested target is about 8000 words. Text to be clearly organized, with a clear hierarchy of headings and subheadings and quotations exceeding 40 words displayed, indented, in the text. Texts of a length greatly exceeding this will be considered as interest warrants and space permits.

(v) end notes, if necessary, should be signalled by superscript numbers in the main text and listed at the end of the text before the references