ICM is a critical care journal that publishes studies covering all aspects of critical care from every country. The journal publishes studies that include critically ill patients or patients at very high risk of becoming critically ill and, in addition to those investigating critically ill patients in the ICU, welcomes studies of high-risk patients in the Emergency Department and during the perioperative period.

All papers providing pre-clinical data (experimental, animal, in-vitro, bench studies or studies without patients) should be submitted to ICM Experimental.

 All manuscripts undergo review. An initial check is conducted soon after submission to ensure that all manuscripts comply with the guidelines outlined in the Instructions for Authors. A pre-evaluation is then performed by the Editor-in-Chief and one or more Editors to determine which papers are sent for external peer review.

General information and Guidelines compliance

Authors of original papers and reviews are requested to provide the following information:

– A “Take-home message” (two-sentences) which summarizes how the manuscript adds to current knowledge. This will appear in the final published version of the paper.
– A 140-character Tweet that may appear online via the Intensive Care Medicine website or social media platforms. This Tweet will not form part of the print version of the manuscript.

ICM does not have any publication fees, and color figures are produced free of charge. Open access is available if required; please consult Springer’s website for further information.

All submissions must include references formatted according to the ICM standard:
53. Brown KL, MacLaren G, Marino BS (2013) Looking beyond survival rates: neurological outcomes after extracorporeal life support. Intensive Care Med 39:1870-1872.

If you use Zotero, the ICM styling template can be found here.

Figures should be in color if possible. Please use shades of blue for PowerPoint-style data presentations. Technical information about figures’ format can be found below.

For further details, or to submit an outline of your manuscript, please contact the Intensive Care Medicine Managing Editor at journal.icm@sls.aphp.fr 

Research articles must meet the following criteria:

  • The manuscript presents the results of primary scientific research.
  • The results have not been published in full elsewhere.
  • Analyses are performed to a high technical standard and are described in full in the manuscript.
  • Conclusions are presented in a clear and concise manner and are supported by the data.
  • Manuscripts must be written in English using standard scientific terms.
  • The research meets all applicable ethical standards.
  • The article adheres to appropriate reporting guidelines and community standards for full data disclosure.
  • All conflicts of interest should be clearly stated in the manuscript.
  • According to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, designation as an author must satisfy three conditions. The author must have:- Contributed substantially to the conception and design of the study, the acquisition of data, or the analysis and interpretation of the data
    – Drafted or provided critical revision of the article
    – Provided final approval of the version submitted for publication

When reporting the results of a randomized controlled trial, author(s) should use the CONSORT statement as a guide to preparing the manuscript (http://www.consort-statement.org/). As part of the EQUATOR network (http://www.equator-network.org/), ICM does not consider trials that have not been registered.

  • The role of authors and contributors has recently been clarified by the ICMJE

Types of papers

Original papers

Original papers must not exceed 3,000 words and should include no more than 5 illustrations or tables.

Up to 40 references are permitted.

When reporting the results of a randomized controlled trial, author(s) should use the CONSORT statement as a guide to preparing the manuscript (http://www.consort-statement.org/). As part of the EQUATOR network (http://www.equator-network.org/), ICM does not consider trials that have not been registered.

If authors consider that their manuscript needs to be longer than 3,000 words or contain more figures or tables, the reasons for this should be justified in the cover letter to the Editor-in-Chief.

Supplementary information can be published in electronic supplements without limitation.

7-day profile publications

High-quality manuscripts providing new findings from large prospective observational or interventional studies can be submitted as a 7-day profile publication, allowing important data to be rapidly available in the public domain.

7-day profile publications are initially assessed by the Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Editors, and those deemed suitable for this format sent to external reviewers. A decision will be notified to the authors within 7 working days.

Manuscripts will either be provisionally accepted, rejected or transferred to the standard peer review process. In the case of provisional acceptance, authors will have one day to address the reviewers’ comments and resubmit a revised manuscript.

Reviews articles, systematic reviews, meta-analyses

Review articles should be submitted as pre-submission enquiries, and are subject to the peer review process. Proposals for review articles should be submitted under the pre-submission enquiry category, as a two-page outline so that content can be discussed agreed at an early stage.

Non-systematic review articles must be state-of-the-art reviews objectively depicting the current best knowledge on a given topic The journal is primarily interested in receiving systematic reviews and meta-analyses that use high-quality methodology and address relevant clinical questions not already or completely addressed in the literature.

Review articles must not exceed 4,000 words and 75 references. Supplementary information can be published in electronic supplements without limitation.

Review articles must include original tables, figures, graphs, and other didactic material. They must provide unique information not available elsewhere.

My paper 20 years later

Upon invitation by the editorial board, international experts who published a landmark study 20 or more years ago have the opportunity to provide readers with a global unbiased and objective perspective on how their paper contributed to changes in clinical practice and whether their findings have subsequently been confirmed or refuted by others. Such manuscripts should not exceed 4000 words, 75 references and 5 figure or tables.

The outline can be flexible but must include discussion of the following:

  • My original findings and how I present these data today
  • How my findings have been directly or indirectly confirmed
  • How my findings have been directly or directly refuted
  • Is there now consensus in this particular field?
  • Are they any ongoing studies that will add knowledge in this area?


Editorials are always commissioned by the Editors and comment on one or more articles in the same issue of the Journal. Editorials must not exceed 1,000 words and up to 15 references, and include a mandatory table or figure.

Editorials have a maximum of 3 authors

No abstract

What’s new in Intensive Care?

What’s New articles can only be submitted after invitation by an Editor

What’s New articles are in the format of editorials and typically entitled “What’s new in …”. They must not exceed 1,000 words and up to 15 references, and include a mandatory table or figure. A maximum of three authors is permitted.

Expert clinicians and scientists are invited to outline the most striking advances in their field of expertise. The manuscript should focus on the most recent knowledge and address ICM’s global readership.

No abstract

Understanding the disease

Understanding the disease articles can only be submitted only after invitation by an Editor

They are in the format of editorials and must not exceed 1,000 words and up to 15 references. A unique image is mandatory. A maximum of three authors is permitted

Authors should outline a clinical challenge in intensive care medicine and can include a specific disease state, a syndrome, and a clinical abnormality or an intervention. The manuscript should communicate best practice in this field in a focused and structured way that is accessible to a broad group of clinical colleagues, while outlining the most recent advances.

No abstract


Submission under the Images section must be of high scientific quality and value as well as providing didactic and self-explanatory lessons. They must be unique and adhere to ethical standards with patient/relative approval when appropriate, protection of patient identity and privacy, and local ethics approval as appropriate.

The accompanying text should not exceed 200 words. A maximum of four authors is permitted

Images should not be short texts mimicking case reports and should be didactic graphic documents

No abstract or references


Correspondences provide an opportunity to debate published articles. They must not exceed 250 words, 3 references and 1 figure or table.

Correspondences are sent to the authors for rebuttal, and a final decision on publication is made at the end of this process.

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor provide an opportunity to present results of high scientific value where a short format is most appropriate. Typically, letters are dedicated to small pilot/feasibility studies and/or preliminary data. They must not exceed 500 words, 5 references and 1 figure or table. However, ESM are accepted, should you need to develop certain aspects of your letter.

The journal does not consider case reports or brief reports for publication.

From the inside

From the inside includes poetry, trivia, personal stories, thoughts and memories, sounding boards, obituaries or other qualitative materials that authors wish to share with colleagues.

Title Page

The title page should include:

  • A concise and informative title
  • A short running title
  • The name(s) of the author(s)
  • The affiliation(s) and address(es) of the author(s)
  • The e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers of the corresponding author
  • The authors’ COI


Please provide a structured abstract of 150 to 250 words which should be divided into the following sections:

  • Purpose (stating the main purposes and research question)
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusions


Please provide 4 to 6 keywords which can be used for indexing purposes.

Text Formatting

Manuscripts should be submitted in Word.

    • Use a normal, plain font (e.g., 10-point Times Roman) for text.
    • Use italics for emphasis.
    • Use the automatic page numbering function to number the pages.
    • Do not use field functions.
    • Use tab stops or other commands for indents, not the space bar.
    • Use the table function, not spreadsheets, to make tables.
    • Use the equation editor or MathType for equations.
    • Save your file in docx format (Word 2007 or higher) or doc format (older Word versions).

Manuscripts with mathematical content can also be submitted in LaTeX. We recommend using Springer nature’s LaTeX template.


Please use no more than three levels of displayed headings.


Abbreviations should be defined at first mention and used consistently thereafter.


Footnotes can be used to give additional information, which may include the citation of a reference included in the reference list. They should not consist solely of a reference citation, and they should never include the bibliographic details of a reference. They should also not contain any figures or tables.

Footnotes to the text are numbered consecutively; those to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data). Footnotes to the title or the authors of the article are not given reference symbols.


Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section before the reference list. The names of funding organizations should be written in full.

Scientific style

Generic names of drugs and pesticides are preferred; if trade names are used, the generic name should be given at first mention.


Reference citations in the text should be identified by numbers in square brackets. Some examples:

  1. Negotiation research spans many disciplines [3].
  2. This result was later contradicted by Becker and Seligman [5].
  3. This effect has been widely studied [1-3, 7].

Reference list

The list of references should only include works that are cited in the text and that have been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications and unpublished works should only be mentioned in the text. Do not use footnotes or endnotes as a substitute for a reference list.

The entries in the list should be numbered consecutively.

  • Journal article
    Gamelin FX, Baquet G, Berthoin S, Thevenet D, Nourry C, Nottin S, Bosquet L (2009) Effect of high intensity intermittent training on heart rate variability in prepubescent children. Eur J Appl Physiol 105:731-738. doi: 10.1007/s00421-008-0955-8Ideally, the names of all authors should be provided, but the usage of “et al” in long author lists will also be accepted:Smith J, Jones M Jr, Houghton L et al (1999) Future of health insurance. N Engl J Med 965:325-329
  • Article by DOI
    Slifka MK, Whitton JL (2000) Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J Mol Med. Doi:10.1007/s001090000086
  • Book
    South J, Blass B (2001) The future of modern genomics. Blackwell, London
  • Book chapter
    Brown B, Aaron M (2001) The politics of nature. In: Smith J (ed) The rise of modern genomics, 3rd edn. Wiley, New York, pp 230-257
  • Online document
    Cartwright J (2007) Big stars have weather too. IOP Publishing PhysicsWeb. http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/11/6/16/1. Accessed 26 June 2007
  • Dissertation – Trent JW (1975) Experimental acute renal failure. Dissertation, University of California

Always use the standard abbreviation of a journal’s name according to the ISSN List of Title Word Abbreviations, see www.issn.org/en/node/344


  • All tables are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.
  • Tables should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.
  • For each table, please supply a table heading. The table title should explain clearly and concisely the components of the table.
  • Identify any previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference at the end of the table heading.
  • Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data) and included beneath the table body.

Electronic Figure Submission

  • Supply all figures electronically.
  • Indicate what graphics program was used to create the artwork.
  • For vector graphics, the preferred format is EPS; for halftones, please use TIFF format. MS Office files are also acceptable.
  • Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.
  • Name your figure files with “Fig” and the figure number, e.g., Fig1.eps.

Line Art

  • Definition: Black and white graphic with no shading.
  • Do not use faint lines and/or lettering and check that all lines and lettering within the figures are legible at final size.
  • All lines should be at least 0.1 mm (0.3 pt) wide.
  • Line drawings should have a minimum resolution of 1200 dpi.
  • Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.

Halftone Art

  • Definition: Photographs, drawings, or paintings with fine shading, etc.
  • If any magnification is used in the photographs, indicate this by using scale bars within the figures themselves.
  • Halftones should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.

Combination Art

  • Definition: a combination of halftone and line art, e.g., halftones containing line drawing, extensive lettering, color diagrams, etc.
  • Combination artwork should have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi.

Color Art

  • Color art is free of charge for online publication.
  • If black and white will be shown in the print version, make sure that the main information will still be visible. Many colors are not distinguishable from one another when converted to black and white. A simple way to check this is to make a xerographic copy to see if the necessary distinctions between the different colors are still apparent.
  • If the figures will be printed in black and white, do not refer to color in the captions.
  • Color illustrations should be submitted as RGB (8 bits per channel).

Figure Lettering

  • To add lettering, it is best to use Helvetica or Arial (sans serif fonts).
  • Keep lettering consistently sized throughout your final-sized artwork, usually about 2–3 mm (8–12 pt).
  • Variance of type size within an illustration should be minimal, e.g., do not use 8-pt type on an axis and 20-pt type for the axis label.
  • Avoid effects such as shading, outline letters, etc.
  • Do not include titles or captions within your illustrations.

Figure Numbering

  • All figures are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.
  • Figures should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.
  • Figure parts should be denoted by lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).
  • If an appendix appears in your article and it contains one or more figures, continue the consecutive numbering of the main text. Do not number the appendix figures, “A1, A2, A3, etc.”

Figure Captions

  • Each figure should have a concise caption describing accurately what the figure depicts.
  • Figure captions begin with the term Fig. in bold type, followed by the figure number, also in bold type.
  • No punctuation is to be included after the number, nor is any punctuation to be placed at the end of the caption.
  • Identify all elements found in the figure in the figure caption; and use boxes, circles, etc., as coordinate points in graphs.
  • Identify previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference citation at the end of the figure caption.

Figure Placement and Size

  • When preparing your figures, size figures to fit in the column width.
  • For most journals the figures should be 39 mm, 84 mm, 129 mm, or 174 mm wide and not higher than 234 mm.
  • For books and book-sized journals, the figures should be 80 mm or 122 mm wide and not higher than 198 mm.


  • Supply all supplementary material in standard file formats.
  • To accommodate user downloads, please keep in mind that larger-sized files may require very long download times and that some users may experience other problems during downloading.

Audio, Video, and Animations

  • Always use MPEG-1 (.mpg) format.

Text and Presentations

  • Submit your material in PDF format; .doc or .ppt files are not suitable for long-term viability.
  • A collection of figures may also be combined in a PDF file.


  • Spreadsheets should be converted to PDF if no interaction with the data is intended.
  • If the readers should be encouraged to make their own calculations, spreadsheets should be submitted as .xls files (MS Excel).

Specialized Formats

  • Specialized format such as .pdb (chemical), .wrl (VRML), .nb (Mathematica notebook), and .tex can also be supplied.

Collecting Multiple Files

  • It is possible to collect multiple files in a .zip or .gz file.
  • Electronic supplementary material will be published as received from the author without any conversion, editing, or reformatting.
  • If supplying any supplementary material, the text must make specific mention of the material as a citation, similar to that of figures and tables (e.g., “. . . as shown in Animation 3”).
  • Name your files accordingly, e.g., Animation3.mpg.


  • If supplying any supplementary material, the text must make specific mention of the material as a citation, similar to that of figures and tables (e.g., “. . . as shown in Animation 3”).
  • Name your files accordingly, e.g., Animation3.mpg.


  • For each supplementary material, please supply a concise caption describing the content of the file.

Processing of supplementary files

  • Electronic supplementary material will be published as received from the author without any conversion, editing, or reformatting.

Ethical standards

Manuscripts submitted for publication must contain a statement to the effect that all human and animal studies have been approved by the appropriate ethics committee and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

It should also be stated clearly in the text that all persons gave their informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study. Details that might disclose the identity of the subjects under study should be omitted.

The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned requirements. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned requirements.

Conflict of interest

Authors must indicate whether or not they have a financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research. This note should be added in a separate section before the reference list. If no conflict exists, authors should state: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

After acceptance

Upon acceptance of your article you will receive a link to the special Author Query Application at Springer’s web page where you can sign the Copyright Transfer Statement online and indicate whether you wish to order OpenChoice and paper offprints.

Once the Author Query Application has been completed, your article will be processed and you will receive the proofs.

Open Choice

In addition to the normal publication process (whereby an article is submitted to the journal and access to that article is granted to customers who have purchased a subscription), Springer now provides an alternative publishing option: Springer Open Choice. A Springer Open Choice article receives all the benefits of a regular subscription-based article, but in addition is made available publicly through Springer’s online platform SpringerLink.

Copyright transfer

Authors will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the Publisher (or grant the Publisher exclusive publication and dissemination rights). This will ensure the widest possible protection and dissemination of information under copyright laws. Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, they agree to the Springer Open Choice Licence.


Additional offprints can be ordered by the corresponding author.

Color illustrations

Publication of color illustrations is free of charge.

Proof reading

The purpose of the proof is to check for typesetting or conversion errors and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables and figures. Substantial changes in content, e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship, are not allowed without the approval of the Editor.

After online publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an Erratum, which will be hyperlinked to the article.

Online First

The article will be published online after receipt of the corrected proofs. This is the official first publication citable with the DOI. After release of the printed version, the paper can also be cited by issue and page numbers.


Articles and abstracts must be in English.

Springer Open Choice™

Springer operates a program called Springer Open Choice. It offers authors to have their journal articles made available with full open access in exchange for payment of a basic fee (‘article processing charge’).

With Springer Open Choice the authors decide how their articles are published in the leading and well respected journals that Springer publishes. Springer continues to offer the traditional publishing model, but for the growing number of researchers who want open access, Springer journals offer the option to have articles made available with open access, free to anyone, any time, and anywhere in the world. If authors choose open access in the Springer Open Choice program, they will not be required to transfer their copyright to Springer, either.

Whatever the decision, an author’s work will always benefit from all Springer has to offer. There is no difference in the way that they are treated between Springer Open Choice articles and other articles among the well over 100,000 that Springer publishes annually. All articles will be peer-reviewed, professionally produced, and available both in print and in electronic versions on SpringerLink. In addition, every article will be registered in CrossRef and included in the appropriate Abstracting and Indexing services. Springer Open Choice articles will have the possibility of incorporating additional non-text files such as sound or video in the electronic edition.

Authorship and Contributorship

An “author” is generally considered to be someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a published study, and biomedical authorship continues to have important academic, social, and financial implications (1). In the past, readers were rarely provided with information about contributions to studies from persons listed as authors and in Acknowledgments (2). Some journals now request and publish information about the contributions of each person named as having participated in a submitted study, at least for original research. Editors are strongly encouraged to develop and implement a contributorship policy, as well as a policy on identifying who is responsible for the integrity of the work as a whole.

While contributorship and guarantorship policies obviously remove much of the ambiguity surrounding contributions, they leave unresolved the question of the quantity and quality of contribution that qualify for authorship. The ICJME has recommended the following criteria for authorship; these criteria are still appropriate for journals that distinguish authors from other contributors.

  • Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
  • When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript (3). These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Journals generally list other members of the group in the Acknowledgments. The NLM indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being directly responsible for the manuscript; it also lists the names of collaborators if they are listed in Acknowledgments.
  • Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.
  • All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
  • Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

Some journals now also request that one or more authors, referred to as “guarantors,” be identified as the persons who take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, from inception to published article, and publish that information.

Increasingly, authorship of multicenter trials is attributed to a group. All members of the group who are named as authors should fully meet the above criteria for authorship/contributorship.

The group should jointly make decisions about contributors/authors before submitting the manuscript for publication. The corresponding author/guarantor should be prepared to explain the presence and order of these individuals. It is not the role of editors to make authorship/contributorship decisions or to arbitrate conflicts related to authorship.

Contributors Listed in Acknowledgments

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgments section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Editors should ask corresponding authors to declare whether they had assistance with study design, data collection, data analysis, or manuscript preparation. If such assistance was available, the authors should disclose the identity of the individuals who provided this assistance and the entity that supported it in the published article. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged.

Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under such headings as “clinical investigators” or “participating investigators,” and their function or contribution should be described-for example, “served as scientific advisors,” “critically reviewed the study proposal,” “collected data,” or “provided and cared for study patients.” Because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions, these persons must give written permission to be acknowledged.

  1. Davidoff F, for the CSE Task Force on Authorship (2000) Who’s the author? Problems with biomedical authorship, and some possible solutions. Science Editor 23:111-119
  2. Yank V, Rennie D (1999) Disclosure of researcher contributions: a study of original research articles in The Lancet. Ann Intern Med 130:661-670
  3. Flanagin A, Fontanarosa PB, DeAngelis CD (2002) Authorship for research groups. JAMA 288:3166-3168

The above paragraph is part of: International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Available at: http://www.icmje.org/. Accessed March 30, 2009

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