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25 years of Critical Care

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2022 marks the 25th anniversary of Critical Care.

Critical Care was launched in 1997 with the aim to support the development of new ideas and to be at the forefront of advancements in the field. Since its very beginning, it aimed at being innovative becoming a very early supporter of OA and the first fully OA in the field. Thanks to its Editors able to attract outstanding authors in the field, controversial and innovative topics, and highly experienced reviewers to provide comprehensive feedback to submitted manuscripts, in 25-year history Critical Care has developed into a highly respected and well-read journal with a good reputation among researchers and specialists in the field. With an IF(2020)=9.097, it is the 6th ranking journal in the WoS Critical Care Medicine subject category, the 1st ranking OA journal, and one of the most highly accessed and submitted journals at BMC, in what is a relatively new but rapidly growing field.

On this occasion we wish to thank the scientific community for the continuous support. We are especially thankful to the Editor-in-Chief, the Associate Editors, and the expert reviewers who generously contributed their talent and time to make Critical Care one of the most prestigious journals in its field. Last but not least, we are thankful to the broader readership that helped raise critical care awareness.

In the past 25 years, the journal has published novel, up-to-date studies contributing to improve the care of critically ill patients by acquiring, discussing, distributing and promoting scientific content that remains relevant to intensivists.
Now we're looking back at the great milestone achievements and highlights that have made Critical Care the field's leading journal, as it is today. 

Critical Care: 25th anniversary

Read prof. Vincent (EiC) Editorial

Our milestones

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(Journal highlights above are from 1997 onwards when Critical Care was launched  and are current to 16 March 2022)

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25 Years of Critical Care

Go through a special selection of 25 Critical Care influential contributions, one per each publication year, starting from the very beginning of our journal's prestigious history.

Tips from our Editors

Critical Care has been a great success story. It remains the only truly international journal of intensive care medicine and is open to clinical data in a way that other journals are not. Its support of our initial description of a consensus definition of acute kidney injury (the RIFLE system) was key to the development of a universally accepted definition and a research program that has changed the face of this syndrome over the last 15 years. The future of the journal is bright and it will continue to be a great vehicle for the global clinical research agenda in intensive care.

Rinaldo Bellomo
Advisory Board
Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia

As an associate editor, I am gratified how the international community comes together to provide timely, insightful critiques. It is common that reviewers will come from different continents, and I not only have the opportunity to see fantastic research before it reaches publication, but I am also privileged to learn from different scholars from across the world as they give their unique perspectives in a fair and rapid peer review process. As an author, I have had the privilege of publishing original research and editorials in the journal. It is an honor every time I am part of an authorship group that publishes in Critical Care, since I know the high standards of the journal and that my work will be both highly cited and have a direct impact. As an intensivist, I look forward to new articles published since I know I will find something that will directly impact my care at the bedside. Additionally, the journal drives my intellectual curiosity and leads to new understandings of critical care. Finally, as an educator, Critical Care publishes some of the finest papers I have ever read for teaching bedside practitioners. While there are an enormous number of papers I can point to, I would like to highlight “Passive leg raising: five rules, not a drop of fluid!” by Professors Monnet and Teboul. I have found that nearly every trainee I work with does not fully understand this topic, so every time I round or lecture about assessing volume status, I tell trainees to read this paper since the lessons taught are as relevant today as they were when it was published. As far as the future of the journal? Considering how broad the journal’s impact is today and how many people it touches, the future is unbelievably bright!

Craig Coopersmith
Associate Editor
Emory University
Atlanta, USA

Critical Care makes a large difference among all journals in the field of intensive care medicine due to the global coverage of related research aspects. The open electronic access allows immediate access of published material to all interested audiences and this is extremely appealing for those who which to rapidly disseminate their ideas. The journal manages to find a balance between pre-clinical and clinical publications and does not narrow its interests.
I always love submitting to Critical Care because of the freedom of the journal for medical writing, the ease of author guidelines and the confidence for the fair peer-review process. I remember, though, among all my publications with Critical Care my anxiety for a small research letter on the biomarker suPAR (soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor) at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter was describing the possibility of the early detection among emergency admissions of patients who would deteriorate and become in need of mechanical ventilation. Despite the inclusion of only 57 patients, the journal forecasted the merit of the finding, offered publication for what was meant to become one early management strategy registered by the European Medicines Agency 1.5-years later.
The quality of papers, the user-friendly published material and the open access guarantees the future growth. The future of Critical Care is of a high-impact journal with publications addressed to a general readership expanding well beyond the intensive care world. 

Evangelos J. Giamarellos-Bourboulis
Advisory Board 
ATTIKON University Hospital
University of Athens, Greece

My experience with Critical Care has been very positive, both as an author and a reviewer. Obviously, when an article is accepted and well received, with many citations, it is satisfying, both for the authors and for the editors. As a reviewer for the journal, I would rate the process easy in technical terms, but with the highest level of thoroughness expected by the handling editor to provide adequate quality of peer review. But, interestingly, even with a negative outcome, when my article has not been accepted for publication, the experience was positive, because the response came quickly, and I could proceed with a submission to another journal. I do hope that more authors from Eastern Europe choose Critical Care for their upcoming papers.”

Katarzyna Kotfis
Advisory Board
Pomeranian Medical University
Szczecin, Poland

Critical Care, aways focusing on the cross roads of illness but never stationary

As one of the original associated editors of Critical Care I had the honor of writing the initial editorial for this journal (Pinsky MR. Immunoregulation in Human Sepsis: Optimism in the Face of Adversity [Editorial] Critical Care 1 (1): 1-2, 1997.). The focus of that editorial was on the immune dysregulation of human sepsis. Over the next 25 years, our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms inducing sepsis, effective diagnostic approaches and potentially beneficial novel treatments have been highlighted in the journal. Although 25 years is a long time when viewed through the window of medical science, the overall structure of the scientific method remains constant despite moving from more restrictive prospective randomized clinical trials to more efficient adaptive designs to allocate patients more often to potentially beneficial treatments. Our primary focus in critical care remains the same: Sepsis. Though sepsis is the mother of most critical illnesses, it has many fathers. Pneumonia, trauma, burns and peritonitis share a common pathway toward organ failure and death. What a quarter century has brought is more powerful tools to define patterns of disease and individual patient responses, linking genetics and biomarkers with bedside physiology, helping us to understand why two patients with similar overwhelming infections can behave differently to standardized therapies. Though we are moving toward advanced analytical approaches to personalize medical decision making, the underlying need to understand the pathophysiological bases of these processes and their treatments remains paramount. Critical Care has been a beacon of science linking mechanisms of disease to treatment by bridging the expanding understanding of organ system and cellular physiology for all critical illnesses from respiratory failure, neurotrauma, acute kidney injury and infection. It has been an honor to have witnessed this progress over the journal’s initial 25 years of activity.

Michael R. Pinsky
Associate Editor
University of Pittsburgh, USA

I have served as Associate Editor at Critical Care since 2018, and have appreciated Critical Care’s commitment to timely peer review and publication (big thanks to all the reviewers and journal staff who make this possible!) whose importance associated to the accurateness in peer-reviewing has been highlighted by the COVID pandemic. Critical Care also accepts correspondence regarding short research reports not suitable for an extended manuscript, which further supports timely publication of important findings. The second thing I appreciate about Critical Care is the global research and focus. Critical care shows regional peculiarities, and as an editor, I have enjoyed reviewing manuscripts from worldwide and learning about similarities and differences in critical care structure, processes, and outcomes across countries and regions.

Hallie Prescott
Associate Editor
University of Michigan Health System
Ann Harbor, USA

I have been involved in the journal since the very beginning. J.L. Vincent recognized that extracorporeal therapies could become an interesting area of research and development and asked me top lead this section of the journal as associate editor.
The best memory I have concerns the publication of the new definition of AKI resulting from the ADQI consensus conference we had in Vicenza in 2002 (Acute Kidney Injury Network: report of an initiative to improve outcomes in acute kidney injury. RL Mehta, JA Kellum, SV Shah, BA Molitoris, C Ronco, DG Warnock, et al. (2007) Critical Care 11:R31). This paper had been rejected by a nephrology journal several times and when it has been finally accepted in Critical Care it turned out to be the most quoted paper in the history of the journal. Thank you J.L. for the vision and for being the torchbearer of Extracorporeal Therapies in intensive care medicine.

Claudio Ronco
Advisory Board
International Renal Research Institute
Vicenza, Italy

Jean Louis Vincent has always been ahead of his times. In 1997 Critical Care was established to utilize the Internet as a venue for sharing ideas, discussion and education within the intensive care community. The journal has become much more. As one of the leading critical care journals it offers high-quality, peer-reviewed information in the various topics of intensive care to improve the care of critically ill patients. It always strives to provide important, relevant and timely knowledge for research and clinical care. It has been my honor to be a member of the Advisory Board since 1998 together with other internationally recognized experts from around the world. I have always been impressed at Advisory Board meetings by the diversity of the members and the openess for new ideas and improvements. I see Critical Care continuing in the future with the same multidisciplinary approach, always pursuing the latest innovations and cutting edge manuscripts.

Charles L. Sprung
Advisory Board
Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Centre
Jerusalem, Israel

Over the last two decades I was honored to publish around 25 papers in Critical Care. It has become one of my favorite journals in the field of intensive care medicine. The high-quality review process, rapid evaluation time, the open-access format, the impactful papers, high impact factor, and the great inspiratory editor-in-chief professor Jean-Louis Vincent have convinced me to frequently consider Critical Care as the first journal to send out my research results. I have noticed during my travels over the globe that in many countries the papers have been well appreciated and the journal was very well known. I am especially happy with the marked attention given to papers in the field of metabolism and nutrition. I see a great future for the journal. Many position papers and point of view publications are setting the stage for future research. So, to disseminate critical care related work world-wide you must consider Critical Care, as it is among the top journals in this field. I would like to congratulate professor Vincent, the editorial board and staff with this great achievement and journal’s anniversary.

Arthur van Zanten
Advisory Board
Gelderse Vallei Hospital
Ede, The Netherlands