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A review of 2004, and with the new year comes a new look

2004 was a great year for Critical Care. Our impact factor increased to 1.9, making us the sixth highest ranking intensive/critical care journal. The ranking that is compiled by Thompson ISI [1] showed that Critical Care had the second largest growth in the field. A research article by Rinaldo Bellomo and colleagues [2] published in May 2004 broke all of our previous 'most accessed' records, charting over 14,000 accesses (this unprecedented visibility was made possible by the article being Open Access [3, 4]). Furthermore, our research submissions have increased by 57%. We also celebrated our 3000th published article (the 13th in the Statistics Review series, covering receiver operating characteristic curves [5]); our initial decision time for manuscripts is now 32 days, which we have reduced from 43 days in 2003; and the number of people registered on the website broke the 21,000 mark.

The Editorial Board has gained a number of new faces, but has also seen a number of its members step down. To our new members, we welcome you to the Editorial Board of Critical Care. We thank you for your support and look forward to a long and successful relationship. Our new Editorial Board members are as follows:

  • Bruno Levy

  • Can Ince

  • Christopher Farmer

  • Claudia Spies

  • Daniel De Backer

  • Djillali Annane

  • Emmanuel Rivers

  • Herbert Spapen

  • John Kellum

  • Kenneth Hillman

  • Luciano Gattinoni

  • Monty Mythen

  • Peter Pronovost

To the following members who have stepped down, we thank you for all of your help and support, wish you great success for the future, and hope that we can work with you again. The Editorial Board members who have stepped down are as follows:

  • Antonio Artigas

  • Eugen Faist

  • Graham Ramsey

  • Joachim P Boldt

  • Jonathan Cohen

  • Peter Suter

  • Joseph E Parillo

  • Konrad Reinhart

  • Lambert G Thijis

  • Paul Schumacher

  • Pierre Carli

Readers will have seen several additions to the journal over the past year, including the Statistics Review Series and the Thematic Series sections [6]. We have also launched a new type of article – the new Journal Club Critiques from the University of Pittsburgh [7]. These articles use evidence-based medicine to critically evaluate a recently published research article. The article is then open for debate, with the overall tone of truly trying to understand the implications of the study. A point is always made to answer the question, 'Based on the results of this study, should we change clinical practice?' In making these available to the online critical care community, we hope to enrich the consideration of current literature while providing an evidence-based opinion of whether each study should change clinical practice (see the editorial by Milbrandt and Vincent [8]). In 2005 we intend to continue this trend, providing our readers with the most up-to-date, educational and exciting articles, covering a wide range of topics.

Among the biggest changes readers will note this year will be to the online version of the journal. We have decided to consolidate the print and online versions by renaming the online version Critical Care, rather than Critical Care Forum. The original idea of calling the website a 'forum' was to reflect that the online version contained more than the print version – a strategy that we helped to pioneer in 1997. However, this has now become commonplace, making the need for a different name redundant (instead, we talk about having different 'versions' of the journal). The website URL will remain the same because it is already well known; we are just removing 'forum' from the title of the online version.

We hope the changes we have introduced over the past year, and will continue to make in the coming years, will increase your enjoyment of the journal. Some of the ideas we have in mind for the future include the following:

  • making more content online only, to reflect the fact that most of our users access the journal online rather than the print version;

  • finding faster ways to publish research;

  • clinical scenarios; and

  • paediatric journal club critiques.

Finally, we, the editorial team at Critical Care, thank all of our readers, authors, referees and Editorial Board members for their continued support. There are a number of referees who have reviewed several articles for us over the past year to whom we should like to extend special thanks for all of their hard work, a list of whom can be found at the end of this issue of the journal and on the website


  1. Thompson ISI[]

  2. Bellomo R, Ronco C, Kellum JA, Mehta RL, Palevsky P, the ADQI workgroup: Acute renal failure: definition, outcome measures, animal models, fluid therapy and information technology needs – the Second International Consensus Conference of the Acute Dialysis Quality Initiative (ADQI) Group. Critical Care 2004, 8: R204-R212. 10.1186/cc2872

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Tamber PS, Slade E, Vincent JL: Critical Care: a good scientfic citizen just got better. Crit Care 2003, 7: 199-200. 10.1186/cc2325

    Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. Slade E, Tamber PS, Vincent JL: Critical Care's move to fund open access. Crit Care 7: 331-332. 10.1186/cc2326

  5. Bewick V, Cheek L, Ball J: Statistics review 13: receiver operating characteristic curves. Crit Care 2004, 8: 508-512. 10.1186/cc3000

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Critical Care 's Thematic Series[]

  7. Critical Care 's Journal Club Critiques[]

  8. Milbrandt EB, Vincent JL: Evidence-based medicine journal club. Crit Care 2004, 8: 401-402. 10.1186/cc3005

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

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Correspondence to Kerrie Lapworth.

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Competing interests

KL, ER and CH are employees of BioMed Central and receive a fixed salary.

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Lapworth, K., Rahman, E. & Hubbard, C. A review of 2004, and with the new year comes a new look. Crit Care 9, 1 (2005).

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