Author instructions

Information for authors

The Netherlands Journal of Critical Care (NJCC) is the official journal of the Netherlands Society of Intensive Care (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Intensive Care-NVIC). The journal has a circulation of about 1,750 copies bimonthly in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Aims and scope

The NJCC publishes original reports of experimental, translational, clinical, epidemiological or implementation studies in all relevant fields of intensive care medicine. In addition, case reports, clinical images, book reviews, letters to the editor, clinical problem solving, research news and correspondence are also welcome. The NJCC has a particular interest in topics related to the Dutch and Belgian health care situation. The intended audience comprises both adult and pediatric intensivists, ICU nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacologists involved in the care for the critically ill. The members of the editorial board reflect this multidisciplinary character of Intensive Care practice and research.

All manuscripts pass through an independent review process managed by the editorial board (see below). The journal does not have any publication fees, and colour figures are reproduced free of charge. The journal is indexed by Embase, Emcare and Scopus. Application for Medline annotation is in preparation.

Ethical standards

Manuscripts reporting original research on human subjects must contain a statement that the study was approved by the Institutional Review Board and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1975 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.

All animal studies must contain a statement concerning approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (in Dutch: ‘dier ethische commissie’) and that the care and handling were in accord with recognized guideline for ethical animal treatment such as the National Institutes of Health guideline. In the Netherlands, the applicable legislation is the law on Experiments on Animals act (in Dutch: Wet op Dierproeven, WOD).

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 fulfil the above-mentioned requirements. The editors adhere to the guidelines laid down by the ICMJE concerning authorship and scientific conduct.

Informed consent

It should be stated in the text that all persons gave their informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study, or that the institutional review board waived the need for informed consent. If possible, written Informed Consent should be obtained from patients described in Case reports. Identifying information (names, initials) as well as photographs should be avoided, unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication of this information, after having seen the manuscript. This issue of the institutional review board needs to be addressed before we can proceed with ending out the manuscript for review. This is in accordance with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals (see also

Types of papers

The following manuscript types are considered for publication: original articles, review articles, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, editorials, case reports, clinical images, book reviews, letters to the editor, clinical problem solving, research news and correspondence.

Original articles

Original articles should not exceed 3.000 words (excluding abstracts, references, tables and legends). The manuscript should be clear in outline (with subheadings) for maximum clarity. The text should follow the IMRAD format and contain an abstract, introduction, materials (patients) and methods, results, discussion section and references. This should be followed by tables and figures (maximum of 6 in total) with titles above and legends below these elements. The abstract should not exceed 250 words and should be structured: background, methods, results, conclusions. Do not include references in the abstract. Authors should provide a minimum of 3 keywords, a running title, and list of not more than 30 references.

Original 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 described in full in the manuscript;
  • conclusions are presented in a clear and concise manner and are supported by the data;
  • the research meets all applicable ethical standards;
  • the article adheres to appropriate reporting guidelines and community standards for full data disclosure;
  • when reporting the results of a randomised controlled trial, author(s) should use the CONSORT statement as a guide to preparing the manuscript (;
  • conflicts of interest should be clearly stated in the manuscript (see below).

The authors are encouraged to refer to (inter)national registries of trials in their papers (such as, where applicable.

Review articles

Review articles, systematic reviews and meta-analyses should not exceed 3000 words (excluding abstract, references, tables and legends). The manuscript should contain subheadings. A maximum of 6 tables and figures (in total) are allowed. Please provide titles above and legends below these elements. The abstract should not exceed 250 words and should be structured: background, methods, results, conclusions, with the exception of a non-systematic review, which may contain a non-structured abstract. No references should be included in the abstract. Authors should provide a minimum of 3 keywords, a running title, and a list of not more than 70 references. The authors are encouraged to refer to national and international registries of trials in their papers (such as, where applicable.


Editorials are always commissioned by the Editors and comment on one or more articles in the same issue of the Journal or to a subject with high news value. Editorials should not exceed 1500 words and may include up to 15 references. Editorials have a maximum of 3 authors and no abstract. Please provide 2-3 key words.

Case reports

The text of a case report should include an abstract, introduction, case report/case history, discussion, tables and figures (2 in total), and references. The main text may be up to 2.000 words; the abstract should not exceed 150 words and may be unstructured. Please provide a minimum of 3 keywords and a list of not more than 30 references. Please include an informed consent statement from the described in the case.

Clinical problem-solving

These manuscripts consider the step-by-step process of clinical decision-making. Information about a patient is presented to an expert clinician or clinicians in stages (indicated by boldface type in the manuscript) to simulate the way such information emerges in clinical practice. The clinician responds (in regular type) as new information is presented, sharing his or her reasoning with the reader. The text should not exceed 2,500 words, and there should be no more than 15 references. Please include an informed consent statement from the patient described in the case.

Research news

Research news should be a review of a manuscript which has appeared in the past two months. It contains sections on why this study was done, the research question, how this was investigated, conclusions and the impact of the study on clinical practice. The text should not exceed 800 words with a maximum of 5 references. Contributions for this section will be commissioned; however, inquiries about contributions can be sent to

Clinical images

A clinical image should contain one or two pictures with a legend and a short case history, and should preferably not be referenced. The manuscript should succinctly present relevant clinical information, including a short description of the patient’s history, relevant physical and laboratory findings, clinical course, response to treatment (if any), and condition at last follow-up. Please provide a minimum of 3 keywords. The text should not exceed 500 words. Please include an informed consent statement from the patient described in the case.

Photo quiz

In this section relevant images for cirtical care medicine (e.g. flow and pressure curves of mechanical ventilation or haemodynamic indices, radiological images or laboratyory results) will be accompanied by a short introduction of the context. The introduction will be followed by 'what is your diagnosis?'. The answer will include a brief discussion of the literature. A photo quiz should not exceed 500 words and contain no more than two figures, and five references conform the Vancouver style. Abbreviations of measuremenst should be quoted in SI units

Book reviews

A book review should not exceed 300 words. Please mention in the header: title, author, edition and year. Scan the cover in high resolution (300 dpi/1 mb) and send with the text. With an online review, the cover can usually be downloaded. Details with the cover: title, author, edition, year, publisher, number of pages, price and ISBN number. Conclude with the name and affiliation(s) of the reviewer.

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor provide an opportunity to present results of scientific value where a short format is most appropriate. They should not exceed 1.000 words, 5 references and 1 figure or table.


Correspondence provides an opportunity to debate published articles. This should not exceed 500 words, 5 references and 1 figure or table. Correspondence is sent to the authors for rebuttal, and a final decision on publication is made at the end of this process, by the editor.

General information

Each manuscript should be accompanied by a cover letter stating the following: the complete postal address, email address and telephone number of the corresponding author and, if it is a re­submission, the previous Neth J Crit Care number and year. Receipt of the manuscript will be acknowledged within 14 days. The language of the journal is British English. Authors who are unsure of proper English usage should have their manuscript checked by someone proficient in the English language. All text should be double spaced. The manuscript pages, including references and legends, should be sequentially numbered throughout

General guidelines on house style

  • The title of the manuscript should be in typeface Times New Roman, size 20. With the exception of the first word and proper nouns, initial capitals are not used in the title.
  • The names of departments should be in typeface Times New Roman, size 12.
  • The names of hospitals should be written in English.
  • Write ‘the Netherlands’, without capitalising the t.
  • Generally, abbreviations should not be used in the title (see Table of standard abbreviations for exceptions).
  • The corresponding author only provides his/her email address on the title page.
  • Please provide a minimum of three keywords and a running title.
    The abstract of original and review articles should be written in a structured format.
  • Unstructured abstracts should take the form of a single paragraph.
  • Headings must be in bold. Use no more than two levels of headings.
    Paragraphs starting immediately under headings and subheadings should begin at the left margin. Subsequent paragraphs should be indented.
  • Non-standard abbreviations (see table of standard abbreviations) should always be explained and their use kept to a minimum.
  • Use British English spelling – except in titles of institutions that have chosen to use US spelling, e.g. Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam. Examples: anaemia (instead of anemia), oesophagus (instead of esophagus), litre (instead of liter), colour (instead of color), labelling (instead of labeling), practice (noun), and practise (verb). This should be used consistently. Use the s-form spelling, e.g. minimise, randomisation.
  • Do not use full stops in initials, abbreviations and academic titles.
  • References are numbered sequentially in the text and placed in square brackets after the punctuation. [..]
  • Genus names should be written in italics, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus, S. aureus.
  • Numbers under 10 are spelled out except for measurements with a unit (10 mmol/l) or age (4 weeks old), or when in a list with other numbers (5 mice, 6 rats, 12 gerbils).
  • When referring to tables or figures in the text, use italics; do not use a capital letter, e.g. see table 2.


Tables are to be numbered independently of the figures with Arabic numbers, with headings and are uploaded as separate documents.

  • Tables should be laid out in Word, using the table function. Other tables (e.g. in pdf format or PowerPoint) will not be accepted;
  • Do not use internal horizontal or vertical lines;
  • Do not use spaces, tabs or hard returns in tables;
  • Each piece of data must be contained in its own cell;
  • Numbers and percentages are presented in the same cell;
  • Tables should always be cited in the text in consecutive numerical order;
  • For each table, please supply a table title explaining the components of the table;
  • Tables should not exceed the printed area of the page (174 x 234 mm).


Figures should also be numbered with Arabic numbers and are uploaded in separate documents. Legends should be given in the document that contains the text, references, and tables. Authors wishing to include figures or tables that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner and provide evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their paper.

Colour figures can be published. Short, clear legends make additional description in the text unnecessary. Figures should be provided in electronic format (TIFF or JPEG).

Conflict of interest

Authors must indicate any conflict of interest. This includes a financial relationship with an organisation that sponsored the research (funding, speakers fee, consultancy fee) as well as management relations with the organisation that sponsored the research (consultant, member of board). All sources of funding obtained for the research should also be stated. A conflict of interest statement can be downloaded from the website. The completed and signed form should be uploaded as a separate document when submitting the manuscript. If no conflict exists, authors should state: All authors declare no conflicts of interest. No funding or financial support was received.

Author agreement

All authors must certify they have seen and approved the manuscript being submitted. All authors warrant the article is the authors' orginal work and has not been published previously and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. The author agreement form can be downloaded here. An article will only be published when this form is completed, signed and returned.


Copyright ownership is to be transferred in a written statement, which must accompany all manuscript submissions and must be signed by all authors. The agreement should state: ‘The undersigned authors transfer all copyright ownership of the manuscript (title of article) to the Netherlands Journal of Critical Care’. Any relevant papers that may be considered as duplicating in part the current submission should be reported.


Neth J Crit Care uses the Vancouver style of referencing. Only articles cited in the text are to be listed. They should be arranged in order of appearance in the text and numbered consecutively. Only the reference number should appear in the text between brackets. […] Include all author names (unless there are more than six, in which case abbreviate to three and add ‘et al.’), and page numbers. Use the Medline abbreviation for names of journals.

Article in journals: Calandra T, Cometta A. Antibiotic therapy for Gram­negative bacteremia. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1991;5:817-34.

Books (sections): Thijs LG. Fluid therapy in septic shock. In: Sibbald WJ, Vincent J­L (eds). Clinical trials for the treatment of sepsis. (Update in intensive care and emergency medicine, volume 19). Berlin Heidelberg New York, Springer, 1995, pp 167-90.

Conference meetings: Rijneveld AW, Lauw FN, te Velde AA, et al. The role of interferon­gamma in murine pneumococcal pneumonia. 38th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC). San Diego, Ca., 1998, pp 290.

Article/ information on website: Samenwerken aan duurzame zorg, landelijke monitor proeftuinen: Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu, 2015. (Accessed August 11, 2015, at

How to submit

Please submit manuscripts directly to the Editorial office through our online submission system at

Peer review

When a manuscript is submitted to a journal, it is assessed to see whether it meets the criteria for submission. If it does, the Editor-in-Chief will assign the manuscript to an editorial board member. This member of the editorial board will then select 3 independent peer reviewers with expertise in the relevant field of research to peer-review the manuscript and make recommendations. Peer reviewers should declare that they do not have competing interests in this task. These reviewers assess submitted manuscripts for originality, validity and significance to help editors determine whether a manuscript should be published in their journal. All decisions of the editor (accept, revise or reject) are evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief. We aim to return your manuscript within 4 weeks after submission. In case of a revision, authors are encouraged to resubmit, , the revised paper within two weeks after the editorial decision. The changes made in the revised paper should be highlighted and the manuscript accompanied by a letter with a point-to-point rebuttal.


The corresponding author will receive proofs of accepted papers by email. Corrected proofs should be returned within 48 hours of receipt.

Production process

Decisions of the editors are final. All material accepted for publication is subject to copyediting. The Neth J Crit Care reserves the right to edit for house style, clarity, precision of expression, and grammar. Authors review these changes at the proof stage but must limit their alterations in the proof to correcting errors and to clarifying misleading statements.

Table of commonly used abbreviations

AIDS acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
ALI acute lung injury
ARDS adult respiratory distress syndrome
APACHE acute physiology and chronic health evaluation
BIPAP biphasic positive airways pressure
CCU coronary care unit
COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CPAP continuous positive airway pressure
CT computed tomography
ECG electrocardiogram
ECMO extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
EEG electroencephalogram
ELISA enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
ETCO2 end-tidal carbon dioxide
HIV human immunodeficiency virus
IC intensive care
ICU intensive care unit
IM intramuscular
INR international normalised ratio
IPPV intermittent positive pressure ventilation
IV intravenous
MAP mean arterial pressure
MODS multiorgan dysfunction syndrome
MRI magnetic resonance imaging
PACU post anaesthesia care unit
PEEP positive end expiratory pressure
PET positron emission tomography
SARS severe adult respiratory syndrome
SIRS systemic inflammatory response syndrome
SOFA sequential organ failure assessment
SPECT single-photon emission computed tomography
TIA transient ischaemic attack
TRALI transfusion-related acute lung injury