Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open is a multi-disciplinary journal dedicated to publishing high-quality original research and reviews. The journal aims to provide rapid publication of research through its continuous online publication model. Submissions should be made through the journal’s new online submission system. All submissions are subject to peer review. Articles should not be under review or under consideration by any other journal when submitted to Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open.

Editorial policy

Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics and scientific misconduct. The journal follows guidance produced by bodies that include the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Council of Science Editors and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page, including information about our Editors’ roles and responsibilities. Authors are required to submit a statement that their study obtained ethics approval (or a statement that it was not required and why) and that participants gave informed consent. Our Editors will consider whether the work is morally acceptable as determined by the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki. In addition to this, in line with General Medical Council guidelines, an article that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual requires patients explicit consent (in the format of a signed BMJ patient consent form) before we will publish it. Please find further details on BMJ research ethics policies (human participants and animals) and consent for publication; including a link to the downloadable consent form.
To make the best decision on how to deal with a manuscript, Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open needs to know about any competing interests authors may have; this includes any commercial, financial or non financial associations that may be relevant to the submitted article. Authors must download and complete a copy of the ICMJE Conflict of Interest disclosure form. In addition to this Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open ensures that all advertising and sponsorship associated with the journal does not influence editorial decisions, is immediately distinguishable from editorial content and meets all other BMJ guidelines. Please find more information about competing interests and a link to the form. We take seriously all possible misconduct. If an Editor, author or reader has concerns that a submitted article describes something that might be considered to constitute misconduct in research, publication or professional behaviour they should forward their concerns to the journal. The publisher will deal with allegations appropriately following ICMJE and COPE guidelines. Corrections and retractions are considered where an article has already been published; corrections, expressions of concern or a retraction notices will be published as soon as possible in line with the BMJ correction and retraction policy.

Copyright and authors’ rights

As an open access journal, Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open adheres to the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access.. Articles are published under an exclusive license or non-exclusive license for UK Crown employees or where BMJ has agreed CC BY applies. For US Federal Government officers or employees acting as part of their official duties, the terms are as stated in accordance with our licence terms. Authors or their employers retain copyright. Such open access articles can be reused under the terms of the relevant Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content. Please refer to the TSACO Author License for more details. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.
When publishing in Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open, authors choose between two licence types – CC-BY-NC and CC-BY (Creative Commons open access licences require payment of an article processing charge). As an author you may wish to post your article in an institutional or subject repository, or on a scientific social sharing network. You may also link your published article to your preprint (if applicable). What you can do with your article, without seeking permission, depends on the licence you have chosen and the version of your article. Please refer to the BMJ author self archiving and permissions policies page for more information.


Preprints foster openness, accessibility and collaboration by allowing authors to make their findings immediately available to the research community and receive feedback on an article before it is submitted to a journal for formal publication. BMJ fully supports and encourages the archiving of preprints in any recognised, not-for-profit server such as medRxiv. BMJ does not consider the posting of an article in a dedicated preprint repository to be prior publication.
Preprints are reports of work that have not been peer-reviewed; Preprints should therefore not be used to guide clinical practice, health-related behaviour or health policy. For more information, please refer to our Preprint policy page.

Provenance and peer review

Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open submissions are predominantly unsolicited, all articles submitted are subject to peer review. The journal operates single anonymised peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author; usually two external reviewer reports are obtained before an Original research or Review article is accepted for publication. Articles authored by a member of a journal’s editorial team are independently peer reviewed; an editor will have no input or influence on the peer review process or publication decision for their own article. For more information on what to expect during the peer review process please refer to BMJ Author Hub – after submitting. BMJ is committed to transparency. Every article we publish includes a description of its provenance (commissioned or not commissioned) and whether it was internally or externally peer reviewed. BMJ requests that all reviewers adhere to a set of basic principles and standards during the peer review process; these are based on the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Please refer to our peer review terms and conditions policy page. TSACO recommends that reviewers read our recently drafted guide entitled “Reviewing for Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open.” This document is intended to provide reviewers with general guidelines on how to review for the journal.
Plagiarism is the appropriation of the language, ideas or thoughts of another without crediting their true source and representation of them as one’s own original work. BMJ is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. BMJ runs manuscripts through iThenticate during the peer review process. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting Reader responses, questions and comments to published content are welcomed by Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open; these should be submitted electronically via the journals website. Please find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.

Article processing charges

Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open is an open access journal and levies an Article Processing Charge (APC) of $2,652. The APC for Challenges in Acute Care Surgery is $850. There are no submission, color or page charges. As one of the founding members of the HINARI Access to Research in Health Program, we provide free access to all of our journals and journals archive to local, not-for-profit institutions in low income countries. In addition, we appreciate that some authors do not have access to funding to cover publication costs and we offer waivers through our Open Access Waiver Fund. We will accept part payment where only limited funds are available, and we offer waivers to authors in exceptional circumstances, on request. There is also a 25% discount available for articles where the corresponding author has reviewed for Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open within the previous 12 months. Affiliated Societies Discount Members of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) and sister societies; the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST), Pediatric Trauma Society (PTS) and Western Trauma Association (WTA) are eligible to receive a discounted APC as part of their member benefits. Discounted rates consist of $1,803 (excluding VAT for UK and EU authors). Members must enter their Membership ID Number on submission to receive this discount.

Waivers and discounts

BMJ journals offer waivers for the full Article Processing Charge (100% discount of the APC) where all authors are based in low-income countries. See full waiver list*. Requests for waivers should be made before or during initial submission**. If an article reports funding from a funder with an open access mandate or policy that covers paying APCs, BMJ expects that the APC will be paid. Visit our author hub to learn more about our waivers policy and how to request one. You might be eligible for institutional funding. A number of institutions have open access agreements with BMJ which can either cover the whole cost of open access publishing for authors at participating institutions or can allow authors to receive a discount of the Article Processing Charge (APC). Visit BMJ’s open access agreements page to find out whether your institution is a member and what discounts you may be entitled to. *These lists are based on the HINARI Core Offer Groups A and B, and the World Bank Country and Lending Groups, downloaded in July 2021. They will be updated annually. **Please note that applications for waivers or discounts should be made during initial submission and not after an article has been accepted. Editors are not involved in this process and the ability to pay has no bearing on editorial decisions. Payment will not be required unless your article is accepted. Accepted articles will not be published until payment has been received. BMJ does not refund APCs once paid.

Article transfer service

BMJ is committed to ensuring that all good quality research is published. Our article transfer service helps authors find the best journal for their research while providing an easy and smooth publication process. If authors agree to transfer their manuscript, all versions, supplementary files and peer reviewer comments are automatically transferred; there is no need to resubmit or reformat. Authors who submit to Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open and are rejected will be offered the option of transferring to another BMJ Journal, such as BMJ Open. Please note that the article transfer service does not guarantee acceptance but you should receive a quicker initial decision on your manuscript. Contact the Transfer Editor at

Data sharing

Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Open adheres to BMJ’s Tier 2 data policy. We strongly encourage that data generated by your research that supports your article be made available as soon as possible, wherever legally and ethically possible. We also require data from clinical trials to be made available upon reasonable request. To adhere to ICMJE guidelines, we require that a data sharing plan must be included with trial registration for clinical trials that begin enrolling participants on or after 1st January 2019. Changes to the plan must be noted in the Data Availability Statement and updated in the registry record. All research articles must contain a Data Availability Statement. For more information and FAQs, please see BMJ’s full Data Sharing Policy page.


Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open mandates ORCID iDs for the submitting author at the time of article submission; co-authors and reviewers are strongly encouraged to also connect their ScholarOne accounts to ORCID. We strongly believe that the increased use and integration of ORCID iDs will be beneficial for the whole research community. Please find more information about ORCID and BMJ’s policy on our Author Hub.

Rapid responses

A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed. Find out more about responses and how to submit a response.

Levels of Evidence

Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open requires authors to describe their study and include an assessment of their conclusion(s) by indicating the Levels of Evidence and study type at the end of their abstract. To determine the level under which a study falls, please consult the Levels of Evidence table.

Social Media

Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open urges our authors to provide a tweet that we can use to promote your work on Twitter. By supplying us with succinct, compelling posts, we can work to increase engagement with your research among your peers and bring it to the forefront of current conversations in the field. Your tweet cannot exceed 280 characters, including user handles.

Submission guidelines

Please review the below article type specifications including the required article lengths, illustrations, table limits and reference counts. The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements, contributions and references. Manuscripts should be as succinct as possible. For further support when making your submission please refer to the resources available on the BMJ Author Hub. Here you will find information on writing and formatting your research through to the peer review process and promoting your paper. We encourage authors to ensure that research articles are written in accordance with the relevant research reporting guideline. You may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services.

Original Research and Plenary Papers

Original research and plenary papers include randomized-controlled trials, laboratory and animal research, outcome studies, and economic and cost analyses. These should include a clearly-stated objective or hypothesis and information on study design and methodology, participation, interventions, outcome measurements and study results. Authors must indicate a level of evidence and study type in the abstract as outlined above. Original research and plenary papers follow the same format but should be submitted under their respective article type on our submission site ScholarOne. If your Original Research paper is accepted for publication, you will be asked to create a visual abstract to be submitted within 1 week of acceptance to the TSACO Social Media Editors at Please see linked on the right the submission guidelines and visual abstract templates.
Word Count – up to 4,000 Abstract – structured Visual Abstract – Click here for guidelines and template Tables/Illustrations – up to six References – up to 50 Please include the key messages of your article after your abstract using the following headings. This section should be no more than 3-5 sentences and should be distinct from the abstract; be succinct, specific and accurate.
  • What is already known on this topicsummarise the state of scientific knowledge on this subject before you did your study and why this study needed to be done
  • What this study adds summarise what we now know as a result of this study that we did not know before
  • How this study might affect research, practice or policy summarise the implications of this study
This will be published as a summary box after the abstract in the final published article. 

Systematic Review

Systematic reviews document the selection, discovery, critique and synthesis of evidence relevant to well-defined research questions. Please indicate inclusion of a meta-analysis in the title. Structured abstract should include background; objectives; data sources; study eligibility criteria, participants and interventions; study appraisal and synthesis methods; results; limitations; conclusions and implications of key findings; and systematic review registration number. PRISMA checklist should be followed throughout and the checklist included as a figure. Word Count – up to 4,000 Abstract – structured Tables/Illustrations – up to six References – up to 80 Please include the key messages of your article after your abstract using the following headings. This section should be no more than 3-5 sentences and should be distinct from the abstract; be succinct, specific and accurate.
  • What is already known on this topicsummarise the state of scientific knowledge on this subject before you did your study and why this study needed to be done
  • What this study adds summarise what we now know as a result of this study that we did not know before
  • How this study might affect research, practice or policy summarise the implications of this study
This will be published as a summary box after the abstract in the final published article. 


General review articles provide an overview of our current understanding of a subject and may highlight new areas of development and discovery. Review articles may contain a summary abstract.
Word Count – up to 5,000 Abstract – summary Tables/Illustrations – up to eight References – up to 100


Guidelines/Algorithms represent consensus-based clinical practice guidelines with appropriate references to support the recommendations. Guidelines may include an unstructured abstract, but this is not required.
Word Count – up to 5,000 Abstract – none Tables/Illustrations – up to eight References – up to 100

Current Opinion

Current opinion papers present the unique perspectives of contributors in articles that are not rigorously scientific and may include topics of special interest to the readership. The abstract is optional.
Word Count – up to 3,000 Abstract – summary Tables/Illustrations – up to six References – up to 40

Brief Report

Brief reports provide short descriptions of clinical or laboratory research observations that are not sufficiently developed to scientifically test hypotheses. Clinically-oriented reports should provide synthesized results. Authors should not describe a single case or a description of unusual cases.
Word Count – up to 2,000 Abstract – structured Tables/Illustrations – up to six References – up to 20

Challenges in Trauma and Acute Care Surgery

Challenges in trauma and acute care surgery are meant to provide concise overviews of surgical dilemmas. Presentation of the case and sample answers to the question, “What would you do?” should not exceed 300 words. The answer to this question, labeled “What we did and why,” along with a description of clinical management should be limited to 500 words.
Word Count – up to 800 Abstract – none Tables/Illustrations – three References – none


Word Count – up to 350 Abstract – none Tables/Illustrations – none References – none


The BMJ Publishing Group journals are willing to consider publishing supplements to regular issues. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of:
  • The journal editor, an editorial board member or a learned society may wish to organize a meeting. Sponsorship may be sought and the proceedings published as a supplement.
  • The journal editor, editorial board member or learned society may wish to commission a supplement on a particular theme or topic. Again, sponsorship may be sought.
  • The BMJPG itself may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary.
  • A sponsoring organisation, often a pharmaceutical company or a charitable foundation, that wishes to arrange a meeting, the proceedings of which will be published as a supplement.
In all cases, it is vital that the journal’s integrity, independence and academic reputation is not compromised in any way.
For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the supplements guidelines. When contacting us regarding a potential supplement, please include as much of the information below as possible.
  • Journal in which you would like the supplement published
  • Title of supplement and/or meeting on which it is based
  • Date of meeting on which it is based
  • Proposed table of contents with provisional article titles and proposed authors
  • An indication of whether authors have agreed to participate
  • Sponsor information including any relevant deadlines
  • An indication of the expected length of each paper Guest Editor proposals if appropriate

Visual Abstracts

Visual abstracts provide clear visual representations of your research. Consisting of illustrations and brief textual summaries of your questions, methods, and results, they are a concise and stimulating alternative to a traditional abstract. All visual abstracts submitted to Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open must follow our established template. If you are interested in providing a visual abstract to accompany your article, contact our social media editors, Elliott Haut and Jason Smith.