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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, scientific misconduct, consent and peer review criteria. The journal follows guidance produced by bodies that include the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). To view all BMJ Journal policies, please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page.

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 behavior, they should forward their concerns to the journal. The publisher will deal with allegations appropriately.

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 a Creative Commons license to facilitate reuse of the content.  Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open requires an exclusive license that allows AAST to publish the article in the journal (including any derivative products and subsidiary rights). A non-exclusive license is available for authors that are unable to sign an exclusive license, such as US Federal Government and UK Crown employees. Authors should refer to the latest Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open Author License for more information.

As the author, you may wish to post your article in a PrePrint service, institutional or subject repository or a scientific social sharing network. For more information on author self archiving and rights to reuse content – which are dependent on the license you have obtained – please refer to the BMJ author self archiving and permissions policies page.

Article Processing Charges

Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open is an open access journal and levies an Article Processing Charge (APC) of $2,100.  The APC for Challenges in Acute Care Surgery is $500. There are no submission, color or page charges.

No payment information is requested before an article is accepted, so the ability to pay cannot affect editorial decisions. Accepted articles will not be published until payment has been received. BMJ does not refund APCs once paid.

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.

For more information on open access, funder compliance, discounts and waivers please refer to the BMJ Author Hub open access page.

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 $1,750 (excluding VAT for UK and EU authors). Members must enter their Membership ID Number on submission to receive this discount.

Manuscript Transfers

Your article will not automatically be transferred to Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open if rejected from Journal of Trauma & Acute Care Surgery; however, you can submit your paper to Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open via the journal submission site and include your previous Journal of Trauma & Acute Care Surgery manuscript ID. This will enable us to obtain your previous peer review records and expedite your manuscript.

You can also opt to have your article transferred from another BMJ journal. There will be no need for resubmission and any reviewer comments will also be shared, resulting in a reduced time to decision.

Manuscripts will be evaluated separately by Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open’s editorial team, with different criteria for acceptance. Transfer to Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open does not guarantee acceptance. Please note that transfers to Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open are still required to pay an Article Processing Charge.

Peer Review

Submissions to Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Open are unsolicited. All articles submitted are subject to peer review. The journal operates single blind 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. For more information on what to expect during the peer review process please refer to BMJ Author Hub – the peer review process.

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 in research publication; these are based on the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Please refer to our peer review terms and conditions policy.

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


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.

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 paperYou may also wish to use the language editing and translation services provided by BMJ Author Services.

If your article is accepted, you can take advantage of BMJ’s partnership with Kudos, a free service to help you maximize your article’s reach.

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.

Word Count – up to 4,000
Abstract – structured
Tables/Illustrations – up to six
References – up to 50

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


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


Infographics 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 infographics submitted to Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open must follow our established template. If you are interested in providing an infographic to accompany your article, contact our social media editors, Elliott Haut and Jason Smith.