Instructions for Authors
Heart is an international peer review journal that aims to keep cardiologists and others up to date with advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease using a balance of the highest quality original and commissioned material. The journal's prime audience is practising cardiologists and researchers worldwide, but it also endeavours to fulfil the needs of cardiologists in training as well as more general practitioners who deal with cardiovascular conditions. Heart has an active commissioning strategy of editorial, educational and review articles to augment to the original research content of the journal.
The journal attempts to handle the review process and publication as expeditiously as possible. The time from submission to first decision is about 8 weeks.
Authors can choose to have their article published Open Access for a fee of £1950 (plus applicable VAT).
Colour figure charges
During submission you will be asked whether or not you agree to pay for the colour print publication of your colour images. This service is available to any author publishing within this journal for a fee of £250 per article. Authors can elect to publish online in colour and black and white in print, in which case the appropriate selection should be made upon submission.
Article types and word counts
- Original papers
- Basic science
- Electronic only papers
- Images in cardiology
- Reviews and editorials
- Supplementary data
Heart will consider for publication articles that have been posted on ePrint servers such as the BMJ NetPrints server.
The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements and contributions and the references.
Authors submitting papers reporting original data (for example, controlled trials and intervention studies) should not exceed a limit of 3000 words, four figures and/or tables, and 30 references, and should provide a structured abstract of no more than 250 words.
Reports of randomised controlled trials should follow the revised CONSORT statement (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials.) published in JAMA (2001;285:1987-91), as closely as possible. See RCTs for more guidelines.
- Title Page
When you choose a title bear in mind that others will have to find your work using bibliographic searches. Check that it represents the content of the paper and is not misleading. Also suggest a short running head.
The title and authors' names should be typed on the title page and in the journal style. Inconsistency in the number of forenames or initials given for an individual author will mean that several versions of an author's name will appear in the index. Authors' degrees etc are not printed in Heart.
Authors of original scientific papers must supply a structured abstract of no more than 250 words under the following headings:
- Main outcome measures
- Results - give numerical data rather than vague statements that drug x produced a better response than drug y. Favour confidence intervals over p values, and give the numerical data on which any p value is based.
- Conclusions - do not make any claims that are not supported by data in the paper.
Supply up to 5 keywords or phrases suitable for inclusion in the index. For advice see Br Heart J 1994;71:212.
- Measurements and abbreviations
- Restrict the use of abbreviations (apart from conventional units of measurement) to two or three per paper.
- Spell out each abbreviation at first mention in the abstract and paper.
- All acronyms of trials referred to in a paper should be listed alphabetically and explained in a separate glossary.
- Measurements must be given in SI units. Blood pressure should be given in mm Hg.
Clinically relevant laboratory based research will be considered for publication in Heart. Authors must ensure that the language and style of the presentation is understandable by clinicians and that the potential relevance to clinical practice is emphasised.
Word count: up to 3000 words.
Structured abstract: up to 250 words.
Tables/Illustrations: up to 4.
References: up to 30.
Authors may opt to have their paper published electronically only on Heart Online. The full paper should follow the same guidelines as articles submitted for the paper version (including a structured abstract of up to 250 words). On acceptance, authors will be asked to provide an expanded abstract (up to 500 words) which will be published in the paper version. Papers accepted for electronic only publication will be posted on Heart Online with the next available issue.
Electronic only articles are treated exactly the same as printed articles for indexing purposes and citation; they are included in the major abstracting services and are available through searches in PubMed.
Word count: up to 3000 words (excluding abstract, tables, figures, and references).
Structured abstract: should not exceed 250 words.
Tables/Illustrations: uo to 4 figures and/or tables.
References: up to 30.
Interesting clinical cases with high quality, clear images should be submitted as Images in Cardiology. These may be classical images of common cardiological conditions with a clear learning/ educational component, or more unusual cases that serve to educate the readership. Submissions that demonstrate images acquired from new imaging modalities, new technologies, or new techniques are also encouraged. Whenever possible the text should emphasise the learning/ educational points of the case.
There should be no more than three authors, 250 words, 2 references and 2 illustrations. Submissions that do not adhere to these strict limits will be returned to the author and will not be entered into the peer review system. Illustrations may be in colour if this is required but there will be a charge for preparation of colour figures.
If the image involves moving images, .avi files can be put on the web and linked to the description of the image in the paper version. For further information, see supplementary material.
In all cases you will need to provide proof of consent for publication from the patient(s).We require written consent from every patient (or guardian) regardless of whether the patient can be identified from the images.
Word count: up to 250 words.
Illustrations: up to 2.
References: up to 2.
Reviews are balanced accounts of all aspects of a particular subject including the pros and cons of any contentious or uncertain aspect.
Word count: up to 3000 words.
Brief summary: up to 100 words.
Tables/illustrations: up to 4.
References: up to 30.
Editorials are shorter, up to 1500 words and 16 references, and give the judgment of the writer based on published data.
Letters in response to articles published in Heart are welcome and should be submitted electronically via the website. Contributors should go to the abstract or full text of the article in question. At the top right corner of each article is a "contents box". Click on the "eLetters: Submit a response to this article" link.
Letters relating to or responding to previously published items in the journal will be shown to those authors, where appropriate.
Heart will publish selected eLetters in the print journal alongside the authors' responses.
Word count: Approximately 350 words.
Up to 4 references, with reference 1 being the Heart paper to which the letter refers.
Additional figures, video clips, references, tables etc can be posted as supplemental data online to any article type
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 organise 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.
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
For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the supplements guidelines (PDF).
BMJ Group is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting www.ithenticate.com.
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