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Information for Authors

These guidelines have been adapted from the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE Recommendations, formerly the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts) (

I. Manuscript Submission

II. Conditions for Publication

  1. Scientific Responsibility (Authorship)
  2. Exclusive Publication
  3. Conflict of Interest
  4. Copyright Transfer

III. Review, Processing, and Reprints

  1. Editing
  2. Ownership
  3. Reprints

IV. Electronic Manuscript Preparation

  1. Title Page
  2. Abstract and Key Words
  3. Text (Content and Style)
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. References
  6. Tables
  7. Figures: General Information
  8. Legends for Figures

V. Digital Image Guide

  1. Requirements
  2. Diagnostic Images
  3. Electrocardiograms
  4. Photographs and Photomicrographs
  5. Line Art: Drawings
  6. Statistical Graphs

VI. Motion Image Guide

VII. Special Sections: Requirements

  1. Images in Cardiovascular Medicine
  2. Coronary Anomalies
  3. Peabody’s Corner
  4. Focus on ECGs
  5. Letters to the Editor

VIII. Written Permissions

IX. Submission Checklist

I. Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts may be submitted electronically through Editorial Manager™ ( Authors who mail manuscripts or images to the Journal will be asked to register at Editorial Manager and submit electronic files. Conditions for Publication forms and permissions may be e-mailed to, mailed to Texas Heart Institute Journal, MC 1-194, 1101 Bates Street, Suite P-514, Houston, TX 77030, USA, or faxed to 832-355-3714.

The Journal publishes these types of articles:

II. Conditions for Publication

After submitting a manuscript, all authors must sign a Conditions for Publication form to confirm scientific responsibility, attest to exclusive publication, certify that any commercial associations do not create any conflict of interest, and agree to the transfer of copyright to the THI Journal.

A. Scientific Responsibility (Authorship). In submitting a manuscript, all authors are attesting to the fact that they have participated substantially in the treatment of the patient or conception and design of the study, in the acquisition of data, or in the analysis and interpretation of data (when applicable). They should also have participated in the writing of the manuscript and have approved the final version to be published. They should have participated sufficiently to take public responsibility for the work. If requested, they should be able to produce for examination the data upon which the manuscript is based. If possible, the number of authors should be limited to 6. Nevertheless, we recommend the inclusion of people who made substantive contributions, such as radiologists and pathologists whose studies contributed to the resolution of medical or surgical problems.

Contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be recognized in an acknowledgments section, rather than given authorship (see Acknowledgments below). Examples include technical help, writing assistance or general support from a department chair. All such persons must give written permission to be acknowledged, by signing a separate copy of the Conditions for Publication form, clearly marked with a manuscript number and “FOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ONLY” (see Written Permissions).

B. Exclusive Publication. Authors must certify that neither this manuscript nor one with substantially similar content under their authorship has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere. This includes symposia, transactions, book chapters, articles published by invitation, and preliminary publications of any kind except abstracts of 400 words or less. This does not preclude our consideration of 1) a complete report that follows publication of a preliminary report, 2) a paper that has been presented at a scientific meeting but has not appeared in print, or 3) a paper rejected elsewhere. Explanation of any potential duplicate publication should be made on the Conditions for Publication form.

C. Conflict of Interest. Authors must disclose any commercial association that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the manuscript. Research or project support from commercial firms, private foundations, and government should be acknowledged.

D. Copyright Transfer. When a manuscript is accepted for publication, print and electronic copyright ownership is transferred to the THI Journal. Copyright will not be transferred to the Journal if authors clearly indicate that the article is considered a work of the U.S. Government, is written as part of the authors’ official duties, and falls under the public domain.

III. Review, Processing, and Reprints

Manuscripts are generally reviewed by 2 or more expert consultants. The initial review process can take up to 6 months, and revisions can take up to a year for a final decision. Review comments, when available, are provided in the decision letter.

A. Editing. All manuscripts accepted for publication are edited for clarity in accordance with Journal style and returned to the author for approval. Authors are responsible for all statements made in their work, including changes made by the editors and authorized by the corresponding author.

B. Ownership. All accepted manuscripts become permanent property of the Texas Heart Institute Journal and may not be published elsewhere without written permission from the Permissions Editor.

C. Reprints. Authors are responsible for ordering their own reprints. The Texas Heart Institute neither orders reprints nor has them available.

IV. Electronic Manuscript Preparation

Document Formatting Requirements:

  • Submit manuscripts prepared in Microsoft Word or in a word processing program that supports the .doc format.
  • Set paragraph alignment at “Left” and line spacing at “Double” throughout. (An exception may be made on the title page, in order to make it fit on one page.)
  • Set page size at “Letter” (8½″ by 11″), with 1″ margins.
  • Set font size to 12-point type.
  • Arrange manuscript sections in this order (all in one document): title page, abstract, text, acknowledgments, references, tables, and figure legends.
  • Number pages consecutively, in the lower right-hand corner, beginning with the title page.
  • Do not use line-numbering.

English Language and Grammar:

The Texas Heart Institute Journal follows formal rules for written English. Authors may be required to have their manuscripts edited by a professional medical editor at their own expense.

A. Title Page Requirements (should fit on one page)

  • Sample Title Page
  • A concise, informative title for the article consisting of 20 or fewer words (no abbreviations)
  • Full name and highest relevant academic degree(s) of each author (limit of 2 degrees)
  • Names of departments and institutions where the work was completed by each individual author (use symbols to link authors to affiliations) and current affiliations if these have changed
  • Disclosures, if any
  • Sources of support in the form of grants, equipment, or drugs
  • Name of one author who is to be designated as the corresponding author, with a complete postal address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address (this is the address to whom reprint requests will be addressed unless the authors state that reprints will not be available)
  • A short title (9 or fewer words), placed at the bottom of the page and identified as a footline
  • IMPORTANT: Article title and author names must be entered precisely on the Editorial Manager submission pages so that they match the title page exactly. In addition, the corresponding author designated on Editorial Manager during the submission process MUST match the corresponding author on the title page.

B. Abstract and Key Words

The abstract must:

  • State the purpose of the study, basic procedures (study subjects or experimental animals; observational and analytic methods), main findings (specific data and statistical significance), conclusions, with emphasis on new and important aspects of the work. It should not include any information or data that are not in the text.
  • Start at the top of page 2.
  • Not exceed 250 words.
  • Not include abbreviations other than standard units of measurement.

Below the abstract, provide, and identify as such, 3 to 10 key words or phrases that will assist in cross-indexing the article. Use terms from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list available from MEDLINE/PubMed; other terms may be used if suitable MeSH terms are not yet established.

Article types that do not require abstracts or key words include Guest Editorials, Images in Cardiovascular Medicine, Peabody’s Corner, and Letters to the Editor.

C. Text (Content and Style). The texts of observational and experimental articles generally include these sections: Introduction, Patients (or Materials) and Methods, Results, and Discussion. Other articles such as case reports and reviews will need other formats.

Authors should consult representative articles in the Journal. The Texas Heart Institute’s Department of Scientific Publications also has useful information for writing different types of biomedical manuscripts, as well as general medical writing information.

  1. Protection of Human and Animal Subjects
    1. Informed Consent: Studies. Manuscripts should state formally that studies were performed in compliance with human-studies guidelines or animal-welfare regulations of the authors’ institutions and in compliance with FDA guidelines, and that informed, written consent was obtained from human subjects after the nature of the procedure was explained.
    2. Informed Consent: Patients’ Privacy and Confidentiality. Identifying information should be eliminated if not essential. When any such information is included, the patient must give informed, written consent for publication (for details, see Privacy and Confidentiality).
  2. References to Drugs. Use generic names of drugs unless the specific trade name is relevant. State the form in which the drug was used (salt or base), the amount given in relation to body weight, and the route of administration; if injected, state the volume and rate of injection. State the frequency and the time of dditional doses. Include units of measure for all drugs.
  3. Manufacturing Information. Credit suppliers of drugs, equipment, and other materials mentioned in the paper in parentheses at 1st mention, giving specific product name and model number (if applicable), company name, and location (city, state, and country).
  4. Methods. Present methods in sufficient detail to enable repetition by other investigators, citing references for published methods or statistical methods (including the statistical program and version used, and the P value that was considered statistically significant), well known or otherwise.
  5. Results. Present both positive and relevant negative results.
  6. Numbers. Provide exact numbers when possible; for example, “87 of 137 patients (63.5%)” is preferable to stating the percentage alone. Do not spell out numbers except at the beginning of a sentence.
  7. Repetition. Summarize in the text, but do not repeat, data presented in tables and figures. In most cases, detailed data from the Results section do not need to be repeated in the Discussion.
  8. Abbreviations. Avoid abbreviations in the title and abstract and keep abbreviations to a minimum in the rest of the paper. The full term should precede the 1st use of an abbreviation in the text unless it is a standard unit of measurement.
  9. Footnotes. Type footnotes, denoted with an asterisk, at the bottom of the page on which they are cited (do not confuse footnotes with references). Footnotes that contain information from articles that have been submitted but not accepted should be cited as “unpublished observations.” Written permission from the source should be provided (see Written Permissions).
  10. Units of Measurement and Symbols. Measurements of length, height, weight, and volume should be reported in metric units; temperatures, in degrees Celsius (°C); blood pressures, in millimeters of mercury (mmHg); and hematologic and clinical chemistry, in terms of the International System of Units (SI).

D. Acknowledgments. When expressing appreciation to another scientist for assistance with your research or manuscript, enclose written permission, because such an acknowledgment may imply endorsement of your data and conclusions. A separate Conditions for Publication form can be used for this purpose: write the manuscript number and “FOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ONLY” on the form (see also Written Permissions).

E. References. Cite original sources when possible. Small numbers of references to key original papers will often serve just as well as more-exhaustive lists.

  • Start the reference section at the top of a new page.
  • Cite and number references consecutively as they appear in the text. Do not use the automatic numbering feature in your word processing program. Type reference numbers manually. If you use EndNote to organize your references, click “Remove field codes” before saving the final version of your document.
  • References first cited in tables or figures should be numbered so that they will be in sequence with references cited in the text.
  • Place reference citations immediately after the term or phrase to which they are relevant.
  • Apply superscript formatting to citations, without parentheses or brackets.
  • Place the citations immediately after periods and commas (no space after punctuation).
  • Indicate ranges of citations with a hyphen (for example, 1-5).
  • Use commas without spaces between citations (examples: 1,2 or 1,3-5,10).
  • Double-check all references for accuracy, completeness, and duplication.

Our reference style is similar to that of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. List all authors up to 7. For 8 or more, list the first 6 and add “et al.” List inclusive page numbers; include specific page numbers for books as well.


  1. Standard Journal Article
  2. Maybaum S, Mancini D, Xydas S, Starling RC, Aaronson K, Pagani FD, et al. Cardiac improvement during mechanical circulatory support: a prospective multicenter study of the LVAD Working Group. Circulation 2007;115(19):2497-505.

  3. Book by 1 or More Authors (including specific page numbers)
  4. Angelini P. Coronary artery anomalies: A comprehensive approach. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1999. p. 25-150.

  5. Chapter in a Book
  6. Denfield SW, Gajarski RJ, Towbin JA. Cardiomyopathies. In: Garson A Jr, Bricker JT, Fisher DJ, Neish SR, editors. The science and practice of pediatric cardiology. 2nd ed. Vol 3. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1998. p. 1851-83.

  7. Abstract in Journal Supplement
  8. Shernan SK, Sugeng L, Weinert L, Shook D, DuPont F, Mor-Avi V, Lang RM. Real-time three-dimensional echocardiographic evaluation of prosthetic valves: Initial experience with a matrix transesophageal transducer [abstract]. Circulation 2007;116(16 Suppl II):II-400.

  9. Internet Journal Article
  10. Lin SK, McPhee DJ, Muguet FF. Open access publishing policy and efficient editorial procedure. Entropy [Internet]. 2006 [cited 2007 Jan 8];8:131-3. Available from:

    Papers accepted but not yet published may be referenced (indicate the journal but not the year, followed by “Forthcoming”). Unpublished personal observations and personal communications are not acceptable as references but may be included in the text as footnotes, denoted with an asterisk (see Footnotes).

    Authors who use EndNote may use our customized style to format references. Click on the link to download the THI Journal EndNote Style. Then save the file to your Styles folder for EndNote. (This feature is provided for your convenience while formatting your manuscript. However, before the paper is submitted, all EndNote field codes must be removed by clicking “Remove Field Codes.”)

F. Tables. Each table should appear on a separate page, numbered with Roman numerals, with a title above the table. Tables must be typed and editable. Do not insert an image of a table into the manuscript. Provide exact P values in the table. Below the table, explain all abbreviations (except for units of measure). Identify statistical measures of variations, such as standard deviation or standard error of the mean, and state what P value was considered statistically significant, if applicable. Do not submit tables that merely repeat information in the text. If tables or data are not original to you, identify the source and supply permissions to use the data, whether from a published or unpublished source.

References in tables must be part of the consecutive numbering system in the text. For example, if the text started out with references 1-6, then a table with 4 new references were cited, the references in the table would be listed as numbers 7, 8, 9, and 10. Numbering in the text would then resume with reference 11.

G. Figures: General Information. Each figure must be submitted separately according to instructions in the Digital Image Guide. Do not paste copies of images in the manuscript document.

Privacy and Confidentiality. Avoid photographs of patients; if such photographs are used, the subjects must not be identifiable (masking their eyes is inadequate). Figures should not include any written patient identification, including names, initials, and hospital numbers. Photos or illustrations that might in any way reveal the identity of a patient must be accompanied by written permission to use the photograph; moreover, the patient should be shown the manuscript and should be told that the manuscript will be available on the Internet.

Cite each figure in the text in consecutive order. If a figure has been published, acknowledge the original source and submit Written Permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material.

H. Legends for Figures. Legends for figures should be double-spaced, on a separate page from text or tables, with Arabic numbers that correspond to the figures. Supply a detailed explanation of each figure (for multipart figures, supply a legend for each separate image). Include the type of imaging used, for example transesophageal echocardiography, view (if applicable), computed tomography, etc. Define all symbols, arrows, or legends that are used to identify parts of the figures. Explain internal scale and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs.

V. Digital Image Guide

The Texas Heart Institute Journal requires that digital artwork be prepared according to professional standards. Digital files must meet Journal requirements in order to be accepted for publication.

A. Requirements

    • Submit each figure in a separate file. (Multipart figures, such as Fig. 1A and 1B, must be separated.)
    • Number each image according to the order of mention in the text.
    • Include the corresponding author’s last name and figure number in the file names (example: Smith 1).
    • Do not add “A, B, C,” labels to multipart figures; instead, follow our standard naming convention (example: Smith 2A, Smith 2B, Smith 2C).
    • For each figure with labels (arrows, abbreviations, callouts), submit a copy without labels (example: Smith 3-labeled and Smith 3-unlabeled).
    • Scan high-quality original images at the correct resolution (see specific instructions below).

    Do NOT

    • Upsample images.
    • Download images from the internet, scan images from printed pages, or capture a screen from your computer monitor.
    • Copy/paste images into other file types (examples: .doc or .ppt).

    B. Diagnostic Images. Types of diagnostic images include echocardiograms, X-rays, angiograms, and computed tomographic scans.

    • Scan or export high-quality original at 960 pixels wide (300 dpi at 3.2 inches wide).

    C. Electrocardiograms

    • Scan or export high-quality original at 3,840 pixels wide (1,200 dpi at 3.2 inches wide)
    • Select grayscale; do not scan in “index” color or “black and white.”

    D. Photographs and Photomicrographs

    • Scan or export high-quality original at 960 pixels wide (300 dpi at 3.2 inches wide)
    • If color, select RGB color mode.

    E. Line Art: Drawings

    • Scan or export high-quality original at 3,840 pixels wide (1,200 dpi at 3.2 inches wide)
    • Select grayscale or RGB; do not scan in “index” color or “black and white.”

    F. Statistical Graphs

    If you used a statistical program to generate statistical graphs, submit them in EPS format. Most statistical programs have an option to “Save as EPS” or “Export to EPS.” For example, if you used SPSS for the statistical analysis, follow these steps to create EPS files.

    1. Go to File > Export, which opens the Export Output window.
    2. Under “Document: Type,” select “None (Graphics Only)” from the drop-down list.
    3. Under “Graphics: Type,” select “EPS” from the drop-down list.
    4. Click OK.

    If you need specific instructions for other programs, please contact James Philpot at either or (832) 355-9905.
    Alternative Option: If you entered raw data into Microsoft Excel to create the graphs, you can submit them as .xls files.

    VI. Motion Image Guide

    Motion images may be included to supplement articles published in the Journal.

    IMPORTANT: Each motion image must be submitted with a single frame (“still” image) directly from the movie. The single image must be included as a consecutively numbered figure in the manuscript text, and the movie must be cited with it (example, Figure 2, Movie 1).

    Movie or animation files are required for motion images. All files submitted are subject to conversion and optimization for online use before publication.

    A. Quality. Movie files must be of the highest possible quality. Files should be saved uncompressed or with the least amount of compression possible.

    B. Length. Between 5 and 30 seconds. Diagnostic images should show at least 5 cardiac cycles.

    C. Accepted movie formats:

    1. MPEG-4 (.mp4) (Preferred format)
    2. Microsoft Audio/Video Interlaced (.avi)
    3. Apple QuickTime (.mov)
    4. MPEG (.mpg)

    D. Accepted animation format. Compuserve GIF (.gif)

    VII. Special Sections: Requirements

    A. Images in Cardiovascular Medicine.* The Images in Cardiovascular Medicine section presents high-quality images that illustrate unusual or rare clinical entities, new or emerging imaging techniques, new areas of clinical focus or techniques, or a combination of these elements.

    The text should say only what is necessary to describe the images being shown: it can be as short as 1 or 2 paragraphs. In general, the text should include a 1-paragraph description of the case and a section titled “Comments” that describes the disease or other entity shown and the method of imaging used.

    Images must conform to the specifications in our Digital Image Guide and must be deemed of acceptable publication quality before the manuscript is reviewed by the Section Editor. Authors may be referred to the Journal’s graphics specialist for advice.

    Motion images conforming to the specifications of the Motion Image Guide may be included to supplement the published article.

    Images articles should be 350–450 words at most (text + references), with a maximum of 6 authors and 8 references. Ideally, 1–4 images should be submitted, but up to 8 will be considered. No abstract or key words are required; however, a title page is required.

    *There is a $35.00 (USD) nonrefundable fee for Images in Cardiovascular Medicine papers. Fees will be payable, upon submission, by credit or debit card or your personal PayPal account; after the successful fee transaction, the paper will be reviewed. Authors eligible for waivers include THI Journal Editorial Board members, Editorial Consultants, Reviewers, and THI Professional Staff members. Please do not request a waiver unless one of the authors is eligible.

    B. Coronary Anomalies. Reports concerning congenital anomalies should be short and should emphasize individual peculiarities (e.g., clinical presentation, intervention, and imaging). The introduction and discussion sections should avoid lengthy digressions on embryology and the incidence of coronary anomalies. Rather, these sections should refer the reader to existing books and review articles.

    Include specific documentation of

    1. Typical and atypical chest pain
    2. Dyspnea, syncopal equivalents, and sudden death
    3. Coronary anomaly-related reversible ischemia (documented by echocardiographic stress tests or nuclear scintigraphy) or scarring
    4. Treatment and follow-up (including recommended changes in sports and other lifestyle habits)

    Coronary anomalies articles should contain these elements: title page, abstract, key words, introduction, case report, discussion, references, and images (with captions) if appropriate.

    Images must conform to the specifications in our Digital Image Guide.

    Motion images conforming to the specifications of the Motion Image Guide may be included to supplement the published article.

    C. Peabody’s Corner. Peabody’s Corner articles should be submitted as an editorial. During the submission process, “Peabody’s Corner” should be noted on the Author Comments page. Submissions should 1) focus on the interpersonal aspects of a specific patient–doctor experience; 2) be written in storybook fashion; 3) contain no references; and 4) not exceed 5 double-spaced typescript pages. All Journal Conditions for Publication are applicable.

    D. Focus on ECGs. Submissions for the Focus on ECGs section should present an unusual or difficult-to-interpret ECG, along with pertinent case details and a question about the ECG. This should be followed by the authors’ answer to the question, with a brief explanatory comment. An additional image or two may be submitted to illustrate the answer as needed.

    A cover letter is required to introduce yourself and your paper to the Editor-in-Chief. The text of your manuscript should contain these elements: a title page (limit number of authors to 4), a question of no more than 150 words, an answer of no more than 250 words, and a maximum of 4 supporting references in the answer section (optional). A maximum of 3 images will be allowed. Figure legends may be included, if appropriate, but are not required. (Be sure to see our Digital Image Guide; ECGs need to be scanned at very high resolution and submitted in grayscale.)

    Once an ECG article is published, a blog will be available for authors to discuss various aspects of the presented ECG. For examples, go to The discussion will close 2 weeks after the original publication.

    E. Letters to the Editor. Letters provide an opportunity to express views about a specific paper published in the Journal or to present points of scientific interest that do not require extended treatment. Letters should be double-spaced, with a maximum of 4 authors, 400 words, and 6 references. If a letter refers to a published paper, the authors of that paper will be given an opportunity to reply. If acceptable, after editorial review, both the letter and the reply will be published. Correspondence may be edited for length, grammatical correctness, and Journal style. All Journal Conditions for Publication are applicable.

    VIII. Written Permissions

      Authors are responsible for obtaining written permissions upon manuscript submission or shortly thereafter if they plan to include any of the following:
      • Previously published materials (contact copyright holder)
      • Personal observations and personal communications other than those of the authors (include direct quotation with signature of researcher, along with the month and year of observation or communication)
      • Names of contributors other than the authors, as an acknowledgment (which might imply endorsement of your data and conclusions)
      • Photographs of human subjects

      IX. Submission Checklist

      ___Cover letter with complete contact information

      ___Manuscript, including

      • Title page (required for ALL submissions)
      • Abstract (250-word maximum) and key words
      • Text
      • Acknowledgments, if any
      • References (check for accuracy and completeness); cite in numerical order in text
      • Tables (with brief titles), typed in Microsoft Word (that is, they must be editable)
      • Legends for figures; describe each part of multipart figures

      ___Figures, if any

      • Each saved as a separate file according to the section above
      • Cited in numerical order in text
      • Files named according to our naming conventions
      • Unlabeled copy for each labeled figure

      ___Motion Images

      • Each saved according to instructions above
      • Each accompanied by a still frame (obtained directly from the movie), which is included as numbered figure
      • Cited in text with the appropriate figure

      ___Permissions, if applicable

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