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Open Heart is an online-only open access journal dedicated exclusively to publishing cardiology research. The journal aims to provide rapid publication of research through a continuous publication model. As well as publishing definitive articles, Open Heart will consider protocols. All articles published in Open Heart will have been sent for peer review. Reviewers will not be asked to judge importance or breadth of appeal. Readers will be able to make these judgements for themselves. Additional material (figures, video clips, references, tables etc.) can be published online as supplementary data for any article type.

Editorial policy

Open Heart 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, Open Heart 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 Open Heart 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, Open Heart adheres to the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access. Articles are published under an exclusive licence or non-exclusive licence 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 Open Heart Author Licence. More information on copyright and authors’ rights.
When publishing in Open Heart, 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

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.

Article transfer service

BMJ and the British Cardiovascular Society are 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; without the need to resubmit or reformat.
Authors who submit to Heart and are rejected will be offered the option of transferring to Open Heart. 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 transfers@bmj.com

Article processing charges

Open Heart is an open access journal and levies an Article Processing Charge (APC) of 2,000 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). The APC for a study protocol or viewpoint is 1,000 GBP. There are no submission, colour or page charges. There is a 25% discount for articles where the corresponding author is a British Cardiovascular Society member or where the corresponding author has reviewed for Open Heart within the previous 12 months. These discounts cannot be combined.

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.

Provenance and peer review

Open Heart submissions are predominantly 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. 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 – your paper’s journey. 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.
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 www.ithenticate.com. Reader responses, questions and comments to published content are welcomed by Open Heart; these should be submitted electronically via the journals website. Please find further details on how to publish a response and the terms and requirements.

Data sharing

Open Heart adheres to BMJ's Tier 3 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. All research articles must contain a Data Availability Statement. For more information and FAQs, please see BMJ's full Data Sharing Policy page.
Authors that provide all research data within the article, as supplementary information, or in a publicly available data repository (for which the link is provided in the article) are eligible for a 25% discount on the Open Heart article processing charge.

ORCID

Open Heart 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 Open Heart; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed. Find out more about responses and how to submit a response.

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. Authors are also encouraged to provide their Twitter handle, if they have one, to assist with promotion of the paper on social media when published. 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

Full research papers should follow the basic structure of abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, references, and tables and figures as appropriate. The abstract should be structured and not exceed 300 words. We recommend your article does not exceed 4000 words (excluding references), with up to five figures and tables. This is flexible, but exceeding this will impact upon the paper's readability. Supplementary and raw data can be placed online separately from the text, and we may request that you separate out some material into supplementary data files to make the main manuscript clearer for readers. We also recommend, but do not insist, that the discussion section is no longer than five paragraphs. Authors are encouraged to submit figures and images in colour as there are no colour charges. When submitting your manuscript you will be asked to choose one subject area that most closely relates to the topic of your article. Your paper will be published under this section heading on the journal’s table of contents. You will also be asked to select specific keywords to assist in the identification of suitable reviewers.
  • What is already known on this topic - summarise 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

This article type includes all research reviews that systematically synthesise evidence (e.g. Systematic reviews, Meta-analysis, Scoping reviews, Mixed methods reviews, etc). Please include the research type in your title to make the nature of your study clear.
Please see Original research for more guidance on article requirements.

Protocol

Protocol manuscripts should report planned or ongoing studies. If data collection is complete, we will not consider the manuscript. Open Heart will consider for publication protocols for any study design, including observational studies and systematic reviews. Publishing study protocols enables researchers and funding bodies to stay up to date in their fields by providing exposure to research activity that may not otherwise be widely publicised. This can help prevent unnecessary duplication of work and will hopefully enable collaboration. Publishing protocols in full also makes available more information than is currently required by trial registries and increases transparency, making it easier for others (editors, reviewers and readers) to see and understand any deviations from the protocol that occur during the conduct of the study. Protocols should follow the following structure: Title: this should include the specific study type, e.g. randomised controlled trial. Abstract: this should be structured with the following sections. Introduction; Methods and analysis; Ethics and dissemination. Registration details should be included as a final section, if appropriate. Introduction: explain the rationale for the study and what evidence gap it may fill. Appropriate previous literature should be referenced, including relevant systematic reviews.
Methods and analysis: provide a full description of the study design, including the following. How the sample will be selected; interventions to be measured; the sample size calculation (drawing on previous literature) with an estimate of how many participants will be needed for the primary outcome to be statistically, clinically and/or politically significant; what outcomes will be measured, when and how; a data analysis plan. Ethics and dissemination: ethical and safety considerations and any dissemination plan (publications, data deposition and curation) should be covered here. Full references. Authors' contributions: state how each author was involved in writing the protocol. Funding statement: preferably worded as follows. Either: 'This work was supported by [name of funder] grant number [xxx]' or 'This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors'. Competing interests statement. 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 topic - summarise 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.

Viewpoint

Unsolicited viewpoint articles on interesting topics in cardiology are considered for publication. These differ from editorials in that they provide authors with an opportunity to express their own personal views and opinions on a specific topic or theme, which may be controversial.
An abstract is optional but should not exceed 300 words. We recommend your article does not exceed 2500 words, with up to 30 references and up to three figures and/or tables. This is flexible, but exceeding this will impact upon the paper's readability.

Editorial and Review

Occasional editorials and reviews will be published, and will usually be commissioned by the Editor. Authors wishing to publish unsolicited review articles are invited to contact the Editor prior to submission to discuss their manuscript.

Supplements

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.
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
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