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Instructions to authors


Cardiovascular Research is the international journal of the European Society of Cardiology for basic and translational research, across different disciplines and areas. The Journal aims to enhance insight in cardiovascular disease mechanisms and the perspective for innovation. The Journal welcomes submission of papers both at the molecular, sub-cellular, cellular, organ, and organism level, and of clinical proof-of-concept and translational studies. Manuscripts are expected to provide a significant contribution to the field with relevance for cardiovascular biology and diseases. Manuscripts may be submitted as Original Articles, Short Communications & Method Reports or Reviews. Moreover, the Journal publishes Letters to the Editor and Editorials (the latter are usually invited), as well as comprehensive series of review as 'Spotlight Issues'.

The journal is committed to provide high quality data to the scientific community. Please see the editorial statement of the journal (Sipido, Casadei, Holvoet, Janssens, Luttun, Sampaolesi, 2014).

Manuscripts are normally evaluated by three members from an international panel of reviewers, and an editorial decision is made on average within 21 days of receipt of a manuscript. The Editors will make a first evaluation on suitability and priority based on the scope of the Journal, compliance with ethics, overall quality, and the expected contribution to the field. Manuscripts deemed unsuitable of or low priority will be returned within 1 week.

Preparation of manuscripts (for regular papers)

Original articles should not exceed 7000 words, including the abstract, manuscript text, references, and figure legends and can include up to 7 figures. The text should be typed single-spaced and pages should be numbered. Abbreviations should be kept to a minimum and should not appear in the Abstract unless they may be understood by non-expert readership. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically (see below, under Submission). Manuscripts submitted to the journal will be checked for originality using anti-plagiarism software. If referring to manuscripts that have not been published yet, either as in-press, or submitted elsewhere, a copy should be included for review by the editors and the reviewers.

(1) Title page. This is the first page of the manuscript submission file. Title length should be no longer than 120 characters, including spaces. The title should be informative and convey a clear message on the major findings of the study. Titles such as ‘Effects of..’ are not acceptable. The following information should be provided: the names of all authors including first name, department where the work was performed, all authors' affiliations, name of corresponding author with address, telephone number, fax and e-mail. Current addresses of any authors who have moved since the work was finished should also be provided. During online submission contact information of all authors must be provided. All co-authors will be notified of the submission by the Editorial Office. On acceptance of the work, the corresponding author will be asked to sign a copyright form on behalf of all authors. If there are more than 10 authors, a statement of the contribution of each to the study should be provided in the cover letter. The journal adheres to the principles for authorship as outlined by ICMJE. The number of words should be mentioned on the title page.

(2) Abstract. The abstract should be submitted as a separate file. It should be repeated in normal sized, but bold font, names of the authors and the title of the manuscript at the top of the page. The abstract should not exceed one page of the manuscript and should be 250 words or less. It should be structured into the subsections "Aims," "Methods and Results" and "Conclusion(s)."Give the name of the animal species, if applicable, in the subsection "Methods".

(3) Keywords. These will be published with the article. A maximum of 5 keywords is allowed. Keywords can be selected from the linked alphabetically formatted list or can be of the authors’ own choice.

(4) Classifications. These are used for administration purposes and selection of reviewers. During online submission they are chosen by ticking boxes in a formatted list. Authors should first choose classifications concerning Discipline, Object of Study, Level, and Expertise from the linked list and then specific classifications, listed alphabetically. Authors can tick as many keywords as they feel necessary to characterize their manuscript.

(5) Introduction. This section should clearly position the study with regard to current knowledge, provide a rationale for the current work, and state its expected contribution to the field.

(6) Methods. This section should be divided into headed subsections. To reduce a lengthy methods section, experimental details (buffer compositions, primer sequences, etc.) may be included in a separate supplementary file for online publication. However, each method must be briefly described and appropriately referenced in the main article.

Animal experiments.

Cardiovascular Research aims at detailed and high quality reporting of animal experiments and suggests authors follow the ARRIVE guidelines when preparing their manuscript (Kilkenny C, Browne WJ, Cuthill IC, et al. Improving bioscience research reporting: the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting animal research. PloS Biol 2010; 8(6): e1000412). Compulsory details to be provided include ethics as detailed in the next paragraph. Further compulsory data are the number and specific characteristics of animals used (species, strain, sex, and genetic background); the statistical procedures; experimental protocols and methods to reduce bias (randomization, blinding) and detailed analytical methods. Details of housing and husbandry should be provided when required.


For both animal and human studies the authors must declare that approval was granted by the institutional ethics review board and include the approval reference number.
All animal procedures should be performed conform the guidelines from Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes or the NIH guidelines.

Cardiovascular Research will not publish articles describing experimental procedures that have inflicted unnecessary pain or discomfort. Please see the editorial statement of this journal (Sipido, Casadei, Holvoet, Janssens, Luttun, Sampaolesi, 2014)

For investigations involving procedures with animals or isolation of animal tissues, the Methods section should provide the generic name of the anaesthetic and analgesic agent(s) used, the dose, and the route and frequency of administration. Neuromuscular blocking or paralytic agents cannot be used without general anaesthesia. Methods used for monitoring of the adequacy of anaesthesia must be described. Methods used for euthanasia should likewise be explicitly described. Reference to previously reported papers only is not sufficient and it should be clear from the manuscript itself how anesthesia, analgesia and euthanasia were performed. Detailed information on accepted methods of euthanasia can be found in the AVMA guidelines, the UK legislation, or Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament. For anesthesia a reference textbook is Paul Flecknell – Laboratory Animal Anaesthesia (Amsterdam Elsevier/Academic Press, Third Edition).

If human subjects or tissues are used, the investigation should conform to the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki, and this should be stated. The authors should state whether informed consent was given prior to the inclusion of people in the study and refer to approval of the Ethical Committee.


Experiments should be performed a sufficient number of times to allow appropriate statistical analysis and ensure robust and reliable results. Parametric testing, i.e. Student T-test, ANOVA ,.. presumes normal distribution of the data. When studying animals, or (primary) cell cultures, the number of samples should guide correct application of parametric or non-parametric testing. Power analysis will ensure proper sampling. The description of each experiment should include the number of samples, e.g. number of cells and number of animals, the number of independent or replicate experiments (i.e. performed on the same sample), a description of the error bars, the statistical test applied and the level of significance used for hypothesis testing. This information should be provided in the Figure Legend, or in the text for data not illustrated in a figure. Statistical analyses must be carried out the complete data set of independent experiment. Replicate measurements on the same sample (such as qPCR in triplicate on one sample) are not considered as independent experiments. The journal will not accept observations on small samples that do not allow robust statistics.

Data presentation.

Bar graphs with error bars do not allow direct evaluation of the distribution of the data. The Journal encourages the use of box plots or presentation of individual data as dot plots next to the average for the group with appropriate error bars.

(7) Results. If pertinent, the section may be divided into headed subsections. For presentation of data, figures are preferred to tables. Also, extensive numerical data should appear in legends to the figures rather than in the main body of text. SI units should be used.

(8) Discussion. This section should not contain paragraphs dealing with topics that are beyond the scope of the study. The discussion should compare and interpret the data with regard to previous work. Limitations should be acknowledged and discussed. The authors are encouraged to include a schematic drawing that illustrates the new mechanistic insights of the study (see Figures). The conclusions should provide a clear perspective to the findings.

(9) Funding. Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate section entitled 'Funding'. This should appear before the 'Acknowledgements' section.
The following rules should be followed:
•The sentence should begin: ‘This work was supported by …’
•The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. ‘the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health’ or simply 'National Institutes of Health' not ‘NCI' (one of the 27 subinstitutions) or 'NCI at NIH’ (full RIN-approved list of UK funding agencies) Grant numbers should be complete and accurate and provided in brackets as follows: ‘[grant number ABX CDXXXXXX]'
•Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: ‘[grant numbers ABX CDXXXXXX, EFX GHXXXXXX]’
•Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus ‘and’ before the last funding agency)
•Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number 'to [author initials]'.

An example is given here: ‘This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [AA123456 to C.S., BB765432 to M.H.]; and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [P50 CA098252 and CA118790 to R.B.S.R.].’

Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.

(10) Acknowledgements. This section should describe all relevant contributions of persons who are not a co-author on the manuscript. The journal adheres to the principles for authorship as outlined by ICMJE.

(11) Conflict of Interest. All authors must make a formal statement indicating any potential conflict of interest that might constitute an embarrassment to any of the authors if it were not to be declared and were to emerge after publication. Such conflicts might include, but are not limited to, shareholding in or receipt of a grant or consultancy fee from a company whose product features in the submitted manuscript or which manufactures a competing product. If none of the authors has a conflict of interest, then the following should be stated: ‘Conflict of Interest: none declared.’

(12) References. Authors should refer to the format as illustrated: journal names should be in italics, volume numbers in bold, and page numbers should be fully written out. In-text citations should be numerical and superscripted. The references should reflect the current knowledge and clearly position the study. The number should preferably not exceed 50.

Regular papers:

Cheng YH, Zhu P, Yang JA, Liu XJ, Dong SM, Wang XB, Chun B., Zhuang J., Zhang C.. Ischaemic preconditioning-regulated miR-21 protects heart against ischaemia/reperfusion injury via anti-apoptosis through its target PDCD4. Cardiovasc Res 2010;87:431-439.


Aaronson PI, Ward JPT, Connolly MJ. The Cardiovascular system at a glance. Wiley-Blackwell, 4th ed.,2012.

Chapter in book:

Peppa M, Uribarri J, Vlassara H. Diabetes and advanced glycoxidation end-products. In: Johnstone MT, Veves A. Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. 2nd ed. New York: Humana Press, 2005:47-71.


Like regular paper, but add (Abstract) at end.

Please note: Even if the bibliography contains more than six authors, all should be listed.

(13) Figure Legends. Figure legends should start on a new page of the manuscript, but one page may contain legends to more than one figure. Figure legends should include for each graph the number of animals/cells/observations and the statistical test applied (see above).

(14) Figures/Tables. A maximum of 7 data figures on 7 pages is allowed; an additional half-page figure highlighting in a schematic the major findings can be included. The data figures may have multiple panels but should be provided on a single page, in portrait, in the expected print size. Additional figures may be uploaded as a supplement. Tables can be included in the manuscript file. Figures should be attached as a separate file(s) during the submission process and labelled (entitled "Figure 1", for example, in the box marked "Description" visible during submission). Electronically submitted figures should be of high resolution (300 dpi or greater) and in one of the following formats: tiff (.tif), bitmap (.bmp), jpeg (.jpg), portable data format (.pdf), or postscript (.ps or .eps). Any lettering in the figures should be large enough to stand photographic reduction. Authors should prepare their figures for either one column width (84 mm) or the entire page width (175 mm). The maximum height is 240 mm. Photomicrographs should contain a scale bar that represents a given length in the figure (e.g. 5 µm). The Publisher will determine the degree of any reduction or enlargement required and in general, line drawings will be reduced to one column width if possible.

See also ‘Data Presentation’ above.

Image manipulation

Authors should aim to reduce post-acquisition processing of data to a minimum. Figures provided in the manuscript should reflect the original pictures, it is therefore not allowed to selectively remove, introduce or enhance specific features from an image, including backgrounds. Linear adjustment of contrast, brightness or color is only acceptable if applied equally to the entire image. Non-linear adjustments must be clearly stated in the figure legend. Splicing and pasting of gels (in the case of DNA/RNA gels or Western blotting) is not recommended. If necessary, the boundary between the pieces should be clearly indicated by dividing lines. Loading controls must be shown and should be derived from the same blot or justification should be provided. Authors must be prepared to submit the original picture files from which the submitted figures were derived, if requested during the review process.

(15) Colour Figures. Where colour is necessary for proper interpretation, figures should be submitted in colour, such as histology or immunostaining, or color-coded images. Manuscripts submitted in colour will be published in colour, both online and in print. For colour reproduction, authors will receive information regarding the costs from Oxford Journals after receipt of their accepted article. Each colour page in print costs approx. £350/$600/€525. Colour figures for invited Reviews and Editorials are free of charge. For further information on the preparation of electronic artwork, please see Cenveo Publisher Services website. Note also that authors are required to make a statement in their covering letter whether they agree to pay the cost of printing their colour figures (see below under "Submission").

Authors are advised to submit figures such as line or dot plots where colour is not essential in black and white or greyscale. In line graphs, different lines can be indicated with dots, dashes or symbols (♦ ◊ V X + and so on) or with labels and arrows. Bars in bar charts can be black, white, and grey, or include cross hatching.

Graphics support

Cardiovascular Research offers of a graphics service free of charge to prepare schematic drawings for authors of invited reviews and editorials. This can be extended to authors of original articles for a schematic of a proposed signaling cascade etc. but only on invitation by the editors during the final stages of review.

(16) Data deposition. All new DNA/RNA sequence data must be submitted to one of the members of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC). Members are Genbank at NCBI, the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) at EMBL-EBI and the DNA Databank of Japan. New protein sequences should be submitted to UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot. High throughput gene expression, microarray, protein array and next-generation sequencing data should be deposited in one of the public data repositories as ArrayExpress at the EBI (UK), GEO (Gene Expression Omnibus) at NCBI (US) or CIBEX (Center for Information Biology gene EXpression database) at DDBJ (Japan). Authors are encouraged to submit their data MIAME (Minimum Information About a Microarray Experiment) compliant. Submission to any data bank is sufficient to ensure entry in all.

After acceptance of the manuscript, authors are responsible for arranging data release without restriction from the date of publication. In addition to the deposition of data in public databases as detailed above, the editorial board encourages submission of additional information to the appropriate databases.

(17) Gene nomenclature. Authors should use approved gene nomenclature where this is available. Specific nomenclature guidelines can be found at the following links:
- Human
- Mouse
- Rat
- Chicken
- Xenopus
- Zebrafish

(18) Distribution of reagents. By publication in Cardiovascular Research, authors agree to share to the extent possible materials, reagents and protocols to the academic, non-commercial scientific community if requested, allowing duplication and expansion of their work. Materials and reagents to be shared include, but are not limited to: protocols, cDNA, genomic clones, DNA plasmids, antibodies, cell lines and/or mutant mice strains. Materials can be made available either through the research unit/department itself, or via public repositories (eg Addgene for plasmid DNA or specialized depositories for cell lines and genetically modified organisms). If patented, material should be made available under a license or material-transfer agreement.

Language editing pre-submission

OUP offers pre-submission language editing through Oxford Language Editing, a service for researchers all over the world. Language editing, particularly if English is not your first language, can be used to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by the journal editors and reviewers. Visit www.oxfordlanguageediting.com to find out more about the freelance editors available and the different services offered. Please note that edited manuscripts will still need to undergo peer-review by the journal.

Supplementary Data

Supplementary material can be submitted to support and enhance the scientific research. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of the article. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article online. Please organize the data properly and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. Regarding supplementary methods, please note that a reader should be able to understand what techniques were used, with at least a simple description or adequate reference to another source in the literature. Buffer components, SDS gel composition, primer sequences, etc., may be placed in supplementary methods.

Preparation of Review Articles

Review articles should be divided into the following sections: a short abstract (unstructured) followed by various subsections that may include an introduction and may also be further subdivided, and a summary or similar concluding section. The maximum number of words is 8500, including references.

Reviews are generally invited but can be submitted directly. When evaluating reviews, the Editors consider the scope of the manuscript, the outlook for future investigations it offers and how the review adds to the existing literature.

Short Communication and Method Reports

These are high priority manuscripts that report major advances or provide important, novel insights, through novel tools and methodology, or unique samples. They are organized like regular manuscripts (above) but are relatively short and concise (no longer than 4000 words, including references, and a maximum of 5 figures). An accompanying covering letter should justify why it belongs in this category. The decision to admit a manuscript to this track rests with the Editor.

Online copyright licence form

Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication authors confirm that they are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain their email address for the purpose of communicating with them about the article. Please notify OUP immediately if the contact details change. If the article is accepted for publication OUP will contact the corresponding author using the email address that was used in the registration process.

Open access option for authors

Cardiovascular Research authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After their manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process authors will be asked to indicate whether or not they wish to pay for open access. If they do not select the open access option, their paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and they will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences.

RCUK/Wellcome Trust funded authors publishing in NDT can use the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) for their articles.

All other authors may use the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence (CC-BY-NC)

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The open access charges are as follows:

Regular charge:

  • CC BY: £2000 / $3500 / €3000
  • CC BY-NC: £1700 / $3000 / €2550

List B Developing country charge*:

  • CC BY: £1000 / $1750 / €1500
  • CC BY-NC: £850 / $1500 / €1275

List A Developing country charge*: £0 /$0 / €0

*Visit our developing countries page (click here for a list of qualifying countries).

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This service is free of charge and only takes a few minutes of your time.

Self-archiving and post-print policy

For information about Cardiovascular Research policy, please visit our Author self-archiving policy.


Manuscripts should be submitted electronically by the corresponding author. Three files are required to be uploaded for the submission process: (1) the abstract; (2) the manuscript (with title page, not as a PDF file); and (3) the covering letter including the following declarations: (i) That "the manuscript, or part of it, has neither been published (except in form of abstract or thesis) nor is currently under consideration for publication by any other journal"; (ii) The submitting author should declare that the co-author(s) has (have) read the manuscript and approved its submission to Cardiovascular Research; (iii) In the case of colour figures, the authors should declare that they agree to pay for the cost of printing. A specification of costs will be sent by publisher after final acceptance of the manuscript.


Cover Letter including the required declarations?
Length of Title does not exceed 250 characters?
Title conveys message?
Addresses and affiliations are up-to-date?
Number of words?
Title and authors repeated at top of Abstract?
Abstract structured?
Abstract length one page?
Species mentioned in Abstract?
Ethics statement?
N-values for number of independent experiments/animals used?
Information on statistical analysis provided?
Figures according to instructions?
Reference format?

For revised manuscripts: please highlight all changes in title/author order/manuscript and adapt information accordingly during the online submission process.