Guide for Authors

  • HeartRhythm is the Official Journal of the Heart Rhythm Society and the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society.

    HeartRhythm provides rapid online electronic (3-5 business days) and print publication of the most important current scientific developments in the field of cardiac arrhythmias and electrophysiology. The Journal publishes both clinical and basic original, peer-reviewed articles devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders, as well as the electrophysiology of the heart and blood vessels, including ion channels and biophysics, pharmacology, genetics, modeling, cellular and in vivo electrophysiology, outcomes, health systems and health delivery research. In general, review articles are invited, but unsolicited submissions will be considered. All articles are peer-reviewed. Articles from the Editor's institution are processed by a guest editor. See aims and scope.

    Copyright assignment is a condition of publication and authors are required to assign the copyright to the publisher prior to publication.

    MANUSCRIPT and FIGURE PREPARATION (See manuscript format and categories for further details)

    Manuscripts must be submitted online at:
    For text files, Microsoft Word is preferred, although any editable text file is acceptable (e.g., .doc, .txt, .rtf). Separate files for each figure are required. TIF or EPS figure files are strongly preferred, at the standard resolutions (i.e. 300 dpi for photos, 1200 dpi for line art) and scaled to size. Other figure formats may be supported provided artwork guidelines on are strictly followed. PDF files cannot be used for typesetting purposes for either text or figures. Do NOT exceed the required number of figures by submitting separate figure panels as A, B, C, etc. If separate figure panels are used, they must be SCALED TO SIZE AND COMBINED INTO A SINGLE FIGURE THAT CANNOT EXCEED ½ JOURNAL PAGE.

    Supplementary images and videos are encouraged. These should be considered as scientific evidence, similar to figures and tables. Therefore, they are assumed to be original. If published previously, the reference must be cited with permission exactly as required for previously published figures. Finally, as with figures, they should not include logos, symbolic landmarks, or any other identification of the origin.

    Arrange the contents in the following order:

    1. Title page (Include degrees for all authors and corresponding author contact information, and ALL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST). Fellows of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) should be identified by including FHRS after the degree.
    2. Abstract - - Not to exceed 250 words. (Required for original and review articles)
    3. Key words (5-10) are very important since the annual index will be based on them.
    4. List of abbreviations used in the manuscript (Use ONLY those that are commonly accepted.)
    5. Text (Double-spaced, single columned with a minimum of 1-inch margins on all four edges.
    6. References (Cite up to 12 authors. If more than 12, cite 3 and et al.)
    7. Tables
    8. Figure legends
    9. Figures


    Title Page:
    Please include a brief and descriptive title of the article (which should indicate key features of the article so that literature searches will identify the article), a short title of fewer than 50 characters, authors full names (more than 8 must be justified), academic degrees, hospital and academic affiliations, acknowledgment of ALL sources of financial support, potential conflicts of interests for ALL authors, and the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and E-mail of the individual responsible for editorial correspondence and/or reprint requests. The total word count (excluding title page and the glossary of abbreviations) should be included in the title page.

    Abstract (page 1):
    Please include a brief abstract (without references) of fewer than 250 words for original articles. Divide the abstract into sections: Background, Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusion that state the importance and potential implications of the observations. Following the abstract, list 5 to 10 key words suitable for indexing.

    Glossary of abbreviations used in the manuscript: Avoid ALL abbreviations other than standard units of measurement and common abbreviations, such as RV, LV, etc.

    Begin the text on page 3 and organize into sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion, with appropriate subheadings to make the sections easily understood. A section on Clinical implications for experimental articles may be worthwhile. Explain abbreviations at first mention, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses, and limit use only to a few commonly accepted words. References, tables, and figures should be cited in numerical order. Avoid jargon, cliches, and laboratory slang. References to pacemakers, defibrillators, and leads must adhere to code structures and usage conventions set forth by NASPE/BPEG code. Place acknowledgments at the end of the text, before references.

    The manuscript must not exceed 5000 words including abstract, references, tables, and figure legends, a combined total of 8 figures and/or tables, and 35 references.

    Authors whose native language is not English are STRONGLY advised to seek appropriate grammatical assistance. Poorly written manuscripts are at a disadvantage.

    References: Number references in the order in which they are cited in the text. Include references to unpublished material or personal communications in the text in parentheses. Abbreviate titles of periodicals according to the style of Index Medicus, National Library of Medicine. List the first 12 authors in each reference. If more than 12, list 3 and et al. following exactly the format and punctuation shown below.

    Journal Article Examples
    Johnson, JN, Tester DJ, Perry J, Salisbury BA, Reed CR, Ackerman MJ: Prevalence of early onset atrial fibrillation in congenital Long QT syndrome. Heart Rhythm 2007; 5:704-709.

    Calkins H, Kuck KH, Cappato R, et al: 2012 HRS/EHRA/ECAS expert consensus statement on catheter and surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation: Recommendations for patient selection, procedural techniques, patient management and follow-up, definitions, endpoints, and research trial design. Heart Rhythm. 2012; 9:632-696.

    Chapter in Book with Different Author and Editor-Example
    Malik M: Electrocardiographic and autonomic testing of cardiac risk. In Zipes DP, Jalife J, eds: Cardiac Electrophysiology: From Cell to Bedside. Fifth Edition. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 2009, pp. 871-879.

    Product Information: All products mentioned must include company name, city, and state.

    Permissions to reproduce figures: Permission from the publisher is required for all previously published figures. For figures published in an Elsevier journal permission can be obtained online:

    Tables must be self-explanatory and supplement, not duplicate, the text. Number brief titles in Arabic numerals according to the order of mention in the text. Each table should be typed on a separate page and designed for economy of space and readability. Notes designated in the tables and all abbreviations should be defined in a footnote. Abbreviations should be identified in alphabetical order. Footnotes should be used in the following order: symbols

    Figure Legends/Figures: (See detailed figure requirements under manuscript and figure preparation).

    Policies/Letter of Submission:
    Manuscripts submitted must be original, with no portion under simultaneous consideration for publication elsewhere or previously published, except for an abstract of fewer than 400 words. Include only authors who have made an important contribution to the study and are thoroughly familiar with the primary data. All authors are responsible for the contents and must have read and approved the manuscript and conform to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals published in Annals of Internal Medicine 1997;126:36-47. Studies involving humans must conform to the guiding principles of the Declaration of Helsinki, and human subjects must have given informed consent of a study that has been approved by the Institutional Committee on Human Research at the authors' institution. Clinical studies must include the registration identification. (See following paragraph for further detail). Animal studies must conform to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Any financial or other relations must be disclosed. Letters of submission must include affirmation of the above.

    Note that registering drug and biologics trials that are phase II - IV controlled investigations of a product subject to FDA regulation, and device trials including controlled trials of health outcomes of devices subject to FDA regulation, has become mandatory for trials started later than 12/26/07, or 21 days after the first patient is enrolled. Exceptions are for trials ongoing as of 9/27/07 that do NOT involve serious or life threatening conditions; they may be submitted by 9/27/08. For example, all cardiology studies will be considered "serious conditions". Trials involving serious conditions and initiated before 9/27/07 but completed prior to 12/26/07 are NOT subject to the new requirements. For any questions, consult one of the following sites: ; ; INCLUDE REGISTRATION IDENTIFICATION ON FIRST PAGE.

    Manuscript Categories:

    Case Reports Submissions are limited to 4 authors and 2500 words, including text, references (less than15), figure legends, and less than or equal to3 figures. No abstract included. Complex, one-of-a-kind, examples not likely to have widespread educational value are discouraged. The first report of an observation likely to have important clinical or experimental implications is favored.

    Reviews (Solicited and Unsolicited)
    Review articles should contain a brief abstract and less than or equal to6000 total words, including references, and tables. References are less than or equal to30

    Creative Concepts
    Submissions to this section are for articles that contain untested or unproven new ideas with little supporting evidence but must have compelling rationale. The idea should be one that is difficult or impossible to test definitively, or would take a long time or significant resources to do so. No abstract included. Articles must be less than or equal to4000 total words, including references and tables, and a combined total of 8 figures and/or tables.

    Unknown of the Month
    Manuscripts (no abstract) are limited to 1500 words, less than or equal to3 illustrations and less than or equal to4 authors, and<5 references. The intracardiac electrograms or electrocardiogram should be presented as an unknown. The figures must contain enough information for the reader to make the correct diagnosis. The figure legends should not reveal the correct diagnosis. The cases will be judged based on degree of difficulty, novelty, and teaching value.

    Pacemaker/ICD Problems
    Manuscripts (no abstract) are limited to 1500 words, less than or equal to3 illustrations and less than or equal to4 authors. Article will be judged based on novelty and educational value as a teaching case.

    Submissions to "Electrophysiology Images and Movies" are limited to 1 journal page. Narrative (495 words for a 1 column figure; 425 words for a 1½ column figure), and no more than 2 illustration panels and 4 authors. Figure legends should not be used, but up to 5 reference citations are permitted. Images are judged according to their aesthetic quality, the novelty, importance, and effectiveness of their scientific or clinical message, or their utility as a teaching tool. Unlike case reports, the focus should be on the image, not the narrative.

    Authors can also include a single electronic movie (e.g. QuickTime or MPEG1 formats) file or computer animation (e.g. as Power Point file) that expands or enhances the message of the printed images. Animations or movies must provide novel or especially useful means of conveying known principles (e.g. Animations or movies that effectively teach/portray an electrophysiological mechanism or process). If an electronic movie or animation is submitted, the authors must also provide 1 or 2 frames of images (which may appear in print) that convey the essence of the movie's content.

    Published images, movies, and animations will be made available in high resolution format via a web site to subscribers to the HeartRhythm journal.

    Letters to the Editor
    Letters should be double-spaced, not exceeding 400 words. Letters will be reviewed and are subject to editing. They should not contain original data or figures. If accepted for publication, a copy of the letter will be sent to the author(s) of the original article, if applicable. The author(s) will have an opportunity to respond with new material that will be considered for publication with the letter. Due to space limitations, with only occasional exception, letters are now EPUB only. Letters, with rare exception, will be EPUBLISHED only.

    Humanism in Medicine: Treat Each Patient As Your First and Each Day As Your Last
    Articles should briefly describe a unique personal experience in medicine. Articles are limited to no more than one (1) page, 500 words or less, and cannot include references or figures.

    All articles by invitation only.

    Cell to Bedside
    All articles by invitation only.

    Hands On
    All articles by invitation only.

    Josephson and Wellens ECG lessons
    All articles by invitation only.

    Allied Professional Section
    All articles by invitation only. Limited to 700 words or less.

    Editorial Commentary
    All articles by invitation only. Limited to 1500 words or less.

    Basic/Clinical Implications
    All articles by invitation only.

    Historical Vignette
    All articles by invitation only.

    Updated February 2014


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