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Manuscript preparation instructions

The European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EJCTS) welcomes scientific contributions in the field of cardio-thoracic surgery. All manuscripts are subject to review by the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editors, Invited Referees and a Statistician when appropriate. Acceptance is based on the originality, significance, and validity of the material presented.

The EJCTS considers a wide range of subject categories: Arrhythmia, Assisted circulation, Cardiac general, Cardiopulmonary bypass, Congenital, Coronary, Oesophagus, Experimental, Pulmonary, Thoracic oncologic, Thoracic non-oncologic, Transplantation, Translational research, Valves and Vascular thoracic. The most appropriate subject category should be selected when submitting your paper online.

This page outlines instructions for submitting your manuscript to EJCTS. For information on journal policies, please visit our policies page.


Editorial Office
Redundant (duplicate) publication
Statistical and data reporting guidelines
Raw data
Clinical trials
Language editing pre-submission
Manuscript transfer within the EACTS publications
Manuscript types
Manuscript format and style
Figures and videos
Permission to reproduce figures and extracts
Supplementary data
Funding and conflict of interest statements
Copyright and licence
Advance Access


Editorial Office
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
University Freiburg - Medical Center
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery
Hugstetter Str. 55
79106 Freiburg
Tel: +49-761-27090860
Fax: +49-761-27090870

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All material to be considered for publication in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery should be submitted electronically via the journal's online submission system.

Cover letter
All new manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter (to be filled in online), specifying the name of the journal and the type of paper, and including the following statements:

• The manuscript has not previously been published in print or electronic form and is not under consideration by any another publication (see Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2015).

• All authors have contributed significantly to the content of the article.

• All authors have read and approve the submission of the manuscript to EJCTS.

• Subject to acceptance, authors will sign an exclusive licence to publish.

• There is no ethical problem or conflict of interest (see below). For publication ethics, experimental ethics etc. see our policies page.

Revised manuscripts
When submitting revised manuscripts, label the files accordingly (2nd version, 3rd version, etc.). Respond to all points raised by the Editor’s, Referees’ and Statistician in the ‘Response to reviews’ field in the Metadata, outlining any changes that have been made. All changes should be highlighted in red in the revised manuscript to facilitate editorial reassessment.

Authorship form - only mandatory for revised articles

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It is recommended that Authors read the updated version of the statement on redundant submission, jointly published with other journals in 2015.

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It is highly recommended that Authors consult the guidelines on Statistical and data reporting ; see also the corrigendum.

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The full set of raw data must be made readily available upon the request of reviewers or editors during the review process and/or after publication.

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Registering clinical trials

In accordance with the Clinical Trial Registration Statement from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) all clinical trials published in the journal must be registered in a public trials registry at or before the onset of participant enrolment. For any clinical trials commencing prior to 1st July 2005, retrospective registration will be accepted.

The registry must be accessible to the public at no charge, searchable, open to all prospective registrants, managed by a not-for-profit organization, and include all the necessary information as specified by the ICMJE. A list of recommended registries can be found on the ICMJE website. Results posted in the same clinical trials registry in which the primary registration resides will not be considered as prior publication if they are presented in the form of a brief abstract (<500 words or less) or a table.

Authors are requested to provide the exact URL and unique identification number for the trial registration at the time of submission on the manuscript’s title page. This information will appear later in the published article.

Reporting clinical trials

Clinical trials should comply with the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials Statement (CONSORT), which is available here. Authors reporting on randomized clinical trials (RCT) should consult the CONSORT checklist when preparing their manuscripts. All RCT data will be evaluated in accordance with the rules and checklist of the CONSORT statement.

Other types of studies should follow guidelines where available. These include STARD (Standards for the Reporting of Diagnostic accuracy studies), STROBE (Strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology), PRISMA (Transparent Reporting of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) and MOOSE (Meta-analyses of observational studies). For further information on good reporting of health research studies please go to the EQUATOR network.

The relevant checklist should be duly filled in and uploaded as "Supplemental files".

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If your first language is not English, we recommend that you consult an English language editing service to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. For further information on this service, please click here.
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The European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EJCTS) receives approximately 2500 manuscripts/year but is only able to accept a maximum of 15% of submissions. This means that many interesting and high quality articles are not chosen for publication in the journal. For this reason, the Editors offer authors of selected papers (that will not be published in EJCTS) the option to resubmit their revised paper to Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery (ICVTS). If the authors choose to accept this offer their paper may be published in ICVTS where they can also benefit from online discussion through its unique eCommenting feature.

Occasionally, some authors may be offered the opportunity to resubmit their paper to the Multimedia Manual of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (MMCTS), provided the contents of the article are suitable for publication in MMCTS, and good quality videos can be included to describe the technique of a procedure.

Both of these opportunities are made available to selected authors on a case-by-case basis and are intended to provide an additional option for authors to consider when choosing where to resubmit their manuscript for publication.

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The journal publishes the following types of papers:

• Original Articles
• Review Articles
• Surgical Technique
• Case Reports
• Images in Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
• Letters to the Editors

And by invitation only:

• Great Debates
• Editorials
• Editorial Comments

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Manuscripts should be prepared using a word-processing package (save in .doc, .docx or .rtf format). The font type and font size should preferably be Arial or Times New Roman 11 points. The manuscript should be double-spaced and should include line and page numbers. The lines of the reference list do not need to be numbered; include a section break before.

Order of the manuscript contents
Manuscripts should be organized as follows: (a) Title page; (b) Abstract and Key words; (c) Text with the following sections: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgement (optional), Funding statement, Conflict of interest statement; (d) Figure (and Video) legends; (e) Tables; (f) References.

Specifications for each article type
Each article type must include a title page and 3-6 keywords. IMPORTANT: the total number of words specified below comprises words on the title page, abstract, keywords, main text, figure and video legends, tables and references. All manuscripts must adhere to the following specifications.

Original Article
• Authors: unlimited
• Abstract (structured): 250 words (sections should be: Objectives, Methods, Results and Conclusions)
• Figures/tables combined: 8
• Videos: 2 (total playback time: 5 min)
• References: 30
• Total number of words: 5000

Review Article (a review article should not include unpublished cases/data).
• Authors: 8 maximum
• Summary (unstructured): 250 words
• Figures/tables combined: 8
• Videos: none
• References: 80
• Total number of words: 6500

Surgical Technique
• Authors: 4 maximum
• Abstract (unstructured): 200 words
• Figures/tables combined: 2 (A total of 6 figure parts is permitted)
• Videos: 2 (total playback time: 5 min)
• References: 8
• Total number of words: 1000

Case Report (note: The article type 'Case report and review of the literature' does not exist in EJCTS)
• Authors: 4 maximum
• Abstract (unstructured): 200 words
• Figures/tables combined: 2 (A total of 6 figure parts is permitted)
• Videos: 2 (total playback time: 5 min)
• References: 5
• Total number of words: 1000

Images in Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (an Image article should contain no text, only a description of the figure/video)
• Authors: 4 maximum
• Abstract: none
• Figures (no tables allowed): 1 (A total of 6 figure parts is permitted)
• Videos: 2 (total playback time: 5 min)
• Total number of words: 50 for the legend(s)

Letters to the Editor (should comment on recent EJCTS articles only).
• Authors: 4 maximum
• Abstract: none
• Figures/tables: none
• Videos: none
• References: 6
• Total number of words: 500

Great Debate (by invitation only)
• Authors: unlimited
• Abstract: none
• Figures/tables combined: 8
• Videos: 2 (total playback time: 5 min)
• References: 80
• Total number of words: 5000

Editorial (by invitation only)
• Authors: unlimited
• Abstract: none
• Figures/tables combined: 4
• Videos: 2 (total playback time: 5 min)
• References: 10
• Total number of words: 3000

Editorial Comment (by invitation only)
• Authors: 4 maximum
• Abstract: none
• Figures/tables: none
• Videos: none
• References: 10
• Total number of words: 1000

The manuscript should be organized as follows:

Title page (1st page)
Title: should be brief and descriptive (100 characters) - no abbreviations are allowed, even if well known.
Authors: list all authors by full first name, initial of or full middle name and family name. Qualifications are not required. Ensure the author names correspond (in spelling and order of appearance) with the metadata of the system.
Institution(s): include the name of all institutions with the location (department, institution, city, country) to which the work should be attributed (in English). Use superscript numbers to connect authors and their department or institution.
Corresponding author: The full name, full postal address, telephone/fax numbers and the e-mail address should be typed at the bottom of the title page.
Meeting presentation: If the manuscript was (or will be) presented at a meeting, include the meeting name, venue, and the date on which it was (or will be) read; also indicate if you have submitted an Abstract of this manuscript for the EACTS or ESTS annual meeting and whether it has been accepted (if known).
Word count: The total number of words of the whole article (including title page, abstract, main text, legends, tables and references) must be specified on the title page.

Clinical registration number: for the registration number of Clinical Trials please see the section above.

Abstract (2nd page)
An abstract should be a concise summary of the manuscript. Reference citations are not allowed. The abstract should be factual and free of abbreviations, except for SI units of measurement. A structured abstract must have four sections:
(1) Objectives: should describe the problem addressed in the study and its purpose.
(2) Methods: should explain how the study was performed (basic procedures with study materials and observational and analytical methods).
(3) Results: should describe the main findings with specific data and their statistical significance, if possible.
(4) Conclusions: should contain the main conclusion of the study.

Following the abstract, 3-6 keywords should be given for subject indexing.

Main text (3rd page and following)

Should state the purpose of the investigation and give a short review of pertinent literature.

Materials and methods
Should be described in detail with appropriate information about patients or experimental animals. Use of abbreviations renders the text difficult to read; abbreviations should be limited to SI units of measurement and to those most commonly used, e.g. VSD, ASD, CABG (abbreviations should not be included in headings and extensions should be included at first mention). Generic names of drugs and equipment should be used throughout the manuscript, with brand names (proprietary name) and the name and location (city, state, country) of the manufacturer in brackets when first mentioned in the text.

Results should be reported concisely and regarded as an important part of the manuscript. They should be presented either in tables and figures, and briefly commented on in the text, or in the text alone. Repetition of results should be avoided! For statistical analysis, follow the 'Statistical and data reporting guidelines' (Eur J Cardiothorac 2015).

The full set of raw data must be available at any time should reviewers or editors request these for more in-depth review during the review process and/or after publication.

The discussion is an interpretation of the results and their significance with reference to pertinent work by other authors. It should be clear and concise. The importance of the study and its limitations should be discussed.

Acknowledgements and details of non-financial support must be included at the end of the text before the references and not in footnotes. Personal acknowledgements should precede those of institutions or agencies.

Funding statement
See Funding and conflict of interest section below.

Conflict of interest statement
See Funding and conflict of interest section below.

Figure (and video) legends
A list with legends for each figure (and each video) must be included.

All tables must be included in the manuscript file, should start on separate pages and be accompanied by a title, and footnotes where necessary. The tables should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals. Units in which results are expressed should be given in parentheses at the top of each column and not repeated in each line of the table. Ditto signs are not used. Avoid overcrowding the tables and the excessive use of words. The format of tables should be in keeping with that normally used by the journal; in particular, vertical lines, coloured text and shading should not be used. Please be certain that the data given in tables are correct. All tables must be cited in the text.

Authors are responsible for checking the accuracy of all references. If you use EndNote or Reference Manager to facilitate referencing citations (not required for submission), this journal's style is available for use.

References should be numbered in order of appearance in the text (in Arabic numerals in parentheses) and must be listed numerically in the reference list. Journal titles and author initials should be properly abbreviated and punctuated. See list of abbreviated journals in Index Medicus . If an automatic referencing system has been used in the preparation of the paper, the references must not be left embedded in the final text file submitted. The citation of journals, books, multi-author books and articles published online should conform to the following examples:

[1] Falcoz PE, Puyraveau M, Thomas PA, Decaluwe H, Hürtgen M, Petersen RH et al. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery versus open lobectomy for primary non-small-cell lung cancer: a propensity-matched analysis of outcome from the European Society of Thoracic Surgeon database. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2016;49:602-9.

[2] Cooley DA. Techniques in cardiac surgery. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1984:167-76.

Multi-author books
[3] Huang GJ, Wu YK. Operative technique for carcinoma of the esophagus and gastric cardia. In: Huang GJ, Wu YK (eds). Carcinoma of the esophagus and gastric cardia. Berlin: Springer, 1984:313-48.

Online-only publications (please give the doi wherever possible)
[4] Schepens MAAM. Left heart bypass for thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair: technical aspects. Multimed Man Cardiothorac Surg 2016; doi:10.1093/mmcts/mmv039.
[5] Thurber JS, Deb SJ, Collazo LR. Ascending-to-descending aortic bypass for coarctation of the aorta. CTSNet [published 12 May 2008, accessed 30 November 2011]. Available from:

For references with more than six authors, the first 6 authors should be listed, followed by et al. Personal communications (Jones, personal communication) must be authorized in writing by those involved, and unpublished data should be cited in the text as (unpublished data). References to manuscripts submitted, but not yet accepted, should be cited in the text as (Jones and Smith, manuscript in preparation) and should not be included in the list of references. Authors are encouraged to cite web URLs in parentheses at the appropriate mention in the text.

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All figures and videos require a legend and must be cited in the text.

Note: The requirements for online submission and for reproduction in the journal are different:

(i) for online submission and peer review, either embed the figures at the end of the word processing file, before the list of references, or upload separately as low-resolution images (.jpg, .tif, .gif or. eps);

(ii) for reproduction in the journal, you will be required after acceptance to supply high-resolution .tif files. Minimum resolutions are 300 dots per inch (dpi) for colour or tone images, and 1000 dpi for line drawings, supplied at a minimum width of 16.8 cm. We advise that you create your high-resolution images first as these can be easily converted into low-resolution images for online submission.

EJCTS does not redraw figures of accepted manuscripts. Figure preparation is the author's responsibility. See guidelines, or go to

The journal reserves the right to reduce the size of illustrative material. Any photomicrographs, electron micrographs or radiographs must be of high quality. Photomicrographs should provide details of staining technique and a scale bar. Patients shown in photographs should have their identity concealed or should have given their written consent to publication. When creating figures, make sure any embedded text is large enough to read. Many figures contain miniscule characters such as numbers on a chart or graph. If these characters are not easily readable, they will most likely be illegible in the final version.

Colour illustrations
EJCTS encourages the use of colour figures when colour helps with the understanding of the figures. EJCTS does not charge for the publication of colour figures but the Editor may use his discretion when deciding which figures to publish in colour.

Where appropriate, video sequences may be submitted using standard digital video formats. Videos must be relevant and contain only vital/novel information. The total playback time for the videos should not exceed 5 minutes. Videos should be numbered in the order they appear in the text.
Recording. Use the highest possible resolution when creating the original. The use of a standard thoracoscopic camera (digital preferred) fixed on the table and manipulated by an assistant gives excellent magnification and high quality recording. Filming with a head-mounted recording camera is not recommended.

Audio. To improve the understanding of the procedure described, short and clear commentaries can be incorporated into the video file. Commentaries should supplement the complete description given in the legend of the video.

Format. Videos can be submitted in any standard format: wmv, avi, mpeg, mov, etc. Videos must be of high quality and must have a minimum size of 640x480 pixels (preferably higher as all videos will be converted to MP4 to EJCTS specifications). The aspect ratio can be: 4:3 or 16:9.

For full video preparation guidelines, go to video-and-media-guidelines.

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Permission to reproduce copyright material, for print and online publication in perpetuity, must be cleared and if necessary paid for by the author; this includes applications and payments to DACS, ARS and similar licensing agencies where appropriate. Evidence in writing that such permissions have been secured from the rights-holder must be made available to the editors. It is also the author's responsibility to include acknowledgements as stipulated by the particular institutions. Please note that obtaining copyright permission could take some time. Oxford Journals can offer information and documentation to assist authors in securing print and online permissions: please see the Guidelines for Authors section at Should you require copies of this then please contact the editorial office of the journal in question or the Oxford Journals Rights department on

For a copyright prose work, it is recommended that permission is obtained for the use of extracts longer than 400 words; a series of extracts totalling more than 800 words, of which any one extract is more than 300 words; or an extract or series of extracts comprising one-quarter of the work or more.

Third-Party Content in Open Access papers
If you will be publishing your paper under an Open Access licence but it contains material for which you do not have Open Access re-use permissions, please state this clearly by supplying the following credit line alongside the material:

Title of content, Author, Original publication, year of original publication, by permission of [rights holder]

This image/content is not covered by the terms of the Creative Commons licence of this publication. For permission to reuse, please contact the rights holder.

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Supporting material that is not essential for inclusion in the full text of the manuscript, but would nevertheless benefit the reader, can be made available by the publisher as online-only content, linked to the online manuscript. The material should not be essential to understanding the conclusions of the paper, but should contain data that is additional or complementary and directly relevant to the article content. Such information might include more detailed methods, extended data sets/data analysis, or additional figures.

All supplementary text and figures must be provided in suitable electronic formats. All material to be considered as supplementary data must be submitted at the same time as the main manuscript for peer review. It cannot be altered or replaced after the paper has been accepted for publication, and will not be edited. Indicate clearly all material intended as supplementary data upon submission and name the files e.g. 'Supplementary Figure 1', 'Supplementary Data', etc. Also ensure that the supplementary data is referred to in the main manuscript where necessary, for example as '(see Supplementary data)' or '(see Supplementary Figure 1)'. Supplementary material should be uploaded as ‘Supplemental files’ only.

It is recommended that authors spell-check all supplementary files before submission as no editing will be done.

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Funding statement
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 full name]'

An example is given here: 'This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [P50 CA098252 and CA118790 to John Smith] and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [HFY GR667789].

Crossref Funding Data Registry

In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here.

Conflict of interest statement
Declarations of conflicts of interest must be included in the manuscript. Place them at the end of the text before the references, and include the section even if none are declared, using the following format:
Conflict of interest: none declared.

Further guidance on conflicts of interest is available on the Journal Policies page.

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Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be required to complete an online copyright licence to publish form. Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.

Work submitted for publication must be original, previously unpublished, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If previously published figures, tables, or parts of text are to be included, the copyright-holder’s permission must have been obtained prior to submission. For more information on how to obtain permissions, please consult Rights and Permissions .

Open Access
EJCTS 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 your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences. Authors publishing in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery can use the following Creative Commons licence for their articles:
• Creative Commons licence (CC BY)*

• Creative Commons Non-Commercial licence (CC BY-NC)

*Please note that CC BY licence as a default option will be available only to authors who have funding body mandates to publish CC BY.

Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

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 applicable are:

Regular charge - £1750/ $2800 / €2275
Reduced Rate Developing country charge* - £875 / $1400 / €1138
Free Developing country charge* - £0 /$0 / €0

*Visit our Developing Countries page for a list of qualifying countries.

Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour/page charges that may apply.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the world, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.

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Authors are sent a link to their page proofs by email, here they may download the proof, make corrections, answer any queries and then upload the annotated PDF. Corrections should be returned within 3 working days (further details are supplied with the proof). It is the author's responsibility to check proofs thoroughly.

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Authors will receive electronic access to their paper free of charge.
Additional offprints can be ordered using the Oxford Journals Author Services site.

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Advance Access articles are published online soon after they have been accepted for publication, in advance of their appearance in a printed journal. Appearance in Advance Access constitutes official publication, and the Advance Access version can be cited by a unique DOI (Digital Object Identifier). When an article appears in an issue, it is removed from the Advance Access page.

Articles posted for Advance Access have been copyedited and typeset and any corrections included. This is before they are paginated for inclusion in a specific issue of the journal. Once an article appears in an issue, both versions of the paper continue to be accessible and citable.

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Manuscript preparation instructions revised 10 March 2016

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