Submission guidelines

Instructions for Authors

General information

The Journal of Echocardiography publishes articles on topics pertaining to echocardiography and vascular ultrasonic examination. All communications regarding the editorial management of the journal should be electronically sent to the editorial office. The Journal of Echocardiography is the official publication of the Japanese Society of Echocardiography. All articles are reviewed by two or more referees, and acceptance is based on significance, originality, and validity of the material presented.

Categories of articles. Five categories of articles will be considered for publication in the journal: Original investigations, Review articles, Case image in cardiovascular ultrasound, Letters to the editor, and Editorials.

Original investigations. Articles should have the following format: 1) title page, 2) abstract (maximum 250 words), presenting essential data in four paragraphs introduced by the following headings in this order: Background, Methods, Results, Conclusions, 3) four to six keywords 4) text, 5) references, 6) tables, 7) figure captions (legends), and 8) figures.

Review articles. Articles should have the following format: 1) title page, 2) abstract (maximum 250 words), 3) four to six keywords, 4) text (4000 words or less), 5) references, 6) tables (maximum five), 7) figure captions, and 8) figures (maximum five).

Case image in cardiovascular ultrasound. Ultrasound images that illustrate important findings of special interest on a particular subject or a case study. The maximum number of authors should be seven (7). Articles should have the following format: 1) title page, 2) text (maximum 400 words), 3) references (maximum five), 4) figure (maximum one, which may contain more than one element), and 5) figure caption.

Letters to the editor. Brief letters or notes to the editor.

Editorials. Brief, substantiated commentary on special subjects.

Manuscript submission

The manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter stating: that the work described has not been published before; that it is not under consideration for publication anywhere else; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as by the responsible authorities – tacitly or explicitly – at the institute where this work has been carried out. The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.

Before submitting work for publication, authors whose first language is not English should seek the assistance of a colleague who is a native speaker of English and is familiar with the field of work.

The certification form must be submitted to the journal’s editorial office by uploading it as a PDF file when you submit your manuscript via Editorial Manager.

Certification and COI Form (Download pdf, 270 kB)

IMPORTANT: Upon receipt of the Certification for Manuscript Submission, manuscripts are officially recognized as submissions.

  • Permissions

Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) and to attach the permission when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.

  • Online submission

Authors should submit their manuscripts online. Connect directly to the site and upload all of your manuscript files following the instructions given on the screen.

http://www.editorialmanager.com/jech

  • Title page

The title page should include:

-A concise and informative title

-The name(s) of the author(s)

-The affiliation(s) and address(es) of the author(s)

-The e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers of the corresponding author

  • Text formatting

Manuscripts should be submitted in Word.

•Use a normal, plain font (e.g., 10-point Times Roman) for text.

•Use italics for emphasis.

•Do not use double-byte characters.

•Use the automatic page-numbering function to number the pages in the bottom margin (footer).

•Do not use field functions.

•Use tab stops or other commands for indents, not the space bar.

•Use the table function, not spreadsheets, to make tables.

•Use the equation editor or MathType for equations.

  • Headings

Use no more than three levels of displayed headings.

  • Abbreviations

Abbreviations should be defined at first mention and used consistently thereafter.

  • Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section before the reference list. The names of funding organizations should be written in full.

  • Terminology

•Always use internationally accepted signs and symbols for units (SI units).

•Use generic names of drugs and pesticides.

•Use the standard mathematical notation for formulae, symbols etc.: Italic for single letters that denote mathematical constants, variables, and unknown quantities. Roman/upright for numerals, operators, and punctuation, and commonly defined functions or abbreviations, e.g., cos, det, e or exp, lim, log, max, min, sin, tan, d (for derivative). Bold for vectors, tensors, and matrices.

  • Citation

Reference citations in the text should be identified by numbers in square brackets.

Examples:

1. Negotiation research spans many disciplines [3].

2. This effect has been widely studied [1-3, 7].

  • Reference list

The list of references should only include works that are cited in the text and that have been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications and unpublished works should only be mentioned in the text. Do not use footnotes or endnotes as a substitute for a reference list.

The entries in the list should be numbered consecutively. For each entry, list up to three authors and then use "et al."

•Journal article

Smith JJ. The world of science. Am J Sci. 1999;36:234–5.

•Article by DOI

Slifka MK, Whitton JL. Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J Mol Med. 2000. doi:10.1007/s001090000086.

•Book

Blenkinsopp A, Paxton P. Symptoms in the pharmacy: a guide to the management of common illness. 3rd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Science; 1998.

•Book chapter

Wyllie AH, Kerr JFR, Currie AR. Cell death: the significance of apoptosis. In: Bourne GH, Danielli JF, Jeon KW, editors. International review of cytology. London: Academic; 1980. p. 251–306.

•Online document

Doe J. Title of subordinate document. In: The dictionary of substances and their effects. Royal Society of Chemistry. 1999. http://www.rsc.org/dose/title of subordinate document. Accessed 15 Jan 1999.

Always use the standard abbreviation of a journal’s name according to the ISSN List of Title Word Abbreviations, available at http://www.issn.org/2-22660-LTWA.php

  • Tables

•All tables are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.

•Tables should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.

•For each table, supply a table title that explains the components clearly and concisely.

•Identify any previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference at the end of the table title.

•Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lowercase letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data) and included beneath the table body.

•All abbreviations used in tables should be explained in footnotes.

  • Figures

Figures must clearly support the content of the article.

•Supply all figures in one of the following formats: TIFF, JPEG, EPS, PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint. For detailed instructions in preparing figures electronically, follow the link (http://www.springer.com/12574) to the specific instructions for artwork.

•Do not include titles or captions in your figures (they should be included at the end of the main text).

•Name your figure files with "Fig" and the figure number, e.g., Fig1.eps.

  • Color art

•Use of color art is free of charge both in print and online.

•Color illustrations should be submitted as RGB (8 bits per channel).

  • Figure numbering

•All figures are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.

•Figures should always be cited in the text in consecutive numerical order.

•Figure parts should be denoted by lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.). If illustrations are supplied with uppercase labeling, lowercase letters will still be used in the figure captions and citations.

•If an appendix appears in your article and it contains one or more figures, continue the consecutive numbering of the main text. Do not number the appendix figures, "A1, A2, A3, etc."

  • Figure captions

•Each figure should have a concise caption describing accurately what the figure depicts.

•Figure captions begin with the term Fig. in bold type, followed by the figure number, also in bold type.

•No punctuation is to be included after the number, nor is any punctuation to be placed at the end of the caption.

•Identify previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference citation at the end of the figure caption.

  • Electronic supplementary material

If electronic supplementary material (ESM) is submitted, it will be published, as received from the author, in the online version only. ESM may consist of

•information that cannot be printed: animations, video clips, sound recordings, etc.

•information that is more convenient in electronic form: sequences, spectral data, etc.

•large amounts of original data, additional tables, illustrations, etc.

The text must make specific mention of any ESM in a citation, similar to that for figures and tables (e.g., “as shown in Animation 3.”). For details on formats and other information, follow the link (http://www.springer.com/12574) to the specific instructions for electronic supplementary material.

  • Manuscript revision

If you are asked to revise your paper, please submit it in a Word file (pdf file is not acceptable). When preparing your revised manuscript, you should carefully consider the reviewers' comments, and submit a list of point-by-point responses to the comments. Your list of responses should be included in the cover letter and uploaded as a separate file in addition to your revised manuscript. In the revised manuscript, use the “Track Changes” (Henkourireki no kiroku) function of Microsoft Word to show the revision history to indicate revisions/additions/deletions. Do not use a strikethrough to show those changes.

Integrity of Research and Reporting

  • Ethical standards

Journal of Echocardiography has adopted the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (URM) established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (http://www.icmje.org/). The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the below-mentioned requirements. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the below-mentioned requirements.

  • Conflict of interest (COI)

When authors submit a manuscript, they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias their work. To prevent ambiguity, authors must state explicitly whether potential conflicts do or do not exist. Each author must complete and submit a COI disclosure form, and the corresponding author should submit all the COI disclosure forms when submitting a manuscript. This form can be obtained from http://www.springer.com/journal/12574/. Each author must indicate whether or not they have a financial relationship with any organization that sponsored the research, or is associated with any product or procedure that is mentioned in the article. For each source of funds, both the research funder and the grant number should be given. The form must be submitted to the journal’s editorial office by uploading it as a PDF file.

Conflict of interest statements should be present on every manuscript before the References section. The statements should list each author separately by name. Sample wording is as follows:

•Conflict of interest: John Smith declares that he has no conflict of interest. Paula Taylor has received research grants from Drug Company A. Mike Schultz has received a speaker honorarium from Drug Company B and owns stock in Drug Company C.

If multiple authors declare no conflict, this can be done in one sentence:

•Conflict of interest: John Smith, Paula Taylor, and Mike Schultz declare that they have no conflict of interest.

  • Human rights statements and informed consent

For studies with human subjects, include the following statement before the References section:

•Human rights statements and informed consent: All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 and later versions. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.

Identifying information of patients of human subjects, including names, initials, addresses, admission dates, hospital numbers, or any other data that might identify patients should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. If any identifying information about patients is included in the article, the following sentence should also be included:

•Additional informed consent was obtained from all patients for which identifying information is included in this article.

  • Animal studies

For studies with animals, include the following sentence before the References section:

•Animal studies: All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.

For articles that do not contain studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors, while it is not absolutely necessary, we recommend to include the following sentence, just to make sure that readers are aware that there are no ethical issues with human or animal subjects:

•Human/Animal Rights: This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Open Choice

Open Choice allows you to publish open access in more than 1850 Springer Nature journals, making your research more visible and accessible immediately on publication.

Article processing charges (APCs) vary by journal – view the full list

Benefits:

  • Increased researcher engagement: Open Choice enables access by anyone with an internet connection, immediately on publication.
  • Higher visibility and impact: In Springer hybrid journals, OA articles are accessed 4 times more often on average, and cited 1.7 more times on average*.

  • Easy compliance with funder and institutional mandates: Many funders require open access publishing, and some take compliance into account when assessing future grant applications.

It is easy to find funding to support open access – please see our funding and support pages for more information.

*) Within the first three years of publication. Springer Nature hybrid journal OA impact analysis, 2018.

Open Choice

Funding and Support pages

Copyright and license term – CC BY

Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, the author(s) agree to publish the article under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Find more about the license agreement

Ethical Responsibilities of Authors

This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.

Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavour. Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation is helped by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include*:

  • The manuscript should not be submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
  • The submitted work should be original and should not have been published elsewhere in any form or language (partially or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work. (Please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the concerns about text-recycling (‘self-plagiarism’).
  • A single study should not be split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (i.e. ‘salami-slicing/publishing’).
  • Concurrent or secondary publication is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. Examples include: translations or a manuscript that is intended for a different group of readers.
  • Results should be presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation (including image based manipulation). Authors should adhere to discipline-specific rules for acquiring, selecting and processing data.
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (‘plagiarism’). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks (to indicate words taken from another source) are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions secured for material that is copyrighted.

Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism.

  • Authors should make sure they have permissions for the use of software, questionnaires/(web) surveys and scales in their studies (if appropriate).
  • Research articles and non-research articles (e.g. Opinion, Review, and Commentary articles) must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the claims made. Excessive and inappropriate self-citation or coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite is strongly discouraged.
  • Authors should avoid untrue statements about an entity (who can be an individual person or a company) or descriptions of their behavior or actions that could potentially be seen as personal attacks or allegations about that person.
  • Research that may be misapplied to pose a threat to public health or national security should be clearly identified in the manuscript (e.g. dual use of research). Examples include creation of harmful consequences of biological agents or toxins, disruption of immunity of vaccines, unusual hazards in the use of chemicals, weaponization of research/technology (amongst others).
  • Authors are strongly advised to ensure the author group, the Corresponding Author, and the order of authors are all correct at submission. Adding and/or deleting authors during the revision stages is generally not permitted, but in some cases may be warranted. Reasons for changes in authorship should be explained in detail. Please note that changes to authorship cannot be made after acceptance of a manuscript.

*All of the above are guidelines and authors need to make sure to respect third parties rights such as copyright and/or moral rights.

Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results presented. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc. Sensitive information in the form of confidential or proprietary data is excluded.

If there is suspicion of misbehavior or alleged fraud the Journal and/or Publisher will carry out an investigation following COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, there are valid concerns, the author(s) concerned will be contacted under their given e-mail address and given an opportunity to address the issue. Depending on the situation, this may result in the Journal’s and/or Publisher’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:

  • If the manuscript is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
  • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction:

    - an erratum/correction may be placed with the article

    - an expression of concern may be placed with the article

    - or in severe cases retraction of the article may occur.

The reason will be given in the published erratum/correction, expression of concern or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the article is maintained on the platform, watermarked “retracted” and the explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.

  • The author’s institution may be informed
  • A notice of suspected transgression of ethical standards in the peer review system may be included as part of the author’s and article’s bibliographic record.

Fundamental errors

Authors have an obligation to correct mistakes once they discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their published article. The author(s) is/are requested to contact the journal and explain in what sense the error is impacting the article. A decision on how to correct the literature will depend on the nature of the error. This may be a correction or retraction. The retraction note should provide transparency which parts of the article are impacted by the error.

Suggesting / excluding reviewers

Authors are welcome to suggest suitable reviewers and/or request the exclusion of certain individuals when they submit their manuscripts. When suggesting reviewers, authors should make sure they are totally independent and not connected to the work in any way. It is strongly recommended to suggest a mix of reviewers from different countries and different institutions. When suggesting reviewers, the Corresponding Author must provide an institutional email address for each suggested reviewer, or, if this is not possible to include other means of verifying the identity such as a link to a personal homepage, a link to the publication record or a researcher or author ID in the submission letter. Please note that the Journal may not use the suggestions, but suggestions are appreciated and may help facilitate the peer review process.

Authorship principles

These guidelines describe authorship principles and good authorship practices to which prospective authors should adhere to.

Authorship clarified

The Journal and Publisher assume all authors agreed with the content and that all gave explicit consent to submit and that they obtained consent from the responsible authorities at the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted.

The Publisher does not prescribe the kinds of contributions that warrant authorship. It is recommended that authors adhere to the guidelines for authorship that are applicable in their specific research field. In absence of specific guidelines it is recommended to adhere to the following guidelines*:

All authors whose names appear on the submission

1) made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work;

2) drafted the work or revised it critically for important intellectual content;

3) approved the version to be published; and

4) agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

* Based on/adapted from:

ICMJE, Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors,

Transparency in authors’ contributions and responsibilities to promote integrity in scientific publication, McNutt at all, PNAS February 27, 2018

Disclosures and declarations

All authors are requested to include information regarding sources of funding, financial or non-financial interests, study-specific approval by the appropriate ethics committee for research involving humans and/or animals, informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals (as appropriate).

The decision whether such information should be included is not only dependent on the scope of the journal, but also the scope of the article. Work submitted for publication may have implications for public health or general welfare and in those cases it is the responsibility of all authors to include the appropriate disclosures and declarations.

Data transparency

All authors are requested to make sure that all data and materials as well as software application or custom code support their published claims and comply with field standards. Please note that journals may have individual policies on (sharing) research data in concordance with disciplinary norms and expectations.

Role of the Corresponding Author

One author is assigned as Corresponding Author and acts on behalf of all co-authors and ensures that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately addressed.

The Corresponding Author is responsible for the following requirements:

  • ensuring that all listed authors have approved the manuscript before submission, including the names and order of authors;
  • managing all communication between the Journal and all co-authors, before and after publication;*
  • providing transparency on re-use of material and mention any unpublished material (for example manuscripts in press) included in the manuscript in a cover letter to the Editor;
  • making sure disclosures, declarations and transparency on data statements from all authors are included in the manuscript as appropriate (see above).

* The requirement of managing all communication between the journal and all co-authors during submission and proofing may be delegated to a Contact or Submitting Author. In this case please make sure the Corresponding Author is clearly indicated in the manuscript.

Author contributions

In absence of specific instructions and in research fields where it is possible to describe discrete efforts, the Publisher recommends authors to include contribution statements in the work that specifies the contribution of every author in order to promote transparency. These contributions should be listed at the separate title page.

Examples of such statement(s) are shown below:

• Free text:

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by [full name], [full name] and [full name]. The first draft of the manuscript was written by [full name] and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Example: CRediT taxonomy:

• Conceptualization: [full name], …; Methodology: [full name], …; Formal analysis and investigation: [full name], …; Writing - original draft preparation: [full name, …]; Writing - review and editing: [full name], …; Funding acquisition: [full name], …; Resources: [full name], …; Supervision: [full name],….

For review articles where discrete statements are less applicable a statement should be included who had the idea for the article, who performed the literature search and data analysis, and who drafted and/or critically revised the work.

For articles that are based primarily on the student’s dissertation or thesis, it is recommended that the student is usually listed as principal author:

A Graduate Student’s Guide to Determining Authorship Credit and Authorship Order, APA Science Student Council 2006

Affiliation

The primary affiliation for each author should be the institution where the majority of their work was done. If an author has subsequently moved, the current address may additionally be stated. Addresses will not be updated or changed after publication of the article.

Changes to authorship

Authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, the Corresponding Author, and the order of authors at submission. Changes of authorship by adding or deleting authors, and/or changes in Corresponding Author, and/or changes in the sequence of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript.

  • Please note that author names will be published exactly as they appear on the accepted submission!

Please make sure that the names of all authors are present and correctly spelled, and that addresses and affiliations are current.

Adding and/or deleting authors at revision stage are generally not permitted, but in some cases it may be warranted. Reasons for these changes in authorship should be explained. Approval of the change during revision is at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. Please note that journals may have individual policies on adding and/or deleting authors during revision stage.

Author identification

Authors are recommended to use their ORCID ID when submitting an article for consideration or acquire an ORCID ID via the submission process.

Deceased or incapacitated authors

For cases in which a co-author dies or is incapacitated during the writing, submission, or peer-review process, and the co-authors feel it is appropriate to include the author, co-authors should obtain approval from a (legal) representative which could be a direct relative.

Authorship issues or disputes

In the case of an authorship dispute during peer review or after acceptance and publication, the Journal will not be in a position to investigate or adjudicate. Authors will be asked to resolve the dispute themselves. If they are unable the Journal reserves the right to withdraw a manuscript from the editorial process or in case of a published paper raise the issue with the authors’ institution(s) and abide by its guidelines.

Confidentiality

Authors should treat all communication with the Journal as confidential which includes correspondence with direct representatives from the Journal such as Editors-in-Chief and/or Handling Editors and reviewers’ reports unless explicit consent has been received to share information.

Open access publishing

Journal of Echocardiography publishes open access articles. Authors of open access articles published in this journal retain the copyright of their articles and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work.

Visit our Open access publishing page to learn more.