About the Journal

Focus and Scope

The International Cardiovascular Forum Journal (ICFJ) is an international peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing high quality reports, studies, trials, investigations and hypotheses including all aspects of cardiovascular and cardiometabolic health and disease. It covers a broad area of interest from molecules to clinical practice.

Peer Review Process

The journal depends on expert peer reviewers experienced in the topic of the article.  Every article is read first by the senior editors and a proportion may be rejected if deficient in the journal's requirements or instructions.  If it passes this phase it will be sent for external expert peer-review, usually by three or more experts.  Peer-reviewers and associate editors must declare any potential conflicts which are reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief prior to their assignment.  No associate editor or reviewer is allowed to review the article if any conflict of interest is identified. Reviewers and associate editors are chosen who have no such conflicts. Reviewers can declare who they are, or they can remain anonymous.  We do not undertake double-blind review as it is too frequently obvious from which group a paper derives. 

Where one or other co-editor-in-chief has a potential conflict of the interest, then the other co-editor-in-chief will handle the submission.  Where both co-editors-in-chief have a potential conflict the submission will be handled entirely by an associate editor free of any such conflict.   

We aim to have an initial decision within 4 weeks. Approximately 25% of submissions will finally pass the peer-review process.

Reviewers are chosen for their expertise, a track record of publications and their expertness, fairness and timeliness of reviews, as well as their independence from the submitting authors. Reviewers are asked to assess a paper's originality, priority, ethics, quality and the validity of the data presented. Reviewers are encouraged to make their reviews open and honest.  

In the matter of manuscript acceptance or rejection the decision of the Editor-in-Chief is final.

All manuscripts are assessed for comprehensibility and good English using clear and simple expression where possible.  Although we offer assistance in English expression at all stages of manuscript handling in an effort to improve comprehensibility we do not attempt to change the natural style of expression of different authors from different parts of the world as befits our nature to be a truly global series of journals.   

Manuscripts are required to be in compliance with the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/) and each manuscript is assessed against these criteria prior to acceptance. 




Publication Frequency

The Journal accepts papers as they are ready and publishes full issues when they are fully compiled.  Each issue is a new volume that may contain both printed and on-line-only material. A new volume is published three to four times per year.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.


Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

a. The author(s) will retain copyright under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

b. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

c. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

Policies on Conflict of Interest, Human and Animal rights, and Informed Consent

Conflict of Interest statements:

ICF Journal requires authors to declare all (actual and potential) conflicts of interests either personal or related to a close family member. All submitted manuscripts must include a ‘conflicts of interests’ statement at the end of the manuscript reporting all potential financial or non-financial conflicts.

Authors must disclose any potential conflicts of interests be they financial or non-financial.  Financial conflicts include:

  • Receiving fees, salary, honoraria, funding or reimbursements from an organization that may benefit or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future.
  • Stock or share ownership in an organization that may benefit or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future.
  • Registration or application for patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
  • Receiving fees, salary, honoraria, funding or reimbursements from an organization with an interest in any patents relating to the content of the manuscript.

Non-financial conflicts of interest (or private interests) may be personal, professional, political, academic, intellectual, ideological, or religious. If you are unsure whether you have a competing interest, please contact the Editor.

Commercial authors:

Authors from pharmaceutical companies and any other commercial organizations with any involvement with clinical trials should declare their interests as potential conflicts. They should also adhere to the Good Publication Practice guidelines for pharmaceutical companies (e.g.: http://www.bmj.com/content/339/bmj.b4330). This applies to any organizations or individuals that work for commercial interests, including freelance writers, contract research groups and communications organizations. The use of such bodies in preparation of a manuscript must be declared at the time of submission. 

Editors and Reviewers:

Editors and reviewers are required to declare any potential financial or non-financial conflicts of interests and will be removed from the peer review process should any such conflicts be identified.

 Informed consent statements:

For all research involving human patients and volunteers, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from the participants (or legal guardian where the ethical committee requires this) and this statement must be made in the manuscript. Where images, material or specimens can be traced to individuals, written informed consent for the publication of these must be obtained from the participants (or appropriate legal guardian or next of kin if deceased) prior to submission.

 Experimental research on animals must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and have been approved by the appropriate ethics committee. The approving body and the legislated licence under which the work has taken place must be cited in the manuscript.

Human and animal rights statement:

All research reported in any submission must have adhered to all local, regional, institutional and national ethical guidelines for research on animals or on human subjects and had all necessary approvals and licences in place prior to the commencement of the research.  Approval from the relevant ethics committee must have been obtained for all reports that involve human patients or healthy volunteers, unless an adequate explanation is given.

Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee or have been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval -these must be verified upon request, so that the name of the appropriate committee and the registration number and title of the project must be provided on request.

Plagiarism Prevention

Barcaray Publishing encourages its editors to use iThenticate software (http://www.ithenticate.com) to detect instances of overlapping and duplicate text. The report from iThenticate will be made available to reviewers and editors and will be taken into account in the decisions regarding the manuscript.  No absolute number for decisions of an acceptable level of text similarity as each case is considered on its merits, for example a greater % similarity is allowed in Methods sections if standard methodologies are being described and a much lower tolerance exists for the Introduction or Discussion sections or in Editorials or Review articles.  In addition to overall text similarity the degree of similarity to text in any single article will be sought and a lower threshold for acceptable similarity will be applied.  Self-plagiarism will also be sought and excessive levels will be brought to the authors’ attention for correction.  All articles are reviewed for adequate citing of source material and any biases in favour or against original publication, either by individuals, research groups or nations will be investigated and may lead to the authors being warned or barred from future publication if repeated. 


Appeals and Complaints

Authors who wish to make a complaint should refer it to the Editor-in-Chief of the relevant journal (via icfjournalmanager@gmail.com, or either of the two co-editors-in-chief directly - please refer to editorial team page for contact emails). If a complaint is to be made concerning either of the co-Editors-in-Chief, the publisher will refer the matter to an experienced independent Editor-in-Chief of an unrelated journal for adjudication.

Advertising Policy

Barcaray Publishing stands for the highest standards in independent publishing.  We believe scientific publication should be free of direct commercial interests and as such we do not allow any advertising in our journals.

Journal Policy on Corrections, Retractions and Editorial Expressions of Concern

Barcaray Publishing believes in the essential requirement to establish a reliable permanent record of scientific publications. If a correction is required the journal will publish a citable and indexed correction notice and will publish a new article version with details of the changes made and the date of the changes and will archive the previous uncorrected version. Errors serious enough to invalidate a manuscripts results or conclusions will lead to a retraction.

When scientific misconduct is alleged, or concerns are otherwise raised about the conduct or integrity of manuscripts, the responsible editor will follow the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in investigation and publication of the review findings, and in how the manuscript is then handled, including correction, expressions of concern, publication of allegations and author's responses or full retraction as appropriate.

Editorial Policy and Ethical Publishing

Barcaray Publishing stands for the highest standards in independent editorial policies.  Its Editors-in-Chief are independent and experienced editors who command the respect of the scientific community.  We have developed the following publication policies with their guidance.

The journals and editors of Barcaray journals also ensure all authors comply with the updated "Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals” (ICMJE Recommendations), as revised in 2015 .

We ensure adherence to these guidelines by requiring each author to complete a declaration of contributorship to justify authorship of the manuscript, as well a statement documenting their access to study data at all stages and whether such access is ongoing.  This is reviewed by the journal editors who ultimately decide who should be considered and recognised as an author and who should be recognised as a non-author contributor. The corresponding author is required to obtain the written permission of all contributors prior to publication.

All authors are required to submit a signed form that discloses all conflicts of interest in the manner and detail of the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest. All articles will include statements derived from these conflict of interest forms and declarations of sponsorship, that list all authors potential conflicts of interest and declaring all sources of support for the work in the manuscript including names and their involvement in all stages of the production of the manuscript.

The journal editors will require a statement documenting authors access to study data at all stages and whether such access is ongoing in the case of commercial sponsorship of a work.  Policies on how Barcaray's journals ensure adherence to other recommendation of ICMJE are listed in the individual policy sections below. 

Upon submission authors are also asked to abide by the principles of ethical publishing of the journal (Shewan L.G., Coats A.J.S., Henein M. Requirements for Ethical Publishing in Biomedical Journals. International Cardiovascular Forum Journal. 2015;2:2. http://dx.doi.org/10.17987/icfj.v2i1.4, updated periodically) and to agree that if any of the principles ceases to be true the journal article will be retracted. The corresponding author will be required to submit a declaration along with the manuscript, on behalf of all the co-authors that they agree to the policies of the journal and to cite that in the text.

The journal reserves the right to check the facts of true and justifiable authorship and the authors remain under an obligation to notify the journal if any material errors, falsehoods or authorship disputes should arise.

Any manuscript submitted must not have been published previously in part or in whole and must not be under consideration for publication at the time of submission or before a final editorial decision has been reached. Any figure, graph or table that has been published elsewhere must be reported as such and can only be accepted if appropriate copyright permission for reproduction has be obtained from the copyright holder, and correct citation of the original article is included.

Editorial and Journal Staff Review, Duties of Confidentiality and Independence

Adherence to ICMJE recommendations on editorial and journal staff review is ensured by requiring editors to recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have any conflict of interest or relationships relevant to the manuscript. All journal staff (including guest editors) who participate in any way in editorial decisions are required to provide the Editor-in-Chief with a current description of their interests and potential conflicts and recuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict of interest exists. Editorial and journal staff are required to ensure they do not use information gained through working with manuscripts for their private gain.

Barcaray journals publish regular disclosure statements about potential conflicts of interests related to the commitments of journal staff. Editors of Barcaray journals are instructed not to share any information about manuscripts, including whether they have been received and are under review, their content and status in the review process, criticism by reviewers, and their ultimate fate, to anyone other than the authors and reviewers.

Barcaray journal systems also make clear that reviewers, editors and journal staff should keep manuscripts, associated material, and the information they contain strictly confidental and destroy all copies of manuscripts whether paper or electronic copies after completing review and editorial consideration.  Barcaray journal systems will destroy all copies of rejected manuscripts, but will archive all material related to decisions for accepted or under review papers for at least 3 years.  Barcaray as the owner of the journals will appoint expert Editors-in-Chief, with a contract that ensures their editorial independence and states their rights, duties and responsibilities as well as the appeal mechanism in the case of any dispute. Barcaray journals clearly show their governance and relationships with sponsoring societies on their web-sites.

Barcaray journal Editors-in-Chief have the final say in decisions about the acceptance of any sponsored content, including supplements, and in the use of the journal brand or any commercial use of journal content. Barcaray journals all have independent editorial advisory boards to help the Editor-in-Chief establish and maintain editorial policy. Barcaray ensures that appropriate insurance is obtained to protect editors from any action related to the conduct of their journal duties.

Data Sharing Policy

ICF Journal encourages authors to share the data and other artefacts supporting the results in the paper by archiving it in an appropriate public repository. Authors may provide a data availability statement, including a link to the repository they have used, in order that this statement can be published in their paper. Shared data should be cited. All accepted manuscripts may elect to publish a data availability statement to confirm the presence or absence of shared data. If you have shared data, this statement will describe how the data can be accessed, and include a persistent identifier (e.g., a DOI for the data, or an accession number) from the repository where you shared the data. You may use the Standard Templates for Author Use or draft your own.


Maltese Cardiac Society

Kosovo Society of Cardiology

  • Maltese Cardiac Society
  • Kosovo Society of Cardiology

Sources of Support

The Journal is an open access publisher and makes all published content freely available immediately to the scientific community with no pay-wall.  The journal is supported financially by its partner societies and the cost of peer-review, journal hosting, printing and distribution is partly defrayed by Author Publication and Submisison charges (as explained in the section "Author Fees").

Journal History

The International Cardiovascular Forum Journal (ICFJ) has been published by the International Cardiovascular Forum and affiliated societies since 2013.  The founding Editor in Chief is Professor Michael Henein. He was joined in 2016 as Co Editors-in-Chief by Professor Andrew JS Coats after he stepped down from 18 years serving as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Cardiology.