Peer Review Process

This section provides a brief overview of the peer review process for the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery (ACS).

1. Review criteria
Manuscripts are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • the manuscript is written clearly and in accordance with the guidelines for authors;
  • the material is original and timely;
  • appropriate study methods and statistics have been used;
  • the data are valid;
  • the conclusions are reasonable and well supported by the data;
  • the information contained in the manuscript is important, topical, and medically relevant;
  • the manuscript is within the scope of an ACS upcoming focused issue

2. Peer Review Mode
Typically, every manuscript is reviewed by at least two reviewers. However, on occasion the opinions of more reviewers are sought. Peer reviewers are selected based on their expertise and ability to provide high quality, constructive, and fair reviews. For research manuscripts, the editors may, in addition, seek the opinion of a statistical reviewer.

The existence of a manuscript under review should not be revealed to anyone other than the peer reviewers and editorial staff. Peer reviewers are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to the manuscripts they review and must not divulge any information about a specific manuscript or its content to any third party without prior permission from the journal’s editors.

Information from submitted manuscripts may be systematically collected and analyzed to help improve the quality of the editorial or peer-review processes. Identifying information remains confidential.

Final decisions regarding the publication of manuscripts are made by the Editor in Chief.

3. Online review system – free submissions
To ensure a convenient and efficient peer review process, peer reviews for free submissions are generally conducted electronically via the ScholarOne system.

4. Peer review flowchart
Invited submissions:

  1. All manuscripts are reviewed by the Managing Editor for conformance to submission guidelines
  2. Depending on the type of manuscript, the Managing Editor sends the manuscript to either Section Editors, Issue Editors, or members of the Associate Editors/Editorial Board members with related expertise
  3. All manuscripts are also sent to the Guest Editor(s) for review
  4. Recommendations are sent to the Editor-in-Chief, with further reviews requested if conflicting opinions
  5. The Editor-in-Chief makes a decision on the manuscript, for which there are four options: accept, minor revision, major revision, or reject.


  • Submissions co-authored by a Guest Editor are sent for independent review in lieu of step 3
  • The Editor-in-Chief has the final decision on whether an article is accepted or not.

Updated on July 21, 2020