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Publication Ethics


The AATS Journals follow ICMJE criteria for defining authorship. The following criteria should be met by each listed author:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. Agreement 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.

Transparent Disclosures

Readers must be able to make their own judgments regarding whether an author's relationships and activities are pertinent to a paper's content. These judgments require transparent disclosures. —ICMJE Recommendations, revised December 2021.

The AATS Journals are committed to upholding the ICMJE's guidelines for author disclosures. Accordingly, we request that authors disclose all commercial relationships (paid and unpaid), regardless of relevance to the submitted work. Disclosure represents a commitment to transparency and does not necessarily indicate a bias.

It is the corresponding author's responsibility to ensure that all disclosures appear on the title page at the time of initial manuscript submission. At the moment a revised manuscript is submitted, each author will be emailed a link to complete a required electronic questionnaire. Authors must confirm their authorship and report all commercial financial relationships, in line with the ICMJE Recommendations.

Management and Resolution of Conflicts of Interest

If conflicts of interest exist, authors should include a statement in the Acknowledgments section of the initial manuscript explaining how the conflicts were managed in order to avoid bias in the paper. If the Editors determine that a conflict may have influenced any part of a manuscript, the author(s) will be given an opportunity to respond and, if necessary, submit additional information indicating how they balanced the conflict. The author(s) will be encouraged to suggest measures designed to resolve the conflict.

Failure to report conflicts of interest will result in the disqualification of the submission from publication. In addition, authors who violate this policy may be denied the privilege of publishing their work in the AATS Journals for 2 years. All suspected violations will be reviewed by the AATS Publications Committee and/or the AATS Ethics Committee, which will make a recommendation to the AATS Council regarding censure.

Patient Data

If a paper reports patient data in any form, the authors should provide an IRB/ERB statement and an Informed Consent Statement in the body of the manuscript. We ask that this information appear in the body of the manuscript so that readers will have access to this important information. Further details are provided to follow.

IRB/ERB Statement

In the body of the manuscript (in the Methods section if a full-length article), please provide a statement regarding approval by the IRB, ERB, or the institutional ethics committee. If your study received IRB/ERB approval, please provide the approval number and the date of approval. If the IRB/ERB deemed your study exempt, please provide the IRB/ERB's reason for providing exemption.

In the Methods section, please provide a statement specifying whether patients provided informed written consent for the publication of their study data. If the need for informed written consent was waived by the IRB/ERB, please provide the IRB/ERB's reason for granting the waiver.

Patient privacy must be protected. Care should be taken to ensure patients cannot be recognized in photography, videos, or text. There are rare cases in which photographs and videos contain significant identifying factors such as hair color, skin tone, body hair, tattoos, height, body type, clothing, etc, which (especially when taken in combination) would make the patient readily recognizable to people who know them well. For example, a large portion of a patient's body may be shown to illustrate a scar/postoperative healing. In these rare cases, we require that a Patient Consent Form be uploaded to the Editorial Manager system.

Declaration of Helsinki

The AATS Journals adhere to the principles set forth in the Helsinki Declaration, which requires that all published reports concerning human participants are conducted in accordance with its universally accepted principles.

Humane Animal Care

All papers reporting experiments using animals must include a statement in the Methods section of the manuscript providing assurance that all animals received humane care in compliance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, eighth edition. Papers submitted by authors from outside the United States must be in compliance with the guidelines established by their country's government or those of the National Institutes of Health and must include a statement to that effect in the Methods section. Papers that do not adhere to generally accepted standards will be denied publication.