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Quality assessment process for scientific papers

The quality assessment infographic and associated documents are only applicable to those writing papers officially on behalf of, or in collaboration, with ACNAP for papers being proposed and submitted to the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (EJCN). This process, overseen by the ACNAP Science Committee and Sub-Committee, is to ensure papers are methodologically robust and adhere to the standards expected by ACNAP, but does not guarantee acceptance by the journal as the paper will still undergo EJCN peer-review process. The suite of documents comprises ACNAP Quality Assessment Template and General Principles for ACNAP review. If further information is required, please contact

PURPOSE: Describe the process for ACNAP Science Sub-Committee manuscript approval prior to submission to the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (EJCN).

  1. The complete paper (inclusive of tables, figures, charts, etc.…) must be submitted by the corresponding author to ACNAP Science Sub-Committee via email to: for review.

  2. At least two members of the ACNAP Science Sub-Committee (reviewer 1- methodological expertise, reviewer 2 – content expertise) will review the submission using the Quality Assessment Template (QAT). If reviewers cannot be identified within the ACNAP Science Sub-Committee, members of the ACNAP Science Committee will be selected.

  3. Each reviewer will be expected to review the paper using the QAT, which will then be returned to the chair of the ACNAP Science Sub-Committee within five calendar weeks of receiving the manuscript.

  4. If there are differences in assessment between the reviewers, the paper will be reviewed by all members of the ACNAP Science Sub-Committee, and a consensus decision will be made.

  5. If the paper is of appropriate quality, authors will be provided with a Letter of Approval from the ACNAP Science Sub-Committee and asked to submit both the Letter of Approval and the paper to the ESC Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) Committee.

  6. If the paper is not considered to be of appropriate quality, the ACNAP Science Sub-Committee Chair will provide written feedback on the areas that require revision. Additional online feedback may be offered, if applicable.

    In certain instances, members of the ACNAP Science Sub-Committee may be commissioned to provide mentorship. Depending on the level of mentorship required, either co-authorship or acknowledgement of preparation of manuscript may be appropriate. Authorship will be determined if a contributor meets the following four criteria:
    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.

      Contributors who meet fewer than all four of the above criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors but should be acknowledged (

  7. See the infographic below:

Infographic of manuscript approval process.png


Download the Quality Assessment Template (QAT)