Publishing Ethics

Complying with ethics of experimentation

Please ensure that all research reported in submitted papers has been conducted in an ethical and responsible manner, and is in full compliance with all relevant codes of experimentation and legislation. All papers which report in vivo experiments or clinical trials on humans or animals must include a written statement in the Methods section. This should explain that all work was conducted with the formal approval of the local human subject or animal care committees (institutional and national), and that clinical trials have been registered as legislation requires. Authors who do not have formal ethics review committees should include a statement that their study follows the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.


All authors are required to follow the ICMJE requirements on privacy and informed consent from patients and study participants. Please confirm that any patient, service user, or participant (or that person's parent or legal guardian) in any research, experiment, or clinical trial described in your paper has given written consent to the inclusion of material pertaining to themselves, that they acknowledge that they cannot be identified via the paper; and that you have fully anonymized them. Where someone is deceased, please ensure you have written consent from the family or estate. Authors may use this Patient Consent Form, which should be completed, saved, and sent to the journal if requested. If an exemption to full patient consent has been granted please state so eg. “The XXX Research Ethics board grants exemption to the written consent.”

Health and Safety

Please confirm that all mandatory laboratory health and safety procedures have been complied with in the course of conducting any experimental work reported in your paper. Please ensure your paper contains all appropriate warnings on any hazards that may be involved in carrying out the experiments or procedures you have described, or that may be involved in instructions, materials, or formulae.

Please include all relevant safety precautions; and cite any accepted standard or code of practice. Authors working in animal science may find it useful to consult the International Association of Veterinary Editors' Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare and Guidelines for the Treatment of Animals in Behavioural Research and Teaching. When a product has not yet been approved by an appropriate regulatory body for the use described in your paper, please specify this, or that the product is still investigational.