Publishing Ethics

When reporting studies on human subjects all authors are required to follow the ICMJE requirements on privacy and informed consent. Information that could be used to identify patients, in the form of written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees, should not be published unless it is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Where someone is deceased, please ensure you have written consent from the family or estate. The authors are responsible for obtaining and retaining the documentation of such permission, which should not be forwarded to the Journal office in order to protect the privacy of the patients. Please ensure the consent form used makes it clear what current and further uses might be made of the published manuscript, including both online and print forms and free availability on the internet as well as potentially on social media accounts affiliated with the journal.

Studies involving animal experiments must state that their care was in accordance with the institution's or national research council's guidelines for, or any national law on the care and use of laboratory animals. All animal work must have been conducted according to relevant national and international guidelines. Animal experimental procedure should be made as humane as possible and the details of anaesthetics and analgesics used should be clearly stated.

Clinical trials and studies involving animal experiments must be approved by a local ethics committee. The researchers are strongly advised to register clinical trials to public trial registers, such as Trial registration numbers should be included, and full details in the  methods section.