Ethical Clearance

Subject consent forms

Subjects have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying details (written or photographic) should be omitted if they are not essential, but subject data should never be altered or falsified in an attempt to attain anonymity. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, and a consent form should be obtained if there is any doubt.

Ethics committee approval

Authors must state in writing that the research was conducted within the guidelines below and under the terms of all relevant local legislation. Please also look at the latest version of the Declaration of Helsinki. The Editors reserve the right to judge the appropriateness of the use and treatment of humans or animals in experiments for publication in the journal.

  • Include a statement on ethics approval and consent (even where the need for approval was waived)
  • Include the name of the ethics committee that approved the study and the committee’s reference number if appropriate.
  • Consent for Publication, If your manuscript contains any individual person’s data in any form (including individual details, images or videos), consent to publish must be obtained from that person, or in the case of children, their parent or legal guardian. All presentations of case reports must have consent to publish. You can use your institutional consent form or our consent form if you prefer. You do not need to send the form to us on submission, but we may request to see a copy at any stage (including after publication). See our editorial policies for more information. If your manuscript does not contain any individual persons data, please state “Not applicable” in this section.
  • Studies involving animals must include a statement on ethics approval. In papers describing experiments on living animals, include (1) a full description of any anaesthetic and surgical procedure used, and (2) evidence that all possible steps were taken to avoid animals' suffering at each stage of the experiment. In experiments involving muscle relaxants, describe the precautions taken to ensure adequate anaesthesia. If your manuscript does not report on or involve the use of any animal or human data or tissue, this section is not applicable to your submission. Please state “Not applicable” in this section.
  • Invasive to Human Intervention, Statement that the experiment was conducted with the understanding and approval of each participant, and the statement that the committee responsible and ethical has approved the trial.
  • Consent from potentially vulnerable respondents, Studies that involves potentially vulnerable groups, for example children, older persons, or adults with learning disabilities), every effort should be made to secure freely given informed consent that participants have actively provided. It has to ensure that they have the opportunity and time to access support in their decision-making (discussing their choice with a trusted adult or relative).