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 sign a declaration 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.

Human experiments: All work must be conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Papers describing experimental work on human participants which carries a risk of harm must include (1) a statement that the experiments were conducted with the understanding and the consent of each participant, and (2) a statement that the responsible, ethical committee has approved the experiments.  

Animal experiments: 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 the use of muscle relaxants, describe the precautions taken to ensure adequate anaesthesia. 

Experiments on isolated tissues: Indicate precisely how you obtained the donor tissue. The NIH guide  for the care and use of laboratory animals (National Institutes of Health Publications No. 80-23, revised 1978) gives guidelines for the acquisition and care of animals.