Research Ethics

Research Involving Human Subjects

When publishing research involving human subjects, human material, human tissues, or human data, authors must state that the research was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki of 1975, as revised in 2013 ( According to this declaration, approval from a local institutional review board (IRB) or other suitable ethics committee must be acquired prior to conducting research to ensure that it complies with national and international standards.

Ethical Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Research

The editors will demand that the potential advantages of animal-harming research outweigh the animals' suffering, and that the methods used are unlikely to offend the majority of readers. Authors should guarantee that their study adheres to the generally accepted '3Rs':

  • Whenever possible, replacing animals with alternatives.
  • Reduction in the number of animals used.
  • Refinement of experimental conditions and methods to reduce animal suffering.

For more assistance authors should refer the Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Used in Scientific Procedures, the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science or the European Animal Research Association.