Any research involving human or animal subjects should normally have obtained ethical approval from a formal body within the authors’ institution. The need for ethical approval may differ between countries, and the editor may decide whether to accept the requirements made in the author’s country, or impose the ethical standards of the editor’s country but in general, ethical standards applicable at the place where the study was conducted are preferred.
Ethical approval should be noted in the published article, and if such approval was not required, this should also be noted in the articles. Case reports and review articles do not normally require ethical approval.
Retrospective ethics approval is not normally acceptable without detailed explanation of why it could not be obtained in advance. Equally patient consent (to participate in the study) should be obtained in advance. Further details of informed consent are available under the informed consent policy.
The journal will not publish any research that infringes the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki – Ethical Principles For Medical Research Involving Human Subjects. https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/
All research must adhere to these principles and if the editors or reviewers consider the reported research to have infringed these principles they have a duty to reject the article, and to report the authors to their institution(s).
When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare