RESEARCH ETHICS AND POLICIES
Conflict of Interest:
Financial contributions and any potential conflict of interest must be clearly acknowledged under the heading ‘Conflict of Interest’. Authors must list the source(s) of funding for the study. This should be done for each author.
All individuals listed as authors must have contributed substantially to the design, performance, analysis, or reporting of the work and are required to indicate their specific contribution. Anyone (individual/company/institution) who has substantially contributed to the study for important intellectual content, or was involved in the in drafting or revising the manuscript must also be acknowledged.
Guest or honorary authorship based solely on position (e.g. research supervisor, departmental head) is discouraged.
HUMAN AND ANIMAL RIGHTS:
All clinical investigations should be conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki principles. For all manuscripts reporting data from studies involving human participants, formal review and approval by an appropriate institutional review board or ethics committee are required.
For research involving animals, the authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the standards set forth in the eighth edition of “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” (grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/guide-for-the-care-and-use-of-laboratory-animals_prepub.pdf published by the National Academy of Sciences, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.).
Research Involving Animals:
Research work on animals should be carried out in accordance with the NC3Rs ARRIVE Guidelines. For In Vivo Experiments, please visit https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/arrive-guidelines
Authors should clearly state the name of the approval committee, highlighting that legal and ethical approvals were obtained prior to initiation of the research work carried out on animals, and that the experiments were performed in accordance with the relevant guidelines and regulations stated below.
- US authors should cite compliance with the US National Research Council's "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals"
- The US Public Health Service's "Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" and "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals"
- UK authors should conform to UK legislation under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations (SI 2012/3039).
- European authors outside the UK should conform to Directive 2010/63/EU.
- Research on animals should adhere to ethical guidelines of The Basel Declaration and the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) ethical guidelines.
- The manuscript should clearly include a declaration of compliance with the relevant guidelines (e.g. the revised Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in the UK and Directive 2010/63/EU in Europe) and/or relevant permissions or licenses obtained by the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Research Involving Plants
All experimental research on plants (either cultivated or wild), should comply with international guidelines. The manuscript should include a declaration of compliance of field studies with relevant guidelines and/or relevant permissions or licenses obtained by the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Compliance with the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors www.icmje.org) is recommended, in accordance with the patient’s consent for research or participation in a study as per the applicable laws and regulations regarding the privacy and/or security of personal information, including, but not limited to, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") and other U.S. federal and state laws relating to confidentiality and security of personally distinguishable evidence, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 and member state implementing legislation, Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, India's Information Technology Act and related Privacy Rules, (together "Data Protection and Privacy Laws").
It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that:
- Patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers are not mentioned anywhere in the manuscript (including figures).
- Authors are responsible for obtaining the patient consent-to-disclose forms for all recognizable patients in photographs, videos, or other information that may be published in the Journal, in derivative works, or on the journal’s web site and for providing the manuscript to the recognizable patient for review before submission.
- The consent-to-disclose form should indicate specific use (publication in the medical literature in print and online, with the understanding that patients and the public will have access) of the patient's information and any images in figures or videos, and must contain the patient's signature or that of a legal guardian along with a statement that the patient or legal guardian has been offered the opportunity to review the identifying materials and the accompanying manuscript.
- If the manuscript has an individuals’ data, such as personal details, audio-video material, etc., consent should be obtained from that individual. In case of children, consent should be obtained from the parent or the legal guardian.
- A specific declaration of such approval and consent-to-disclose form must be made in the copyright letter and in a stand-alone paragraph at the end of the article especially in the case of human studies where inclusion of a statement regarding obtaining the written informed consent from each subject or subject's guardian is a must. The original should be retained by the guarantor or the corresponding author. Editors may request to provide the original forms by fax or email.
- All such case reports require by a proper consent being obtained prior to publishing.
Editors may request that authors provide documentation of the formal review and recommendation from the institutional review board or ethics committee responsible for oversight of the study. The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned requirements. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned requirements.
Anonymous images, that do not identify the individual directly or indirectly, such as through any identifying marks or text, do not require formal consent, for example, X-rays, ultrasound images, pathology slides or laparoscopic images.
In case consent is not obtained, concealing the identity through eye bars or blurring the face would not be acceptable.
Unethical behavior and misconduct may be pointed out by anyone to the Editor and Publisher with sufficient evidences. The Editor, in consultation with the Publisher, will initiate investigation against this Unethical misconduct, complete the procedure till an unbiased decision is reached, and maintain confidentiality throughout the process of the investigation. The Author should be given the opportunity to reply to all minor or major accusations.
In case of serious breaches, the employer may be informed where appropriate, by the Editor/Publisher, after reviewing all available information and evidences or after seeking help from experts in that field.
- Author(s) and Reviewers must be informed in case of misinterpretation or mishandling of International Acceptable Standards.
- A strict notice should be sent to the author and reviewer to avoid future unethical misconduct.
- An Editorial on the reported misconduct should be published or official notice of unethical behavior should be posted on the website.
- Official letter about this misconduct should be issued to the Head of Departments, Funding Agencies of the accused author and the reviewer, as well as Abstracting & Indexing Agencies.
- Where required, retraction and withdrawal of publication may be undertaken from the Publisher’s journal in discussion with the Head of the Department of the author or reviewer, and other higher authorities should be informed.
- The Publisher may impose restrictions for some period on future publications from the accused author in the journals.
Consent for Publication:
If the manuscript has an individuals’ data, such as personal detail, audio-video material etc., consent should be obtained from that individual. In case of children, consent should be obtained from the parent or the legal guardian.
All such case reports should be followed by a proper consent prior to publishing.
A specific declaration of such approval and consent-to-disclose form must be made in the copyright letter and in a stand-alone paragraph at the end of the article especially in the case of human studies where inclusion of a statement regarding obtaining the written informed consent from each subject or subject's guardian is a must. The original should be retained by the guarantor or corresponding author. Editors may request to provide the original forms by fax or email.
Protection of Human Subjects and Animals in Research:
When reporting experiments involving human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.
For research involving animals, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the standards set forth in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (published by the National Academy of Science, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.)
The authors will be required to submit the Microarray experiment data to the ArrayExpress using the MIAMExpress submission tool (www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/), which will be subjected to reviewing by the curation team and if accepted, an ArrayExpress accession number would be assigned for it. The ArrayExpress offers the facility to maintain the data until the related paper is published.
Microarray data should be made available for reviewers and editors at the time of manuscript submission in a MIAME compliant and widely accessible format. Submission of large raw and/or analyzed microarray data files as supplementary data to the journal should be discouraged, which may alternatively be submitted either to the Gene Expression Omnibus http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/ or ArrayExpress http://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress repositories, thereby obtaining an accession number for the journal and any necessary passwords, to facilitate the reviewers and editors of a manuscript to access the data. The submission of the microarray data to either of these repositories should be done at or before acceptance of a paper for publication, with accession number being allotted well before publication.
The authors are encouraged to use standardized nomenclature wherever necessary:
- The SI units should be used; if not exclusively, please provide the SI value in parentheses after each value.
- Species names should be italicized (e.g., Homo sapiens). The generic name of a species should be given in full the first time it appears in the text. The author authority for each species is desirable on its first mention. Chemical formulae may not be used as abbreviations in the text.
- Genes, mutations, genotypes, and alleles should also be indicated in italics but the protein product of a gene should be in Roman type . Use the recommended name by consulting the appropriate genetic nomenclature database, e.g., HUGO for human genes. It is sometimes advisable to indicate the synonyms for the gene the first time it appears in the text. Gene prefixes such as those used for oncogenes or cellular localization should be shown in roman: v-fes, c-MYC, etc.
- The Recommended International Non-Proprietary Name (rINN) of drugs should be provided.
- In case of usage of symbols that do not conform to those that have previously appeared in the literature, their aliases may be obtained from the approved nomenclature in the Human Gene Nomenclature Database (Genew) [www.gene.ucl.ac.uk/nomenclature/guidelines.html] and LocusLink, to allow retrieval of all the information available for each gene.
The Latin name and taxonomic authority (e.g. Linnaeus) should be given for all experimental species. Chemical nomenclature must conform to the Subject Index of Chemical Abstracts.
All appropriate datasets, images, and information should be deposited in public resources. Please provide the relevant accession numbers (and version numbers, if appropriate) and any necessary passwords to enable the reviewers and editors of a manuscript to access the data.
Providing accession numbers facilitates linking to and from the established databases and integrates the article with a broader collection of scientific information, therefore list all accession numbers should be listed directly after the Supporting Information section.
All accession numbers for all entities such as genes, proteins, mutants, diseases, etc., for which there is an entry in a public database should be included in the manuscript. Experimental data should be submitted to the appropriate databases, with a release date corresponding to the date of publication.