Research Ethics Policy
Authors should take care that their research is justified, well planned, and appropriately designed in order to successfully address the research question. Statistical issues, including power calculations, should be considered early in study design in order to avoid futile studies which may present a risk to subjects without enrollment sufficient to answer the research question. Outcomes should be specified at the start of the study. Research should be conducted to high standards of quality control and data analysis. Data and records must be retained and produced for review upon request. Fabrication, falsification, concealment, deceptive reporting, or misrepresentation of data constitute scientific misconduct. The Materials and Methods section of the manuscript should explain the method of any randomization, blinding and selection of specific statistical tests, and explain dropouts/exclusions and confounding variables. Approval from the appropriate review board (Institutional Review Board or Ethics committee) is required for all studies involving people, medical records, and human tissues. If access to a formal ethics review committee is not possible, the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki should be followed. If the study is judged exempt from review, this statement should be made in writing within the manuscript. Informed consent by participants should always be attained. If not possible, an institutional review board must make the determination of whether the study is ethically acceptable, and this must be noted in the manuscript. The above policies should be described in the Materials and Methods section of the manuscript. Animal experiments must comply with local, national, ethical, and regulatory principles, and local licensing arrangements.