Ethical Approval

Trends in Medical Research is committed to upholding the integrity of the published work, which relies mainly on the ethical practices of everyone involved in the process. We encourage our authors, reviewers, and editors to refer to the Guidelineson the ethics of research and published codes of conduct developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Research Involving Human Subjects
While reporting the research that involves human subjects, human material, human tissues, or human data, the authors must declare that the investigations were carried out following the rules of the Declaration of Helsinki of 1975 , revised in 2013, that confirms (at point 23 of declaration) that study was approved by the ethical committee of the relevant institution, and attest that the study was undertaken following the ethical standards as defined by the Declaration of Helsinki. The Ethical approval letter in the Materials and Methodssection of the article should at least have a statement of project identification code, approval date, and names of the ethical committee members along with their affiliations. Data related to individual participants must be described in detail, but private information identifying participants need not be included unless the identifiable materials are of relevance to the research (for example, photographs of participant's faces that show a particular symptom). If the study is exempted from requiring ethical approval, it should be mentioned in the manuscript, explaining the reasons for exemption. The editors reserve the right to reject any submission that does not meet these requirements.

Example of an ethical statement
"All subjects gave their informed consent for inclusion before they participated in the study. The study was conducted following the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Ethics Committee approved the protocol of XXX (Project identification code)."

  • Written informed consent for publication must be obtained from participating individuals or patients who can be identified (including by the patients themselves). A template is available to download.
  • Patients' initials or other personal identifiers must not appear in any image.
  • For manuscripts that include any case details, personal information, and/or images of patients, authors must obtain signed informed consent from patients (or their relatives/guardians) before submitting to the Trends in Medical Research. You may refer to our template of the patient consent form for articles containing patient details and/or images.
  • Patient details must be anonymized as far as possible, e.g., do not mention specific age, ethnicity, or occupation where they are not relevant to the conclusions.
  • You must otherwise provide a detailed justification of why informed consent is not necessary.

Trends in Medical Research requires an approval, permission, or release form including an unlimited license for publication in all formats (including print, electronic, and online), in sub-licensed and reprinted versions (including translations and derived works), and in other works and products under open access license. To respect patients' and any other individual's privacy, please do not send signed forms. However, the journal reserves the right to ask authors to provide signed forms if necessary.

Clinical Trial Registration
According to World Health Organization (WHO) Clinical Trial is "any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes" where Intervention is "an act performed for, with or on behalf of a person or population whose purpose is to assess, improve, maintain, promote or modify health, functioning or health conditions" while the health-related outcome is any change in the health of a person/population due to intervention.

The author must register prospective clinical trials (phase II-IV trials) in the appropriate publicly availablerepositories (for example,www.clinicaltrials.gov or any WHO International Clinical Trial Registry Platform). The Trial Registration Number (TRN) and date of registration must be included as the last line of the abstract of the manuscript. For those clinical trials which have not been registered prospectively, authors of the study are encouraged to register retrospectively to ensure complete and proper publication of the results, and in this case, TRN, date of registration, and words ‘retrospectively registered’ should be included as the last line of the abstract.

Ethical Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Research
The editors will require that the benefits potentially derived from any research causing harm to animals are significant concerning any cost endured by animals and that the procedures followed are unlikely to offend the majority of readers. Authors should particularly ensure that their research complies with the commonly-accepted '3Rs':

  • Replacement of animals by alternatives wherever possible,
  • Reduction in the number of animals used, and
  • Refinement of experimental conditions and procedures to minimize the harm to animals.

Any experimental work must also have been conducted following relevant national legislation on the use of animals for research. For further guidance, authors should refer to the Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Used in Scientific Procedures.

Manuscripts containing original descriptions of research conducted in experimental animals must include details of approval by a properly constituted research ethics committee. As a minimum, the project identification code, date of approval, and the name of the ethics committee or institutional review board should be cited in the Methods section.

Trends in Medical Research endorses the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting experiments using live animals. Authors and reviewers can use the ARRIVE guidelines as a checklist.

Research Involving Cell Lines
Materials and Methods sections for submissions reporting on research with cell lines should state the origin of any cell lines (humans etc.), when and from where it was obtained, if it has been authenticated, and by which method, references must also be given to either a published paper or to a commercial source (company name, cell type, number of cell lines, and batch of cells). If previously unpublished de novo cell lines were used, including those gifted from another laboratory. In that case, details of institutional review board or ethics committee approval must be given, and confirmation of written informed consent must be provided if the line is of human origin.
NCBI database should be checked for misidentification and contamination of human cell lines before the study or submitting the manuscript to save considerable time and effort by altering the author to possible problems with the cell line. For more information, follow the International Cell Line Authentication Committee.

An example of Ethical Statements
The HCT116 cell line was obtained from XXXX. The MLH1+ cell line was provided by XXXXX, Ltd. The DLD-1 cell line was obtained from Dr. XXXX. The DR-GFP and SA-GFP reporter plasmids were obtained from Dr. XXX and the Rad51K133A expression vector was obtained from Dr. XXXX.

Research Involving Plants
Experimental research on plants (either cultivated or wild), including the collection of plant material, must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines. We recommend that authors comply with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

For each submitted manuscript supporting genetic information and origin must be provided. For research manuscripts involving rare and non-model plants (other than, e.g., Arabidopsis thaliana, Nicotiana benthamiana, Oriza sativa, or many other typical model plants), voucher specimens must be deposited in an accessible herbarium or museum. Vouchers may be requested for review by future investigators to verify the identity of the material used in the study (especially if taxonomic rearrangements will occur in the future). They should include details of the populations sampled on the site of collection (GPS coordinates), date of collection, and document the part(s) used in the study where appropriate. For rare, threatened, or endangered species, this can be waived, but the author must describe this in the cover letter.

The editors reserve the right to reject any submission that does not meet these requirements.

An example of Ethical Statements
Toreniafournieri plants were used in this study. White-flowered Crown White (CrW) and violet-flowered Crown Violet (CrV) cultivars selected from ‘Crown Mix’ (XXX Company, City, Country) were kindly provided by Dr. XXX (XXX Institute, City, Country). Arabidopsis mutant lines (SALKxxxx, SAILxxxx,...) were kindly provided by Dr. XXX, institute, city, country).

Retrospective Ethics Approval
If a study has not been approvedby the ethical committee before commencing the research, a retrospective ethical approval can’t be obtained, and thus, it will not be possible to consider the article for peer review, and the decision on whether to proceed to peer review lies at Editor’s discretion.

Ethical Approval for Retrospective Studies
Though retrospective studies are conducted on the data or material already available, where informed consent is either not needed or difficult to obtain, ethical approval, however, can be required based on the law and the national ethical guideline of the respective country, therefore, authors should check with theirrelevantinstitutions to assurecompliance with the specific requirements by the law.