Ethical Policy For Authors

For research articles, authors are required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal. Authors also should provide information about formal ethical review or approval. 

Authors should ensure the following ethical criteria are met:

  • The data is completely anonymous with no personal information being collected; (apart from their name, their publically available contact details and a record of consent);
  • The data is not considered to be sensitive or confidential in nature;
  • The issues being researched are not likely to upset or disturb participants;
  • Vulnerable or dependent groups are respected;
  • There is no risk of possible disclosures or reporting obligations.

Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for research participant information and images to be published was provided by the research participant(s) or a legally authorized representative.

A competing interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as the validity of research findings) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal rivalry). By requiring the disclosure of all funding sources and competing interests, we are seeking to improve the transparency of scientific communications by providing information that could be useful in the review process and in the interpretation of the author's conclusions.  It is a statement included at the end of the manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, it is still important to indicate in the publication that there were no funding sources and/or no competing interests by stating: ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’.

The Editor will review and approve the statement prior to its publication with the paper.