Professional Development

43 - Ethical obligations of the author
When reporting experiments with human subjects, authors should indicate compliance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, and its further revisions. If there are doubts regarding such compliance, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should also indicate compliance with the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals. In research with new therapies, participants must give their consent prior to any procedure.Most biomedical journals will not consider manuscripts that are being simultaneously considered by other journals. The reasons for this attitude are: 1) the potential for disagreement when two (or more) journals claim the right to publish a manuscript that has been submitted simultaneously to more than one; and 2) the possibility that two or more journals will unknowingly and unnecessarily peer review and edit the same manuscript, and publish the same article. Many biomedical journals ask authors to transfer copyright to the journal. Editors should make their position on copyright transfer clear to authors and to others who might be interested in using editorial content from their journals. The copyright status of articles vary from journal to journal: certain contents cannot be copyrighted (articles written by U.S. government employees and certain governments in the course of their work, for example); editors may agree to waive copyright on others; still others may be protected under serial rights (permission to use material in publications other than journals, including electronic publications).