Research and Publication Ethics

Research and Publication Ethics

Research Ethics

Research Involving Human Subjects

When presenting research involving human subjects, human material, tissues, or data, authors must affirm that the investigations adhered to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki of 1975 (, revised in 2013. As outlined in point 23 of this declaration, approval from the local institutional review board (IRB) or an appropriate ethics committee is mandatory before commencing the research, ensuring compliance with national and international guidelines. The article's 'Institutional Review Board Statement' must include, at a minimum, the project identification code, approval date, and the name of the ethics committee or institutional review board.


Example of an ethical statement:


"All subjects provided informed consent before participating in the study. The study adhered to the Declaration of Helsinki and received approval from the Ethics Committee of XXX (Project identification code)."


For non-interventional studies (e.g., surveys, questionnaires, social media research), participants must be fully informed about the assurance of anonymity, the research purpose, data utilization, and any associated risks. Ethical approval from an appropriate committee is essential before conducting the study. If no ethical approval is required, authors should either provide an exemption from the ethics committee or cite local or national legislation indicating such exemption. In cases of granted exemption, the ethics committee's name should be stated in the 'Institutional Review Board Statement,' accompanied by a detailed explanation of why ethical approval was unnecessary.


A written informed consent for publication must be secured from participating patients. Descriptions of individual participants' data must be comprehensive, excluding private identifiers unless relevant to the research (e.g., photographs depicting specific symptoms). Manuscripts featuring case details, personal information, or patient images require signed informed consent for publication from patients (or their relatives/guardians) before submission to the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences. Patient details should be anonymized, avoiding unnecessary specifics like age, ethnicity, or occupation. Editors retain the right to reject submissions not meeting these requirements.


Authors may refer to a sample form or provide an appropriate one after consulting with their affiliated institution. Consent, permission, or release forms should grant unlimited permission for publication in all formats, including print, electronic, online, sublicensed, reprinted versions, translations, derived works, and other products under an open-access license. To preserve privacy, authors should refrain from sending signed forms initially, with the understanding that the journal may request them if necessary.


For studies involving vulnerable groups, an additional review may be conducted. The editorial office reserves the right to scrutinize submitted manuscripts, requesting documentary evidence (blank consent forms and related discussion documents from the ethics board). When studies categorize groups by race, ethnicity, gender, disability, disease, etc., the article must explicitly explain the necessity for such categorization.


Guidelines on Ethical Use of Animals in Research


The editorial board mandates that research inflicting harm on animals must demonstrate significant benefits relative to the animals' incurred costs, ensuring procedures are unlikely to offend the majority of readers. Authors must adhere to the widely accepted '3Rs [1]':


  • Replacement: Substitute animals with alternatives when feasible,

  • Reduction: Minimize the number of animals used, and

  • Refinement: Adjust experimental conditions to minimize harm.


Authors are required to include details on housing, husbandry, and pain management in their manuscripts.


For additional guidance, authors should consult resources such as the Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Used in Scientific Procedures [2], American Association for Laboratory Animal Science [3], or European Animal Research Association [4].


Studies involving vertebrates or higher invertebrates, as mandated by national legislation, must secure approval from the appropriate ethics committee. The 'Institutional Review Board Statement' in the manuscript should include, at a minimum, the project identification code, approval date, and the ethics committee or institutional review board's name. Research procedures must adhere to national and institutional regulations, with statements on animal welfare affirming compliance with relevant legislation. Clinical studies involving animals outside routine care necessitate ethics committee oversight, following the American Veterinary Medical Association's guidelines. In studies involving client-owned animals, informed client consent is mandatory, and owners must be fully informed of associated risks and the intention to publish the research. If available, a high standard of veterinary care should be provided, with authors assuming responsibility for the correctness of statements in the manuscript.


If national laws do not require ethical approval, authors must provide an exemption from the ethics committee, accompanied by a full explanation of why ethical approval was unnecessary.


In cases where no animal ethics committee reviews applications, the research's ethics will be evaluated by reviewers and editors. Authors should provide a statement justifying the work ethically, applying the same utilitarian framework used by ethics committees. This may be requested even if ethical approval has been obtained.


The Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences supports the ARRIVE guidelines ( for reporting experiments with live animals. Authors and reviewers must use the ARRIVE guidelines as a checklist, accessible at Editors retain the right to request the checklist and reject submissions not complying with these guidelines or those raising ethical or animal welfare concerns, or if the described procedure lacks justification based on the work's value.


[1] NSW Department of Primary Industries and Animal Research Review Panel. Three Rs. Available online:


[2]Home Office. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Bred, Supplied or Used for Scientific Purposes. Available online:


[3] American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. The Scientific Basis for Regulation of Animal Care and Use. Available online:


[4] European Animal Research Association. EU regulations on animal research. Available online:


Cell Line Research Protocol


For manuscripts detailing research involving cell lines, the Methods section should explicitly indicate the cell lines' origin. In cases of established cell lines, the provenance must be specified, accompanied by references to either a published paper or a commercial source. For de novo cell lines, whether previously unpublished or received from another laboratory, authors must provide details of institutional review board or ethics committee approval. Additionally, confirmation of written informed consent is required for cell lines of human origin.


Example of Ethical Statements:


The HCT116 cell line was acquired 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 sourced from Dr. XXX. The Rad51K133A expression vector was obtained from Dr. XXXX.


Plant-Based Research Guidelines


Experimental research involving plants, whether cultivated or wild, must adhere to institutional, national, or international guidelines. Authors are encouraged to align with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.


For every submitted manuscript, authors must furnish supporting genetic information and disclose the origin of plants. In the case of research manuscripts featuring rare and non-model plants (excluding typical models like Arabidopsis thaliana, Nicotiana benthamiana, Oryza sativa, or others), voucher specimens must be deposited in an accessible herbarium or museum. These vouchers may be subject to future review by investigators for material identity verification, particularly in the event of taxonomic rearrangements. Information should encompass details on sampled populations (including GPS coordinates), collection date, and, where relevant, specify the plant parts used in the study. While this requirement can be waived for rare, threatened, or endangered species, authors must explicitly address this in the cover letter.


Editors retain the right to reject any submission not meeting these stipulations.


Example of Ethical Statements:


  • Torenia fournieri plants utilized in this study included White-flowered Crown White (CrW) and violet-flowered Crown Violet (CrV) cultivars selected from ‘Crown Mix’ (XXX Company, City, Country), kindly provided by Dr. XXX (XXX Institute, City, Country).

  • Arabidopsis mutant lines (SALKxxxx, SAILxxxx,…) were generously provided by Dr. XXX, Institute, City, Country).


Clinical Trials Registration Guidelines




In adherence to the guidelines set by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences mandates the registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry before the first patient enrollment as a prerequisite for publication consideration. Purely observational studies are exempt from this requirement. The scope of clinical trials encompasses not only studies within a hospital or involving pharmaceuticals but also includes any study employing participant randomization and group classification within the context of the assessed intervention.


Authors are strongly recommended to pre-register clinical trials with an international clinical trials register and reference this registration in the Methods section. Appropriate databases for registration include, the EU Clinical Trials Register, and those endorsed by the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.


Approval from an independent review body, whether local, regional, or national, does not serve as a substitute for prospective clinical trial registration. MDPI retains the authority to reject any paper lacking trial registration for further peer review. Nevertheless, if the study protocol has been previously published before enrollment, registration may be waived with accurate citation of the published protocol.


CONSORT Statement


The Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences necessitates the submission of a completed CONSORT statement when presenting the results of a randomized trial. Templates for CONSORT statements can be accessed here or on the CONSORT website (, which also provides various CONSORT checklist extensions for diverse designs and data types beyond two-group parallel trials. At a minimum, articles should address the content specified by each item on the checklist.


Dual Use Research of Concern


In accordance with the practical framework outlined in the "Guidance for Editors: Research, Audit, and Service Evaluations" established by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences addresses research that could pose significant threats to public health or national security. Manuscripts involving potential dual-use research of concern, such as in biosecurity, nuclear and chemical threats, or research with military applications, must be clearly indicated in the manuscript. Authors are required to elaborate on potential concerns in the cover letter upon submission. For such manuscripts to undergo peer review, the benefits to the general public or public health must outweigh associated risks. Authors bear the responsibility of compliance with relevant national and international laws governing their research.


Sex and Gender in Research


Authors are encouraged to adhere to the 'Sex and Gender Equity in Research – SAGER – guidelines.' Explicit use of the terms sex (biological attribute) and gender (shaped by social and cultural circumstances) is recommended to prevent confusion. Manuscript titles and abstracts should clearly specify the applicable sex(es) for the study. In the background, authors should discuss whether sex and/or gender differences are anticipated, describe how they were considered in the study design, provide disaggregated data by sex and/or gender when appropriate, and discuss relevant results. If a sex and/or gender analysis was not conducted, authors should provide a rationale in the Discussion section. Authors are encouraged to consult the complete guidelines before submission.


Borders and Territories


Acknowledging potential disputes over borders and territories, authors are advised to exercise sensitivity in describing their research and in specifying author or editor correspondence addresses. Editorial decisions regarding content will be made neutrally, and in case of disputes or complaints, the editorial team will seek resolutions satisfactory to all parties involved. The Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences maintains a neutral stance concerning jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Publication Ethics Statement


Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences, as a proud member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), strictly adheres to the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines. Our editorial team enforces a rigorous peer-review process, upholding ethical policies and standards to ensure the publication of high-quality scientific works. Instances of plagiarism, data falsification, image manipulation, inappropriate authorship credit, and related ethical concerns are treated with utmost seriousness, applying a zero-tolerance policy.


Authors submitting to the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences are expected to adhere to the following ethical guidelines:


Conflict of Interest Disclosure:

Authors must disclose any potential conflicts of interest before submitting their paper.


Accurate Presentation of Research Findings:

Authors should accurately present their research findings and provide an objective discussion of the significance of their work.


Transparency in Data and Methods:


Sufficient details regarding data and methods must be presented for the reproducibility of the research.


Public Availability of Raw Data:


Authors are encouraged to publicly deposit raw data before manuscript submission and ensure its availability for review.


Exclusive Submission:


Simultaneous submission of manuscripts to multiple journals is not allowed.


Prompt Communication of Errors:


Authors must promptly communicate any errors or inaccuracies discovered after the publication of their paper.


No Duplicate Publication:


Manuscripts should not contain information that has already been published elsewhere.


Plagiarism Policy:


Plagiarism, including copying text, ideas, images, or data without proper credit, is strictly prohibited. All submissions undergo plagiarism checks using iThenticate during the peer-review process.


Image Integrity:


Image files must not be manipulated in a way that could lead to misinterpretation. Irregular image manipulation includes introducing, enhancing, moving, or removing features, grouping images incorrectly, or modifying contrast, brightness, or color balance.


In case of confirmed ethical violations, our editors will investigate and may contact authors' institutions or funders if necessary. Corrective actions, including corrections or retractions, will be taken in accordance with our policies. Authors are expected to uphold the highest ethical standards when contributing to the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences.


Citation Guidelines


Authors are required to observe the following citation guidelines to maintain scholarly integrity:


Clear Attribution:


Ensure proper citation of sources, including your own published work, and obtain necessary permissions when applicable.


Moderate Self-Citation:


Avoid excessive self-citation and refrain from disproportionately promoting your own work.


Genuine Familiarity with Cited Work:


Only cite references from other publications if you have genuinely read and understood the cited work.


Impartial Citation Practices:


Refrain from preferentially citing your own, friends', peers', or institution's publications to ensure unbiased referencing.


Avoidance of Advertisements:


Do not cite advertisements or advertorial material as scholarly references.


Quotation Marks for Direct Quotes:


In line with COPE guidelines, use quotation marks for original wording taken directly from other researchers' publications, including your own. Proper citations should accompany such quotations.


Authors should be aware that COPE provides comprehensive recommendations on citation manipulation, emphasizing best practices for maintaining academic integrity. For further insights, refer to COPE's discussion document on citation manipulation.

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