Research Ethics Policies
Forum Multimedia Publishing requires that all manuscripts involving human subjects, human material, or human data follow the Declaration of Helsinki. Before the research begins, all protocols must obtain ethical approval from the local Institutional Review Board (IRB) or other appropriate research ethics committee (REC) to confirm that the research meets national and international guidelines for human research. This must be detailed in all manuscripts reporting such research, including the name of the ethics committee, the data of approval, and the appropriate reference number. Also, manuscripts reporting biomedical research involving human participants must confirm that informed consent for participation was obtained from each participant or each participant’s guardian.
An exception to this requirement may be made if the Institutional Review Board deems it unnecessary or if a study has been granted an exemption by the Ethics Committee. In such cases, the authors should provide a full explanation in the manuscript. If an exemption is granted for a study, the name of the ethics committee that provided the exemption should also be included. However, if the investigator is in doubt, they should seek advice from the appropriate authorities before proceeding with the study.
If the study is a clinical trial, authors should include the trial registration number (TRN) and the date of registration in the last line of the manuscript abstract. Appropriate public registries are those listed on the ICMJE website and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. If the manuscript reports a clinical trial that has not been prospectively registered, Forum Multimedia Publishing encourages authors to register retrospectively to ensure complete publication of all results. In this case, the TRN, the date of registration, and the words "retrospective registration" should be included in the manuscript.
Forum Multimedia Publishing requires that all manuscripts that include animal experiments need to:
- confirm that legal and ethical requirements have been met with regard to the humane treatment of animals described in the study; authors must also document informed consent from the client or owner and adherence to a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care.
- specify in the Materials or Methods section the ethical review committee approval process and the international, national, and/or institutional guidelines followed.
If a study was granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption and the reasons for the exemption).
The Editor will take into consideration animal welfare issues and reserves the right to reject a manuscript, especially if the research involves protocols that are inconsistent with commonly accepted norms of animal research or if the severity of the experimental procedure does not appear to be justified by the value of the work presented. A statement detailing compliance with relevant guidelines (e.g., the revised Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in the UK and Directive 2010/63/EU in Europe) and/or ethical approval (including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate) must be included in the manuscript. This also applies to field studies and other non-experimental research on animals. When rodents are used as in vivo cancer models, the tumor burden should not exceed the recommendations of the Guidelines for Endpoints in Animal Study Proposals.
Manuscripts describing animal research must include a justification for the use of animals, and for the particular species used. The species' name should also be stated in the article title. They should also provide details of animal welfare, including information about housing, feeding, and environmental enrichment, a description of steps taken to minimize suffering, humane endpoints, and method of euthanasia. These procedures must be carried out in accordance with applicable veterinary guidelines, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association. If the study has any implication for the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement), these should be discussed in enough detail so that readers can implement the 3Rs in similar experiments.
Forum Multimedia Publishing requires that for manuscripts involving cell line studies, the following information be included in the Materials and Methods section of their manuscripts:
(1) Provide the source, supplier, date of acquisition, and catalog number (if available) of all specific cell lines used in the study.
(2) Details of institutional review board or ethics committee approval if the cell line is a newly established cell line of human origin; the authors will also need to confirm written informed consent.
(3) Confirm that the cell line used has been tested for mycoplasma.
(4) Confirmation that the cell line used has been authenticated and a description of the method of identification.
Forum Multimedia Publishing strongly encourages authors to submit a detailed methodology describing the maintenance and culture of the cell lines according to international guidelines for good cell culture practices (basic techniques, mycoplasma contamination, number of passages, etc.). In addition, information on misidentified or cross-contaminated cell lines must be cross-checked with the International Cell Line Accreditation Committee and the ExPASy Cellosaurus database to exclude known contamination or misidentification with other cell lines. If cell lines have been previously reported as contaminated or misidentified, the STR profiles of the cell lines used in the study must be available for evaluation by the journal editor.
Examples 1 (For established cell lines) :
The human XXX line XXX™ cells were received from XXX on XX/XX/XXXX. The rat XXX cell line XXXX (catalog number: XXX) was procured from XXX on XX/XX/XXXX. All cell lines were maintained at 37 ℃ in a XXX atmosphere and were mycoplasma-free (XXXX Mycoplasma Detection Kit). We performed cell line authentication using the short tandem repeat (STR) analysis method and cross-checked the results with the International Cell Line Authentication Committee and the ExPASy Cellosaurus database to ensure that the cell lines were correctly identified.
Examples 2 (For de novo (new) cell lines) :
XXX cells were extracted from XXX tissue, which was carried out in accordance with the guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki and approved by the Ethics Committee of XXX (Protocol No. xx). And We performed cell line authentication using the short tandem repeat (STR) analysis method and cross-checked the results with the International Cell Line Authentication Committee and the ExPASy Cellosaurus database to ensure that the cell lines were correctly identified.
We encourage our authors to follow the Sex and Gender Equity in Research – SAGER – guidelines and to include sex and gender considerations where relevant. Authors should use the terms sex (biological attribute) and gender (shaped by social and cultural circumstances) carefully to avoid confusing both terms. Article titles and/or abstracts should indicate clearly what sex(es) the study applies to. Authors should also describe in the background whether sex and/or gender differences may be expected; report how sex and/or gender were accounted for in the design of the study; provide disaggregated data by sex and/or gender, where appropriate; and discuss respective results. If a sex and/or gender analysis was not conducted, the rationale should be given in the Discussion. We suggest that our authors consult the full guidelines before submission.