Protection of Research Participants

Scope: Discover STM Publishing Ltd. is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in all research publications. This policy outlines our requirements and guidelines for protecting human and animal research participants, ensuring compliance with international ethical standards and legal requirements.

Human Research Participants:

Ethical Approval and Compliance:
  • Research involving human participants must conform to the principles outlined in the Helsinki Declaration (2013 revision).
  • Prior to commencing research, authors must obtain approval from an independent ethics committee or institutional review board.
  • If the ethical compatibility of the research is questionable, authors must provide a detailed explanation and evidence of approval from a relevant ethical review body.
Participant Privacy and Informed Consent:
  • Personal health information should be handled with the utmost confidentiality. Identifiable information (such as names, initials, or hospital numbers) should not be disclosed in publications unless essential for scientific purposes and explicit consent has been obtained.
  • In circumstances where participant anonymity may be compromised, authors are required to obtain informed consent.
  • Informed consent must include participants being shown the manuscript to be published, and they should be informed about the potential online availability of their identifiable information post-publication.

Data Anonymization and Confidentiality:
  • Researchers are encouraged to anonymize data to the greatest extent possible. This includes removing direct identifiers and carefully considering the inclusion of indirect identifiers.
  • When publishing raw clinical data, particularly in online supplements, confidentiality must be a paramount concern. Explicit consent is required for all intended uses of the data.

Animal Research Participants:

Ethical Treatment and Standards:
  • Experiments on animals must comply with institutional and national guidelines for the humane treatment of laboratory animals.
  • Authors should explicitly state adherence to these standards in their publications.
Publication and Reporting Requirements:

Transparency in Reporting:
  • Authors must include a statement in their publications indicating whether informed consent was obtained (for human research) or if ethical standards were followed (for animal research).
  • The journal's instructions for authors should clearly articulate these requirements.

Responsibilities of Authors and Editors:
  • Authors and editors are responsible for ensuring the ethical integrity of publications, particularly in the context of participant privacy and data protection.
  • It is incumbent upon authors to provide assurances that any modifications to identifying characteristics do not alter the scientific meaning of the data.

Enforcement and Compliance:
Discover STM Publishing Ltd. will enforce these guidelines rigorously and expects all authors, editors, and reviewers to adhere to these standards. Non-compliance with this policy may lead to rejection of a manuscript or other corrective actions as deemed appropriate.