Policies and Guidelines

Policies and Guidelines for Specific Research Areas

Studies involving human participants / subjects must have been approved by the authors' institutional review board and necessary consent from all the participants should be recorded. All investigations must be conducted according to the ethical principles suggested in the Declaration of Helsinki. Appropriate approvals with documentation including institution, review board and permit numbers must be submitted as separate supplementary files, along with the manuscript. Measures should be made to protect the privacy of research subjects and the confidentiality of their personal information unless disclosure of the information is crucial.

The methods section of manuscript on research using human subject or samples must specify the name of the approving institutional review board or equivalent committee (s) and include the ethics statements confirming that all experiments conform to the relevant regulatory standards.

For articles that include potentially identifying features and information (individual (s)), authors must download the Consent Form for Publication in a USG Journal, which the individual, parent, or guardian must sign to agree. Authors are instructed to file the form in the individual's case report and the methods section of the manuscript should explicitly state that consent authorization for publication is on file, using wording: The individual (s) in this manuscript has given written informed consent (as outlined in USG consent form) to publish these case details.

Studies involving animals must have been approved by the authors' institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC). Appropriate approval documentation including institution, review board and permit numbers must be submitted as separate supplementary files, along with the manuscript. Manuscripts describing studies that use death as an endpoint will be subject to additional ethical considerations. Authors are encouraged to follow the Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines and recommendations of the Weatherall report (2006) for all studies on non-human primates.

The methods section of manuscript reporting results of animal research must include required ethics statements that specify:

  • The full name of the relevant ethics committee that approved the work, and the associated permit number(s) (If the ethical approval is not required, the reason for the same should be included);
  • Relevant details for efforts taken to improve animal suffering.

For example:

This study was carried out in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health and in accordance with the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines . The protocol was approved by the Committee on the Ethics of Animal Experiments of the University of ABC (Permit Number: 12-3456). All surgery was performed under Isofluorane anesthesia, and all efforts were made to minimize suffering.

Or:

This is a clinical retrospective observational study and a signed informed consent is not needed. The study has been approved by our University IRB.

Research studies on cultivated or wild plants including plant material collection, must comply with institutional, national, and / or international guidelines. Voucher specimens must be deposited in a recognized public herbarium. Manuscript should include the deposited information and who identified it along with a statement specifying the appropriate permissions and/or licenses in accordance with the local legislation.

Details should be given with all approvals that were taken and should be accompanied by the following statement:

All required approvals were obtained for the study, which complied with all relevant regulations.

If no approvals were required, please include the following statement:   

No approvals were required for the study, which complied with all relevant regulations.

The methods section of the manuscript reporting on research with cell lines must include origin of cell lines. For established cell lines the provenance should be stated and references must also be given to either a published paper or to a commercial source. If previously unpublished de novo cell lines were used, including those gifted from another laboratory, details of institutional review board or ethics committee approval must be given.

The methods section of manuscript reporting on any type of observational or field study must include the study approval authority with the respective permits (If the approval is not required, the reason should be explained).

Authors are encouraged to refer any of the major biomedical research reporting guidelines (available from the NIH) that provide advice for reporting research methods and findings. The reporting guidelines for the study design is to ensure that the provided information for editors, peer reviewers and readers is enough to understand how the research is performed and to judge whether the findings are likely to be reliable.

Authors should follow the adverse events reporting requirements for human drugs, including biological products, and animal drugs; and should state whether they have reported serious adverse drug experiences to the manufacturer, US FDA, or other government food and drug regulatory agencies.

USG will consider submissions that present new methods, developed software and /or tool, or unique database as the primary focus of the manuscript if they are useful to the community, demonstrate the advantages over existing alternatives with validated long-term utility and available publicly without restrictions.

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