All individual rights should be followed. For example, in studies there’s a right to choose what happens with personal data collected, to what individuals have mentioned during a study or interview, as well as to any pictures that were taken. This is significantly important in terms of sensitive people (for instance patients, minors, refugees, etc.) or the use of pictures in vulnerable contexts. Authors will need to ensure written consent before being allowed to include such images.

Information such as birth date, names, identity numbers, biometrical characteristics and similar details of the participants that were studied should not be published unless the information is essential for scholarly purposes and the participant provided written consent for publishing. Under some circumstances consent is not needed to provide when information is anonymized.

Exceptions when consent is not needed to provide for such type of information:

  • X rays, laparoscopic images, brain scans, ultrasound images, pathology slides unless there is a concern about identification of information in which case, authors should obtain consent.
  • Reusing of images: If images are being copied from previous publications, the Publisher will take into consideration that publication obtained the relevant information to consent. Authors should provide the relevant attribution for copied images.

Consent and already available data and/or biologic material

No matter if material is collected from alive or dead patients, they (family or guardian if the decreased has not made a pre-mortem decision) must have provided priorly written consent. The full aspects of confidentialities as well as any wishes requirements from the deceased should be taken into account.

Privacy, confidentiality and data protection

When biological material is donated for or data is generated as part of a research project authors should take into account, as part of the informed consent process, that the participants are made aware what kind of (personal) data will be processed, how it will be used and for what aim. If data is acquired via biobank/biorepository, Authors should apply a broad consent which allows research participants to consent a broad range of uses of their samples and data which is regarded by research ethics committees as specific enough to be considered informed. However, Authors should always read the specific biorepository/biobank policies in order to make sure that this is the right case.

Consent to participate

For all the studies where human subjects are involved, freely-given, informed consent of participation in the research must be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should be present in the manuscript.

If human transplantation studies are described, Authors must include a statement declaring that no tissues/organs were obtained from prisoners and must also name the institution(s)/clinc(s)/department(s) via which tissues/organs were obtained.

Consent to publish

The above should be declared and summed up in a statement and included in a section entitled "Declarations" before the reference list. Other declarations include Funding, Ethics approval, Conflicts of interest, Data and/or Code availability and Authors' contribution statements.

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