Research Involving Human and Animal Rights



Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics adheres to the standards established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and the Code of Conduct and its Best Practice Guidelines of COPE. According to these standards, research performed on humans must follow international rules set out in the Declaration of Helsinki ( Thus, manuscripts reporting studies involving human participants, identifiable human data, human primary cells, or human tissue must include a statement of ethics approval and consent. In practice, approval from an ethics committee should be obtained before the research is undertaken. The statement should indicate the name of the ethics committee, the date on which it approved the study, and, where appropriate, the committee’s reference number. Any exemption from ethics approval should also be detailed in the manuscript (with, again, the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption). In the case of animal experiments as well, the authors must provide a statement of ethics approval and consent, as discussed further below.

When this research relies on human subjects or tissue, manuscripts must be accompanied by statements of written informed consent from all of the participants. Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated irrespective of any informed consent statement; in any case, an editor may ask for written informed consent forms from participating patients who can be identified (including by the patients themselves). Further information and documentation that support this policy should be made available on request to the editors, who retain the discretion regarding whether to proceed to peer review in such cases.



All articles published in the journal that report experiments performed using animals must be conducted in accordance with rigorous ethical standards concerning animal welfare. Thus the Materials or Methods section must identify the institutional and/or licensing ethics committee that approved the experiments and also provides a full description of the procedures and efforts to minimize the harm to animal subjects. More specifically, experiments involving animals need to be consistent with the relevant international, national, and/or institutional guidelines (e.g., local and national regulations in accordance with the U.K. Animals Act and associated guidelines, Animals Act 1986, Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Used in Scientific Procedures; Animal studies may also be checked for compliance with the ARRIVE guidelines ( 

As with manuscripts reporting studies involving humans, those reporting on animal research for which an exemption from ethics approval was granted should provide details in this regard (with, as usual, the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption and the reasons for it). The editors retain the right to reject manuscripts owing to concerns about the treatment of animal subjects. 


Cell Lines

All articles reporting on research involving cell lines that are published in the journal must state the origin of the lines in the Methods section. For established cell lines, the provenance should be stated and references provided either to a published paper or to a commercial source. If previously unpublished de novo cell lines were used, including any acquired from another laboratory, the authors of the article must supply details regarding the necessary approval from an institutional review board or ethics committee as well as confirmation of written informed consent in the case of human cell lines.