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Chronobiol Int. 2010 Oct;27(9-10):1911-29. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2010.516381.

Ethics and methods for biological rhythm research on animals and human beings.

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  • 1International Society for Chronobiology, Hypertension Center, Department of Medicine, University Hospital S. Anna of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy. prf@unife.it

Abstract

This article updates the ethical standards and methods for the conduct of high-quality animal and human biological rhythm research, which should be especially useful for new investigators of the rhythms of life. The editors of Chronobiology International adhere to and endorse the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines of the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE), which encourages communication of such updates at regular intervals in the journal. The journal accepts papers representing original work, no part of which was previously submitted for publication elsewhere, except as brief abstracts, as well as in-depth reviews. The majority of research papers published in Chronobiology International entails animal and human investigations. The editors and readers of the journal expect authors of submitted manuscripts to have made an important contribution to the research of biological rhythms and related phenomena using ethical methods/procedures and unbiased, accurate, and honest reporting of findings. Authors of scientific papers are required to declare all potential conflicts of interest. The journal and its editors endorse compliance of investigators to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research of the National Research Council, relating to the conduct of ethical research on laboratory and other animals, and the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki of the World Medical Association, relating to the conduct of ethical research on human beings. The peer review of manuscripts by Chronobiology International thus includes judgment as to whether or not the protocols and methods conform to ethical standards. Authors are expected to show mastery of the basic methods and procedures of biological rhythm research and proper statistical assessment of data, including the appropriate application of time series data analyses, as briefly reviewed in this article. The journal editors strive to consistently achieve high standards for the research of original and review papers reported in Chronobiology International, and current examples of expectations are presented herein.

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