Research Ethics provides a platform for sharing experiences and analysis of ethical issues that are related to the design, conduct, impact and oversight of research. Through open and transparent narrative and analysis of ethical issues in research, it serves to raise awareness, challenge assumptions and help find solutions for complex ethical issues.
Ethical issues are not limited to a specific discipline or type of research. The Editors welcome submissions from any research field (for instance, biomedical, social science, environmental, information technology, or the arts) and a broad range of methodological approaches (for instance, clinical trials, animal experimentation, qualitative studies, laboratory or desk-based research).
Some examples of the topics addressed in Research Ethics include:
- Ethical issues related to the inclusion of vulnerable populations in research
- Ethics dumping
- Benefit sharing
- Ethical issues related to social media research
- Research integrity and research misconduct
- The education and training of researchers and ethics reviewers
- The development and implementation of governance mechanisms
In addition to these applied ethics issues, the journal also welcomes original theoretical papers that contribute to the debate around the normative underpinnings or ethical frameworks for research ethics.
Research Ethics publishes original papers and review articles as well as informative case studies and offers a home for submissions from authors from around the world. The quality of submitted articles is evaluated independently by double-blind peer review.
This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
The current article processing charge (APC) for this journal is 0 USD.
Research Ethics is aimed at readers and authors who are interested in ethical issues associated with the design and conduct of research, the regulation of research, the procedures and process of ethical review and issues related to scientific integrity. The journal aims to promote, inspire, host and engage in open and public debate about research ethics on an international scale and to contribute to the education of researchers and reviewers of research.
Research Ethics offers a home for submissions from authors from around the world and publishes original papers and review articles as well as informative case studies. The quality of submitted articles is evaluated independently by double-blind peer review.
|Stuart Nicholls||Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada|
|Doris Schroeder||University of Central Lancashire, UK|
|Julie Cook||University of Central Lancashire, UK|
|Zuzana Deans||University of Bristol, UK|
|Mark Israel||Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services, Australia|
|Dirk Lanzerath||University of Bonn, Germany|
|Jessica Martin||University of Edinburgh, UK|
|Alan McElligott||City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong|
|Syntia Munung Nchangwi||University of Cape Town, South Africa|
|Sandhya Srinivasan||Mumbai, India|
|Samuel Ujewe||Canadian Institutes of Health Research|
|Charles Weijer||Western University, Canada|
This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.
Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rea to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.
Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Research Ethics will be reviewed.
SAGE are delighted to announce from 2018 all articles in Research Ethics are published open access. There are no submission charges and no article processing charges as these are fully funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched, resulting in no direct charge to authors.
- Open Access
- Article processing charge (APC)
- What do we publish?
3.1 Aims & Scope
3.2 Article types
3.3 Writing your paper
- Editorial policies
4.1 Peer review policy
4.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
4.6 Research ethics and patient consent
4.7 Clinical trials
- Publishing policies
5.1 Publication ethics
5.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
- Preparing your manuscript
6.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
6.3 Supplementary material
6.4 Reference style
6.5 English language editing services
- Submitting your manuscript
7.2 Title, keywords and abstracts
7.3 Information required for completing your submission
- On acceptance and publication
8.1 SAGE Production
8.2 Online publication
8.3 Promoting your article
- Further information
Research Ethics is an open access, peer-reviewed journal. Each article accepted by peer review is made freely available online immediately upon publication, is published under a Creative Commons license and will be hosted online in perpetuity.
There are no submission charges and no Article Processing Charges as these are fully funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched, resulting in no direct charge to authors.
Before submitting your manuscript to Research Ethics, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.
Research Ethics publishes original articles and review articles as well as informative case studies on the ethical issues associated with the design and conduct of research, the regulation of research, the procedures and process of ethical review, and issues related to scientific integrity. The journal encourages the submission of the following types of manuscripts:
- Original articles: these papers present original empirical content and/or an original theoretical perspective. Submissions that present original empirical content should not exceed 12,000 words (including references). Submissions that present an original theoretical perspective should not exceed 6,000 words (including references). Longer articles may occasionally be considered at the discretion of the Editors.
- Topic Pieces: these articles are intended to form a snapshot of, or perspective on, contemporary thinking on a topic or issue. Submissions of topic pieces should be no longer than 2,000 words (including references).
- Case studies: the Editors encourage the submission of case studies that provide examples of real-world ethical challenges in research or research review. Case studies should include ethics analysis of the identified challenges and, where possible, recommendations for dealing with them. Submissions of case studies should be no longer than 3,000 words (including references).
- Review articles: such articles address key issues in research ethics or integrity with a focus on under-researched topics. Rather than introducing new material, review articles offer critical analysis of specific issues in particular areas. Review articles should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words (including references).
The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.
3.3.1 Make your article discoverable
When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.
All research papers submitted for publication in Research Ethics will be subject to anonymised peer review. Each manuscript is reviewed by at least two referees. Research Ethics operates a strictly anonymous peer review process in which the reviewer’s name is withheld from the author and, the author’s name from the reviewer. The reviewer may at their own discretion opt to reveal their name to the author in their review, but our standard policy practice is for both identities to remain concealed. The desired turnaround time for papers is between six and eight weeks from submission to decision. The editor reserves the right to make minor adjustments and, if necessary, to shorten the article without changing the meaning.
All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.
Contributors or advisors who do not meet the criteria for authorship can be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, general support or feedback on an early draft. Please ensure that persons who are acknowledged have given permission for mention in the article. Confirmation of their permission will be requested.
4.3.1 Third party submissions
Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:
- Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
- Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
- Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.
Where appropriate, SAGE reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.
Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should only be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.
It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.
All published Research Ethics papers are are fully funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched.
It is the policy of Research Ethics to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.
The declaration of conflicting interests should be provided at the submission stage in two ways:
- Authors should provide a full statement disclosing the existence of any financial or non-financial interest within the title page and/or cover letter, which is not sent to reviewers, to detail these and to declare any potential conflicts of interest to the editor.
- Authors should provide a minimal statement (either "The authors declare the existence of a financial/non-financial competing interest" OR "The authors declare no competing interests") within the anonymised manuscript. The minimal statement will be shared with peer-reviewers and must not include any information which may enable the disclosure of author identities.
In addition to any declarations in the submission system, all authors are required to include a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement at the end of their published article using one of the following standard sentences:
- The authors declare the following competing interests:
- The authors declare no competing interests.
4.6 Research ethics and patient approvals
It is the policy of Research Ethics to require a declaration about research ethics approval enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles. To ensure blinded peer-review, please include these details on the title page of your submission.
Should research ethics approval not be relevant/required for your study/article, please include a statement to this effect at the submission stage. The following standard sentence can be used:
- The authors declare that research ethics approval was not required for this study.
4.6.1 Medical research
Medical research involving human participants or data must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki
Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all articles reporting on studies involving human participants must state that the relevant Research Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided ethics approval(or waived its requirement). Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the Research Ethics Committee, in addition to the approval number.Please include these details on the title page of your submission.
For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.
Information on informed consent to report on individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the participant or a legally authorized representative.
Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants
All research involving animals submitted for publication must be approved by an ethics committee with oversight of the facility in which the studies were conducted. The Journal has adopted the ARRIVE guidelines.
4.6.2 Non-medical research involving humans and human data
All manuscripts reporting studies with humans or human data, including studies that involve primary collection of personal data such as surveys or interviews, must state the relevant Research Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number. Please include these details on the title page of your submission.
For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.
4.6.3 Animal studies
All manuscripts reporting on studies with animals must provide details of the relevant Research Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board research ethics approval (or waiver). Please include these details on the title page of your submission.
4.7 Clinical trials
Many SAGE journals conform to the ICMJE requirement that clinical trials are registered in a WHO-approved public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.
Further to the above, other SAGE journals may consider retrospectively registered trials if the justification for late registration is acceptable, consistent with the AllTrials campaign. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.
SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.
Research Ethics and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.
Before publication SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Research Ethics publishes manuscripts under Creative Commons licenses. The standard license for the journal is Creative Commons by Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC), which allows others to re-use the work without permission as long as the work is properly referenced and the use is non-commercial. For more information, you are advised to visit SAGE's OA licenses page.
Alternative license arrangements are available, for example, to meet particular funder mandates, made at the author’s request.
The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. Please do not use LaTeX. Word templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.
For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.
Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.
This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.
Research Ethics adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. View the SAGE Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.
Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.
Research Ethics is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rea to login and submit your article online.
IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.
As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.
The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID iD to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile, and from there link to your other publications.
Please supply a title, short title, an abstract and keywords to accompany your article. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting the SAGE Journal Author Gateway for guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.
Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Affiliation (academic or non-academic) affiliations are required for all co-authors. These details should be presented separately to the main text of the article to facilitate anonymous peer review.
You will be asked to provide contact details and affiliations for co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).
7.3.1. Ethics approval documentation
For all studies requiring ethics approval, evidence of research ethics approval must be uploaded with your manuscript files during the submission stage. This must show (as a minimum) the name of the Research Ethics Committee / Institutional Review Board, the name of the study, the name of the applicant, the ethics approval number/ID, and the date of approval. If an ethics waiver was obtained, please upload evidence of the waiver to include the reason for the waiver.
Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.
Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.
One of the many benefits of publishing your research in an open access journal is the speed to publication. Your article will be published online in a fully citable form with a DOI number as soon as it has completed the production process. At this time it will be completely free to view and download for all.
Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.
Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Research Ethics editorial office as follows: