Regulations regarding what type of study requires ethical approval vary worldwide. In some countries all studies require ethical approval but in others not. This may lead to submission to journals of manuscripts relating to such studies that do not satisfy the journal’s normal requirement for independent ethical approval, and rejection of the manuscript because of misunderstanding of local regulations. COPE Guidelines are formal COPE policy and are intended to advise editors and publishers on expected publication ethics practice.
- The study should be scientifically valid and clearly presented.
- Due care should be taken to avoid coercion or exploitation, to protect confidentiality, to minimise the risk of physical and psychological harm and to respect autonomy where possible.
- The benefits of the study should outweigh the harms.
- Editors should clarify local laws and regulations with the authors