Ethics guidelines

This check ensures that manuscripts meet our ethical standards. During submission, authors are instructed to complete three generated ethics statements: animal studies, human studies and identifiable human images/data. AIRA crosschecks the manuscript content with these ethics statements. If there are any discrepancies between the two, AIRA highlights these.  

Approval for research involving regulated animals and humans should be obtained from the relevant ethics committee, and the full ethics committee name must appear in the statement. For human research, written informed consent should be obtained from the participants of the study. If the study was exempted from approval or the authors did not require ethical approval or written informed consent procedures, this must be clearly stated in the manuscript.   

For studies involving potentially indirectly identifiable human data (age, sex, place of birth, identifiable images etc.), authors require written informed consent from the participants specifically for the publication of the data. This differs from consent to participate in the research.  

Please refer to this check and guidelines as part of your review. Upon assessment, you can interact with the AIRA checks to signify whether the matter is resolved, or that you are following up with the authors for more information. Following this, you can ask the authors to clarify if the ethics statement/s is unclear or insufficient, or should you require any further information.  


How to assess ethical requirements  

  1. Refer to the three Ethics AIRA checks to identify which ethics statement(s) the authors have selected for their submission and which keyword(s) has been flagged.
  2. Cross-check this statement(s) with subjects and/or methodology used in the study. 
  3. As per above guidelines, authors should follow ethical requirements of their institutional and/or local legislation. 

 How to interact with the Ethics guidelines AIRA check 

  1. If you are satisfied with the relevant statement(s) the authors have selected, please select the option Ethics statement is OK / not needed, or Consent for publication statement is OK / not needed
  2. If you feel the relevant statement(s) are unclear or insufficient, please do not select any options and leave the indicator as is. Please include your feedback regarding the ethics statement(s) in your review comment box along with your other comments, under your ‘Editor tab’. 
  3. If/when the issue has been resolved, please select the option Ethics statement is OK / not needed, or Consent for publication statement is OK / not needed
  4. If the issue cannot be resolved, please select the option Authors have been unable to resolve the concern regarding the ethics statement.
  5. If you are unsure of whether action is required from the authors, please select the option Unable to confirm, Frontiers Editorial Office to verify. The Frontiers Editorial Office will be notified that you require assistance.