Research Ethics in articles

Nutrition & Food Science

Clinical trials

Where an article involves clinical trials, Emerald expects the trials to have been registered in a publicly-accessible database, prior to the start of the trial or enrolment of the participants. This is in addition to providing proof of institutional ethics review.

Examples of publicly-accessible databases include or When submitting your article, please include the name of your trial register and your clinical trial registration number.

Informed consent

Where an article includes a human subject in a medical context, Emerald expects you to have obtained clearance from your institutional ethics board and to confirm that you have adhered to recognised standards such as the Declaration of Helsinki, to minimise harm to any individuals in the course of your research.

If the article includes an image of a private individual’s face or anything that is identifiable, Emerald expects you to obtain proof of informed consent via a Consent to Publish form.

Animals in Research

Where animals have been involved in the process of research, Emerald expects research to follow the 3Rs principles; mainly, the drive towards the Replacement of animals in research (i.e. developing alternative technology), the Reduction (exploring methods to minimise the numbers of animals involved) and Refinement (improving the welfare of animals involved).

If a study involves animals, authors will be asked to confirm in a statement that they have obtained institutional and national ethical approval, and that they have followed the various guidelines and regulations. For example, the study should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and the following, depending on the location of the research:

  • U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (SI 2012/3039);
  • EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes;
  • U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and, as applicable, the Animal Welfare Act.

If the Editor has concerns about any element of the study, they may require further evidence of ethical approval.

Conflicts of Interest

When submitting your article, it’s important that you declare any conflict of interest which may have influenced your research, or could influence the review process or publication of your article. A conflict of interest may include a prior relationship with the Editor, a financial or business interest that may have influenced your research, or a patent, among many other circumstances.

If you’re not sure if something constitutes a conflict of interest or not, please declare this to the Editor or the Publisher of the journal ahead of your submission.

Editors and reviewers are expected to declare any conflicts of interest. If there is a concerning conflict of interest, they will be asked to recuse themselves from the handling of that submission.

If you have any questions on any of the above policies, please contact [email protected]