Research accountability: Mandate ethics methods in papers

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We call for a commitment to ethical reproducibility in biomedical research that would require detailed reporting of research-ethics methods in published scientific reports. We see this as an essential complement to scientific reproducibility.

The current ethics-review system does not make information openly available (E. J. Emanuel et al. Ann. Intern. Med. 141, 282291; 2004). Furthermore, the only explicit guidelines for ethics reporting are those issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors in its 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts'. Few papers actually follow these (S. Schroter et al. J. Med. Ethics 32, 718723; 2006).

Incorporating details of research-ethics methods into biomedical papers as standard procedure will promote efficient, cost-effective ethics practices and improve the credibility and accountability of research.

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  1. National Core for Neuroethics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

    • James A. Anderson,
    • Marleen Eijkholt &
    • Judy Illes

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