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Ethics requirements and impact factor
  1. Philippe Charlier1,2,
  2. Valérie Bridoux1,2,
  3. Laurence Watier3,
  4. Melissa Ménétrier4,
  5. Geoffroy Lorin de la Grandmaison4,
  6. Christian Hervé1
  1. 1Department of Medical Ethics and Legal Medicine, University Paris 5, 45 Saints-Pères street, F-75005 Paris, France
  2. 2Department of Odontology, University Hospital, Rouen, France
  3. 3Inserm U657, Public Health Department, UVSQ, EA4499, University Hospital R. Poincaré, Garches, France
  4. 4Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, University Hospital R. Poincaré (AP-HP, UVSQ), Garches, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philippe Charlier, Department of Forensic Medicine, University Hospital R Poincaré (AP-HP, UVSQ), 104 R. Poincaré boulevard, Garches 92380, France; ph_charlier{at}


Do all clinical research publications show strong application of ethics principles and respect for biomedical law? We examined, for the year 2009, the ethics requirements displayed on the website of 30 leading medical journals with an impact factor (IF) >10, and 30 others with an IF <10. We carried out a short study looking at the relationship between the IF of a journal and the ethics requirements in its instructions to authors. We show that the IF of a biomedical journal bears a direct relationship to its ethics requirements. Such results should improve the ethics requirements of all biomedical journals, especially those with low IF, so that they are internationally standardised to the higher standard required by journals with higher IF.

  • Biomedical research
  • biomedical law
  • publication rules
  • ethical principles
  • definition/determination of death
  • demographic surveys/attitudes
  • epidemiology
  • ethics committees/consultation
  • forensic medicine

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  • As the subject is non-clinical, no signed consent to publication was needed. All authors, external and internal, had full access to all of the data (including statistical reports and tables) in the study and can take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.