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This page contains the publishing ethics information for the ASTRO Journals. See the full author instructions.

Conflict of Interest

All authors should disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest, including any financial, personal, or other relationships with people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could influence, or be perceived to influence, their work.

ASTRO journals adhere to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) policy on conflict of interest, and all authors are required to include an ICMJE form available for free download with submission. Authors also must state their disclosures on the title page of the manuscript. If there are no disclosures, authors must state, "Conflict of interest: none."

Submission Declaration and Verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described:

  • has not been published previously (except as an abstract, a published lecture or academic thesis, see the Elsevier Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication for more information).
  • that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  • that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out.
  • that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright holder.

Avoiding Plagiarism

ASTRO journals maintain a zero-tolerance policy when addressing allegations of plagiarism, duplicate publication, data falsification, and scientific misconduct. Articles will be retracted if ethics violations are substantiated. Plagiarism is defined by the World Association for Medical Editors (WAME) as the “use of others’ published and unpublished ideas or words (or other intellectual property) without attribution or permission and presenting them as new and original rather than derived from an existing source.” To verify originality, your article will be checked by the originality detection service Crossref Similarity Check.

Role of the Funding Source

Authors must include a funding statement on the title page identifying who provided financial support for conducting the research and/or preparation of the article and briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. State if the funding source(s) had no such involvement.

Human and Animal Rights

Authors should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans and should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects.

Animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and associated guidelines, including EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments or the National Institutes of Health guide for the care and use of Laboratory animals. Authors should clearly indicate in the manuscript that such guidelines have been followed.

Studies Involving Biomarkers

ASTRO journals require authors reporting on biomarker studies to adhere to REMARK criteria as listed in their guidelines. Reports that are predictive of therapeutic outcome or the natural history of disease are desired. Highest priority will be given to articles that are likely to have direct clinical applications and are definitive based on size of cohort, methodological approach, statistical analysis, multivariate analysis, reproducibility, and patient follow-up.

Biomarker studies of interest include or are based on and accompanied by supporting mechanistic biological data.

  • if prospective, are definitive in size and statistical power
  • if retrospective, include a validation study
  • are predictive and estimate response or survival in advance of therapy and have potential application in clinical practice
  • contain thorough specimen collection data (see REMARK), assay validation, and statistical rigor
  • and describe a unique cohort with results that directly impact clinical practice. (For rare cancer types, it is recognized that small cohorts will be analyzed.) Read more.

Guidelines for Reporting Preclinical Research

The editorial boards of ASTRO journals have chosen to uphold the high standards for preclinical research reporting established by the June 2014 National Institutes of Health (NIH) workshop. View the summarized recommendations.

Informed Consent and Patient Details

Studies on patients and volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent documented in the paper. Written consent and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include personal information or images of any people. Authors must keep written consents. Do not provide them to the journal unless specifically requested. For more information, please review the Elsevier Policy on the Use of Images or Personal Information of Patients or other Individuals. Unless you have written permission from the patient (or, where applicable, the next of kin), remove patient personal details, including in illustrations and videos, before submission.

Registration of Clinical Trials

Registration in a public trials registry is a condition for publication of clinical trials in ASTRO journals in accordance with International Committee of Medical Journal Editors recommendations. Trials must register at or before the onset of patient enrolment. Include the clinical trial registration number at the end of the abstract.

Purely observational studies (those in which the assignment of the medical intervention is not at the discretion of the investigator) do not require registration.


Upon acceptance of their manuscript, authors will be asked to complete a Journal Publishing Agreement. An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript, together with the form or a link to the online version. (See more information).

For gold open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an Exclusive License Agreement. Permitted third party reuse of gold open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license.

Author Rights

As an author, you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. See Elsevier for more information.

Journal subscribers may reproduce Tables of Contents or prepare lists of articles and abstracts for internal institution circulation. Permission of the Publisher, however, is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations. If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases. Elsevier is a signatory of the STM Permissions Guidelines.

Elsevier supports responsible sharing. Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

Additional Resources

  1. Elsevier Publishing Support Center
  2. Elsevier Competing Interests fact sheet
  3. Elsevier Conflicts of Interest fact sheet
  4. Elsevier Ethics in publishing
  5. Elsevier Ethical guidelines for journal publication.