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Reporting of ethical matters in The Journal is very important. To advise and assist authors, particularly those who may be less familiar with the legislation in the UK, this article sets out the basic principles and methods that should be used and provides many key web sources of information. It addresses the structure of regulations, and introduces the concept of research governance. The UK law is summarized. Advice is given on the format and description of experiments, and common problems addressed. Aspects of human studies are addressed. Ethical considerations of publication such as authorship and originality, and problems such as plagiarism and fabrication are described. Updates will be published regularly.