Acknowledging the use of human cadaveric tissues in research papers: Recommendations from anatomical journal editors

Clin Anat. 2021 Jan;34(1):2-4. doi: 10.1002/ca.23671. Epub 2020 Sep 9.


Research within the anatomical sciences often relies on human cadaveric tissues. Without the good will of these donors who allow us to use their bodies to push forward our anatomical knowledge, most human anatomical research would come to a standstill. However, many research papers omit an acknowledgement to the donor cadavers or, as no current standardized versions exist, use language that is extremely varied. To remedy this problem, 20 editors-in-chiefs from 17 anatomical journals joined together to put together official recommendations that can be used by authors when acknowledging the donor cadavers used in their studies. The goal of these recommendations is to standardize the writing approach by which donors are acknowledged in anatomical studies that use human cadaveric tissues. Such sections in anatomical papers will not only rightfully thank those who made the donation but might also encourage, motivate, and inspire future individuals to make such gifts for the betterment of the anatomical sciences and patient care.

Keywords: anatomy; cadavers; dissection; medical ethics; recommendation; research.

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy / education*
  • Biomedical Research
  • Cadaver*
  • Dissection
  • Humans
  • Periodicals as Topic*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement*