American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

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Submission to the American Acupuncturist

All submissions to The American Acupuncturist should consistently follow these guidelines, which are based on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors’ (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals ( All matters (e.g., format) not specified in these guidelines should be addressed in accordance with the ICMJE Recommendations.

Manuscript submission, peer review, and publication

•  The American Acupuncturist does not publish articles that have been submitted or published elsewhere, although articles published in another language or outside the United States may be considered.
•  Authors must offer their article exclusively to The American Acupuncturist.
•  Manuscripts should be submitted in an electronic format, preferably Microsoft Word, to

Submission Deadlines
 Spring Issue 
  January 2
 Summer Issue 
  April 1
 Fall Issue 
  July 1
 Winter Issue 
  October 1

•  Manuscripts are evaluated by at least two peer reviewers and can be accepted for publication (with major or minor revisions) or rejected based on the reviewers’ comments. Authors are typically notified of these decisions within 60 days from submission. Rejected articles that have been revised according to the reviewers’ comments may be resubmitted for consideration.
•  Accepted manuscripts are typically reviewed within 60 days. Authors are expected to make prompt revisions during this process.
•  The American Acupuncturist retains the right to publish the author’s article in the printed journal, online, or in other publications as the journal sees fit.
•  Publishing may take up to one year from the acceptance date. Authors receive two copies of the printed issue containing their article.


The title page should include

1. Full title of article

2. Authors’ full names, degrees, and affiliations. Every person named as author should have

    a. Conceived or designed the work or collected, analyzed, or interpreted data for the work

    b. Written or revised the manuscript for important intellectual content
    c. Agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work
3. Contact information
   a. Mailing address
   b. Fax and telephone numbers
   c. Email address of primary contact


 4. Word Count of Main Text
Clinical research, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and literature reviews (longer articles could be considered)  3500 words
Case studies (which should be modeled after Vinjamury, 2008; see appendix)  2500-3500 words
Book reviews, research letters, and commentaries on legislative issues and developments in education  9950-1200 words
Pilot studies and other original work 
 1500 words


 5.  Statement of whether the article has been published elsewhere.


The abstract should

•  Include information on (where applicable)

-  Background
-  Objectives/purpose
-  Design and setting
-  Patients or subjects
-  Intervention
-  Main outcomes
-  Conclusions

•  Exclude citations/references, illustrations, and unfamiliar abbreviations
•  Be limited to 250 words
•  Be placed before the main text of the article
•  Be followed by five relevant medicine-related terms (keywords)



•    Use American English spelling and punctuation conventions, including the use of the serial comma.
•    The first person is not recommended for article formats, but “we” can be used sparingly where appropriate.
•    Spell-check all words and verify all technical terms and names.


Abbreviations and nomenclature
•  Use only standard abbreviations for acupuncture nomenclature and those easily recognizable in the literature. Abbreviate standard units of measure.
•   The full term should appear at first mention, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses.


 Use the non-proprietary/generic name or descriptive terms. The brand name can be included at first mention. 
Chinese terms
 Use Pinyin. Italicize, and don’t capitalize—for example, qi not Qi, shen not Shen.
Chinese texts
 Use the Pinyin name and common English translation—for example, Su Wen (Plain Questions).
 Use the Pinyin name, prefix, and point number— for example, Zusanli ST-36 and Ergian LI-4.
Herb names
 Use the Pinyin name and the binomial pharmaceutical Latin term in parentheses—for example, huang qi (Radix Astragali). 
 Use the Pinyin name and the English name used in Formulas and Strategies (Eastland Press)—for example, Wu Ling San (Five Ingredient Powder with Poria).


Tables and figures should
•    Include a short descriptive title
•    Include all units of measurement
•    Exclude the legend, which should be placed in the text and clearly define all symbols, abbreviations, and scales
•    Have a quality that is preserved even after size reduction
•    If a reprinting from other sources, be acknowledged as such in the legend. Permission for reprinting must be obtained and indicated in the file.
•    Be submitted as separate files named after the author—for example, SmithTable1.tif and SmithFigure2.tif. Only Microsoft Word or Excel (not PowerPoint) tables are accepted.
•    Be substituted in the manuscript as follows: “Place Table/Figure # Here”


Illustrations, line drawings, halftones, and photographs should be 
•   Clean originals, preferably digital
•   300 dpi or higher
•   Sized to fit on the journal page (or full size for photographs)
•   EPS, JPG, or PDF only (JPG for photographs)
•   (for photographs) High-quality color prints. Photographs are printed in black and white. The printing of color photos is considered on a case-by-case basis and, if approved, is paid by the authors at the current rate. The American Acupuncturist has the right to refuse the printing of any photograph.
•   Submitted as separate files and labeled accordingly


•    In-text citations should take the form of Arabic numerals in parentheses—for example, (1).
•    References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Also, avoid ibid. or op. cit.

•    Do not cite personal communications unless they contain essential information unavailable from a public source. See for details.
•    Bibliographic references (endnotes, not footnotes) should follow the ICMJE Recommendations (general format:; detailed format:


Authors’ bios should be
•    Limited to 100 words (for each author; email address may be included)
•    Placed after the references


Protection of research participants
•   Controlled trials of acupuncture should follow the Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture (
•   Studies on human experimentation should present proof of

     –   approval by a review board or ethics committee or, without a formal ethics review, adherence to the Declaration of Helsinki  

     –   informed consent from the subjects
•    Information that can identify subjects should not be disclosed, unless for scientific purposes. Masking subjects’ eyes in photographs is not sufficient to protect identity.
•    Studies on animal experimentation should present documentation of 
    –   official permission for the experiments
    –   accordance with current standards of ethical animal-research practices
    –   the humane treatment of the subjects

•    AAAOM Board’s policy on endangered species: The Board strongly supports the production of Chinese herbal products that pose no risk to any endangered plant or animal species. The use of rare or endangered plants or animals is unsustainable and at odds with the basic principles of harmony and balance, which are central to Oriental medicine philosophy. We applaud producers and manufacturers who uphold these values, and we encourage our members to purchase their herbs and other traditional medicines.


Conflicts of interest
Authors should disclose any potential conflict of interest (e.g., financial relationships) at the end of the manuscript. Such conflicts include (but are not limited to)

  • Grants
  • Patents
  • Royalties
  • Stock ownership
  • Employment/consultancies


Where necessary, at the end of the article, write a short paragraph or sentence acknowledging technical support for the work or contributions that do not justify authorship. This is also an appropriate place to
mention previous presentations, such as an abstract or poster.


Updated May 2015

American Acupuncturist Author Guidelines.pdf

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