Author Guidelines


Meridians: The Journal of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MJAOM) is a peer-reviewed, quarterly, scientific journal. Published and first-time authors are welcome to submit articles about acupuncture, Oriental medicine, and integrative, and evidence-based medicine. MJAOM publishes original research, clinical practice pieces, case reports, meta-analyses, literature reviews, conference proceedings, translations, and affiliated pieces on business practice, policy, ethics, law, insurance, education, history and culture, nomenclature, conference proceedings, and related disciplines. We do not publish articles on AOM veterinary medicine.

Please read these Author Guidelines before submitting to MJAOM. (download ) 


  • If a submission initially meets the standards set by this Author Guideline per a first review by the editor in chief, it will be reviewed by at least two qualified peer reviewers with expertise in this or a related topic. This peer review will result in:
    • acceptance with minor changes
    • outright rejection
    • or acceptance upon completion of major revisions based on reviewers’ comments
  • Articles rejected by peer reviewers may be resubmitted for consideration after corrections in response to suggestions by peer reviewers. This may take more than one cycle of comments and revision.
  • MJAOM does NOT publish articles that have been previously published.
  • MJAOM may consider publication of translated articles that have been published in another language outside the U.S. Author permission is required.
  • Upon acceptance for peer review, author(s) must agree to offer their article exclusively to MJAOM. Author(s) retain their intellectual property rights governing future use of published materials after one year. If the MJAOM-published article is reprinted in another publication, the author must include “Permission granted, etc.” from MJAOM.
  • MJAOM retains the right to publish the author’s article in the printed journal and online.
  • Each author of a published article, interview, or book review will receive two print copies of that issue.
  • Please submit to Managing Editor Lynn Eder at
  • Deadlines for submission: Articles are welcome anytime—but by or before:
    • December 15 for the spring issue
    • March 15 for the summer issue
    • June 15 for the fall issue
    • September 15 for the winter issue
  • Your submission will be immediately acknowledged. Review process may take up to 90 days. Author(s) will be notified of publication date, which may but not necessarily take up to one year.
  • The manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication"
  • All manuscripts should be submitted in English
  • Spell-check all words and confirm all technical terms and names
  • Articles must be submitted in an electronic format, preferably Microsoft Word
  • Although use of the first person is not generally recommended, “we” can be used sparingly as appropriate. (Book reviews and opinion papers may be written in first person format.)
  • Article Length:
    • Original clinical research, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, literature reviews: approximately 3500 words—longer articles up to 5500 words may be considered
    • Pilot studies and other original work: approximately 1500-2000 words
    • Case Reports: Approximately 2500-3500 words. Please model your case study format after S.P. Vinjamury’s “How to Write a Case Report.”
  • Title Page should Include:
    • The title of the article, which should be concise but informative
    • The name of each author; the name of the department(s) and institution(s) in which the work was done; the address, telephone and fax numbers, and E-mail address of primary author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript
    • Any grant support should be mentioned on this page
    • Byline should be listed in order of authors’ conception, design and/or analysis and interpretation of data as well as amount of writing or revising of manuscript


  • Abstracts should be limited to 250-300 words. Do NOT include abbreviations of terms, such as “(TCM),” in the abstract.
  • Do not include references in the Abstract
  • Abstracts for research articles should include five short paragraphs labeled:
    • Objective—The purpose of the study or investigation should be stated
    • Methods—Basic procedures should be listed
    • Results—Main findings should be discussed briefly (give specific data and their statistical significance)
    • Discussion—Briefly state significance and limitation of findings; state new hypotheses if necessary
    • Conclusion—State conclusion succintly

NOTE: This multi-part abstract format applies to scientific research and does not apply to other types of articles. A one-paragraph format briefly discussing each above topic is acceptable for case reports, literature reviews, opinion papers, etc.

Helpful Information: Jennifer A. M. Stone’s five part series “How to Write a Scientific Paper

Key Words

  • Provide 3-8 relevant, medically-based words or terms separated by commas; keep list short
  • Use terms from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  • Traditional Chinese medical subject headings and current terms may be used


  • Introduction:
    • State the purpose of the article. Give a brief, relevant background to the study.
  • Methods:
    • Clearly describe the subjects (patients or laboratory animals and the controls, including criteria for selection)
    • Describe the methods, apparatus and procedures in sufficient detail
    • Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including their generic name(s), dose(s) and route(s) of administration
    • Identify all herbal formulas used, including formula name, manufacturer, dose(s) and routes(s) of administration. It is not necessary to list each herb in the formula unless it is a custom formula.
  • Results:
    • Present the results in the text, tables, and illustrations concisely and in a logical sequence
    • Do not repeat in the text all of the data in the tables or illustration
    • Summarize only the important observations
  • Discussion:
    • Include the interpretation and significance of the findings and their limitations as well as implications for future research
    • State new hypotheses when warranted but clearly label them as such
    • Do not repeat information that is in the Results section
  • Conclusion:
    • Emphasize any important new findings
    • Include implications of these findings and their limitations
    • Include a statement about the need for further research on this topic


  • Use ONE space only between sentences
  • Put ALL tables, graphs and figures or illustrations in separate files—PDF, jpeg, .xlsx. Label these files clearly.
  • Do not use Power Point
  • Mark in the text with yellow highlight, ex: “Insert Table 1 Here,” to expedite the layout process


  • Number each table in sequence using Arabic numerals (i.e., Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, etc.).
  • Provide a title for the Table
  • A table’s summary should be a maximum of 15 words. Detailed legends may then follow but should be concise.
  • When creating a table or figure, please consider the size reduction quality. Tables and graphs may be reproduced in gray-scale if they do not appear on a color page of the print version, so consider the colors.
  • Explain scales if necessary

Figures and Illustrations

  • Photos 300 dpi or higher
  • Submit all photos as jpgs
  • Photos may appear in article in black and white or color depending on layout; all color photos will be in color in the online version
  • MJAOM has the right to refuse to print any photograph

Units of Measurement

  • Measurement of length, height, weight and volume should be reported in metric units (meter, kilogram, or liter) or their decimal multiples
  • All hematologic and clinical-chemical measurements should be reported in the metric system in terms of the International System of Units (SI)
  • Use a space between the number and the metric measurement: 9 g, 32 mm

Abbreviations and Terminology

  • Use only easily recognizable standard abbreviations found in the literature.
  • All abbreviations and acronyms are to be spelled out in full on their first appearance in the text
  • Avoid abbreviations in the title, abstract, and key words
  • Present herbs by their common, pharmaceutical and pinyin or Latin names. Acupuncture terms are to be conformed to the World Health Organization nomenclature.
  • Abbreviate standard units of measure
  • For specific products, use the non-proprietary (generic) names or descriptive terms; brand names can be included at first mention
    • Use pinyin for Romanization. Italicize pinyin words and terms but do not capitalize: jingwell, tai chi
    • Chinese terms: italicize, rather than capitalize, e.g., not Qi but qi, not Yang but yang
    • Chinese texts: pinyin name and common English translation, e.g., Su Wen (Plain Questions)
    • Acupuncture points: include pinyin name, prefixes and point number, Capitalize, do not italicize, e.g., Feng Chi GB-20, Zu San Li ST-36
    • Herb names: use italicized pinyin, followed by binomial pharmaceutical Latin in parentheses, e.g., huang qi (Radix Astragali membranaceus)
    • Herbal prescriptions: use italicized pinyin name, followed by English name used in Formulas and Strategies (Eastland Press), e.g., Wu Ling San (Five Ingredient Powder with Poria)
    • If used within AOM context, use Damp-Heat (not damp heat), Blood stasis, Wind, etc. Be careful and consistent about usage as either in a biomedical or in an AOM context.
      • Damp, Dampness
      • Heat
      • Cold
      • Wind
      • Wind-Damp
      • Damp-Heat
      • Cold-Damp
      • Phlegm
      • Heart Fire
      • Lower Burner/Middle Burner/Upper Burner
      • etc.


  • Acknowledge the role of a medical writer or resource person who did not contribute to the extent of a listed author in a very short paragraph at the end of the article
  • Obtain permission to acknowledge from all those mentioned in the Acknowledgements
  • List the source(s) of funding for the study, for each author, and for the manuscript preparation in the acknowledgements section briefly at the end of the article


  • Number the references consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text
  • Do not use Roman numerals; use superscripted Arabic numbers
  • List all authors when there are six or fewer; when there are seven or more, list the first six, followed by “et al.”


Journal Reference Format: (NOTE lack of periods and commas between first and last names)

1. Ashcraft MH, Krause JA. Working memory, math performance, and math anxiety. Psychon Bull Rev. 2007;14(2):243-248.

2. Zhang HX, Shi ZX, Jia HZ, Li G, Cheng WL, Gu WL, et al. Effects of garlicin on NIH3T3 cell proliferation and collagen synthesis. Chin J Integr Tradit West Med (Chin) 2007;27:431-434.

Book Reference Format:

3. Kibertus HE, ed. Medical Management of Cardiac Arrhythmias. Edinburgh, Scotland: Churchill Livingstone; 1986:121-132.

4. Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002. p.116

Internet Reference Format:

5. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta: CDC;c2013 [cited 2013 June] FastStats. Available from:

6. Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology [Internet] Birmingham (AL): SART; c1996-2013 [cited 2013 June] Available from:

  • Avoid citing “personal communications” unless necessary; do not list these in reference section, rather, please place in parentheses in text
  • When end note references are repeated in text, repeat the reference number for that reference
  • Do not use ibid or op cit.

Author BIO(s)

  • Place bio(s) at end of reference section
  • Limit bio to 75 words or less for each author
  • Author’s email address can be included at the end of bio

Disclosure of Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure

Meridians: The Journal of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is obligated to disclose such conflicts to its readers. The author(s) should disclose any potential financial or conflict of interest at the end of the article. Conflicts include, but are not limited to, stock ownership, employment/consultancies, grants, patents, royalties.

Informed Consent, Study Ethics Approval, and Subject to Confidentiality

  • For controlled trial research of acupuncture use STRICTA (Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture)
  • Studies on human subjects require review board or ethics committee approval and proof of informed consent from subjects
  • Authors without formal ethics review, follow the Declaration of Helsinki
  • No subject identification should be in the submission, unless specific to scientific purposes
  • Masking subjects’ eyes in photographs is not sufficient to protect identity
  • Animal experimentation:
    • Authors must state that permission was obtained
    • Research must conform to current standards of ethical animal research practices
    • Humane treatment and adherence to ethical animal research practices should be documented

MJAOM Policy on Endangered Species

Meridians: The Journal of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine supports the production of Chinese herbal products that pose no risk of any kind to any endangered plant or animal species. Use of rare or endangered plants or animals is at odds with basic principles of harmony and balance, which are central to Oriental medicine philosophy. We commend the producers and manufacturers who uphold these values, and we encourage this when purchasing herbs and other traditional medicines.

Summary: Meridians JAOM Author Guidelines

Manuscripts for research articles should be divided into the following sections:

Title page


Key Words

Introduction (Background)








-Figure legends (if any) should be submitted as separate files

-Tables and captions (if any) should be submitted as separate file


When writing case reports, please refer to S. Prasad Vinjamury’s “How to Write a Case Report.”
For scientific research papers, please refer to Jennifer A. M. Stone’s “Five Studies on Scientific Writing.”

Revision: 12/16



Copyright © 2017 Meridians: JAOM