Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine

Instructions for Authors

The Editorial Office is pleased to answer any questions you may have about preparing your manuscript in accordance with our guidelines.

E-mail: [email protected]


Traditional medicine includes herbal medicine, acupuncture and other complementary and alternative medicine. Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (AHM) aims to evaluate the effectiveness and security of traditional medicine therapy scientifically by sharing the evidence of experimental and clinical research, and to serve the development of the global health industry.

AHM is an official journal of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and China Association of Chinese Medicine. It is an international, open access, peer-reviewed quarterly journal, strives to publish high-quality papers of interest to an international readership including researchers, clinical practitioners, administrators and others concerned with clinical best practice, research methodology, and education and policy development in complementary and alternative medicine. AHM publishes articles of experimental research, clinical research and application research and reviews, etc. The types of publications considered are editorial, review article, guidelines and standards, commentary, opinion article, short communications, case report, methodology, letter to​ the editor, etc.


All manuscripts must be submitted online at:

First-time users

Please click the Register button at Upon successful registration, you will be sent an email providing your username and password. Save this information for future reference. Note: If you have received an email from us with an assigned username and password, or if you are a repeat user, do not register again. Once you have an assigned username and password, you do not have to re-register.


Please click the Login button from the menu at the top of the page and login to the system as an author. Submit your manuscript according to the author instructions. You will be able to track the process of your manuscript through the system.


Duplicate Publication​​
Manuscripts are reviewed for possible publication with the understanding that they are being submitted only to the Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine and have not been published, simultaneously submitted, or already accepted for publication elsewhere. The Editorial team may subject an​y manuscript submitted for consideration of publication in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine​​ to plagiarism-detection software.

This does not preclude consideration of a manuscript that has been rejected by another journal or a complete report that follows publication of preliminary findings elsewhere, usually in the form of an abstract. Copies of any possibly duplicate published material should be submitted with the manuscript under consideration, with a statement in the cover letter as to why the manuscript currently being submitted is not a duplicate publication.

Disclosure of Conflicts 
Authors must state all possible conflicts of interest in the manuscript, including financial, consultant, institutional and other relationships that might lead to bias or a conflict of interest. If there is no conflict of interest, this should also be explicitly stated as none declared. All sources of funding should be acknowledged in the manuscript. All relevant conflicts of interest and sources of funding should be included on the title page of the manuscript with the heading "Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding:".

Use of Inclusive Language
Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive languag​e throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions.
We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.


Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine expects that each person listed as an author has participated suffi­ciently in the intellectual content, the analysis of data, and/or the writing of the manuscript to take public responsibility for it. Each author must have reviewed the manuscript, believes it represents valid work, and approves it for submission.

Moreover, should the Editorial team request the data upon which the manuscript is based, the authors shall produce it. Each author's specific contributions to the work should be indicated; this information will be published as a footnote to the paper. For example, the areas of participation might include:

  • Participated in research design
  • Participated in the writing of the paper
  • Participated in the performance of the research
  • Contributed new reagents or analytic tools
  • Participated in data analysis 

An author may list more than one contribution, and more than one author may have contributed to the same aspect of the work. Any change in authorship/contributions after submission must be approved in writing by all authors and submitted to the Editorial Office for final consideration.


As defined by the World Association of Medical Editors (, Plagiarism is 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. The intent and effect of plagiarism is to mislead the reader as to the contributions of the plagiarizer. This applies whether the ideas or words are taken from abstracts, research grant applications, Institutional Review Board applications, or unpublished or published manuscripts in any publication format (print or electronic). 

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting

All allegations of plagiarism are investigated in accordance with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines detailed at When plagiarism is detected at any time before or after publication, the journal editorial office will take appropriate action as directed by the standards set forth by COPE. If plagiarism is found, the author, the author's institution and funding agencies, and the original publication will be notified. A statement noting the plagiarism, providing a reference to the plagiarized material, and linking to the original paper may follow. Depending on the extent of the plagiarism, the paper may also be formally retracted. For additional information, please visit

Reporting of Randomized Clinical Trials

Registration of Clinical Trials is an essential requirement for publication of clinical trials in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine. On the title page of your manuscript, provide the name of the trial registry and the registration number/identifier of the trial.

Acceptable web-based clinical trial registries include the following:

Reports of randomized clinical trials should follow the recommendations given in the Con­solidated Standards of Reported Trials (CONSORT) statement In brief, this statement comprises a checklist and flow diagram to help improve the quality of reports of randomized controlled trials and offers a standard way for researchers to report trials.

Optional Reporting Guidelines

The following resources may be helpful to authors:

For further information regarding reporting guidelines, authors should consult the EQUATOR Network web site (, which maintains a useful, up-to-date list of guidelines as they are published, with links to articles and checklists.

Studies in humans and animals

If the work involves the use of human subjects, the author 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. The manuscript should be in line with the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals and aim for the inclusion of representative human populations (sex, age and ethnicity) as per those recommendations. The terms sex and gender should be used correctly.

Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guid​elines and should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986 and associated guidelines, EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments, or the National Institutes of Health guide for the care and use of Laboratory animals (NIH Publications No. 8023, revised 1978) and the authors should clearly indicate in the manuscript that such guidelines have been followed. The sex of animals must be indicated, and where appropriate, the influence (or association) of sex on the results of the study.

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research provides in-depth insights about people's values, attitudes, beliefs, and experiences. Qualitative methodology informs approaches to data collection and analysis, and includes grounded theory, ethnography, and phenomenology. Open-ended interviews and focus groups are commonly used to collect data. Authors are advised to follow the COREQ guidelines for reporting primary qualitative research. Please visit:

Systematic review and/or synthesis of primary qualitative studies can provide a broader understanding of people's perspectives across different healthcare contexts. Methodologies for synthesis of qualitative research include thematic synthesis, meta-ethnography and critical interpretive synthesis. Authors can refer to the ENTREQ statement at

Financial Support and Competing Interests

A financial disclosure section is part of the submission process and must be completed by each author at first revision. You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to 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. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated. This information is for review by the Editors but will be published if relevant to the content of the accepted manuscript.

The primary purpose of the disclosure section is to determine whether authors have received any commercial financial support that could create a conflict of interest. In addition to monetary interests, a potential for conflict of interest can exist whether or not an indi­vidual believes that a relationship (such as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties) affects his or her scientific judgment. Please review ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts

Peer Review

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine operates a single-blind external peer review process, wherein the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author. Brief introduction on peer review process of the journal:

On submission, editors review all submitted manuscripts initially for suitability for formal review. Manuscripts with insufficient originality, serious scientific or technical flaws, or lack of a significant message are rejected before proceeding for formal peer-review. Manuscripts that are unlikely to be of interest to the readers of the journal are also liable to be rejected at this stage.

Manuscripts that are found suitable for potential publication of the journal are sent to a minimum of two independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the manuscript. Authors submitting manuscripts to Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine may propose suitable reviewers or oppose reviewers who may have competing interests. The proposed reviewers should not be affiliated with the same institutes as the contributor(s). However, the selection of these reviewers is at the sole discretion of the editor, who selects reviewers to reflect relevant expertise, diversity, and geographical backgrounds.

Peer reviewers have access to the submitted manuscript and any appendices included by the authors. If the paper is a randomized controlled trial, peer reviewers will also have access to the trial protocol. Peer review assists editors in their decision on whether to publish an article and helps authors revise and improve their manuscripts. Peer reviewers make suggestions for improvements, critique the analysis, point out relevant published work which is not yet cited, and provide recommendations to the authors and the editors. At Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, reviewer comments are sent to the authors anonymously. Details of peer review including dates and peer review comments are not shared publicly. Reviewed articles are treated confiden​tially prior to their publication.

Based on the comments from the reviewers, the handling editor takes an acceptance decision on the manuscript and convey the comments and suggestions (acceptance/ rejection/ amendments in manuscript) to the corresponding author, who is requested to provide a point by point response to reviewers' comments and submit a revised version of the manuscript. This process is repeated until reviewers and editors are satisfied with the manuscript. Manuscripts are accepted on the basis of quality, originality, significance, novelty and importance for the field.

Manuscripts received from Editorial Board Members will be screened by the Editor-in-Chief and sent to external peer reviewers. In case, Editor-in-Chief is the author, then the article will be screened by Assistant Editor/Co-Editor-in-Chief and sent to external peer reviewers. The Editorial Board Members, who are authors, will be excluded from publication decisions.

Editors are not involved in decisions about papers which they have written themselves or have been written by family members or colleagues or whoever relate to products or services in which the editor has an interest. Any such submission is subject to the journal's standard procedures, with peer review handled independently of the relevant editor and their research groups.


The authors have the right to appeal if they have a genuine cause to believe that the editorial board has wrongly rejected the paper. If the authors wish to appeal against the editorial decision, they should email the editorial office (email: [email protected]) explaining in detail the reason for the appeal. The appeals will be acknowledged by the editorial office and will be investigated in an unbiased manner. The processing of appeals will be done within 6–8 weeks. While under appeal, the said manuscript should not be submitted to other journals. The final decision rests with the Editor-in-Chief of the journal. Second appeals are not considered.


When reporting studies on human beings, author should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) and with the Declaration of Helsinki ( For prospective studies involving human participants, authors are expected to mention about approval of regional/national/institutional or independent ethics committee or review board, obtaining informed consent from adult research participants and obtaining assent for children aged over 7 years participating in the trial. The age beyond which assent would be required could vary as per regional and/or national guidelines. Ensure confidentiality of subjects by desisting from mentioning participants' names, initials or hospital numbers, especially in illustrative material. When reporting experiments on animals, indicate whether the institution's or a national research council's guide for, or any national law on the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Evidence for approval by a local ethics committee (for both human as well as animal studies) must be supplied by the authors on demand. Animal experimental procedures should be as humane as possible and the details of anesthetics and analgesics used should be clearly stated. The ethical standards of experiments must be in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CPCSEA and World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Humans for studies involving experimental animals and human beings, respectively. The journal will not consider any paper which is ethically unacceptable. A statement on ethics committee permission and ethical practices must be included in all research articles under the “Methods" section.

We reserve the right to decline publication of a paper even after it has been accepted if it becomes apparent that there are serious problems with the scientific content or violations of our publishing policies.

Protection of Patients' Rights to Privacy

Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, sonograms, CT scans, etc., and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian, wherever applicable) gives written informed consent for publication. Authors should remove patients' names from figures unless they have obtained written informed consent from the patients. The journal abides by ICMJE guidelines: (1) Authors, not the journals nor the publisher, need to have the patient consent form before the publication related to patient privacy and have the form properly archived by the author. (2) If the publication includes some facial images that make the patients identifiable, a statement about the patient's consent needs to be present in the manuscript.

Collections, Special Topic and Special Issue

Collections: For any articles published in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, if the subject of articles belong to a specific topical collection, they will be dynamically added to related topical collection under the navigation bar of “Collections".

Special Topic, Special Issue: Authors can submit manuscripts that belong to the subject of our planned Special Topics or Special Issues through the journal submission site under related article types. The planned Special Topics or Special Issues are listed in the journal homepage under “Call For Papers". All special issue articles will follow the same Editorial, Peer review and Decision process as other articles. Guest Editors will also review the articles belong to the Special Topic or Special Issue and take a first decision based on the comments from the reviewers.

Types of Manuscripts Published

TypeText Word Guideline*Abstract Word GuidelineFigure/Table GuidelineReference Guideline
Original Article
400 words, structured into: Objective, Methods, Results and Conclusions
Each figure/table should be numbered and cited in sequence using Arabic numerals (i.e., Table 1, 2, 3, etc.).
As above. The number of references should be usually with 30-80.
Review Article2,500 -6,000. There is no explicit limit on the length of papers submitted, but authors are encouraged to be concise.
400 words unstructured or 

structured into:

Objective,​ Methods, Results and Conclusions​​

As above
As above. The number of references should not be less than 30, usually with 40-100.
​Guidelines & Standards
no limit
250 words, unstructured
As above
As above. The number of references is usually with 30-80.
800 – 2,500
250 words, unstructured or no abstract

Each figure/table should be numbered and cited in sequence using Arabic numerals (i.e., Table 1, 2, 3, etc.). 

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder(s) to reproduce figures or tables that have previously been published elsewhere.

Numbered consecutively, in square brackets, in the order in which they are cited in the text, and should be formatted in AMA style, more information on References Format.

Citations in the reference list should include all named authors. Any in press articles cited within the references and necessary for the reviewers' assessment of the manuscript should be made available if requested by the editorial office. The number of references is no limited​

250 words, unstructured or no abstract
As above

As above. The number of references should be usually no more than 30.
​Short Communications

As above​

As above
As above. The number of references should be usually no more than 30.
Mini Review
250 words max, unstructured

Max 5 Figures/Tables

As above. The number of references should be usually with 20-60.
800 – 1,500
250 words, unstructured or no abstract
As above
As above. The number of references should be usually no more than 30.
Case Report
800 – 3,000
250 words, unstructured
As above
The number of references should be usually with 30-50.

2,500 – 6,000

400 max, structured into:

Objective, Methods, Results and Conclusions

As above
The number of references should be usually with 30-50.
​​Letter to the Editor

800 – 3,000
No abstract/With Abstract
As above
The number of references should be no more than 10.

*Text word count excludes title, abstract, and r​eferences. Please ensure that the text word count is included on the Title page of the manuscript.

Original Article: It is full-length reports of completed basic, translational or clinical research. Articles should report important, novel and fully completed studies with strong conclusions. There is also no clear limit on the length of the submitted paper, but authors are encouraged to be concise and concise, preferably within 4500-8000 words. Articles have an structured abstract of maximum 400 words, including Objective, Methods, Results and Conclusions. The number of references should be usually with 30-80.

Review Article: It is comprehensive and important description of the work in certain areas of acupuncture and herbal medicine; they will be peer reviewed. Review articles should increase the reader's knowledge by distinguishing between comparative and insightful material. There is no clear limit on the length of the submitted paper, but authors are encouraged to be concise and concise, preferably within 2500-6000 words, including an unstructured abstract of maximum 400 words. Or articles have an structured abstract of maximum 400 words, including Objective, Methods, Results and Conclusions. The number of references should be usually with 40-100.

Guidelines & Standards: It is the official advice provided by professional institutions for research on acupuncture and herbal medicine. There is no clear limit on the length of the submitted paper, but authors are encouraged to be concise and concise, including an unstructured abstract of maximum 250 words. The number of references should be usually with 30-80.

Editorial: It is invited articles to explain the importance of specific articles or to provide opinions on general concepts in practice, research or policy. Editorials are typically 800 to 2500 words long, including unstructured abstract, 250 words or no abstract. The number of references is no limited.

Short Communication: Short Communication is a format intended for reporting of timely new results that, while limited in scope, are of substantial clinical or public health importance, and that therefore need to be quickly vetted and shared. It is short discussions based on limited new data that still come to solid conclusions or initiate important new questions. Short communications can only have 800-3000 words. The unstructural abstract with a maximum of 250 words or no abstract. The number of references should be usually no more than 30.

Commentary: It is use research findings as action points, or find points related to related fields, including attention or criticism of published papers, books, or reports. The main criteria are that they should be of immediate interest to a broad readership and should be written in an accessible, non-technical style. A good Comment will have a clear bottom line, captured in the title and in a stand first, and will cover a topic of broad interest to AHM readers, or that is particularly timely. The commentary contains no original data, about 800 to 1500 words, unstructured abstract with maximum 250 words or no abstract. The number of references should be usually no more than 30.

Case Report: It is short articles reporting about rare acupuncture and herbal medicine conditions or occurrences, or cases where a lesson can be communicated. The title should be provocative and reflect the value of the case. Case Report is 800 to 3000 words long. An unstructured summary of no more than 250 words is required to provide some background information that frames the importance and relevance of the particular case being presented. Provide a concise description of the patient history, including all facts relevant to the remarkable observation. Key illustrations are highly encouraged. Importantly, inclusion of investigative studies will increase the value of the report. Finally, provide the most current information on the patient's outcome. In the report, avoid inclusion of details that do not increase comprehension of the case. The discussion should aim to extract the main one or two lessons from the case. Include references to other relevant reports, whether they are supportive or contradictory to the current case. Alternative, scientifically-based proposals for management of similar cases can be presented for consideration. The number of references should be usually with 30-50.

Methodology: It is described in detail the research methods, tests or steps and scientific problems that can be solved. The described method can be brand-new, or an improvement, advantages and disadvantages of an existing method and sufficient practical support. There is also no clear limit on the length of the submitted paper, but authors are encouraged to be concise, preferably within 2500-6000 words, including a unstructured abstract of maximum 400 words. The number of references should be usually with 30-50.

Letter to the Editor: It is on the premise of fully understanding the current situation of acupuncture and herbal medicine related research directions, and expresses some controversial issues in some areas of this research, or put forward new views and opinions on this basis. Abstract is needed only if the content of the letter is about clinically encountered case reports, new techniques, new findings, etc. Summarize the relevant literature, with a length of 800-3000 words, no abstract. The number of references should be usually no more than 10.


Manuscripts must be written in clear, grammatical English. Manuscripts not conforming to Journal format will be returned to authors for modification. Please double space the entire main body document and number each page. Do not add line numbers as the system will generate those when the PDF is built.

Title page, footnotes, abbreviations, and abstract pages must be included in the main body file. Please do not upload separate copies of these documents.

Acceptable document file types for text and tables include .DOC and .DOCX; do not submit a PDF.

Page 1:

Title Page. The following elements are required for every submission:

Title. Include a descriptive title of the work; the title should not be a sentence. No proprietary or brand names for drugs or agents may be used in article titles.

Authors. The full first name, middle initials, and family name of each author, as well as the name(s) of the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed.

Address for Correspondence. A current email and full mailing address for the corresponding author must be provided.

Page 2: 

Abstract. The abstract for Original Article and Methodology should be struc­tured into four paragraphs, labeled Objective, Methods, Results, and Con­clusions. The abstract for Review Article are  struc­tured​ or unstructured. The other types of manuscript's abstract are unstructured. They should briefly describe, respectively, the problem being addressed in the study, how the study was performed, the salient results, and what the authors conclude from the results.

Keywords. Include three to eight key words.

Main Body

Introduction. The introduction contains a statement of the purpose of the work, the problem that stimulated it, and a brief summary of relevant pub­lished investigations.

Materials and Methods. Avoid detailed description of previously published methods and cite the appropriate ref­erence. Detailed methods may be provided as Supplemental Digital Content and will appear in the online version only.

Results. The results should be concise, avoiding redundant tables and figures illustrating the same data.

Discussion. This section should follow the results and is used to in­terpret results, with minimal recapitulation of findings.

AcknowledgmentsThis section normally includes sources of research funds, the names of collaborators who are not listed as coauthors, or of any others who contributed to the manuscript. Where a medical writer or editorial assistant has been used to write or edit the article, the writer must be identified and named, together with the source of funding. 

Funding. This section discloses the funding received for this work, especially details of funding from any of the following organizations: National Natural Science Foundation of C​hina (NSFC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Wellcome Trust, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), etc. If there is no funding, this should also be explicitly stated as “None".

Author ContributionsThis section lists each author's specific contributions to the work. For example, the areas of participation might include:

Participated in research design

Participated in the writing of the paper

Participated in the performance of the research

Contributed new reagents or analytic tools

Participated in data analysis​

An author may list more than one contribution, and more than one author may have contributed to the same aspect of the work. Any change in authorship/contributions after submission must be approved in writing by all authors and submitted to the Editorial Office for final consideration.

Conflicts of InterestAuthors must state all possible conflicts of interest in the manuscript, including financial, consultant, institutional and other relationships that might lead to bias or a conflict of interest. If there is no conflict of interest, this should also be explicitly stated as none declared. Please include the phrase, “The authors declare no conflicts of interest."

Ethical Approval of Studies and Informed ConsentFor all manuscripts reporting data from studies involving human participants or animals, formal review and approval, or formal review and waiver, by an appropriate institutional review board or ethics committee is required and should be described in the Methods section or in this section. For those i​nvestigators who do not have formal ethics review committees, the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki should be followed. For investigations of humans, state in the Methods section the manner in which informed consent was obtained from the study participants (ie, oral or written) and whether participants received a stipend. Authors of research studies involving humans should not make independent determinations of exemption or exclusion of IRB or ethical review; they should cite the institutional or regulatory policy for that determination and indicate if the data are de-identified and publicly available or protected by prior consent or privacy safeguards. Editors may request that authors provide documentation of the formal review and recommendation from the institutional review board or ethics committee responsible for oversight of the study. If there is no Ethical Approval of Studies and Informed Consent, please indicate, "Not applicable – Not required for this study."

Data Availability Statement​. For submissions from January 1, 2023, Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine requires authors to include in any articles that report results derived from research data to include a Data Availability Statement. The provision of a Data Availability Statement will be verified as a condition of publication. Data Availability Statements should include information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analyzed or generated during​​ the study. Where research data are not publicly available, this must be stated in the manuscript along with any conditions for accessing the data. Data Availability Statements must take one of the following forms (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple types of research data):

  • The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS]
  • The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available due [REASON WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC] but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. 
  • The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
  • Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analyzed during the current study. 
  • All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article [and its supplementary information files].
  • The data that support the findings of this study are available from [third party name] but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of [third party name].

References: The journal uses American Medical Association (AMA) style. References should begin on a separate page and numbered in the order in which they are cited in the text, where they are designated by superscript numbers placed inside periods, commas, colons and semicolons. Only published works and manuscripts that have been accepted for publication should be listed in the References. Manuscripts in prepa­ration, unpublished observations, and personal communications should be re­ferred to in parentheses in the text. Completed manuscripts submitted for publication may be cited as footnotes to the text (see above, Footnotes). If these are subsequently accepted, the author may transfer them to the reference section in galley proof.

References Format. All authors should be listed. Titles of journal articles must be included, and abbreviation of journal names should conform to Index Medicus style.

For information on AMA style, please visit

Single author:

Shi XM. Study of the relationship between acupuncture dose and effect. Acupunct Herb Med 2021;1(1):3-9.

Two authors:

Liu K, Zhu B. Significance of pleasant touch and state-of-the-art neuroscience technologies in acupuncture research. Acupunct Herb Med 2023;3(1):55-58.

Three or more authors:

Pan MH, Lan YY, Wang ZF. Wrist-ankle acupuncture has a positive effect on chronic pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acupunct Herb Med 2023;3(1):7-19.

Liu QQ, Zhang HC, Wang CX, et al. Expert consensus on the clinical application of Xuanfei Baidu granule. Acupunct Herb Med 2023;3(1):1-6.

Organization as author:

CDC. Prevention of herpes zoster: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep 2008; 57: 1.

Donation after Circulatory Death. British Transplant Society. Available at: Accessed August 1, 2013. 

Tables: Photographs of tables are not acceptable. Type each table, double-spaced through ­out (including column headings, footnotes, and data), on a separate page. Tables may be included as part of the Main Body file and placed after the References section. Number the tables in sequence in Arabic numerals and supply a concise, informative title for each one. Each column in the tables should carry a concise heading describing the data in the column. Use lowercase superscript letters to designate footnotes, and type the footnotes below the tables to which they refer. Tables are cited in the text in numerical order. Each table should be able to be understood without consulting the text. Like text, tables should be prepared using a standard word-processing program and may be included within the main body text document, or uploaded separately. Do not upload table files more than once (that is, in the main document and in separate files).

Acceptable document file types for tables include .DOC and .DOCX; do not submit PDF, XLS or XLSX type files.

Figures and Legends: Figures should be uploaded in the highest resolution available. Legends should be supplied for all figures. They are numbered to correspond with the figures and typed double-spaced on a separate page. Figure legends for any supplemental figures being submitted are to be provided separately; see section, Supplemental Digital Content (SDC).

Instructions for Figure Submissions:

  • Do not embed figures into the main body file
  • All final digital figures for accepted manuscripts must be submitted in EPS, TIFF, JPG. PowerPoint PPT format is permitted when the image resolution is very high.
  • Each figure must be uploaded as a separate file.
  • Color images must be saved as ''CMYK''. Images saved as ''RGB'' are not ac­ceptable for printing.
  • Histology figures must be in color.
  • Monochrome images (such as line graphs) should be prepared at a resolution of 1200 DPI. Halftones images (black/white or color) should be prepared at a resolution of 300 DPI. Combination halftones (images containing both pictures and text labeling) should be prepared at 600 DPI.
  • Digital art files should be cropped to remove non-printing borders (such as unnecessary white or black space around an image) and shou​ld not include embedded “legend" text, figure titles, or figure numbers. For the best print production of figures, artwork should be submitted in final size and cropped as needed. Dimensions for figures are:
    • 1 column: 19.5 picas wide (8 cm or 3.25 in)
    • 1.5 columns: 30 picas wide (12.75 cm or 5 in)
    • 2 columns: 42 picas wide (17.75 cm or 7 in)
  • Multi-paneled figures must have all panels assembled into one piece and supplied as one file. Each panel must be labeled with uppercase letters (A, B, C, etc) in boldface Arial (12.6pt).
  • Use the same font (typeface) and font size throughout the figure. Arial is preferred. Arial 8pt Bold is preferred for x- and y-axis labels. Arial 7.2pt is preferred for the x- and y-coordinates. Use Arial 6pt or 6.5pt for superscripts and subscripts only. Please confirm that all fonts are easily read.
  • Letters, symbols, arrows, etc, must be uniform in size and style within each figure, and when possible, between figures.
  • Line graphs, bar graphs and pie charts must have easily distinguishable colors/lines/symbols for the different sets of data.
  • Graphs and charts should have a white background.
  • Avoid headings/titles on the figure. Title information should appear in the figure legend.
  • Label units of measure consistently with the text and legend. Follow the AMA for unit abbreviations.
  • Line art should not contain hair lines, which are hard to reproduce, nor should the line art contain lines that are too thick, which makes it hard to distinguish between the coordinates.
  • Supply a scale bar with photomicrographs
  • Your manuscript may be returned to you for correction if the images are of insufficient quality.
  • Artwork submitted to the Journal will be checked for quality. Authors submitting a revised paper will have the opportunity to check the quality of their images and make the necessary changes. This step is required for all revisions.

Supplemental Digital Content (SDC): Authors may submit Supplemental Digital Content to supplement the information provided in the manu­script. It is preferable to include all significant figures and tables in the manuscript, since there is not a limit on the number of items in this online journal. Nonetheless, SDC may include the following types of content: text, tables, figures, references peripheral to information provided as SDC, audio, and video. SDC should be consecutively cited in the Main Body text of the submitted manuscript. SDC files will be available via URL(s) placed at the citation points within the article and are not copyedited by the publisher. Note that Journal policies for manuscript sub­mission relating to peer review, patient anonymity, ethics, financial disclosure, copyright, and permissions also apply to SDC. Authors should mask patients' eyes and remove patients' names from supplemental digital content unless they obtain written consent from the patients and submit them as supplemental files at the time of the manuscript submission.

Format, File Type and Size Requirements: SDC must be provided in one Word or PowerPoint file. Each SDC in the file should have a visual header in the following name format (e.g., ''SDC, Figure 1''; ''SDC, Materials and Methods'') and a corresponding citation must appear in the Main Body text. Note that SDC is numbered separately from non-SDC material. If providing SDC figure(s), a figure legend should be included on the figure itself. When uploading SDC select ''Supplemental Digital Content'' as the file designation. For audio and video files, also include the author name, videographer, participants, length (minutes), and size (MB). Video files should be formatted with a 320x240 pixel minimum screen size. For each submission, the SDC file cannot exceed a total size of 10 MB.


New Submissions

Once the manuscript has been created, visit the submission site at to upload the manuscript. Once the manuscript has been vetted for compliance to the Journal's requirements, a manuscript number will be assigned to the submission. Failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in your manuscript being returned to you for correction. Faxed, scanned or emailed copies of manuscripts will not be accepted.

Revised Submissions

All revised submissions require a point-by-point response to the reviewers' comments. Please upload this document as file type Response to Reviewers. Changes made in the revised manuscript should be indicated using highlighted, bold, or underlined text. Upload both a marked and a clean version of the revised manuscript. File types are provided for both versions.

A requirement of all revisions is the artwork quality check as described above (see MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION AND FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS). Revised manuscripts should be submitted within the deadline specified in the decision letter. Please contact us for an extension if it is not possible to submit the revision within that period, or should you desire to withdraw the manuscript from further consideration.

Revisions should adhere to original specifications for the submission type. Sometimes changes made in response to the decision/critiques may bring the revised manuscript out of compliance (e.g., over the word count and/or table/figure limit) with original specifications. This may be allowed by the Editor but must be noted in the point-by-point response.

Mandatory Author Forms

Upon first revision, authors will be required to complete a Copyright Transfer (CT) form. CT forms are required of every author listed on the submission. Please ensure each author's email address is properly listed on the footnotes page of your manuscript to avoid delays in reaching authors. Manuscripts will not pass to production without completed forms. CT forms are available from the submission site homepage.

Submitting Invited Videos

Authors may want or be invited to submit videos to the Journal's website. The videos will serve to emphasize key aspects of the research findings reported in their soon to be published manuscript. Please visit Stand Alone Video Format Requirements to download full specifications and instructions for preparing these invited videos.


Page Proofs

The Editorial Office will contact you when page proofs are ready for your review. The figures included on author's proofs are high resolution. Please inform the Editorial Office immediately if you have any questions concerning the quality of the figures on the proofs. For information regarding proofs, or the status of publication of your accepted manuscript, please contact the Editorial Office at +86 22 59596311, [email protected].

Changes in Corresponding Author's Contact Information

Please give all new information, including email address, to the Editorial Office. Authors may send this information to [email protected]. If the Journal is unsuccessful in contacting the corresponding author, the author will not receive proofs for approval, and the manuscript may not be published.

Changes at Proofs

It is expected that the final manuscript sent to the Editorial Office is indeed the final version, so few changes should be required at proof stage.

Correction and Retraction Policy

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (AHM) takes full responsibility to correct errors as they occur. Content that is published online or in an issue is considered the final published record and must be preserved; therefore, all changes to articles must be made as a formal correction. Corrections will be published online and in the next available issue and will be bi-directionally linked to the original article. These corrections will then be picked up by Ovid and transmitted to indexing services and other aggregating databases.

Corrections will be reviewed and considered if they affect the publication record, the scientific integrity of the paper, or the reputation of the authors, or of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine. Corrections that do not significantly affect the paper may not be approved (i.e. a spelling error).

Retractions will be considered if results are invalid or ethical guidelines have been violated (i.e. applicable cases of plagiarism or ghostwriting). All coauthors must sign a retraction detailing the error and how the conclusions were affected.

All decisions about corrections or retractions are made by the Editor. Author consultation may be required. In situations where coauthors disagree about a correction, the Editors will consult with independent peer-reviewers before applying the appropriate correction. The dissenting author(s) position will be noted on the correction.

The journal abides by Retraction Guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)​.


Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine is the owner of all copyrights to any articles published in the journal. Published manuscripts become the permanent property of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and may not be published elsewhere without written permission. Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine keeps the right to use these manuscripts in any form, including print, video, audio and digital.

Open Access

Every peer-reviewed research article appearing in this journal will be published open access. This means that the article is universally and freely accessible via the internet in perpetuity, in an easily readable format immediately after publication. The journal does not charge for submission, processing or publication of manuscripts and even for color reproduction of photographs. Editorial office of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine will pay to make the article open access.

A CC user license manages the reuse of the article (see All articles will be published under the following license:

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeri​vs (CC BY-NC-ND)

For non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

Creative Commons licenses

Open access articles will be freely available to read, download and share from the time of publication. Articles are published under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommerical No Derivative 4.0 which allows readers to disseminate and reuse the article, as well as share and reuse of the scientific material. It does not permit commercial exploitation or the creation of derivative works without specific permission. To view a copy of this license visit

Compliance with NIH and other research funding agency accessibility requirements

A number of research funding agencies now require or request authors to submit the published article (the article after peer review and acceptance but not the final published article) to a repository that is accessible online by all without charge.

Editorial Office Contacts

The Editorial Office is pleased to answer any questions you may have about preparing your manuscript in accordance with our guidelines.

E-mail: [email protected]

Submit a manuscript: