Submitting a Manuscript


Instructions for authors

The Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (AJACM) is the official journal of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA). It is a peer-reviewed journal published biannually and it has an Editorial Board and an International Advisory Board. 


Aims and Scope

AJACM acknowledges the diversity of Chinese medicine theories and practice, and encourages the integration of research, practice and education. It promotes the use of rigorous and appropriate research methodologies in the field of Chinese medicine. AJACM publishes original research articles, general papers, reviews, case reports and case series that will contribute to current practice knowledge and encourage future research directions. The Editorial Board also welcomes the submission of letters, opinions and commentaries.

Authors of randomised, controlled trials (RCTs) are encouraged to consult the CONSORT standards.

Authors of systematic reviews are encouraged to consult the QUORUM statement: Moher D et al. Improving the quality of reports of meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials: the QUORUM statement. Lancet 1999;354:1896-1900 (Available from or view the checklist here).

The reporting of acupuncture treatment in clinical trials, case reports or case series needs to follow STRICTA guidelines.

All human and animal research must have been conducted in accordance with the National Health & Medical Research Council’s standards on research ethics, available here, or equivalent standard if conducted outside Australia.

Guidelines for writing a case report can be viewed here.


Organisation of Manuscripts

General requirements
AJACM endorses the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, available here. 

Length of manuscript
Original research, general articles and reviews should not exceed 3000 words, excluding abstract and reference list, without the permission of the Editorial Board. Case reports and case series should not exceed 1500 words. Letters to the Editor and Book Reviews should not exceed 500 words.

Title page
The title page should include contact details of the authors, the manuscript’s full title, short title, abstract and keywords. The title page should be included in the same file as the manuscript.

Abstract and keywords
Abstracts should not exceed 300 words and, where applicable, contain Background, Aims, Design, Subjects and Settings, Interventions, Outcome Measures, Results, Discussion and Conclusion. Up to six keywords may be used. Where possible, keywords should use those recommended in the Index Medicus Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list.

Manuscripts of original research or review articles should have Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments and References. Authors of other articles should use appropriate headings. All manuscripts should have a Clinical Commentary section, written in plain language for practitioners, describing the clinical relevance of the article.

Acknowledgments should:

  • Specify academic and/or technical contributions.
  • List the types of financial support.
  • Disclose any possible conflicts of interest.

AJACM adopts the Vancouver referencing system. The Journal encourages the use of citation managers such as EndNote.

In-text citations should use superscript Arabic numerals in the appearing order. The use of footnotes is strongly discouraged. Where there is supplementary comment in relation to a table or a figure, this should be presented below the table using alphabetical symbols.

References should be listed according to the order of their appearance in the text. Please refer to the following referencing examples.

  1. WHO. Standard acupuncture nomenclature. 2nd ed. Manila: WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific; 1993.
  2. Cahn A, Carayon P, Hill C, Flamant R. Acupuncture in gastroscopy. Lancet 1978;28(1):182-3.

Abbreviation of journal titles should follow those used in the Index Medicus. Please consult the Entrez Journals Database.

Figures and tables
Figures and tables should be numbered according to their order of appearance with Arabic numerals. Figures must be provided as separate files. Information provided in figures and tables should complement, but not duplicate, that in the text. A figure is to have a title and a self-explanatory legend below it. A table is to have a title above it. All symbols and abbreviations must be explained below the body of the table or figure.


Submission of Manuscripts

All manuscripts should include a cover sheet and be submitted electronically as an e-mail attachment to

The Managing Editor will e-mail the correspondent author to confirm receipt of the manuscript and provide a reference number which should be used in all communications about the manuscript.

The Editorial Board will conduct an initial in-house review. The correspondent author will receive in one month of submission an e-mail notifying whether the manuscript:

  • has passed the in-house review and has been sent for peer review.
  • has not been accepted through the in-house review.

For articles sent for peer review, AJACM will notify the correspondent author within three months of one of the following four decisions:

  • acceptance with no changes
  • acceptance with minor changes
    • acceptance subject to major changes
    • or rejection

Authors will be given up to two months to amend the manuscript. Once the amended manuscript has been accepted for publication, a galley copy will be sent to the correspondent author for confirmation prior to publication. The Editorial Board expects to receive the confirmation within seven days.

Text and tables should be in Microsoft Word 2000 (or later version) format. ASCII, Rich Text Format or PDF files will not be accepted. Manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced with a margin of 20 mm on the top, bottom and both sides. Text should be in Times New Roman 12 point.

Graphics should be in minimum 300 dpi. They are not to be embedded in the text file, and should be submitted as separate files in JPEG or TIFF format.

Cover sheet
All submissions must include a completed cover sheet . The cover sheet is a separate document to the title page. This must be submitted as a signed hard copy included with the hard copy of the manuscript. In-house review will not proceed until a cover sheet has been received.

Copyright agreement
A completed copyright agreement form should be submitted once the paper has been accepted for publication. The correspondent author is responsible for obtaining the signature of all authors. An assignment of copyright form will be e-mailed to the correspondent author after the final version of the manuscript has been received and approved for publication.

Terminology and English

Acupuncture points should be named according to both Pinyin and the numerical code recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO. Standard Acupuncture Nomenclature, 2nd ed. Manila: WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific; 1993).

Chinese herbs should be named according to both the Pinyin and the Latin name. AJACM reserves the right to correct Chinese herb names to conform with the Pharmacopoeia of China (Pharmacopoeia Commission. Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China 2000. English ed. Beijing: Chemical Industry Press; 2000).

The terminology of Chinese medicine, such as Qi, Yin and Yang, should be in Pinyin and may use common English translations where applicable. It is recommended that each manuscript contain a glossary of Chinese medicine terms used.

Chinese characters should be in simplified form and will only be accepted as in-text characters. Downloads for using in-text Chinese characters in MS Word can be obtained from the Microsoft website,

The language used in AJACM is standard Australian English as per the Macquarie Dictionary. Manuscripts will be amended accordingly.

Contact Information

All correspondence should be addressed to the AJACM Editor-in-Chief.

E-mail the AJACM

Tel: +61 7 3457 1800

PO Box 1635