Publishing Journal Articles

Before You Get Started
The OCOM Library highly encourages people to use Zotero or another citation manager during the research / writing process. Not only will it make citing resources a breeze, if you need to switch the format of your citations (from APA to AMA, for example), you can do it with just a few clicks rather than having to completely redo the citations for your entire paper.

Submission Checklist
  Is the manuscript written in the correct format, as detailed on the journal publisher’s website?
  Have you asked someone else to proofread your material for grammatical errors?
  Are your references properly cited?
  Have you double-checked that all of your charts, graphs, tables and illustrations are labeled correctly and in the acceptable format?
  If you are using graphs or illustrations that are not your own, did you procure the copyright to use them in your work?
  Did you check the journal’s aim / scope to make sure it is compatible with your article’s subject matter or the type of article?
Why Publish?
OCOM encourages a culture of research, and both through faculty scholarship funds and the final project process, students and faculty are encouraged to engage and participate in the research process. In addition to allowing master’s students to work with a faculty mentor on a group research project, OCOM also earmarks money to support faculty scholarship.
Besides beefing up your CV and bringing you a certain level of fame, publishing is important for the health of the AOM field. By publishing case studies, clinical trials, essays – even book reviews – you are helping to create a dialogue around issues in the field and pushing practitioners to better themselves. To share what works and what doesn’t work helps hone us the medicine to be the best it can be.
Considerations in Selecting a Journal
Make sure to submit to only one journal at a time. Publishers often make you sign an agreement that your article is not under consideration at any other publication, and most will not even look at your submission if your article is being submitted elsewhere. The website of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has more information about duplicate submissions.

There are many things to consider when selecting a journal for publication:


You will need to check the submission guidelines for the journal you are applying to; this can normally be found on the publisher’s web site.  There is normally an online submission process, and the publisher’s webs site will explain the style format, aims and scope.


Some journals are very competitive and may have very high rejection rates. You can look at the acceptance rate to get an idea of the likelihood of your journal being accepted and if it might be worth looking at a more specialized journal with a higher acceptance rate.

The submission process varies from journal to journal, but you should typically expect to hear a response within 4-6 weeks. Feel free to contact the editor if you have not received a response within 8 weeks. You should receive one of the following responses from the editor: Reject, Accept, or Modify. If your paper is accepted, congratulations!! Sit back and enjoy your fame. Getting an acceptance on the first try is very rare, though. The editor is more likely to ask you to modify your article, based on recommendations of the peer-reviewers. You will have the opportunity to make changes to address these concerns and resubmit your paper. Depending on the level of criticism and work required, you may choose to resubmit your work, or take your work elsewhere and submit to another journal.

Statistically speaking, there is also a pretty good chance that your article will be rejected. Most high-quality journals have rejections rates of 50% or more, so getting rejected is not the end of the world; you are definitely not alone. There are different types of rejection letters, and what you do next can differ depending on the situation. If the editor finds some minor flaws (such as a design flaw) in your work that would prevent publication but that could be fixed, you may try making changes and resubmitting. But if your article is mostly fine but rejected for not fitting the scope of the journal or because is deemed less important than other submissions, then you may think about submitting your article to another journal.


Do you want to maintain copyright privileges of your work? Most journals require that you sign over the copyright, but many now have clauses that allow you to upload your work to an institutional repository. Some will charge you a lot of money to get a copy of your own article after publication. If this is important to you, look over the copyright guidelines before submitting to a journal.


If you were awarded a grant to conduct research, you will need to check to see if there are any publishing stipulations. For example, the NIH Public Access Policy requires that the final manuscript of all NIH-funded research must be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance of publication. If you have been awarded a grant and the awarding agency has publication policies, you will need to check with the journal you are submitting to in order to verify that they can comply with those policies.


If you are looking for a journal that is influential in the field, you may try looking at the level of influence and ranking. Here are some tools to help you note a journal’s impact and ranking:


If you want people to read your work, one of the best ways of getting your work out there and available to researchers is by publishing in a journal that is indexed in a major database. In order for people to read and reference your article, they need to be able to find it. Having an article indexed by PubMed or Alt HealthWatch means that there is a higher chance of people referencing your work.


You may want to select a journal that you actually like! Which journals keep popping up in your research? What do your colleagues read? Which journals does our library subscribe to?


If you are on a time constraint, you may want the length of the review process to weigh into your decision. Some journals are monthly, but others may only be published twice a year. Your chances of getting published by a journal with more frequent publications may be higher because they are publishing way more material than quarterly or bi-annual publications. By contacting the editor, you can also find out how long it takes the average submission to get to publication (or rejection).


Many journals now allow you the option of paying a fee to make your article “open access,” i.e., freely available to the public. Some journals are completely open access, so publishing with them at all will require that you pay a large open access fee (normally between $750 - $1500 for an institution of OCOM’s size).


Peer-review is a process in which your paper is evaluated by peers in your field, demonstrating the strength, quality, and credibility of your article. OCOM does not participate in the tenure process, so there is no requirement of being published in a peer-reviewed journal. However, OCOM’s faculty evaluation system does require faculty to create portfolios, which are reviewed by their faculty peers; publishing in peer-reviewed publications is a great addition to your professional portfolio.


Do you want to publish in a conventional or alternative medicine journal? If your paper is about teaching or educational policy, an education journal may be more appropriate than a medical journal.


Who do you want your article to reach? Acupuncture practitioner? International audiences? Or is your target audience conventional doctors and researchers? Reading the journals scope and mission statement


Is your paper an original study? Case study? Literature review? Be sure to check the journal requirements to verify that the journal you are submitting actually accepts the type of paper you are submitting.

This is a sample list of journals that currently publish articles on Traditional Chinese Medicine -- click on the journal title to see more information about the requirements.
Addresses the scientific principles behind, and applications of, evidence-based healing practices from a wide variety of sources, including conventional, alternative, and cross-cultural medicine. It is an interdisciplinary journal that explores the healing arts, consciousness, spirituality, eco-environmental issues, and basic science as all these fields relate to health.

Author Guidelines
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Research on Paradigm, Practice, and Policy is a peer-reviewed journal. It includes observational and analytical reports, ideas, commentary, and opinions on therapies currently thought to be outside the realm of conventional Western biomedicine that are gaining interest and warranting research to assess therapeutic value. The Journal includes current concepts in clinical care, including case reports, which will be valuable for physicians and other health care professionals who are seeking to evaluate and integrate these therapies into patient care protocols.

Author Guidelines
Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies (JAMS) is a bimonthly, peer-reviewed journal featuring high-quality studies related to basic and clinical acupuncture and meridian research. It also includes new paradigm of integrative research, covering East–West and traditional–modern medicine. The following subjects will be covered by the journal: acupressure, electroacupuncture, laser therapy, pharmacopuncture (aqua-acupuncture, bee venom therapy, eight principle pharmacopuncture, meridian pharmacopuncture, moxibustion, Sasang constitutional medicine), herbal medicine, veterinary acupuncture, and related animal studies. Articles on general health science and other modalities, such as anthroposophy, homeopathy, ayurveda, bioelectromagnetic therapy, chiropractic, neural therapy and meditation, are eligible for consideration if the articles are related to acupuncture and meridian studies. Manuscripts should fall into one of the categories: topical review, original research paper, brief report and case report. 

Author Guidelines
Medical Acupuncture
Medical Acupuncture delivers authoritative, evidence-based clinical papers, case reports, and research findings that integrate concepts from traditional and modern forms of acupuncture with allopathic medicine.

Medical Acupuncture coverage includes:

  • Pain relief
  • Stroke
  • Neurological disorders
  • Digestive disorders
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems
  • Nausea and vomiting from oncological therapies
  • Dermatological conditions
Author Guidelines

Additional Info: High quality, peer-reviewed journal.
A MEDLINE compliant, peer reviewed journal features scientific articles focusing on the professional practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. The journal is indexed in EBSCO's international Academic Search database. Meridians JAOM welcomes papers from published and first-time authors on aspects of acupuncture and Oriental medicine including original research, education, clinical practice, case reports, meta-analyses, business practice, policy, ethics, law, history and culture, nomenclature, translations and related disciplines.

Author Guidelines

Additional Info: Accepts multiple case studies per issue; easy journal for DAOM students to publish.
The North American Journal of Oriental Medicine (NAJOM) was founded for the promotion and development of the Japanese approaches to Oriental medicine in North America. We publish both paper and PDF versions of the journal, with all articles available in both English and Japanese, in an effort to facilitate networking among practitioners of Oriental medicine so that they may enhance their knowledge and skills.

As an international and multi-disciplinary publication, NAJOM does not uphold a particular approach or viewpoint, but our aim is to foster the growth and refinement of Oriental medicine grounded in skilled touch. With due respect for all traditions and perspectives of Oriental medicine, NAJOM pursues this aim by highlighting the theories and practices of traditional Japanese medicine, including Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion, kampo (herbology), shiatsu, anma, and do-in, which emphasize the vital role of touch in healing. Having developed over more than a thousand years, traditional Japanese medicine is an amalgamation of numerous aspects, developments, and interpretations of Oriental medicine in Japan. Oriental medicine is now practiced around the world and will continue to evolve and develop to suit the unique environment and needs of each region. NAJOM seeks to contribute to the development of Oriental medicine in North America by making more information available on traditional Japanese practices and how they are being applied today. The primary intention behind NAJOM is to serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas which inspires and motivates practitioners of Oriental medicine to deepen their understanding and refine their art.

Author Guidelines: None listed on their site. Each issue is on a specific topic; to reserve a spot in an upcoming issue, contact the editorial team at
Comparison of Popular AOM Journals review art
The following resources will help you learn about how to write a successful case study. Review the Publishing Journal Articles section for additional information on selecting a journal and the submission process.
Articles to Read
These examples of published case studies will help you see what an edited and formatted case study looks like.
For a more extensive list of DAOM Case Study publication, visit our Scholarly Work Repository and select the "Case Studies" Collection.
DAOM Case Studies
Stanford R. Recurrent miscarriage syndrome treated with acupuncture and an allergy elimination/desensitization technique. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2009;15(5):62-63.
Widrin C. Scalp acupuncture for the treatment of motor function In acute spinal cord injury: a case reportJournal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies .2018;1(2):74-76.
Ye CX. Treatment of macular degeneration with acupuncture: a case reportMeridians. 2015:2(3);12-18.