The JTCMA utilizes an online submission process that is designed to help authors from around the world submit papers for review. This system also enables JTCMA to provide more efficient service to authors.

Submission and Review Process

The JTCMA believes in a transparent and thorough review process. Authors submitting to the JTCMA should expect the following:

  • Following submission, the authors will receive and email confirming their submission;
  • Reviews are then selected by either the Journal Editors or Associate Editors and the paper is reviewed;
  • Following the review process the authors are provided written feedback from the Journal Editors regarding the outcome of the review.

Submission Guidelines

Contributors – All authors must have materially participated in the preparation of the submission. Articles should only be submitted once consent is given by all contributing authors. The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

  • Made a substantial contribution to the concept and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data,
  • Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
  • Approved the version to be published.

Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

Original Research Articles – papers that report on original empirical research with a focus on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. Papers should include:

  • Abstract – A single paragraph no more than 250 words in length. The abstract is intended to provide a synopsis of the research and contextualize the significance of the work within the field. References should not be cited within the abstract.
  • Key words – Include 5-10 key words for indexing purposes
  • Introduction
  • Methods – Should describe the selection of subject and/or patients used within the study or the experimental animals, including controls. This section should also describe, in detail, the protocol, procedures and equipment (manufacturers names and addresses) that were used in the study. The detail of the methods should be sufficient to enable others within the field to reproduce the results. Cite methods previously described in other journals and list all drugs/chemicals, including dosages, used within the study. Also, please indicate whether the protocols were approved by the Ethics Committee of Human experimentation in your country or are in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975.
  • Results – Results should be presented in a sequential and concise manner. Tables and figures should follow the written text provided in the results.
  • Discussion – The discussion is designed to expand upon the data provided in the results section. The discussion relates the findings of the results to other publications and discusses the possible implications of the work within the field. The discussion also highlights any potential limitations of the study presented.
  • References – No more than 100 references
  • Submission – Research articles should be approximately 5000-10,000 words in length.
         - Text: MS Word File
         - Figures: MS Word File or PPT file with figure legends located below
         - Other files: please contact the managing editor for assistance

Brief Reports – These are papers that report on original empirical research, but are shorter and more limited in scope. Examples of research that might be presented in this format include results from a pilot study, findings from a study with a small sample size that show promise of a large effect size, research using a simple design and answering a single, specific question, or reports from an early phase of a project that is still ongoing. These papers include the same sections as Original Research Articles, but are no longer than 1500 words in length.

Review Papers – These are papers that provide a balanced synopsis of the current literature within a specific area of inquiry. These papers should not only summarize the literature comprehensively, but should also identify outstanding questions and areas for future inquiry. Review Papers should be approximately 5000-8000 words in length.


These publications are short publications on topics relevant to the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. Generally they are opinion articles regarding importance advances in the field. Commentary publications should be approximately 500-750 words in length and contain references and figures as appropriate.

Submission Criteria for Referencing TCM Concepts
To ensure accurate assessment of your manuscript, your submission must adhere to the following TCM conventions:

  • a. Meridians (Only the English is acceptable)
    • a) Meridians / Jing
    • b) Collateral / Luo
    • c) Meridian and Collateral / Jingluo
    • d) Main Meridian / Zhengjing
    • e) Extra Meridian / Qijing
    • f) Meridian Point / Jingxue
    • g) Extra Point / Qixue
    • h) Acupuncture Point / Zhenjiuxue 
  • b. Needle Anatomy (only the English is acceptable)
    • a) Handle Zhenbing
    • b) Root Zhengen
    • c) Body Zhenti
    • d) Tip Zhenjian 
  • c. Diameter - measured at the root, in millimeters. 
  • d. Length - measured from the root to the tip, in millimeters. 
  • e. Type of Needle (English with or without Pinyin in parentheses)
    • a) Shear needle (chanzhen)
    • b) Round-point needle (yuanzhen)
    • c) Spoon needle (chizhen)
    • d) Lance needle (fengzhen)
    • e) Stiletto needle (pizhen)
    • f) Round-sharp needle (yuanlizhen)
    • g) Filiform needle (haozhen)
    • h) Long needle (changzhen)
    • i) Big needle (dazhen)
    • j) Three-edged needle (sanlengzhen)
    • k) Press tack needle (xianzhen)
    • l) Intradermal needle (pineizhen)
    • m) Dermal needle (pifuzhen)
  • f. Needle Insertion and Manipulations
    • a) Sedating
    • b) Reinforcing
    • c) Even method
    • d) Perpendicular Insertion – 90%
    • e) Oblique insertion – 30-60%
    • f) Transverse Insertion – 10-20%
    • g) Other methods not listed here should adhere to accepted industry terminology
  • a. Main Meridians: (English or Abbreviation)
    • a) Lung Meridian (LU)
    • b) Large Intestine Meridian (LI)
    • c) Stomach Meridian (ST)
    • d) Spleen Meridian (SP)
    • e) Heart Meridian (HT)
    • f) Small Intestine Meridian (SI)
    • g) Bladder Meridian (BL)
    • h) Kidney Meridian (KI)
    • i) Pericardium Meridian (PC)
    • j) Triple Burner Meridian (TB)
    • k) Gallbladder Meridian (GB)
    • l) Liver Meridian (LR) 
  • b. Eight Extra Meridian Nomenclature: (English or Abbreviation)
    • a) Governor Vessel (GV) Dumai
    • b) Conception Vessel (CV) Renmai
    • c) Penetrating Vessel (PV) Chongmai
    • d) Girdle Vessel (GV) Daimai
    • e) Yin Heel Vessel (Yin HV) Yinqiaomai
    • f) Yang Heel Vessel (Yang HV) Yangqiaomai
    • g) Yin Link Vessel (Yin LV) Yinweimai
    • h) Yang Link Vessel (Yang LV) Yangweimai 
  • c. Acupuncture Point Nomenclature: (Alphanumeric system with Pinyin in Parentheses)
    • a) LU 1 (Zhongfu)
    • b) LU 2 (Yunmen)
    • c) LU 3 (Tianfu)
    • d) LU 4 (Xiabai)
    • e) LU 5 (Chize)
    • f) LU 6 (Kongzui)
    • g) LU 7 (Lieque)
    • h) LU 8 (Jingqu)
    • i) LU 9 (Taiyuan)
    • j) LU 10 (Yuji)
    • k) LU 11 (Shaoshang)
  • d. Extraordinary (Miscellaneous) points (alpha-numeric system used by O’Connor and Bensky and Pinyin)
    • a) M-HN-1 (Sishencong)
    • b) M-HN-9 (Taiyang)
  • e. Auricular Points
  • a. Dosage: grams 
  • b. Name: Pharmaceutical Name (Pin Yin)
          - Folium Artemisiae Argyi (Ai Ye) - Lumbricus (Di Long)
          - Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae (Niu Xi)
  • a. 8 Principles: (all capitalized)
    • a) Interior/Exterior b) Deficiency/Excess
    • c) Cold/Hot
    • d) Yin/Yang
  • b. The 6 Pathogenic Factors:
    • a) Wind
    • b) Cold
    • c) Heat
    • d) Dampness
    • e) Dryness
    • f) Summer Heat
  • c. Five Elements Theory
    • a) Wood
    • b) Fire
    • c) Earth
    • d) Metal
    • e) Water
  • d. Fundamental Substances (English word, Capitalized)
    • a) Qi – Food Qi (Gu Qi),
      • 1. Chest Qi (Zong Qi)
      • 2. Source Qi (Yuan Qi)
      • 3. Defensive Qi (Wei Qi)
      • 4. Nutritive Qi (Ying Qi)
      • 5. Upright Qi (Zheng Qi)
      • 6. Central Qi (Zhong Qi)
    • b) Blood (xue)
    • c) Essence (jing)
    • d) Spirit (shen)
    • e) Fluids (jinye)
  • e. Reference to TCM organs (English, capitalized) - Lung 
  • f. Reference to biomedical organs (English, not capitalized) - lung 
  • g. Reference to Syndrome Differentiation
             Liver Qi Stagnation (or LR Qi Stagnation)
             Liver Blood Stasis (or LR Blood Stasis)
             Kidney Yin Deficiency (or KI Yin Deficiency)
             Damp-Heat invading the Spleen (or Damp-Heat invading the SP)
             Phlegm-Fire Harassing the Heart (or Phlegm-Fire harassing the HT)
             Spleen Qi Sinking (or SP Qi Sinking)
             Cold invading the Stomach (or Cold invading the ST) 
  • h. Referencing to Patterns of the 6 Stages (Pinyin with English in Parentheses)
    • a) Greater Yang (Taiyang)
    • b) Bright Yang (Yangming)
    • c) Lesser Yang (Shaoyang)
    • d) Greater Yin (Tai Yin)
    • e) Lesser Yin (Shao Yin)
    • f) Terminal Yin (Jue Yin)
  • i. Referencing the Four Levels (English with or without Pinyin in parentheses)
    • a) Defensive Qi Level (Wei Qi)
    • b) Qi Level
    • c) Nutritive Qi Level (Ying)
    • d) Blood Level (Xue)
  • j. Reference to Tongue Quality: (English only)
    • a) Body:
    • b) Coating:
  • k. Reference to Pulse Quality:
    (English only)
    Floating - Fu
    Deep - Chen
    Slow - Chi
    Rapid - Shuo
    Deficient - Xu
    Excess - Shi
    Slippery - Hua
    Chopping - Se
    Wiry - Xuan
    Soggy - Ru
    Full - Hong
    Feeble - Wei
    Thready - Xi
    Weak - Ruo
    Large - Da
    Scattered - San
    Tight - Jin
    Hollow - Kou
    Drum-Skin - Ge
    Firm - Lao
    Racing - Ji
    Moving - Dong
    Hidden - Fu
    Moderate - Huan
    Skipping - Cu
    Knotted - Jie
    Intermittent - Dai
    Long - Chang
    Short - Duan
    Forceful - You Li
    Forceless - Wu Li

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in PDF, OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. Manuscripts should be formatted according to APA guidelines. In particular, all manuscripts should be double-spaced, in 12 pt. font, with cumulative line numbers and page numbers. Figures, tables, and captions should be included at the end of the document.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines  above. This manuscript should adhere to APA formatting.
  6. All papers will be peer-reviewed, and will use a blind review process. Therefore, all submissions should follow the instructions for "Ensuring a Blind Review".


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