Guide for Authors

  • Advances in Integrative Medicine (AIMED) provides a medium for the publication of articles on Integrative Medicine (IM) and related practice-oriented subject in the IM field. The scope of the journal is Integrative Medicine, its research and its clinical application. There will be sections inclusive of, but not restricted to - Integrative General Practice - Western Herbal Medicine - Clinical Nutrition - Naturopathy - Physical Therapies - Public Health - Law, Ethics and Policy - Clinical Pharmacy - Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine - and Environmental Medicine.

    Only studies involving human subjects will be considered.

    Before you start
    Authors should submit to the journal online via the journal's home page or at

    You will be guided through the creation and uploading of the various files, as you make your way through the system. Once the uploading is done, the system automatically generates an electronic (PDF) proof, which is then used for reviewing. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revisions, will be by e-mail.

    Submitted papers should be relevant to an international audience and authors should not assume knowledge of national practices, policies, law, etc. Since the journal is distributed all over the world, and as English is a second language for many readers, authors are requested to write in plain English and use terminology which is internationally acceptable.

    Please have the files ready available for uploading i.e., manuscript, tables, figures, any supplementary material and cover letter if applicable.

    AIMED publishes Original Research, Reviews, Brief Reports, Long Reports, Medical Hypotheses, Book Reviews and a section devoted to Events, Conferences and Educational forums. In addition we publish Editorials and Commentaries on existing content with the journal.

    Submissions should be accompanied by a short (up to three paragraphs) Cover letter explaining the suitability of your manuscript for publication in AIMED. All papers are subject to peer review.

    Editorials - 500 to 1,000 words
    Authors who have ideas for editorials which address issues of substantive concern to the discipline, particularly those of a controversial nature or linked directly to forthcoming content in the journal, should contact the Editors in Chief via the editorial office.

    Original Research - up to 3,000 words excluding references, tables, figures and figure legends
    Full papers reporting original research can be a maximum of 3,000 words in length, although shorter papers are preferred.

    REVIEWS - up to 3,000 words excluding references, tables, figures and figure legends

    Systematic and Non-systematic reviews: Review Criteria and Message for the clinician. After your 300-word structured abstract please answer these questions: 'How did you gather, select and analyze the info you considered in your review?' (up to five bullet points) and 'What is the take-home message for the clinician?' (up to five bullet points).

    Non-systematic/Narrative reviews will be considered only if they include a discrete Methods section that must explicitly describe the authors’ approach. Special priority will be given to Systematic reviews.

    A Systematic review should include: Title, Structured Abstract (300 words), Introduction or Background, Methods (see Author Guidelines section on CONSIDERATIONS SPECIFIC TO TYPES OF RESEARCH DESIGNS for more information), Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Conflict of Interest statement, Acknowledgements (including funding acknowledgements), References.

    A Non-systematic/Narrative review should include: Title, Structured Abstract (300 words), Introduction or Background, Methods Methods (see Author Guidelines section on CONSIDERATIONS SPECIFIC TO TYPES OF RESEARCH DESIGNS for more information), Discussion, Conclusion, Conflict of Interest statement, Acknowledgements (including funding acknowledgements), References.

    Brief reports - up to 1,500 words
    Reports should provide expert opinion, discussion, exploration or description of issues of relevance or interest to the readership. These will include Conflict of Interest statement, Acknowledgements (including funding acknowledgements), References. Authors may submit a Case Report if they provide a cover letter to explain the relevance or importance of the report. it is recommended that Authors follow the CARE guidelines located These may be published at the discretion of the editorial board.

    Long reports - up to 3,000 words
    Reports should provide expert opinion, discussion, exploration or description of issues of relevance or interest to the readership. These will include Conflict of Interest statement, Acknowledgements (including funding acknowledgements), References.

    Medical Hypotheses - up to 3,000 words
    Submissions should provide new or novel information or explore new or emerging concepts that add to the current body of knowledge and are of relevance to integrative medicine practice, research, policy or academia.

    Clinical Research Synopsis - up to 1,500 words
    Digests of key trials or systematic reviews. The synopses should providing a succinct summary of the study, as well as a commentary to highlight clinical perspective on how the evidence should be put into practice. Limit number of tables to 2.

    Comments and commentaries - 500 to 1,000 words
    Designed to stimulate academic debate and discussion, the Editors in chief invite readers to submit commentaries (up to 1000 words) or short comments or letters (about 500 words) on papers published in AIMED. Contributions that are of general interest, stimulating and meet the standards of scholarship associated with the Journal may be selected for publication in a commentary section or as a standalone contribution. Contributions should be submitted as in the usual way.

    Book/Resource Review - 300 words (invited submissions only)


    1. Covering letter (if applicable) - explaining the suitability of your manuscript for publication in AIMED, detailing the authorship contributions, and other matters you wish the editors to consider.

    2. Title page - Include full name, job title, highest academic and professional qualification and institution for each author. Indicate an e-mail address for the corresponding author.

    3. Manuscript - (see Author Guidelines section below on MANUSCRIPT LAYOUT ). Depending on the paper type this should include the Title, Structured Abstract, Key Words, "what the paper adds", main text, References.

    4. Table and Figures - There should be no more than five tables and figures in total. All tables and figures should be clearly labeled and submitted as separate files. If your manuscript includes more than five tables/figures in total, or for very large tables, these can be submitted as Supplementary Data and will be included as such in the online version of your article.

    Figure Formats
    Regardless of the application used, when your electronic artwork is finalised, please "save as" or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
    • EPS: Vector drawings. Embed the font or save the text as "graphics".
    • TIFF: color or grayscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.
    • TIFF: Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1000 dpi.
    • TIFF: Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.
    • DOC, XLS or PPT: If your electronic artwork is created in any of these Microsoft Office applications please supply "as is".

    General points:
    • Submit each figure as a separate file.
    • Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
    • Save text in illustrations as "graphics" or enclose the font.
    • Only use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times, Symbol.
    • Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
    • Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
    • Provide captions to illustrations separately.
    • Produce images near to the desired size of the printed version.

    Please do not:
    • Supply embedded graphics in your wordprocessor (spreadsheet, presentation) document.
    • Supply files that are optimised for screen use (like GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG).
    • Supply files that are too low in resolution.
    • Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

    A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on our website:

    Colour illustrations incur a colour charge of 312 US dollars for the first page and 208 US dollars for every additional page containing colour.

    Submitted papers should be relevant to an international audience and authors should not assume knowledge of national practices, policies, law, etc. Since the journal is distributed all over the world, and as English is a second language for many readers, authors are requested to write in plain English and use terminology which is internationally acceptable.

    Formatting - 11 point Arial or Times Roman font, double-spaced, 2.5cm margins all around, line numbered and pages numbered.

    Abbreviations - Avoid abbreviations unless they are likely to be widely recognised. In particular you should avoid abbreviating key concepts in your paper where readers might not already be familiar with the abbreviation. Any abbreviations which the authors intend to use should be written out in full and followed by the letters in brackets the first time they appear, thereafter only the letters without brackets should be used.

    Measurements, abbreviations, drug names, herbal medicine names - Measurements should be given in the units in which they were made, but non-metric units must be accompanied by metric (SI) equivalents (exceptions: blood pressure in mmHg; haemoglobin in g/dl). Generic drug names should be used (drug brand names must not be used). Herbal medicines can be referred to by their common name but must also include a Latin binomial name to ensure accurate interpretation by readers e.g. Herbal CONSORT

    If an acronym is used, the term for which it stands should be given in full at its first mention in the text, for example, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAS).

    Statistics - Standard methods of presenting statistical material should be used. Where methods used are not widely recognised explanation and full reference to widely accessible sources must be given.

    Informed consent - Where applicable authors should confirm that informed consent was obtained from human subjects and that ethical clearance was obtained from the appropriate authority.

    Permissions - Permission to reproduce previously published material must be obtained in writing from the copyright holder (usually the publisher) and acknowledged in the manuscript.

    Exceptions - Authors of any manuscripts that do not comply with these restrictions should make preliminary enquiry to the Editors-in-Chief before submitting the manuscript.


    1. Title - The title should be in the format 'Topic / question: design/type of paper' and identify the population / care setting studied.

    2. Structured Abstract - should be less than 300 words, and use the sub-headings: Objectives, Design, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Avoid abbreviations and acronyms.

    Abstracts of Research papers must be structured and should adopt the headings suggested by the relevant reporting guidelines (see below). In general they should include the following: Objectives; Methods; Results (reporting main outcome(s) / findings) and Conclusions (which should relate to study aims and hypotheses).

    Abstracts for Reviews should provide a summary under the following headings, where possible: Objectives, Design, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.

    3. Key Words - Provide between four and ten key words in alphabetical order, which accurately identify the paper's subject, purpose, method and focus. Use the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®).

    4. Statements of:(place prior to manuscript’s Introduction or Background)
    What is already known about the topic?
    What this paper adds?

    Required for all papers (with the exception of Commentaries and Editorials) is a clear summary of 'What is already known about the topic?' and 'What this paper adds' identifying existing research knowledge relating to the specific research question / topic and a summary of the new knowledge added by this study

    Under each of these headings, please provide clear OUTCOME statements in the form of up to five bullet points for each. Do NOT give process statements of what the paper does.

    5. Manuscript text (for Reviews, see required sub-headings listed above in the Author Guidelines section on TYPES OF PAPERS CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION)

    6. References - The Vancouver style is used.
    The accuracy of references is the responsibility of the author. Avoid citation of personal communications or unpublished material. Citations to material in press (i.e. accepted for publication) are acceptable. Citation of material currently under consideration elsewhere (e.g. "under review" or "submitted") is not.

    Original textual matter quoted from other authors must have formal citation and be appropriately attributed and referenced. Authors should verify references against the original documents.

    Number the references (in square brackets) in the Reference List in the order in which they appear in the text.

    Citation in text
    Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

    Example: "... as demonstrated [3,6]. Barnaby and Jones [8] obtained a different result ..."

    Reference List Examples:
    Reference to a journal publication:
    [1] J. van der Geer, J.A.J. Hanraads, R.A. Lupton, J. Sci. Commun. 163 (2000) 51-59.

    Reference to a book:
    [2] W. Strunk Jr., E.B. White, The Elements of Style, third ed., Macmillan, New York, 1979.

    Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
    [3] G.R. Mettam, L.B. Adams, in: B.S. Jones, R.Z. Smith (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age, E-Publishing, Inc. New York, 1994, pp. 281-304

    Web references
    As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be included in the Reference List or listed separately under a different heading.

    The editors require that manuscripts adhere to recognized reporting guidelines relevant to the research design used. These identify matters that should be addressed in your paper. These are not quality assessment frameworks and your study need not meet all the criteria implied in the reporting guideline to be worthy of publication in the journal. The checklists do identify essential matters that should be considered and reported upon. For example, a controlled trial may or may not be blinded but it is important that the paper identifies whether or not participants, clinicians and outcome assessors were aware of treatment assignments.

    Research ethics for clinical studies. In the Methods section of your manuscript, you must confirm that your study has been approved by relevant bodies (e.g. institutional review boards, research ethics committees) and that appropriate consent was obtained for studies involving human participants.
    Clinical trials - registration. In the Methods section of your manuscript, provide the clinical trial registration number and registry name.
    Standards. Clinical trials should comply with appropriate reporting guidelines and checklists (e.g. CONSORT, should be used when appropriate.

    Reporting guidelines endorsed by the journal are listed below:
    Observational cohort, case control and cross sectional studies - STROBE - Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology

    Quasi-experimental/non-randomised evaluations - TREND - Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Non-randomized Designs

    Randomised (and quasi-randomised) controlled trial - CONSORT - Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials

    Study of Diagnostic accuracy/assessment scale - STARD - Standards for the Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies

    Systematic Review of Controlled Trials - PRISMA - Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

    Systematic Review of Observational Studies - MOOSE - Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology

    Qualitative researchers might wish to consult the guideline listed below:
    Qualitative studies - COREQ - Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research. Tong, A., Sainsbury, P., Craig, J., 2007. Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups. International Journal for Quality in Health Care 19 (6), 349-357.

    Submission of an article implies that the work described:
    • has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis),
    • that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere,
    • that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and
    • that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder.

    Ethics in Research and Publication: Understanding the ethical boundaries in scientific research and publishing is a key step in making sure your work gets off to the best start.

    The Ethics in Research & Publication program is the collaboration of an independent panel of experts in research and publishing ethics and Elsevier. Please check out the materials on the Ethics in Research & Publication website which have been developed to provide resources and tools so you can proceed confidently. It explains what constitutes scientific misconduct, and breach of publication ethics (such as plagiarism, duplicate publication and falsification of data) and its consequences.

    Ethical approval
    All studies must be conducted to a high ethical standard and must adhere to local regulations and standards for gaining scrutiny and approval.

    The work described in your article must have been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans This must be stated at an appropriate point in the article.

    For information on Ethics in Publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see and

    Trial or other study registration
    We encourage the prospective registration of studies. Where a study has been registered, include the registration number within the title, abstract or body of the paper as appropriate.

    Role of the funding source
    You are required 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 paper for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated. Please see

    Funding Body Agreements and Policies
    Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors whose articles appear in journals published by Elsevier, to comply with potential manuscript archiving requirements as specified as conditions of their grant awards. To learn more about existing agreements and policies please visit

    Sponsored Articles
    AIMED offers authors the option to sponsor non-subscriber access to individual articles. The access sponsorship contribution fee per article is $3,000. This contribution is necessary to offset publishing costs - from managing article submission and peer review, to typesetting, tagging and indexing of articles, hosting articles on dedicated servers, supporting sales and marketing costs to ensure global dissemination via ScienceDirect, and permanently preserving the published journal article. The sponsorship fee excludes taxes and other potential author fees such as colour charges which are additional.

    Authors can specify that they would like to select this option after receiving notification that their article has been accepted for publication, but not before. This eliminates a potential conflict of interest by ensuring that the journal does not have a financial incentive to accept an article for publication.

    Contributors and Acknowledgements
    All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted. In the covering letter to the editorial office, we ask you make a true statement that all authors meet the criteria for authorship, have approved the final article and that all those entitled to authorship are listed as authors.

    Those who meet some but not all of the criteria for authors can be identified as 'contributors' at the end of the manuscript with their contribution specified. All those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., collecting data, providing language help, writing assistance or proofreading the article, etc.) that do not meet criteria for authorship should be acknowledged in the paper.

    Papers with ten or more authors should give a corporate name for the research group (e.g. ATLAS Research Group) and list all authors and contributors [as defined above] at the end of the paper. Any acknowledgements should be listed additionally, as described above. In the covering letter to the editorial office, we ask that roles for each and every author be individually described, with reference to the criteria for authorship. You must make a true statement that all authors have approved the final article and acknowledge that all those entitled to authorship are listed as authors.

    Conflict of interest
    All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organisations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. See also

    English Language Service
    Please write your text in good English. Authors who require information about language editing and copyediting services pre- and post-submission please visit or our customer support site at for more information. Please note Elsevier neither endorses nor takes responsibility for any products, goods or services offered by outside vendors through our services or in any advertising. For more information please refer to our Terms and Conditions:

    Review Process
    The decision to publish a paper is based on an editorial assessment and peer review.

    Initially, all papers are assessed by an editorial committee consisting of 2 or more members of the editorial team. The prime purpose is to decide whether to send a paper for peer review and to give a rapid decision on those that are not.

    Editorials and Commentaries may be accepted at this stage but in all other cases the decision is to reject the paper or to send it for peer review. Papers which do not meet basic standards or are unlikely to be published irrespective of a positive peer review, for example because their novel contribution is insufficient or the relevance to the discipline is unclear, may be rejected at this point in order to avoid delays to authors who may wish to seek publication elsewhere. Occasionally a paper will be returned to the author with requests for revisions in order to assist the editors in deciding whether or not send it out for review. Authors can expect a decision from this stage of the review process within 6-8 weeks of submission.

    Manuscripts going forward to the review process are reviewed by members of an international expert panel. All such papers will undergo a double blind peer review by two or more reviewers, plus a member of the Associate Editorial Board. All papers are subject to peer review and we take every reasonable step to ensure author identity is concealed during the review process. We aim to complete this process within 8 weeks of the decision to review although occasionally delays do happen and authors should allow at least 12 weeks from submissions before contacting the journal. The Editors-in-Chief reserves the right to the final decision regarding acceptance.

    For questions about the editorial process (including the status of manuscripts under review) please contact the Editorial office For technical support on submissions please contact


    Changes to authorship This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship of accepted manuscripts:

    Before the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Editorial office from the corresponding author of the accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, fax, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Manager to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. Note that: (1) Journal Managers will inform the Journal Editors of any such requests and (2) publication of the accepted manuscript in an online issue is suspended until authorship has been agreed.

    Once the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Any requests to add, delete, or rearrange author names in an article published in an online issue will follow the same policies as noted above and result in a corrigendum.

    Proofs One set of page proofs (as PDF files) will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author (if we do not have an e-mail address then paper proofs will be sent by post) or, a link will be provided in the e-mail so that authors can download the files themselves. Elsevier now provides authors with PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download Adobe Reader version 7 (or higher) available free from Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs (also given online). The exact system requirements are given at the Adobe site:

    If you do not wish to use the PDF annotations function, you may list the corrections (including replies to the Query Form) and return them to Elsevier in an e-mail. Please list your corrections quoting line number. If, for any reason, this is not possible, then mark the corrections and any other comments (including replies to the Query Form) on a printout of your proof and return by fax, or scan the pages and e-mail, or by post. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all of your corrections are sent back to us in one communication: please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility. Note that Elsevier may proceed with the publication of your article if no response is received.

    Offprints The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a PDF file of the article via e-mail. The PDF file is a watermarked version of the published article and includes a cover sheet with the journal cover image and a disclaimer outlining the terms and conditions of use. Additional paper offprints can be ordered by the authors. An order form with prices will be sent to the corresponding author.

    Copyright Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (for more information on this and copyright see Acceptance of the agreement will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information. An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

    Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations (please consult If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases: please consult

    Open access
    This journal offers you the option of making your article freely available to all via the ScienceDirect platform. To prevent any conflict of interest, you can only make this choice after receiving notification that your article has been accepted for publication. The fee of USD 3,000 excludes taxes and other potential author fees such as color charges. In some cases, institutions and funding bodies have entered into agreement with Elsevier to meet these fees on behalf of their authors. Details of these agreements are available at Authors of accepted articles, who wish to take advantage of this option, should complete and submit the order form (available at Whatever access option you choose, you retain many rights as an author, including the right to post a revised personal version of your article on your own website. More information can be found here:


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