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Research Ethics

Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies Ethical Approval

  • 1. Research Ethics Rules for Authors

    Authorship

    • Authors are recognized for their own research and assume responsibility for the contents of their papers. Per the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), authorship credit should be based only on (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; and (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and (3) final approval of the version to be published. Conditions 1, 2, and 3 must all be met.
    • All authors (i.e., the corresponding author and each coauthor) must complete and submit an Authorship Form with signed statements on Authorship Responsibility, Criteria, and Contributions; Confirmation of Reporting Conflicts of Interest and Funding; and either Copyright Transfer/Publishing Agreement or Federal Employment.
    • Authors’ specific contributions should be described in the Acknowledgment section in the manuscript. All other persons who have made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (e.g., data collection, analysis, or writing or editing assistance) but who do not fulfill the authorship criteria should be named with their specific contributions and affiliations in the Acknowledgment section. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship. Written permission to include the names of individuals in the Acknowledgment section must be obtained.
    • The corresponding author (or coauthor designee) will serve on behalf of all coauthors as the primary correspondent with the editorial office during the submission and review process. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that the Acknowledgment section of the manuscript is complete and for ensuring that the conflict of interest disclosures reported in the Acknowledgment section of the manuscript are accurate. The corresponding author must obtain written permission from each person named in the Acknowledgment section and must be willing to provide the editors with copies of those permissions if requested to do so.
    • If authorship is attributed to a large group, the group should meet full authorship criteria and requirements and designate the individuals who accept direct responsibility. The corresponding author should clearly identify all individual authors of the group in the Acknowledgment section of the manuscript.

    Plagiarism

    • Authors should not falsely claim that they have conducted research when they have not. Other researchers’ academic achievements can be used for reference, including the original sources. Presenting other researchers’ research as one’s own constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism takes different forms from literal copying to paraphrasing some else's work: (1) reproducing a work word for word, in whole or in part, without permission and acknowledgment of the original source to include research materials, processes, tables, or equipment; (2) reproducing someone else's ideas, while not copying word for word, without permission and acknowledgment of the original source; (3) reproducing portions of an author's own work in a paper and resubmitting it for publication as an entirely new paper.
    • Plagiarism complaints will be investigated after the corresponding (or complained-about) author has been informed (due process). The investigation process will begin with a simple comparison of the relevant (two) texts for the simpler forms of plagiarism. A determination may be made to refer the matter to the institution or company where the research took place or any other relevant institution or agency (for example a funding agency) unless the author provides a reasonable explanation (accepted as reasonable by the Editor).

    Multiple, Duplicate, and Concurrent Publication/Simultaneous Submission

    • The Editor assumes that all authors listed in a manuscript have agreed with the following policy of the JAMS and are responsible for the entire content upon submission of the manuscript: “Authors should not submit articles previously published or in press or under review. Submitting a paper to two or more journals at the same time is not allowed.”
    • Duplicate/multiple publication occurs when an author submits portions of his or her own paper that has been previously published in one journal to another journal without disclosing prior submission(s). An author should identify the original paper when he or she writes about different angles or different aspects of his or her own research in two or more articles.
    • Submission of a paper to journals in different languages without acknowledgment of the original is not allowed. When submitting a manuscript, authors should include a letter informing the Editor of any potential overlap with other already-published material or material being evaluated for publication and should state how the manuscript submitted to the JAMS differs substantially from that other material. A brief explanation of the circumstances and full citation details for the previous article should be published along with the newly-published version, preferably as a footnote to the title.
    • If the Editor reasonably determines that the articles are the same or that the research reported is substantially the same, the corresponding (or complained-about) author, and likely the other journal, will be informed (due process). The investigation process will begin with a simple comparison of the relevant (two) texts for the simpler forms of duplication publication. A determination may be made to refer the matter to the institution or company where the research took place or any other relevant institution or agency (for example a funding agency) unless the author provides a reasonable explanation (accepted as reasonable by the Editor).

    Research Fraud

    • Fabrication and falsification are serious forms of misconduct because they result in a scientific record that does not accurately reflect observed truth. Fabrication is making up research data and results and then recording or reporting them. Falsification is manipulating research materials, images, data, equipment, or processes.
    • Falsification includes changing or omitting data or results in such a way that the research is not accurately represented. A person might falsify data to make it fit with the desired end result of a study. Images may be manipulated only for improved clarity. No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are usually acceptable as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original.
    • Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review. Therefore, all data for a specific paper should be retained for a reasonable time after publication. A custodian for the data should be named. Studies involving human beings, e.g., clinical trials, have specific guidelines on the duration of data retention.

    Ethical Approval of Studies and Informed Consent

    • For 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 recommended. For those investigators who do not have formal ethics review committees, the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki should be followed (World Medical Association. Declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. Available at: https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/. For investigations of humans, the investigators should state in the methods section the manner in which informed consent was obtained from the study participants (i.e., oral or written).

    Identification of Patients in Descriptions, Photographs, and Pedigrees

    • A signed statement of informed consent to publish (in print and online) patient descriptions, photographs and pedigrees should be obtained from all persons (parents or legal guardians for minors) who can be identified (including the patients themselves) and should be submitted with the manuscript and indicated in the Acknowledgment section of the manuscript. Such persons should be shown the manuscript before its submission. Omitting data or making data less specific to de-identify patients is acceptable, but changing any such data is not acceptable.

    Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

    • The corresponding author of an article is asked to inform the Editor of the authors’ potential conflicts of interest that may influence their interpretation of data. A potential conflict of interest should be disclosed in a cover letter even when the authors are confident that their judgments in preparing the manuscript have not been influenced. The financial disclosure statement should be included in the cover letter at the time of manuscript submission. Such conflicts may be financial support or private connections to pharmaceutical companies, political pressure from special interest groups, or academic problems. The authors should ensure that the Editor is aware of any potential conflicts of interest that may influence their interpretation of data.
    • All authors are required to sign and submit the following: “I certify that all my affiliations with or financial involvements in, within the past five (5) years and foreseeable future, any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript are completely disclosed (e.g., employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, grants or patents received or pending, and royalties).”
    • General acknowledgments for consultations, statistical analyses, etc. should be listed at the end of the text, including the names of the individuals involved. All financial and material support for the research and the work should be clearly and completely identified. Any conflicts of interest must be explicitly declared. This is also true even when the authors have no financial interests related to the material in the manuscript. If the authors are uncertain about what constitutes a relevant financial interest or relationship, they should contact the editorial office.
  • 2. Research Ethics Rules for Editorial Board Members

    Editorial Roles

    • Manuscripts are evaluated by editors according to the following criteria: the material is original and timely, the language is clear, the study methods are appropriate, the data are valid, the conclusions are reasonable and supported by the data, the information is important, and the topic has general medical interest. Based on these basic criteria, the editors will assess a paper’s eligibility for publication.

    Impartiality

    • All submissions should be treated equally and evaluated fairly based on the quality of the manuscripts and according to the established rules. No special treatment will be given based on an authors’ gender, age, affiliation, or personal connection.

    Review

    • The Editorial Board members, based on their judgment, should commission reviewers who are knowledgeable in the areas of research reported in the submitted manuscripts. Persons with personal ties to the authors should not be recommended as reviewers. Reviewers who are hostile towards authors should not be considered. When review results are significantly different from reviewer to reviewer, the Editorial Board can seek advice from outside experts with deep knowledge of the field for a final decision.

    Confidentiality Disclosure

    • Until the final decision of acceptance is made, no information about the authors or the manuscript can be released.

    Duty for Report

    • For 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 recommended. For those investigators who do not have formal ethics review committees, the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki should be followed (World Medical Association. Declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. Available at: https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/. For investigations of humans, the investigators should state in the methods section the manner in which informed consent was obtained from the study participants (i.e., oral or written).
  • 3. Research Ethics Rules for Reviewers

    Review Period and Decline of Review

    • Reviewers are required to evaluate papers commissioned by the Editorial Board within a certain period of time set for review. They need to inform the Editorial Board of the review results. If the reviewer thinks he or she will not be able to serve as a reviewer for some reasons, he or she should notify the Editorial Board of his or her inability to do the review.

    Impartiality

    • Reviewers are required to review manuscripts fairly and objectively. They also should not allow any personal beliefs or personal ties to disrupt the review process. Rejecting manuscripts because they are against personal beliefs or interpretations without properly presenting sensible reasons is not acceptable. Reviewing without thoroughly reading the manuscript is also not acceptable.

    Notification

    • Reviewers should notify the Editorial Board when they find that papers they are reviewing have been published in other journals or are under review for publication in other journals. Also, any problems concerning the papers should be addressed to the Editorial Board.

    Making Reviewers’ Comments

    • Reviewers should respect the authors’ individualities. While expressing opinions on manuscripts in an evaluation form, the reviewers need to explain why the paper needs corrections. Reviewers’ comments should be expressed positively. Belittling or insulting authors is not allowed.

    Confidentiality Disclosure

    • Information on assigned papers should be kept confidential by reviewers. Showing the papers to or consulting with someone else is not desirable unless the reviewers are seeking advice for review. Citing any passages in whole or part from the manuscript before publication is not allowed.
  • 4. Standards of Ethics and Guidelines
    • Though this journal has not yet obtained membership on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), it is committed to adhering to the standards and guidelines set out by the COPE. The following are useful links for authors, reviewers and editors. (COPE, COPE Flow Charts, International Standards for Editors and Authors).

Journal Info

JOURNAL OF MICROBIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
June, 2022
Vol.15 No.3

pISSN 2005-2901
eISSN 2093-8152

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  • Case Report2021-10-31

    Abstract : Hypothyroidism is one of the most common endocrine disorders linked to various systemic diseases ranging from obesity to cancers. The present line of management is insufficient as reports suggest that there is persistence of symptoms and poor adherence that makes the management of said disease challenging. Acupuncture and other Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies are proven to alleviate endocrine dysfunctions. However, reports on acupuncture and cupping therapy on hypothyroidism are very scarce. Here, we report 5 cases of hypothyroid patients aged between 38-44 yrs who were treated with acupuncture and fire cupping for a period of three months. At the baseline, the patients presented with either a weak, wiry or vacuum pulse which represents spleen Qi deficiency. Further, they presented with elevated levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), and higher Body Mass Index (BMI). Acupuncture treatment at ST36, LI4, SP6, and BL20 was given bilaterally whilst CV4, LR3, LR4, SP9, ST40, SP10, GV4, KI3, ST12, and SI17 were punctured unilaterally. At the end of the time period of three months, patients progressed to normal levels of TSH, reduction in BMI and had succeeded in tapering their medication doses. Supplementing this, the patients reported marked improvement in other symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, and cold feet post-treatment. The effects were consistent even during the three month follow-up period post-interventions. The results encourage the utilization of acupuncture and fire cupping in the management of hypothyroidism. However, large scale studies are warranted to strengthen this recommendation.

    Abstract
  • Case Report2021-02-28

    Abstract : The present case study illustrates the case of a 47-year-old female (Ms X) with primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who presented with central post-stroke pain (CPSP) over her left shoulder and underwent acupuncture treatment (AT) since she appeared irresponsive to conventional treatment. The aim of this case study is to explore the effectiveness of acupuncture as a complimentary treatment in improving central neurogenic pain in MS patients affected by CPSP. AT lasted six weeks, some modification of the conventional AT points was required to ensure continuity and safety of the treatment plan. In fact, Ms X suffered from gingivitis that led to hypersensitivity of her left upper limb (UL) to acupuncture needling; moreover, she experienced sensation loss in her legs as a result of post-stroke complications. The outcome showed that the subject’s shoulder range of motion (ROM), Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score and pain improved remarkably, enabling Ms X to resume post-stroke rehabilitation and reduce her analgesic intake.

    Abstract
  • Research Article2021-02-28

    Effect of Remote and Local Acupuncture Points on Periarthritis of Shoulder: A Comparative Study

    Kumaresan Poorna Chandran1,*, Prabu Poorna Chandran2, Naveena Arumugam3, Sendhilkumar Muthappan4

    Abstract : Background: Periarthritis of shoulder is a painful condition of the shoulder, affecting 2-3% of the general population and 20% of diabetic patients. Acupuncture is a widely practiced traditional Chinese medicine. Recent evidence shows that it alleviates shoulder pain with different needling techniques. Objectives: The present study is to compare the efficacy of remote and local points on PAS. Methods: 60 subjects were randomly assigned into two groups, remote acupuncture group (n = 30) and local acupuncture group (n = 30). Both groups were assessed at baseline and at the end of 12 sessions. Shoulder pain and its disability index (SPADI) and (ROM) were measured using goniometer. The intervention was given weekly thrice on alternate days for four weeks with 20 min for each session. Results: The result shows that both remote and local acupuncture points were beneficial in the pain management and rage of motion when compared within the group. The effects of acupuncture at remote acupoints were better than those at local acupoints in SPADI and ROM when compared between two groups. Conclusion: In treatment of periarthritis of shoulder remote acupuncture points may have higher therapeutic value when compared to local points.

    Abstract
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  • Research Article2021-04-30

    Abstract : Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by increased blood sugar levels. The current management of DM to date has a target of controlling blood glucose, but the therapy cannot be separated from long-term drug side effects. Acupuncture can be an option as an adjunct therapy for DM. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness between manual acupuncture and laser acupuncture. Methods: This study was a randomized control experimental study with a pretest and posttest design using 24 male Sprague-Dawley rats divided into 4 groups: a normal group, a diabetes group, an acupuncture group, and a laser group. Manual acupuncture and laser acupuncture were performed 6 times in two weeks. Fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels, the cell density of Langerhans islets, and side effects were assessed and compared among the 4 groups. Results: The highest mean cell density of Langerhans islets was found in the laser and acupuncture group, and the lowest was found in the diabetes group. In the post hoc analysis, the normal, acupuncture, and the laser groups had a significantly higher mean cell density than the diabetes group. The lowest mean FBG level was in the laser group, followed by the acupuncture group, and the highest was in the diabetes group, but this difference was not significant. There were no serious side effects from the use of manual acupuncture or laser acupuncture. Conclusion: Both manual acupuncture and laser acupuncture can improve the histological findings of Langerhans islets in type 2 diabetic rats, and both are safe to use.

    Abstract
  • Research Article2021-02-28

    Abstract : Background: Pain is a major complaint in cancer patients and a global problem that requires medical attention, including pain in cervical cancer. Although pharmacotherapy has been used for the treatment of cancer pain, there are still around 40% cannot be treated only with pharmacotherapy. Objectives: To determine the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on pain in stage III cervical cancer patients. Methods: Twenty-eight stage III cervical cancer patients were divided into two groups (14 treatments and 14 controls) with randomized control trial design. The treatment group received EA with a frequency of 2/20-25 Hz at points of ST36, SP6, LI4 and LR3 for 30 minutes, while the control group did not receive EA. Both groups were given paracetamol and codeine at the same dose. Assessment was carried out by measuring pain scale (VAS), plasma β-endorphin levels, and quality of life/QoL (EORTC QLQ-C30) before and after therapy. Results: The average reduction in VAS in the treatment group (2.71 ± 1.14) compared to the control group (0.71 ± 1.33; p < 0.001), average increase in plasma β-endorphin levels in the treatment group (88.57 ± 52.46 pg/ml) compared to the control group (12.86 ± 56.76 pg/ml; p = 0.001), and in QoL, there were significant differences in symptom improvement between the treatment and control groups in the domain of fatigue, pain, insomnia and overall QoL (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Medical therapy combined with EA decreased pain scale, increased plasma β-endorphin levels, and improved the QoL for stage III cervical cancer patients.

    Abstract
  • Case Report2021-02-28

    Abstract : The present case study illustrates the case of a 47-year-old female (Ms X) with primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who presented with central post-stroke pain (CPSP) over her left shoulder and underwent acupuncture treatment (AT) since she appeared irresponsive to conventional treatment. The aim of this case study is to explore the effectiveness of acupuncture as a complimentary treatment in improving central neurogenic pain in MS patients affected by CPSP. AT lasted six weeks, some modification of the conventional AT points was required to ensure continuity and safety of the treatment plan. In fact, Ms X suffered from gingivitis that led to hypersensitivity of her left upper limb (UL) to acupuncture needling; moreover, she experienced sensation loss in her legs as a result of post-stroke complications. The outcome showed that the subject’s shoulder range of motion (ROM), Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score and pain improved remarkably, enabling Ms X to resume post-stroke rehabilitation and reduce her analgesic intake.

    Abstract
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