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Manuscript Preparation

The AAOJ welcomes contributions in the following categories:

  • Original Contribution: Clinical, applied, or basic science research or other content related to the clinical practice, history, or educational principles of NMM/OMM.
  • Clinical Practice: Articles about practical applications for general practitioners or specialists.
  • Case Reports: Unusual clinical presentations, newly recognized situations, or rarely-reported features.
  • Special Communications: Items related to the art of osteopathic medical practice, such as poems, essays, vignettes, and short fiction or artwork (photography, drawing, pastels, or paintings).
  • Letter to the Editor: Comments on articles published in the AAOJ or new information on clinical topics. Letters must be signed by the author(s). No letters will be published anonymously, or under pseudonyms or pen names.
  • Article Reprint: Suggest an article of historical importance to reprint, with a short introduction describing its importance.
  • Book Review: Reviews of publications related to osteopathic manipulative medicine and to manipulative medicine in general.

Manuscript Components

For all manuscripts

Cover letter A cover letter addressed to the AAOJ’s editor-in-chief must accompany each submission. The cover letter should provide the corresponding author’s full name and contact information, including the author’s full professional titles and affiliations, preferred mailing address, preferred e-mail address, and daytime telephone number.

The cover letter should specify the type of article being submitted for consideration, all of the relevant practice focus areas addressed in the manuscript, and the name of the institution from which the work initiated.

If any part of the submission has been previously published or is under consideration by any other biomedical journal, details should be given in the cover letter.

Finally, authors are encouraged to suggest reviewers for the AAOJ’s editor-in-chief and the AAOJ's associate editors to consider.

Title page In addition to providing the title of a submission, the title page should state the date of submission. The title page should list the full names of all authors according to the authors’ preferred usage. Authors’ names should include all doctoral and master degrees in the order in which they were earned. For authors without doctoral or master degrees, their highest earned academic degrees should be listed. In addition, the full professional titles and affiliations of all of the manuscript’s authors should be included on the title page.

To conform to the AOA’s policy statement “Uniform Title for Osteopathic Medical Students” (Resolution 298 [A/2006]), the names of osteopathic medical students should include the OMS designation with the year of training in Roman numerals (e.g., “OMS IV” should appear after the names of fourth-year osteopathic medical students).

Any manuscript submitted by medical students, interns or residents must include at least one trainer’s name in the byline. The trainer should be a clinician or basic scientist who has a thorough understanding of the research or other work associated with the manuscript.

If the editor deems a manuscript not suited to the current needs of the AAOJ, it may be forwarded to the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine with the authors’ permission. Please include permission or prohibition on the title page.

The title page should include a total word count for the manuscript.

The title page should describe any financial support provided for the work on which the manuscript is based, and grant numbers should be provided. For each author, the title page should include a financial disclosure statement and a conflict of interest statement (e.g., any non-financial affiliation with a group that may benefit from the study). In the event authors do not have any potential conflicts to disclose, a statement to that effect must be made on the title page. The following items are examples of relationships and affiliations that must be disclosed:
Financial disclosure

  • Grants or funding received for the current study or related studies.
  • Royalties received or patents owned on a product that was used in the study.
  • Employment by an institution or other entity whose product is used in the study.
  • Honoraria received from that institution.
  • Stock ownership or options in that institution.
  • Involvement in that institution’s speakers’ bureau.
Conflict of interest
  • Leadership position in a group directly or indirectly related to the current study.
  • Any non-financial affiliation (e.g., board member or adviser) with an institution or other entity that may benefit from the opinions or data in the current study.
  • Service on a formulary committee that determines whether to select the product in a study or similar products.

Acknowledgments—Authors should limit acknowledgments to people who substantially contributed to either the study or the preparation of the manuscript. Acknowledgments should list contributors’ full names, highest earned academic degrees, including all doctoral and master degrees, and professional titles at academic and other institutions. Acknowledgments of osteopathic medical students should include the OMS designation after their names, as indicated in the “Title Page” section.

Authors are required to obtain permission to name in print all individuals listed in the “Acknowledgments” section. Failure to submit permission to name individuals acknowledged in print may delay publication.

References References are required for all material derived from the work of others and should follow the guidelines described in the most current edition of the AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. References should include direct, open-access uniform resource locators (URLs) to full-text versions of the referenced articles. A URL to an abstract in the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed database does not meet this requirement.

When comparing the work of the manuscript with published studies, authors must refer to original documents rather than secondary sources.

Original Contributions

Example article: Cabrera AL, Darwish AM, et al. Osteopathic Structural Findings in Women During Menstruation. Am Acad Osteopath J. 2019:29(1),7-13.

Abstract The AAOJ requires abstracts for original contribution manuscripts. Abstracts are limited to 350 words and are subject to abridgment before publication.

Introduction Introduce the topic of the manuscript and include a literature review, using AMA referencing standards.

Methods For a clinical trial with at least one prospectively assigned concurrent control or comparison group, the “Methods” section must state the name of the public registry in which the trial was listed before subject recruitment began (see Public Registration).

For a human or experimental animal investigation, the “Methods” section must identify the institutional review board that approved the project. It must also state the manner in which informed consent was obtained from human subjects.

Authors must clearly describe the basic study design, list measurement instruments and other tools used for independent and dependent variables, and clearly identify any modified or novel interventions that did not comply with approved or standard use.

In addition, authors must define the masking or blinding protocol, and any statistical methods used, providing the full name of each method at first mention.

Results Report all outcome data, statistical analysis, and other results as they relate to the study’s objectives and to the manuscript's “Methods” section. Where appropriate, authors should discuss the relevance and importance of their findings specific to osteopathic medicine.

Discussion Discuss why this paper was important. For a research paper, mention the study’s limitations and make recommendations for future research.

Conclusion Clearly indicate the study’s major findings, outcomes, and lessons learned.

Clinical Practice

Example Article Figueroa JS, Ellis MM. Supine Counterstrain Technique for Posterior Rib Tenderpoints. Am Acad Osteopath J. 2022:32(1),33-35.

Abstract The AAOJ requires unstructured abstracts for clinical practice articles. Abstracts are limited to 350 words and are subject to abridgment before publication.

Introduction Introduce the topic of the manuscript and include a literature review, using AMA referencing standards.

Clinical Summary Explain the innovative approach to clinical practice.

Discussion Discuss why this paper is important and how its recommendations may be incorporated into practice.

Conclusion Clearly indicate the paper’s major learning points.

Case Reports
Example Articles
Heineman K. Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in the Management of Pediatric Headache and Orthodontic Intervention: A Case Report. Am Acad Osteopath J. 2018:28(1),15-24.

Berenbeim G, Figueroa J. The Role of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine in the Rehabilitation of a Competitive Dancer after a Major Abdominal Surgery. Am Acad Osteopath J. 2022:32(4),12-19.Torres JW. Osteopathic Cranial Manipulation and Myofascial Release of Anterior Fasciae to Improve Respiratory Dynamics in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome: A Case Series. Am Acad Osteopath J. 2021:31(1),7-14.

Abstract The AAOJ requires abstracts for case reports and case series. Abstracts are limited to 350 words and are subject to abridgment before publication.

Introduction Provide background on the subject matter, including a brief discussion of typical treatment methods and diagnosis or treatment challenges, and appropriate literature review using AMA referencing standards.

Report of case The report of the case should include the following topics:

  • Patient history: History of the Presenting Illness and including previous treatment attempts, Past Medical History, Past Surgical History, Medications, and relevant Review of Systems.
  • Physical and osteopathic structural examinations. The physical examination should include relevant systems to the presenting complaint.
  • Osteopathic manual medicine treatment
  • Course of treatment and results
Discussion Discuss why this case is important and how its recommendations may be incorporated into practice. The application of osteopathic principles, functional anatomy, and physiology to the patient’s pathophysiology and how these were addressed with OMM may be considered in this section.

Conclusion Clearly indicate the case’s major findings, outcomes, and lessons learned and make recommendations for future research.

Book Reviews

The AAOJ encourages descriptive book reviews that provide an awareness of professional and lay publications that are of interest to the AAOJ readership.

Goal of Providing Book Reviews

The goal of book reviews in the AAOJ is to expand the intellectual horizons of the journal’s readership in an efficient manner. Book reviews will be on topics deemed by the AAOJ editorship to be linked to some aspect of osteopathic philosophy, principles and practice, and provide an information aggregating and filtering service for AAOJ readers.

The AAOJ typically does not publish unsolicited book reviews, but may occasionally consider doing so on a case-by-case basis. Books for review are solicited from the publisher. Occasionally, a self-published book might be reviewed if its potential interest and value to the readers of the AAOJ are sufficient. In the case of an unsolicited book review, the AAOJ editorship or designee will accept the review for publication, reject it, or ask for further editing prior to a final decision regarding publication.

The AAOJ may publish a call for interested parties to become book reviewers. Candidates may apply and be chosen as potential reviewers based on whether they meet the qualifications set by the AAOJ for book reviewers.

Book reviewers may be recruited through various means, including, but not limited to: (1) a pool of reviewers (see reviewer qualifications, above) with special expertise as scholars on the subject matter covered in a recently published book, (2) on recommendation of a prequalified book reviewer who nominates a book for inclusion in the AAOJ’s book reviews also offers to write the book review, or (3) by invitation by the AAOJ editorship to a member of the AAOJ Editorial Board or AAO Publications Committee member to author a book review.

Public Registration

For manuscripts on phase-three clinical trials, the trials must have been registered with at least one public registry before subject enrollment in the study. Other trials involving human subjects, including pilot studies, must meet this requirement if they have at least one prospectively assigned concurrent control or comparison group.

Authors may register their studies with any trials registry that is electronically searchable and accessible to the public for free. In addition, the registry must be nonprofit, open to all registrants, and have a mechanism to ensure the validity of the registration data.

Authors must provide the AAOJ with the name of the public registry used. The registry listings for research submitted to the AAOJ must include information on the 20 items the World Health Organization identified as the minimum registration data set.

Graphic Elements

All accompanying tables and figures should be numbered, and they should be cited sequentially in the text. Tables and figures should include explanatory titles and be able to stand on their own apart from the manuscript.

Graphic elements should be inserted in the manuscript along with captions. In addition, graphic elements that were made with an additional program must be provided separately. Table headings should appear on the tables themselves. A full bibliographic citation should be provided in each caption for reprinted or adapted graphic elements, and proof of permission must be provided.

All patient information must be removed from or blocked out of graphic elements. Radiologic images in particular should be checked for patient information before being submitted to the AAOJ.


The AAOJ requires references for all materials derived from the work of others and to document statistical data. Authors should cite all references in numerical order in a list following the text, rather than alphabetizing bibliographic entries. Within the text, references should be identified with corresponding superscript numerals.

If references are used as general source material from which no specific information is taken, list them in alphabetical order following the numbered references.

Supplemental Material

For manuscripts based on survey data, copies of the original surveys and the cover letters that accompanied them must be included with the other manuscript components at the time of submission.

For randomized controlled trials, authors must submit study flow diagrams.

These supplemental materials may be published online as appendices.

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