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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.

  • 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).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines

The “African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines (AJTCAM)” is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, international, scientific journal that provides rapid publication of articles on phytomedicines, ethnomedicines and veterinary ethnomedicines. The journal is published by a   Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) known as “African Traditional Herbal Medicine Supporters Initiative (ATHMSI)”. The Journal welcomes submission of manuscripts that meet the general criteria of significance and scientific excellence. Papers will be published approximately two-to-three months after acceptance.

The Mission and Vision statements of ATHMSI are to encourage development of herbal medicinal products, and to promote complementary efforts by indigenous communities, in the management of human and animal diseases. The aims of the NGO are to: (i) exchange information on ethnomedicines through networking at local, national, regional and international levels; (ii) facilitate collaboration and constant flow of information between Traditional Medical Practitioners and Orthodox Medical Practitioners; (iii) promote integration of Traditional Medical Practitioners into healthcare delivery system; (iv) facilitate the training of Traditional Medical Practitioners through organization of courses and workshops with emphasis on standardization, safety, efficacy and quality of their products; (v) encourage registration of Traditional Medical Practitioners as co-operative groups with the appropriate authorities at the Local, State, Regional, National Government Levels and at International terrain; (vi) facilitate activities that would fill the gaps that exist in research and development in the various communities on one hand, and large-scale industrial production of plant products which could be bridged through commercial-oriented research on the other hand; and (vii) disseminate relevant scientific information through appropriate journal publications.

Publication of articles in AJTCAM, like in other reputable scientific journals, involves many parties, each of which plays an important role in achieving the objectives of the journal. It, therefore, follows that all players in the publication process, especially the author, the journal editor, the peer-reviewer, and the publisher are expected to meet and uphold standard norms of ethical behaviour at all stages of their involvement, from submission stage to publication of the article stage.

ATHMSI is committed to meeting and upholding standards of ethical behaviour at all stages of the publication process. The NGO provides authors with links to industrial associations that set standards and provides guidelines for best practices in order to meet these requirements, such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines, and other relevant bodies, e.g., Elsevier’s Publishing Ethics Resource Kit (PERK) https://www.elsevier.com/editors/ publishing-ethics/perk; International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME) http://www.icmje.org/recommendations; and World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) http://www.wame.org/about recommendations-on-publication-ethics-policies  Below is a summary of the NGO’s key expectations from editors, peer-reviewers and authors.

Policy and Ethics: The author, in his/her covering letter, must declare that the work reported in the manuscript was performed according to the national and international institutional rules concerning animal experiments, clinical studies and biodiversity rights. The traditional medicinal importance of the study should also be provided in the covering letter. Authors should submit data that have arisen from animal and human studies conducted in an ethically-guided manner by following the guidelines set up by the World Health Organization (WHO). Authors submitting papers are advised to read online and WHO guidelines on these subjects (http://www.wipo.int/tk/en/consultations/draft_provisions/draft_provisions.html  and http://www.who.int/medicines/library/trm/researchdocs.shtml). Authors should make sure that they have acquired appropriate "prior informed consent" (PIC) of patients or volunteers used in their clinical studies. Ethical approvals from appropriate authorities should also be obtained in cases involving the use of animals and human subjects. This means that the onus is on the authors, and not on the journal, regarding this important ethical issue. Moreover, authors should clearly state this as a part of the protocol describing how this type of study or survey is made. Papers that violate these ethical principles will neither be accepted nor considered for publication in AJTCAM.

Author contributions: Each author should state his/her contribution/s to the article.

Declaration of conflict of interest: It is mandatory that authors disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest, including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence their work. Conflict of Interest disclosure is required for all manuscripts and will be published. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure that all co-authors adhere to this policy.

Submission declaration and verification: Manuscript submission implies that the work has neither been published previously nor is 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 for publication in AJTCAM, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically, without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, the submitted manuscript will be checked by the originality detection service, Crosscheck - http://www.ithenticate.com

Every manuscript submitted to AJTCAM will be initially checked and reviewed by an Editorial Office staff. If the manuscript is deemed to be appropriate and within the scope of the journal, it will be assigned to a Sectional Editor. If the Sectional Editor judges the article to be suitable for possible consideration for publication in AJTCAM, the manuscript will then be sent to at least two external reviewers who are experts in the study area (using the journal’s database of experts in the field). All received manuscripts undergo these processes except (i) Letters to the Editor, (ii) Commentaries, (iii) Editorials and (iv) Conference Reports - which are based on the Editor’s decision (who may ask experts in the field on the scientific and ethical merits of their contents).

At the time of submission, authors are requested to provide three-to-five potential reviewers (with their names, affiliations and e-mail addresses) who could expertly review their manuscripts. However, the Editors reserve the right to choose or not to choose any from the authors’ suggested reviewers. AJTCAM uses a double-blind review process. The authors’ identities are kept confidential to the reviewers, and the reviewers’ identities are also kept confidential to the author/s.  Reviewers are expected to maintain confidentially about the manuscripts that they review. Authors should receive initial decision on their manuscripts within 4-8 weeks after submission. If revision of the manuscript is required, the authors must submit their revised manuscript within 2-4 weeks of the request. The Editorial Board may require authors to revise their manuscript/s more than once.

An Article Processing Fee (APF) of USD 500.00 will apply to all manuscripts submitted to AJTCAM, including: original articles, review articles, case reports and short communications. This includes up to 10 black–and-white published pages. N.B: Authors are strongly advised NOT to pay Article Processing Fee until their manuscripts have been accepted for publication in the journal and appropriate payment invoices/bills have been received by them.

Original/Regular Articles: These should describe original investigations and research works that represent new and significant contributions and advances to the field of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines (TCAM). The articles should contain sufficient details for other investigators to verify the work. Authors should submit data that have arisen from animal and/or human studies conducted in an ethically-guided way by following the guidelines set-up by WHO. Such articles should contain 4000-6000 words, 4-8 Figures/Tables and a maximum of 35-40 references. The structured Abstract should not be more than 250 words. Original/Regular Articles are always peer-reviewed.

Review Articles: should bear reviews on major areas or sub-areas in the field of TCAM. Reviews should describe current, new developments, summarize progress, and analyze published works in the field. Such articles should contain 5000-8000 words, 4-8 Figures/Tables, and a maximum of 80-120 references. The structured Abstract should not be more than 250 words. Review Articles are always peer-reviewed.

Short Communications: These articles are brief reports of preliminary or limited results of original research, observations or case studies on TCAM. Total word count should not exceed 3000 words. The total number of Figures and Tables should not exceed 4, while the references should not be more than 20. The structured Abstract should not exceed 250 words. Short Communications are peer-reviewed.

Letters to the Editor: These letters should comment on articles previously published in AJTCAM or any other matter of interest to the journal. They should not have Tables or Figures. They should contain 500-750 words in length, and no more than a maximum of 5 references. Letters to the Editors are not peer-reviewed, but the Editor reserves the right to accept or reject any such article.

Case Reports: Case report articles contain reports on TCAM of interest. They should contain a maximum of 1,500 words, 3-4 Tables/Figures and no more than 20 references. Case Reports are peer-reviewed.

Editorials: These should be comments and views from recognized experts in the field on specific topics, and/or on articles published in the journal. Editorials are usually solicited by the Editorial Team. They should contain1500-2000 words in length with no “Abstract”. They should bear 1-3 Tables/Figures and 4-10 references. Editorials may be peer-reviewed.

Commentaries: These should contain opinions and/or views of recognized experts on a specific TCAM-related topic. They can address various controversial issues in TCAM. Commentaries should contain 2000-2,500 words in length, with no “Abstract”. They should contain 1-3 Tables/Figures, and 4-10 references. Commentaries are peer-reviewed.

Conference Reports: These reports should focus on the key developments presented and discussed at TCAM-related conferences. Such reports should contain 1,500-4,000 words, 3-5 Tables/Figures, and 20-25 references. Conference Reports are not peer-reviewed.

Authors’ Professional and Ethical Responsibilities: AJTCAM follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors’ (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Works in Medical Journals (available at http://icmje.org).

Authorship: Only those persons who contributed directly to the intellectual content of the article should be listed as authors. The surnames and addresses/affiliations of all authors, as well as the e-mail address of the corresponding author, should be clearly indicated on the title page. Only one person can be the “Corresponding Author”. The corresponding author is the one individual who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal office during the manuscript’s submission, peer review, and publication processes.

Acknowledgements and Sources of Support: Sources of outside support for the research work, including funding, grants, equipment and drugs, must be indicated in the Acknowledgements section. Any involvement of laboratory support staff, and other researchers, must also be clearly stated in the Acknowledgement statements.

Double Publication and Concurrent Submission: Duplicate or Double submission means submission of a manuscript to different journals at the same time. Manuscripts that are submitted to AJTCAM should not have been previously published in, submitted to, or be under consideration for publication by another journal. Any manuscript displaying more than 20% level of duplication by the journal’s iThenticate/Plagiarism check will not be considered for publication in the journal.

Ethical Considerations: All manuscripts submitted to AJTCAM must provide appropriate information on Ethical Considerations. Research works on laboratory animals must clearly provide institutional or national ethical approval. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and/or national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. Voucher numbers of plant materials used in the study must also be provided.

All studies involving human subjects must expressly include written consents of the patients or volunteers. If the patient is deceased or incapable of providing informed consent, the patient’s next-of-kin, beneficiary or legal guardian should provide the consent. Inclusion and Exclusion criteria for the choice of patients or volunteers used must also be clearly stated. When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether or not the procedures followed are in agreement with the ethical standards of the committee on human experimentation (institutional, national and international), and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008.

Manuscript Preparation Guidelines: Each manuscript to be submitted to AJTCAM should be prepared and structured into the following sections:

  1. Title page
  2. Abstract
  3. Key-words
  4. List of Abbreviations Used
  5. Introduction
  6. Materials and Methods
  7. Results
  8. Discussion
  9. Conclusion
  10. Conflict of Interest/Competing Interests
  11. Acknowledgements
  12. References

Structure and Presentation: Write the body of the manuscript as concisely as possible, adhering to the world limit specified for the given manuscript category. Use single-line spacing throughout the manuscript, including in the references and figure legends.

The first page of the manuscript should set out:

  1. The title of the article (100 characters maximum);
  2. The names of all authors (written as Surnames and Initials);
  3. The affiliations of all authors. For each affiliation, include the name of the Department or Faculty (if any), the Institution, the City, the Province or State, and Country where the work was done. Link the authors to their designations using Superscript asterisk (*), Superscript dagger(†), Superscript double dagger (††), Superscript double bar (#), and so on;
  4. The names, affiliations and e-mail addresses of three-to-five potential reviewers who could, in the authors’ opinion, expertly review the manuscript. However, the Editors reserve the right to choose or not to choose any of the suggested reviewers. The authors’ suggested potential reviewers should not have published any article with any of the co-authors during the past six years, and should not at present work or collaborate with any of the co-authors of the submitted manuscript; and
  5. The full name and e-mail address of the corresponding author.

All portions of manuscripts submitted to AJTCAM must be typed in single-line spacing and all pages numbered, starting from the title page.

The ‘Title’ should be as brief as possible, describing the contents of the article. The ‘TITLE PAGE’ must include the authors’ full names and affiliations. The name of the corresponding author and his/her e-mail address should be clearly indicated. Present addresses of authors should appear as footnote.

The ‘Abstract’ should be informative and self-explanatory. It should be structured into: Background, Materials and Methods, Results and Conclusion. The entire Abstract should not be more than 250 words in length. Complete sentences, active verbs and third persons should be used.

Key-words: following the Abstract, about 3-7 key-words that will provide indexing references should be listed.

Abbreviations: A list of non-standard Abbreviations used in the text should be provided. Each abbreviation should be spelt out in full and introduced in parenthesis for first time it is used in the text. Only recommended SI Units should be used.

The ‘Introduction’ should provide a clear statement of the problem, the relevant literature on the subject, and the proposed approach for solution. It should be understandable to colleagues from a broad range of scientific disciplines.

The ‘Materials and Methods’ should be sufficiently complete to enable experiments described in the study to be repeated and reproduced by other researchers in the field. However, only truly new procedures should be described in detail; while previously-published procedures should only be cited and referenced. Important modifications of published procedure should be mentioned only briefly. Capitalize “Trade Names” and include the Manufacturers’ names and addresses. Sub-headings should be used.

The ‘Results’ should be presented with clarity and precision. The results should be written in the past tense when describing findings in the authors’ experiments. The findings should be precisely explained.

The ‘Discussion’ should interpret the findings in the light of the results obtained in the experiments and in the previous studies on the topic.

The ‘Conclusion’ should briefly summarize the key findings of the study in a few sentences at the end of the manuscript.

The ‘Conflict of Interest’ section should bear statements on conflicts of interest within the authors and outsiders, and statements on competing interests (if any).

Acknowledgements should contain names of people who have contributed in one way or the other to the successful completion of the manuscript, funds and grant providers, and so on. This should be as brief as possible.

Figures and Tables should be simple and kept to a minimum. Tables should be typed single-spaced throughout, including headings and footnotes. Each Table should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals, and supplied with a heading and a legend. Tables should be self-explanatory without reference to the text. Figure legends should be typed single-spaced in numerical order. Graphics should be prepared using applications capable of generating high resolution (GIF, TIFF, JPEG or Powerpoint) before pasting them in the Microsoft Word manuscript file. Tables should be prepared in Microsoft Word. Use Arabic numerals to designate figures and upper case letters for their parts (e.g., Figure 1). Begin each legend with a title and include sufficient description so that the figure is understandable without reading the text of the manuscript. Information given in legends should not be repeated in the text. Insert Figures and Tables in the appropriate places of the manuscript.

References: In the text, a reference identified by means of an author’s name should be followed by the date of the reference in parenthesis. When there are more than two authors, only the first author’s name should be mentioned, followed by ‘et al’. In the event that an author cited has had two or more works published during the same year, the reference, both in the text and in the reference list, should be identified by a lower case letter like, ‘a’ and ‘b’ after the date, to distinguish the works. Examples: Ojewole (2000), Adewunmi et al. (2003), (Kelebeni, 1983), (Addy, 1992), (Chege, 1998; Elujoba, 1987a,b), (Tijani, 1993,1995), (Gamaniel et al., 2001). References should be listed at the end of the manuscript in alphabetical order. Full journal names must be used for all journals listed in the references section. Articles in preparation or articles submitted for publication, unpublished observations, personal communications, etc., should not be included in the references list, but should only be mentioned in the article text (e.g., Elujoba A, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria - personal communication). Authors are fully responsible for the accuracy of their references.

  1. Kamanzi-Atindehou, K., Koné , M., Terreaux , C. , Traore , D., Hostettmann, K. and Dosso , M. (2002). Evaluation of the antimicrobial potential of medicinal plants from the Ivory Coast. Phytotherapy Research, 16: 497 – 502.
  2. Vinegar, R.; Truax, J.F., Selph, J. L. and Voelker, F. A. (1982). Pathway of onset, development and decay of carrageenan pleurisy in the rat. Federation Proceedings,. 41: 2588- 2595.

Changes to Authorship: The list and order of authors must be considered carefully before submitting manuscripts by authors. Therefore, any addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors’ names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted, and only if approved by the journal’s Editor. A request for a change of author can only be made when the following conditions are met: (a) the reason for the change in author list, and (b) written and signed confirmation (e-mail, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this should include confirmation from the author being added or removed. The Editor can only consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted in exceptional circumstances. During this period, publication of the manuscript will be suspended. If the article has already been published in an AJTCAM’s online issue, request/s approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.

Electronic Submission: DIRECT UPLOADING of papers is now the only source of submitting manuscripts online. You may do so by registering as an author and following the uploading instructions step-by-step at: https://journals.athmsi.org/index.php/ajtcam/index or by clicking on “Online Submissions on the journal's Site” link. A manuscript number will be mailed to the corresponding author same day or within three days. The cover letter should include the corresponding author's e-mail address, and should be in an e-mail message sent to the Editor, with the file.

Article Transfer Service: This journal is a part of the Article Transfer Service of ATHMSI. This means that if the Editor feels that your article is more suitable in the African Journal of Infectious Diseases (AJID), then you may be asked to consider transferring the article to AJID. If you agree, your article will be transferred automatically on your behalf with no need to reformat. Please note that your article will be reviewed again by AJID Editorial Board.

Manuscripts Submission Steps: logging in/creating an author account, uploading and submitting the manuscript and supplementary files, checking the status of your article.

Decisions: Corresponding authors will be notified by e-mail once a decision regarding their articles has been made. If any further actions are required, they will be outlined in the e-mail.

Revisions: When revision of a manuscript is requested, it is important that the authors carefully follow the instructions given in the Editor’s e-mail, which includes reviewers’ comments point-by-point.

Uploading a revised Article: Authors must log into AJTCAM’s Website and then select “Author” from the profile. Then click on the “Revise” tab and upload the revised manuscript.

Proof-Reading: Prior to publication of manuscripts, authors must proof-read their articles for correctness. It is the author’s responsibility to complete the proof-reading within 10 days.

Copyright Assignment: Authors submitting manuscripts to AJTCAM do so with the understanding that if their manuscripts are accepted for publication in the journal, the copyright of such articles, including the right to produce the articles (in part or whole) in all forms and media, shall be assigned exclusively to the author/s.

Copyright License Type (Creative Commons-Attribution 4): http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0  The license lets others distribute, remix, tweak and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of all licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

Supplementary/Special Issues: Accepted peer-reviewed conference proceedings may be published as Supplementary/Special Issues in the journal. Such accepted conference proceedings should be sent to the journal Editor/s for consideration for publication in AJTCAM. The Editor may also request experts to submit articles in some special areas of interest to be reviewed and published as special issues in the journal.

Book reviews: Books for review should be sent to the Editor.

Conference Announcements and News: These should be sent to the Editor.

Proofs and Reprints: Electronic proofs will be sent (as e-mail attachment) to the corresponding author as a PDF file. Page proofs are considered to be the final version of the manuscript. With the exception of typographical or minor clerical errors, no major changes will be made in the manuscript at the proof stage. Because AJTCAM will be published freely online, authors will have free electronic access to the full text (in both HTML and PDF) of the article. Authors can freely download the PDF file from which they can print unlimited copies of their articles.

Subscription: Individual Annual Subscription fee for printed copies is USD150.00, single copy is USD50.00; Institutions and Libraries USD500.00.

Plagiarism: Permission from the copyright owner(s) of reproduced Tables, Figures and Illustrations must be obtained, and a copy of the permission letter submitted to AJTCAM. The source must be clearly acknowledged under the Table, Figure, or the Illustration. The use of copied text, photographs, tables or graphics from any source as one’s own is considered plagiarism, especially when a reference to the copied portion is not given.

Privacy Statement: The names and e-mail addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal, and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

Withdrawal Policy: Once a manuscript has been accepted for publication in the journal, withdrawal is not permitted. However, if the withdrawal is eventually granted, the authors must pay the submission and processing fees, and submit to the Editorial Office, a document signed by all authors. Withdrawal of a published article is not an option, although such an article can be retracted for fraudulent reason/s.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.