Complementary and Alternative Medicine Standards for Research

Springer Nature journals are committed to evidence-based research. We believe that Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) research should be held to the same standards and evidence threshold as those of medicine research.

We welcome manuscripts for submission which meet the following clinical research standards:

  • Clinical research manuscripts that comply with international and national standards for such work (such as the Declaration of Helsinki or relevant Governmental regulation e.g. the UK’s The Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations). 
  • Studies which are adequately controlled (be that compared to a placebo or conventional medicine), blinded (where appropriate), randomised and of sufficient statistical power to confidentially and accurately interpret the effect reported.  Studies reporting a CAM treatment/technique compared only to another CAM treatment/technique are not sufficient to test the efficacy of the CAM treatment in question. Studies in which a conventional treatment is supplemented with a CAM technique are only valid if compared to the same conventional treatment supplemented with a placebo.
  • CAM treatments/techniques tested on animal models and/or human patients: It is unethical for such work, on humans or animals, to have taken place without adequate prior evidence that the treatment/technique shows some potential of being therapeutic.  Manuscripts must include evidence that takes the form of objective, measurable data from previously published peer reviewed literature which adheres to scientific principles (for instance in vitro or cellular work). Other forms of evidence are not valid. Manuscripts describing work lacking this evidence will not be considered on ethical grounds.