Online Resources  |  OCOM Library  |  Submit a Research Proposal  |  Institutional Review Board  |  College Research Committee  |  Suggested Reading

 Online Resources

We recommend the following websites and resources to anyone who wants to explore the field of acupuncture and Chinese medicine research.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

NCCAM is one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, training complementary and alternative medicine researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals.


This searchable, web-based bibliography of randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews of acupuncture, developed by the OCOM Research Department. It is a prototype bibliographic database that references RCTs and systematic reviews of acupuncture published in the English language, and is compiled primarily from PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and the collection of the OCOM Library, which subscribes to 16 AOM journals that are not indexed in MEDLINE. The AcuTrials® database currently contains approximately 900 indexed citations and is continuously updated. AcuTrials® is a unique resource for practitioners and researchers interested in specific acupuncture research.


NIH's RePORT (Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools) is a searchable database of federally funded biomedical research projects conducted at universities, hospitals, and other research institutions. The database, maintained by the Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), includes projects funded by the NIH and numerous other federal agencies. Users, including the public, can access the RePORT interface to search for scientific concepts, emerging trends and techniques, or identify specific projects and/or investigators. This website can be searched, for example, to find all current federally-funded research in acupuncture and other modalities of East Asian medicine.

Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR)

The mission of SAR is to promote scientifically sound inquiries into the clinical efficacy, physiological mechanisms, patterns of use, and theoretical foundations of acupuncture, herbal therapy and other modalities of traditional East Asian medicine. SAR organizes an annual research conference and welcomes individual affiliates including researchers, educators, students, acupuncturists, healthcare practitioners, and members of the public.

Cochrane Collaboration 

International and independent organization, dedicated to making up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of healthcare with the dissemination of systematic reviews.


The National Library of Medicine's complementary medicine database on Medline.

Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT)

An important research tool (checklist) that takes an evidence-based approach to improve the quality of reports of randomized trials.

Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture (STRICTA)

Crafted to modify a single item on the 22-item CONSORT list — referring to description of interventions — which was considered too generic to be of value for improving reporting of acupuncture trials.

Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases 

Comprehensive list of the chemical composition of common herbs.


Electronic herbal database, which provides hyperlinked access to the scientific data underlying the use of herbs for health. It is an impartial, evidence-based information resource provided by the nonprofit Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc.

Qigong Institute

A not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting qigong through research and education. Database provides the only record in English of the vast amount of research on qigong from China as well from other countries.

 OCOM Library

The college’s library — one of the most comprehensive acupuncture libraries in the United States — supports the learning, teaching, research and information needs of the OCOM community, serving as an information resource on acupuncture and Chinese medicine to health professionals and to the public. Our library staff works to develop, maintain and provide relevant information resources and services.

The college subscribes to many of the major acupuncture and alternative medicine journals. Visit our collection in person, or access the collection online by using Primo, our search discovery tool. OCOM is a member of the Portland Area Health Libraries (PAHL) consortium, an interdisciplinary partnership between the libraries at OCOM, National College of Naturopathic Medicine, University of Western States, and Oregon Health and Science University. Using Primo, users can search the collections at all four libraries, and request materials be delivered to OCOM. Additionally, our Interlibrary Loan service provides users with access to any journals or books not normally available from the library's print or online collections.

 Submitting a Research Proposal

The Research Department serves the college community by working closely with OCOM's College Research Committee (CRC) and Institutional Review Board (IRB) to facilitate clinic-based research, as well as faculty- and student-initiated research projects.

Learn more about proposing a research study.

 Institutional Review Board

OCOM requires that all investigators conducting clinical research respect and protect the rights and welfare of individuals recruited or participating in research studies. All studies must undergo review by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), a group that is charged with protecting human research subjects and is governed by state and federal laws. The IRB evaluates each study, regardless of funding, to ensure protection of human study subjects.

Scientific research has produced substantial social benefits. It has also posed some troubling ethical questions. OCOM's IRB follows the three basic ethical principles that were outlined in the Belmont Report from April 1979. They are respect for persons, beneficence and justice for all research subjects.

Clinical studies, surveys, and chart reviews all require IRB review. Research activities that present no more than minimal risk to human subjects may be reviewed by the IRB through the expedited review process and certain types of studies may be eligible for exemption from IRB approval. The IRB must be contacted to determine whether exemption can be granted or a study can be expedited.

For more information on the guidelines to determining categories of review for a study, refer to the OHRP Human Subjects Decision Tree.

Institutional Review Board members are volunteers from the scientific and lay community who understand the need for research and the importance of protecting those on whom the research is conducted. Contact Ben Marx with any questions,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Board members
Amy Brose-Mendenhall, MAcOM (OCOM alum)
Elizabeth Burch, ND, Dean of Doctoral Studies (OCOM)
Mark Goldby, MAcOM, (OCOM alum)
Jim Lasseter, BS (community member)
Ben Marx, MAcOM (OCOM Research Associate)
Ryan Milley, MAcOM, (OCOM alum)
Scott Mist, MAcOM, PhD (OCOM alum)
Cheryl Wright, PhD, MTOM (former OCOM faculty member), Chair
Heather Zwickey, PhD (National College of Natural Medicine)

IRB Policies and Procedures manual

 College Research Committee

The College Research Committee (CRC) fosters research as an interface between education and patient care, and supports the active participation of students and faculty in acupuncture and Chinese medicine research. The CRC coordinates and prioritizes emerging research interests at OCOM by:

  • Overseeing and facilitating the design of research in a manner that balances the needs of the clinic, the college and the Research Department;
  • Evaluating the scientific merit and institutional impact of research projects developed by OCOM students, staff, faculty and alumni.


1. To provide scientific review of research projects submitted by faculty, students, alumni or staff intended to:

• be implemented at OCOM
• be implemented through OCOM
• involve participation of faculty, students and staff

2. To act as representatives of the college.
3. To review proposals submitted by institutions other than OCOM seeking collaboration with the college.

Proposals will be reviewed by the CRC to assess three primary domains:

• Scientific merit
• Feasibility
• Institutional impact

The CRC will make recommendations to the IRB on scientific merit and feasibility, and will make recommendations to the administration regarding institutional impact.

College Research Committee
Elizabeth Burch, ND - Dean of Doctoral Studies
Forrest Cooper, MAcOM - Faculty
Deborah Espesete, MPH, MAcOM - Clinic Supervisor, Faculty Member
Beth Howlett, DAOM - OMR Course Instructor
Zhaoxue Lu, DMed (China), PhD - Associate Dean of Doctoral Studies
Ben Marx, MAcOM - Research Associate

The CRC meets monthly to review IRB submissions. Contact Ben Marx, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for CRC meeting dates. Completed IRB applications must be submitted at least two days before the CRC meeting to allow sufficient time for members to review all of the documents.

 Suggested Reading

Cassidy, C. M. (Ed.). (2002). Contemporary Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. New York: Churchill – Livingstone.
Beinfield, H., & Korngold, E. (1991). Between Heaven and Earth, A Guide to Chinese Medicine. (1 Ed.). New York: Random House.
Kaptchuk, T. J. (2000). The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine. (2 Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. 
Lewith, G., Jonas, W. B., & Walach, H. (2002). Clinical Research in Complementary Therapies: Principles, Problems and Solutions. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. 
MacPherson, H., Hammerschlag, R., Lewith, G., & Schnyer, R. (Eds.). (2007). Acupuncture Research: Strategies for Establishing an Evidence Base. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier. 
Menard, M. B. (2003). Making Sense of Research: A Guide to Research Literacy for Complementary Practitioners. Toronto: Curties-Overzet Publications. 
Sager, S. M. (2001). Restored Harmony: An Evidence Based Approach for Integrating Traditional Chinese Medicine into Complementary Cancer Care. Hamilton, Ontario: Dreaming DragonFly Communications. 
Stux, G., Hammerschlag, R. (Eds.). (2001). Clinical Acupuncture: Scientific Basis. Berlin: Springer. 
Witt, C. M. Linde, K. (2011).  Clinical Research in Complementary and Integrative Medicine: A Practical Training Book. Munich: Elsevier.