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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 double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all text, references, tables, and figure legends are included in one document, with tables and figures following the references.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • The text adheres to the CMEJ active voice policy.

Author Guidelines

Manuscripts containing original material are accepted for consideration if neither the article nor any part of its essential substance, tables, or figures has been or will be published or submitted elsewhere before appearing in the Canadian Medical Education Journal.

The CMEJ does not charge any article submission or processing charges, nor any publication-related fees.

Authors of all types of articles should follow the general instructions given below. For a description of the article types, please visit "Section Policies" in the "About" tab.

The Canadian Medical Education Journal adheres to the "Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals," published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2016) and available at http://www.icmje.org.


The Canadian Medical Education Journal is committed to the COPE Code of Conduct (http://publicationethics.org/files/u2/New_Code.pdf ) and publication malpractice will not be tolerated.  Authors should familiarize themselves with the COPE Code of Conduct.  Complaints may be directed to cmej.editor@usask.ca

As stated in the ICMJE "Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals," credit for authorship should be based on the following criteria:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Manuscripts will not be considered for publication unless the study was approved by the authors’ Research Ethics Board (REB) or Institutional Review Board (IRB). A statement concerning REB/IRB approval and consent procedures must appear in the Methods section of the manuscript. We require written informed consent. If the REB/IRB waived the requirement for consent, this needs to be stated explicitly along with the reason. Authors must provide a copy of the REB/IRB approval form upon request.

Please log in to submit a new manuscript. If you have submitted a manuscript in the past, an account has already been set up for you. If you have forgotten your password, simply type your e-mail address into the "Forgot your Password" box on the CMEJ Home page and a password will be e-mailed to you. Otherwise, please register to create an account. Once logged in, click on "Submit a New Manuscript" and follow the instructions at the top of each screen. You will receive an automatic acknowledgement of submission.

Please do not send a separate cover letter file with your online submission. If you wish, you can use the separate text box to type a message to the editor regarding your submission. Supplementary files should only be provided for formats other than Microsoft Word.

The language of the journal is English. If English is your second language, please have your manuscript edited by an English-speaking professional. CMEJ reserves the right to make further editorial changes if necessary.  

The Editors of the CMEJ encourage the use of the active voice, first person, since it helps to create clear and direct statements. Some authors find that in certain situations the passive voice is a better rhetorical choice. It is the author(s)’ decision which voice to use. If there are questions from reviewers or the editors, the author(s) may need to justify their choices. Please refer to this resource for information on voice and other stylistic choices: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/active_and_passive_voice/choosing_passive_voice.html

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically as MS-Word (.doc or .docx) documents. They must be in Times 12-point font, left-justified, and double-spaced throughout. All text, references, tables, and figure legends should be included in one document. Manuscripts should generally contain the following sections:

Title page: Include the title of the manuscript, the full names and institutional affiliations of all the authors, as well as the name, full address, and e-mail address of the corresponding author.

Conflict of interest notification: Authors must state explicitly whether any conflicts of interest exist due to financial and personal relationships that could potentially bias their work. On a separate page immediately following the title page, identify the source(s) of funding, or specify that there was no funding.

Abstract: Provide an abstract of not more than 200 words. For research papers and most brief reports, it should consist of four paragraphs identifying the background, methods, results, and conclusions used in the manuscript. They should briefly describe, respectively, the problem being addressed in the study, how the study was performed, the salient results, and what the authors conclude from the results. Acronyms and abbreviations should be spelled out in full when first introduced.

Introduction: Briefly describe the study question, its scope and relevance, how it is related to the existing literature, and the hypothesis and/or objectives of the investigation.

Methods: The methods should include subsections with headings detailing the study design, setting, sample size and sampling methods, study protocol, outcome measures, and data analysis.  A statement concerning REB/IRB approval and consent procedures must appear in the Methods section of the manuscript.

Results: The results must be concisely stated. This section must include the statistical analysis of the data, illustrated in tables and/or figures where appropriate. If you give percentages, also give the sample size (for example, n = 75).

Discussion: The discussion should present the study results in the context of current knowledge.

Conclusions: The conclusions should answer the study question, discuss the limitations of the study, and may include suggestions for further investigation.

References: The CMEJ uses the Vancouver style of referencing.  References must be typed in (not copied from an online source), double-spaced, and numbered consecutively as they are cited. Reference numbers in the text should be in superscript - please do not use footnotes or endnotes - and be inserted after the punctuation marks. References first cited in a table or figure legend should be numbered so that they will be in sequence with references cited in the text at the point where the table or figure is first mentioned. List all authors when there are six or fewer; when there are seven or more, list the first three, followed by 'et al.' Authors must ensure that all references are correct and in the same order as they are first cited in the manuscript. Please do not copy and paste references from another source, as this may cause problems with formatting.

The following are sample references:

  1. Shapiro AMJ, Lakey JRT, Ryan EA, et al. Islet transplantation in seven patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus using a glucocorticoid-free immunosuppressive regimen. N Engl J Med. 2000;343:230-8.
  2. Goadsby PJ. Pathophysiology of headache. In: Silberstein SD, Lipton RB, Dalessio DJ, eds. Wolff's headache and other head pain. 7th ed. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2001:57-72.
  3. Kuczmarski RJ, Ogden CL, Grammer-Strawn LM, et al. CDC growth charts: United States. Advance data from vital and health statistics. No. 314. Hyattsville, Md.: National Center for Health Statistics, 2000. (DHHS publication no. (PHS) 2000-1250 0-0431.)
  4. U.S. positions on selected issues at the third negotiating session of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Washington, D.C.: Committee on Government Reform, 2002. Available at: http://www.house.gov/reform/min/inves_tobacco/index_accord.htm [Accessed March 4, 2002].

Numbered references to personal communications, unpublished data, or manuscripts either in preparation or submitted for publication are unacceptable. If essential, such material can be incorporated at the appropriate place in the text.

Tables: Whenever possible, tables should be presented in "portrait" format and with the gridlines between rows and columns visible. The table title should be self-explanatory. Insert the table number and title at the appropriate place in the text but leave the tables themselves at the end of the document. For original research articles, there is normally a limit of 5 figures and tables (total) per manuscript. Additional figures and tables may be considered at the discretion of the editors.

Figures: Insert figures at the end of the text file if possible, or upload your figures separately. We prefer the former, but this may not work well for complicated graphics, which should be sent in a separate file.

Legends for all figures should be included in the file with the text and should not appear on the figures. Acceptable formats for pictures, photos, and figures are GIF, JPG, PDF, PPT, and TIF. If they are in Microsoft Word format, they should be included in the manuscript file.

If a figure was created by an outside illustrator, CMEJ reserves the right to modify or redraw it, or request a resubmission of the item to meet our specifications for publication. The author must explicitly acquire all rights to the illustration from the artist in order for us to publish it. Please describe and clearly indicate all modifications, selective digital adjustments, or electronic enhancements in all digital images. It is permissible to send low-resolution images for peer review, although we may ask for high-resolution files at a later stage.

Manuscripts are examined by members of the editorial staff and are sent to outside reviewers at the discretion of the editors. We encourage authors to suggest the names of possible reviewers, but we reserve the right to final selection. Manuscripts should not be masked for review. We require that all reviewers 1) keep the paper confidential; 2) do not make copies of the paper or share its contents with others; and 3) inform the editor of any conflicts or biases that might affect their ability to provide an objective assessment of the paper.

Reviewers are asked only to evaluate the content of the paper. Formatting, spelling, and grammar are the responsibility of the author(s). However, the editors reserve the right to further edit the manuscript after acceptance. Before publication, you will receive a proof, which must be corrected and returned within 48 hours.

Communications about manuscripts will be sent after the review and the editorial decision-making process is complete. We aim to complete this process within 90 days but for potentially acceptable manuscripts that need revisions, the period between the receipt of all reviews and a final editorial decision may be longer. Only the corresponding author will receive a copy of the acknowledgement e-mail and notification of acceptance or revisions required. All correspondence must contain the submission number in the subject line.

If the editors ask you to make specific changes to your manuscript and return it for further consideration, you are sending a revision. A response to an editorial decision of Major Revisions should be returned within 4 months, and a response to an editorial decision of Minor Revisions should be returned within 2 months. Revised manuscripts should be uploaded on the same page as your original submission. Please let us know if you need more time or if you do not intend to submit a revised manuscript.

A response to an editorial decision of Major Revisions should be returned within 4 months, and a response to a decision of Minor Revisions should be returned within 2 months.

Authors who publish in the Canadian Medical Education Journal maintain the copyright and agree to release their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 Canada Licence. This licence allows anyone to copy and distribute the article for non-commercial purposes provided that appropriate attribution is given. For details of the rights an author grants users of their work, please see the "Copyright Notice". You will be required to agree to the copyright statement upon submission of your manuscript.

CMEJ will not consider any manuscripts that have been published, or are being considered, by another journal. Conference proceedings that were not previously published in full or papers rejected by another journal can be submitted. Any previous preliminary work on the same or similar subject by the same authors must be properly referenced in the new paper and permission must be obtained from the original publisher. 


Major Contributions and Research Articles

These articles will be the primary mode of communication for the journal and include the results of recent research with interesting and pertinent findings, and major research articles.  Small scale - though high quality - research occurring at one or two centres only should likely be submitted as a Brief Report.  Maximum length is 4,500 words and must be submitted with a 200 word abstract.

Brief Reports

This section includes descriptions of works in progress, short communications regarding a matter of topical interest or importance. The CMEJ expects Brief Reports to include high quality program evaluations with clear frameworks and connections to the literature. Typically, these studies occur at only one or two sites or include only one or two years of data.  All Brief Reports should be limited to about 1,500 words and a total of two Tables and/or Figures.

Review Papers and Meta-Analyses

Submissions to this section include review and meta-analysis manuscripts and should be limited to 4,500 words.  They must include a 200 word abstract.

Black Ice

Black Ice: ‘x’ Ways to Get a Grip! is a form of review article with practical advice, pointers, and guidelines for teachers, researchers, and/or leaders in medical education. Typically about 1000 words, articles for Black Ice will have two sections: Introduction and “How to …..” Included within the introduction is a summary of some of the misunderstandings, misguided practices, and irregularities in the use or implementation of certain practices (the “black ice”). The rest of the article (How to …) will outline the advice and guidelines (and help people “get a grip”). Both the critique and guidelines should be, as much as possible, based on published examples and/or extensive professional experience and observations. For example, one might imagine this title: Black Ice: 7 Ways to Get a Grip on Planning Systematic Reviews. In the introduction the authors would outline some of the ways that teams fail to plan properly or plan improperly (with negative consequences). The rest of the article would then explain those seven pointers and how they address the main concerns expressed in the introduction. For ease of reading and to maintain the purpose and style of Black Ice, authors should include at least 5 ways to get a grip and limit themselves to two tables and/or figures in total.


This section includes comments, opinions and debate, and news with a particularly Canadian flavour or dimension. Submissions could involve personal narratives, historical pieces, and arts and humanities work. All submissions should be limited to 1,000 words.

You Should Try This

This section includes short descriptions of new initiatives (often student or resident led) that are great ideas but not yet fully developed, researched, or evaluated. This section is for sharing these good ideas that could (and maybe should) be tried in another setting or center. Submissions to this section must include some preliminary evaluation outcomes, and provide suggestions for next steps. All You Should Try This submissions are limited to 500 words, one Table or Figure, and six references.  Instead of an abstract, authors are asked to submit an Implication Statement of no more than 100 words describing how people might use the innovation in their own setting.


Commentary and Opinions

These submissions are highly relevant and stimulating opinion pieces with strong arguments and no more than 750 words. They do not include any supporting material i.e. graphs, charts, etc. but may have up to five (5) references.

Letters to the Editor

These are meant to be a reaction to a pertinent issue relating to the CMEJ or a recently published article.  They should be no longer than 250 words unless by special arrangement.  They do not include any supporting material i.e. graphs, charts, etc. but may have up to three (3) references.

Book Reviews

This section will be limited to reviews of recently released books that pertain in some way to the field of medical education.  They can include textbooks, edited works, etc.  Submissions are to be no more than 1000 words in length and must include a brief, 100 word abstract.


This section includes images of interest, graphics, photographs, and artwork pertaining to Canadian Medical Education.  Submissions may be featured on the CMEJ cover page, or published within an issue.  Only high-resolution images will be accepted.  Images should be uploaded in PNG or JPG file format with the longest side measuring at least 3130 pixels.  Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from any identifiable individuals depicted in their photos, and permission for any copyrighted material used, including illustrations, and will be asked to provide formal written permission upon acceptance for publication. Authors are expected to adhere to the standards for intellectual property rights and plagiarism, and authors assume full responsibility for the content of their submissions.

Privacy Statement

I consent to the following use of my data:

The data collected from registered and non-registered users of this journal falls within the scope of the standard functioning of peer-reviewed journals. It includes information that makes communication possible for the editorial process; it is used to informs readers about the authorship and editing of content; it enables collecting aggregated data on readership behaviors, as well as tracking geopolitical and social elements of scholarly communication.

This journal’s editorial team uses this data to guide its work in publishing and improving this journal. Data that will assist in developing this publishing platform may be shared with its developer Public Knowledge Project in an anonymized and aggregated form, with appropriate exceptions such as article metrics. The data will not be sold by this journal or PKP nor will it be used for purposes other than those stated here. The authors published in this journal are responsible for the human subject data that figures in the research reported here.

Those involved in editing this journal seek to be compliant with industry standards for data privacy, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provision for "data subject rights" that include (a) breach notification; (b) right of access; (c) the right to be forgotten; (d) data portability; and (e) privacy by design. The GDPR also allows for the recognition of "the public interest in the availability of the data," which has a particular saliency for those involved in maintaining, with the greatest integrity possible, the public record of scholarly publishing.