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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 author has read the Section Policy to determine the correct section for the submission.
  • All co-authors have filled out individual author attestation forms.
    Contributors who do not meet all conditions can be included in an acknowledgments section at the end of the article.
  • The submission includes a separate ethics approval/exemption letter. Any submissions reporting data from human subjects should have either approval or exemption from their REB.
  • If sharing data, authors should include a data accessibility statement in the Results section of their manuscript, including a DOI link and the name of the repository they have used.
  • Where available, URLs or DOIs for the references have been provided.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines including the CMEJ's 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

The Canadian Medical Education Journal is committed to the COPE Code of Conduct and publication malpractice will not be tolerated.  Authors should familiarize themselves with the COPE Code of Conduct.  Complaints may be directed to

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.

Any change in authors after the initial submission must be approved by all authors.  Any alterations must be explained to the editor. The editor reserves the right to contact any of the authors to confirm that they have agreed to any alterations.

All authors must provide a written statement of how they meet the four conditions for authorship listed above. CMEJ respects diversity in authorship teams and if there are authors with barriers to completing this form themselves (e.g., due to culture, language, etc.), CMEJ may accept Author Attestation Forms completed by the corresponding author on their co-author’s behalf, if appropriate justification is provided. If you have questions about whether this would apply in your case, please email the CMEJ to inquire. Contributors who do not meet all four conditions can be included in an acknowledgments section at the end of the article. Attestation Statement Form

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.


1. Peng, C-YJ, Lee KL, Ingersoll GM. An introduction to logistic regression analysis and reporting.  J Educ Res. 2002; 96(1),3-14.

2. Zhao R, D’Eon M. Five ways to get a grip on grouped self-assessments of competence for program evaluation. Can Med Ed J 2020Mar.9; 11(4):e90-e96.

3. Meyer HS, Durning SJ, Sklar DP, Maggio LA. Making the first cut: an analysis of academic medicine editors' reasons for not sending manuscripts out for external peer review. Acad Med. 2018 Mar;93(3):464-470.

4. O’Brien J, Thoma B. Reused Reviews: the CMEJ announces a new policy to recycle peer reviews. Can. Med. Ed. J 2021Apr.12 

5. Martimianakis MA, D’Eon MF. Coming to terms with the languages we use in medical education: hidden meanings and unintended consequences. Can. Med. Ed. J. 2021Apr.30;12(2):e1-e8. 

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 acknowledgment 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.

Authors are encouraged to complete the relevant reporting checklist to ensure complete and transparent reporting of their research and upload it with their manuscript submission. Authors may consider reporting guidelines for different types of research studies (eg., CONSORT, TREND, STROBE) available through the EQUATOR Network website, or any of those listed below:

To submit a manuscript under the CMEJ Reused Reviews policy, authors must include:

  • A clean version of a manuscript that fits within the scope and focus of the CMEJ and the appropriate section policy which is formatted according to CMEJ Submission Guidelines.
  • A second version of the manuscript as it was submitted to the previous journal. This version should use 1) In revising your manuscript, create a table in a separate document to explain your responses to all comments made by any of the reviewers; 2) please use "Track Changes" within your file to show how you changed the text. 
  • A cover letter/note to the editor(s) expressing a desire for expedited review under the Reused Reviews policy that lists the journal that reviewed and rejected the manuscript and the date that this occurred.
  • A PDF version of the decision letter from the previous journal containing the entire content of the email with peer reviews. Reused Reviews require peer reviews and not only desk rejections (i.e. submissions must have gone through the full peer review process with another journal).

Submissions are accepted in both English and French. If neither English nor French are your first language, please have your manuscript edited by an English- or French-speaking professional.  CMEJ reserves the right to make further editorial changes if necessary.  

The CMEJ requires the use of the active voice, first person, since it helps to create clear and direct statements. In certain situations, the passive voice may be acceptable. If there are questions from reviewers or editors, the author(s) may need to justify their choices. Please refer to this resource for information on voice and other stylistic choices.
Passive voice: The analysis was done using a constant comparative method and...
Corrected to active voice: The authors chose a constant comparative method to analyze the interview data...

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 primary affiliation 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 (where the section policy stipulates): 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.  For You Should Try This! submissions, provide an implication statement of no more than 100 words describing how and why others might want to try the innovation and what they might get out of it.

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/Citations: The CMEJ uses the Vancouver style of referencing.  References must be typed in (not copied from an online source), double-spaced, numbered consecutively as they are cited, and include the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or the full URL with date cited. Reference numbers in the text should be in superscript - please do not use footnotes or endnotes - and be inserted after the punctuation marks. Do not use spaces between numbers or brackets/parenthesis.

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. Ahmadzadeh A, Nasr Esfahani M, Ahmadzad-Asl M, Shalbafan M, Shariat SV. Does watching a movie improve empathy? A cluster randomized controlled trial. Can Med Ed J. 2019;10(4):e4-e12.
  2. Nikendei C, Weyrich P, Jünger J, Schrauth M. Medical education in Germany. Med  Teach.  2009;31(7):591-600. https://doi:10.1080/01421590902833010
  3. Vilppu H, Laakkonen E, Mikkilä-Erdmann M, Kääpä P. Seeing beyond variables: applying a person-centered approach to identifying regulation strategy profiles among Finnish preclinical medical and dental students. Can Med Educ J. 2019;10(1):e68–e83.

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.

Convention for numerals: Write out the number if it is less than 10 or starts a sentence.  For numbers 10 and higher, use digits.

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. All comments received from the reviewers will be passed on to the authors within 4-6 weeks. Regardless of whether or not the submission is accepted for publication, it is essential that appropriate feedback be provided to the contributors. Click here for a sample You Should Try This! review form.

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.

The Canadian Medical Education Journal encourages authors to share their data and other artifacts supporting the results in their papers. If authors have archived their data in a public repository, the CMEJ will publish the link. Authors should include a data accessibility statement in the Results section of their manuscript, including a DOI link and the name of the repository they have used. We recognize that not all data should/can be made available. Authors are advised to use their discretion.  

Original Research

These articles will be a primary mode of communication for the journal and may include the results of original research with interesting and pertinent findings or other forms of high quality scholarship touching on topics of importance to the medical education community.  Submissions to this section are expected to be framed within a clear theoretical lens both in the methodology and the substance of the study.  For example, decisions on which instructional activities were chosen for exploration must be grounded in the education and instructional literature and any findings (expected or especially unexpected) must likewise invoke accepted and relevant theoretical frameworks and explanations. Small scale - though high quality - research occurring at one or two centres only should be submitted as a Brief Report.  Survey studies that report the results of an environmental scan or needs assessment should be submitted as a Brief Report if they are subsequently applied to the development of a curricular initiative or produce a set of recommendations for policy makers and/or medical educators.

Original Research must include a statement concerning ethical review by a third party and consent procedures if the study reports data from human subjects.  Maximum length is 4,500 words and must be submitted with a 250 word structured abstract. 

Brief Reports

This section includes research reports that may be local or national in scope and high quality program evaluations with clear frameworks and connections to the literature. The CMEJ expects Brief Reports to

1) Be situated in the literature with a clear statement of the problem that was investigated;

2) Utilize a clear theoretical or evaluation framework, robust study design, and appropriate reporting of the main findings; and

3) Contain a conclusion that states how the results contribute to our understanding of the problem.

Typically, these studies occur at only one or two sites or include only one or two years of data. Survey studies that report the results of an environmental scan or needs assessment will not be considered unless they are subsequently applied to the development of a curricular initiative or produce a set of recommendations for policy makers and/or medical educators.

Brief Reports must include a statement concerning ethical review by a third party and consent procedures if the study or program evaluation includes human subjects or their information. All Brief Reports should be limited to about 1,500 words and a total of two Tables and/or Figures. Brief Reports should include a ~200-word abstract.

Reviews, Theoretical 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 250 word abstract.


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.

Black Ice

Black ice: ‘x’ ways to get a grip! is a form of review article with practical and feasible advice, pointers, and guidelines for teachers, researchers, and/or leaders in medical education based on program evaluation and evidence from the existing literature on the specific topic. The problem discussed should be a relevant and common problem that will draw a substantial number of our readers. 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: seven 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 attainably 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 five ways to get a grip and limit themselves to two tables and/or figures in total.  Black Ice can have up to 10 references.

For an example, see: Zhao R, & D’Eon M. Five ways to get a grip on grouped self-assessments of competence for program evaluationCan Med Ed J. 2020; 11(4), e90-e96.

You Should Try This

This section includes short descriptions of new initiatives (often student or resident-led). 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. Manuscripts must include a statement concerning ethical review by a third party and consent procedures if the study or program evaluation includes human subjects or their information.  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 and why people might use the innovation in their own setting and what they might get out of it. 

We recommend that submissions to YSTT are structured according to an Introduction, Description of the innovation, Outcomes, and Suggestions for next steps.  The reviewers are asked to consider the following:

  1. Does the Implication Statement adequately describe the contribution of the paper, how and why people might use the innovation in their own setting, and what they might get out of it?
  2. Does the introduction clearly state the purpose of the study and provide appropriate (but brief) background from the existing literature? Do the authors describe the scope of the problem, need for the innovation, and how it is new or unique?
  3. Do the authors describe why a particular innovation was developed? Did a framework, theory, or principle guide development of the innovation? Is the innovative nature clearly defined? What else would you need to know to try the innovation at your institution?
  4. Are the metrics used to evaluate the innovation clearly defined? Are the results presented clearly and supported by a single table or figure where appropriate? Are statistical data complete, presented clearly, and in appropriate notation? Do the authors present feasibility data (e.g. costs, acceptability)?
  5. Do the authors clarify the meaning and implications of the results, consider the preconditions required to replicate the innovation in another setting, and suggest next steps?

Click here for a sample You Should Try This! review form.


Commissioned Scientific Reports

Commissioned Scientific Reports

Articles in this section will be commissioned papers of interest to medical educators that fall within the focus and scope of the CMEJ (See “About” on our home page  and have not previously been published (but might be available on internal web sites that are not available to the general public). Authors wishing to submit to this section may want to inquire of the editors whether their paper fits.

We will accept heading structures that suit the paper and guide the reader. We will not specify a certain style of headings or structure. However, the citation and reference style must be that of the CMEJ (Vancouver style) along with other guidelines of the CMEJ. Authors should read and follow the Submission Guidelines for Authors found under “Submissions” on our home page (

If there is no Executive Summary already part of the paper or report, please provide a 200-word Abstract.

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 references.


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. Authors should include an artist's statement, brief commentary, or description to accompany the image (<300 words). Select images may be selected to appear as the cover image for an upcoming issue.


The CMEJ publishes works-in-progress (WiP) for medical education studies. We intend that publishing works-in-progress will more quickly inform all of us of the promising research that is in progress across Canada and the world. This in turn will provide several advantages and benefits. We hope this initiative will help generate productive partnerships, stimulate in-depth thinking both about methodologies and topics, lead to more rigorous studies through external peer review, reduce duplication, allow us to support valuable data collection, and give us all the luxury of anticipating the eventual findings. 

Each submission must meet these inclusion criteria:

  • REB (or IRB or equivalent) approval (where possible) or
  • In the event where REB approval is not needed, data collection begun by the time of publication
  • Formal or informala internal scientific peer review.
  • A statement to the editors indicating how these criteria have been met
  • Under 600 words

a Informal peer review includes a review from any qualified person outside of the author team. This might include a colleague or research coordinator or faculty mentor or supervisor. If you are not sure, please contact an editor with the CMEJ.

Submissions must include these elements:

  • Introduction
    • outlining the research questions
    • describing the need for the study and intended outcomes (not necessarily the findings but how the study may affect medical education)
  • Methods (Fitting the type of study; see guidelines for authors)
    • Describing the methods selected to gather and analyze data
    • Outlining the extent to which the investigators are willing to consider various forms of collaboration from other researchers at other sites
  • Summary
    • Brief overview of context, questions, methods, and implications

In most cases, authors should give approximately equal weight to the Introduction and the Methods. There may be good reason for authors to emphasize one section or the other. Authors are free to set those proportions based on how they want to communicate their study to the public.

Publishing works in progress does not impose upon the CMEJ any commitment or expectation, tacit or implicit, that the completed work will be published. If the studies are completed and submitted to the CMEJ each one will be subject to a rigorous peer review process, the same as for any other submission to a similar section of our journal. The corollary is also true: the authors are not obligated or expected to submit their completed work to the CMEJ. They are free to submit their papers to any section in any journal of their choice.

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.

Blog posts

COVID-19 related CMEJ Blogs

The COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures implemented to curb the spread (flatten the curve) and protect us all from exploding and fatal levels of infection have been very disruptive. This has led to unprecedented innovation but also considerable suffering from death of friends and relatives to minor inconveniences such as restrictions on non-essential movements and our favourite recreational activities.

The lives and careers of medical students, residents, faculty, and staff have been affected in many ways and to different degrees. If you are willing and able to write about your medical education related experiences but need a medium to get your ideas out to a wide audience, consider submitting your essays to the CMEJ blog through our normal submission process. Blogs will not be subject to a full peer review process. One or more of our editors will work with authors to polish the blog post before being published on-line. Due to the time-sensitive nature of these posts, we will try to expedite their processing.

Blog posts are posted at

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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.

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