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Instructions for authors

1. Journal Overview

The Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM)

CJEM is Canada's only academic journal in emergency medicine and the official publication of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP). CJEM publishes articles of interest to emergency care providers in rural, urban or academic settings that reflect the growing interest in emergency medicine, both as a medical discipline and an expanding field for research. CJEM is indexed by the National Library of Medicine.

a) Vision, Mission & Objectives (as approved by the CAEP Board February 2018)


Inspiring excellence in emergency medical care


To improve emergency medical care by connecting and informing providers


  1. To promote communication and information exchange amongst physicians practicing emergency medicine in Canada, including those providing care in rural communities;
  2. To improve emergency care of patients in Canada and elsewhere;
  3. To provide current evidence to assist physicials practicing emergency medicine;
  4. To disseminate high-quality opportunities for medical students, residents, and newly practicing physicians;
  5. To provide scholarly opportunities for medical students, residents, and newly-practicing physicians;
  6. To promote communication amongst non-physician Canadian emergency care providers;
  7. To disseminate Canadian emergency medicine content internationally; and,
  8. To be among the top three emergency medicine journals within 5 years.
b) Ethical Standards

Where research involves enrolment or analysis of data from human subjects, we require a statement that research has been approved or exempted from review by the relevant institutional Research Ethics Board.

In accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, manuscripts will be considered only if they have not been previously published nor are they under consideration by another journal. Authors are referred to "Uniform Requirements" for detailed guidelines on previous publication and exceptions.

c) Manuscript Style

Authors should conform to the general guidelines laid out in Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. CJEM uses the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (latest ed.) for spelling; The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) for grammar, style, and punctuation; and Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary (32nd ed.) for spelling of medical terms; and Vancouver style for referencing cited publications.

2. Manuscript Categories


Type of Submission Maximum words Total number of Talbes and/or Figures References Abstract Clinician Capsule Cover Letter
Original Research 2500 words 5 Tables and/or Figures 40 Yes—250 words Yes Yes
Brief Original Research 1200 words 1 Table or Figure 10 Yes—250 Yes Yes
Quality Improvement 2500 words 5 Tables and/or Figures 40 Yes—250 words Yes Yes
Invited Commentary 1000 words 1 Table or Figure 10 No No Yes
Author Initiated Commentary 1500 words 1 Table or Figure 10 No No Yes
CJEM Debate Series 3000 words (1000-1500 words each side) 0 20 No No Yes
Need to Know: CJEM Journal Club 650 words 0 3 No No Yes
Humanity 1000 words 0 5 No No Yes
CAEP Academic Symposium Paper 2500 words 5 Tables and/or Figures 20 Yes—250 No Yes
CAEP Position Statement & Guidelines *Uploaded by CAEP office 8 pages total No Yes
Just the Facts 1000 words 1 info-graphic or table or figure 5 No No Yes
Educational Innovation 1000 words 1 Table or Figure 10 Yes—150 unstructured No Yes
Clinical Correspondence 1000 words 1 Table or Figure 5 No No Yes
Letter (published online only) 400 words 0 5 No No Yes
a) Original Research Manuscript

Original Research
(maximum 2500 words, 5 tables or figures, 40 references)

Encompasses any type of research that provides original data, including: prospective studies, qualitative research, health record reviews, surveys, systematic reviews, and quality improvement studies.

Brief Original Research
(maximum 1200 words, one table or figure, and 10 references

While the article types for the Brief Original Research are the same as Original Research, these articles are limited to a maximum of 1200 words, one table or figure, and 10 references. Other tables or figures can be included as online appendices. Submissions of this type will highlight the most important aspects and findings of your research and may improve the likelihood of acceptance.

Quality Improvement
(maximum 2500 words, 5 tables or figures, 40 references)

Quality Improvement reports encompass all reports on a project with a clear intention to change clinical practice, following SQUIRE publication guidelines. CJEM will consider both negative and positive reports for submissions that are of high methodological qulaity. The primary measures of improvement must be quantified by objective means and should describe tests of sequential change as well as their individual and collective results.

Submission Requirements

These articles present primary data arising from original research. CJEM requires randomized controlled trials to be registered at For more information, see Clinical Trial Registration on the ICMJE website. The trials registry and research ethics board registration numbers should be included in the manuscript

Publication Checklist

Authors should consult the appropriate checklist according to the study design and confirm that the paper is in compliance, as per the EQUATOR Network

  • Randomized Trials: CONSORT including a CONSORT flow diagram
  • Observational Studies: STROBE
  • Systematic Reviews: PRISMA
  • Diagnostic Studies: STARD TRIPOD
  • Health Records Reviews: RECORD
  • Qualitative Research: SRQR
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines: AGREE
  • Quality Improvement: SQUIRE
  • Surveys: Kelley 
Required Formatting

Structured Abstract

Structured abstracts of up to 250 words are required for Original Research, Brief Original Research, and Quality Improvement submission types and must include the following headings: Objectives; Methods; Results; and Conclusions.

Clinician's Capsule

For Original Research and Brief Original Research submission types, please provide a brief simplified Clinicians' Capsule, comprised of single-sentence bullet statements under these headings, not exceeding 20 words per bullet. See the example below:

  1. What is known about the topic?
    ED physicians frequently miss opportunities to prescribe oral anticoagulants to patients with atrial fibrillation/flutter.
  2. What did this study ask?
    What was the impact of implementing a new evidence-based atrial fibrillation/flutter clinical pathway on oral anticoagulant prescribing behaviour.
  3. What did this study find?
    This pre-post study found a 20% absolute increase in appropriate oral anticoagulant prescribing along decreased lengths of stay and decreased return visits.
  4. Why does this study matter to clinicians?
    Local implementation of a similar pathway could lead to better and more efficient care of atrial fibrillation/flutter patients.

Main Manuscript

Introduction: This section should succinctly discuss (maximum three paragraphs) study background, importance and rationale, and the study objectives.

Methods: This section should normally include the following paragraphs and subheadings (as applicable):

  • Study Design and Time period;
  • Study Setting;
  • Population;
  • Intervention;
  • Outcome Measures;
  • Data Analysis; and,
  • Sample Size.

There should be sufficient detail to allow a knowledgeable reader to replicate the study, at least in theory. Authors must explicitly name the Research Ethics Board that approved the research or exempted the project from REB review.

Results: In this section, authors should present primary and secondary results, without undue repetition of data reported in tables and figures. Each paragraph should refer to a specific table or figure. Please round percentages and odds ration in the text, tables, and figures to the first significant decimal place except when the number is ≥ 0.95 or ≤ 1.04. Excluding p values and confidence intervals. All results should be reported using SI units, including molar rather than mass-based units for concentration in most cases. For papers involving multivariate or advanced statistics we recommend you employ the use of a PhD methodologist as an author or consultant. 

Please limit use of P values to those of major outcome comparisons. In general, we wish to see the "size of effect" and its associated confidence intervals. Such reporting is advocated by the CONSORT statement and permits readers to gauge the approximate power and clinical importance of the observed magnitude of effect.

Discussion: Authors are encouraged to provide the following paragraphs using these subheadings:

  • Interpretation of Findings (minimize use of numbers);
  • Comparison to Previous Studies (maximum of 2 paragraphs);
  • Strengths and Limitations;
  • Clinical Implications;
  • Research Implications; and
  • Conclusion.

References: Maximum of 40 references formatted using the Vancouver style. Within the text, reference citations should be numbered in the order they appear using superscript numbers, and placed following punctuation marks. References should cite surname and initials for up to six authors, followed by "et al."

Tables: Tables must be placed within the main manuscript document

Please follow the following recommendations:

  • Use MS Word;
  • Do not use PowerPoint or Excel;
  • Each table should appear on a separate page at the end of the article after the references;
  • Each table should have a title and be numbered in order of callout within the text;
  • Excessive use of horizontal lines and all shading should be avoided;
  • Avoid all non-standard abbreviations; and,
  • Provide units of measure where appropriate.


Please follow the following recommendations:

  • Each individual figure should be placed within the main manuscript document, after the tables;
  • Each figure should be on a separate page;
  • Titles should be on the page with the figure;
  • Figures must be clearly numbered in order of callout; and
  • Photographs and colour images should also be uploaded as separate files (TIF, JPG, or EPS files, 600 dpi, and five inches in width.)

Acknowledgements: You should acknowledge individuals or organizations that provided advice or support (non-financial).

Financial support: Please provide specific details for the funding for the research, or provide the following statement: "This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors."

Conflict of Interest: Please provide details of all known financial, professional and personal relationships with the potential to bias the work. Where no known conflicts of interest exist, please include the following statement: "None." Such conflicts might arise from personal relationships or from institutional relationships. CJEM has adopted the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors policy on disclosure of conflicts, including the glossary which provides a definition of conflict of interest and other terms surrounding potential conflicts. Each author of a work must complete and submit a conflict of interest form (See below).

b) Commentary

Invited Commentary
(maximum 1000 words, 1 figure or table, and 10 references)

By invitation of the editors, authors may submit a commentary to accompany an original research article for a given issue.

Author Initiated Commentary
(maximum 1500 words, 1 figure or table, and 10 references)

Authors may submit a focused discussion commenting on major current issues or controversial matters with significant implications for emergency medicine.

CJEM Debate Series
(maximum 3000 words (1000-1500 words each side), no tables or figures, and 20 references)

The CJEM debate series provides readers with the opportunity to hear differing perspectives on topics pertinent to the practice of Emergency Medicine. The debating authors are allocated opposing arguments on topics where there is some controversy or perhaps scientific equipoise. The series also involves a social media vote and online conversation. The debate format consists of a single manuscript incorporating an introduction, and two editorial style components (1000-1500 words for each side) that often contain short rebuttal sections.

Need to Know: CJEM Journal Club

Coming soon...

The preferred review methodology, including critical review forms, is described in "Users Guide to the Medical Literature," a series published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Authors wishing specific guidance should consider making use of the critical appraisal tools found at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine or peruse articles published in ACP Journal.

(maximum 1000 words, and 5 references)

Submissions should reflect the challenges of working in medicine. Generally, they should be humorous or provide some human interest and add to our understanding of the physician experience, particularly in Canada.

The Penelope Gray-Allan Memorial CJEM Writing Award
(maximum 1000 words, and 5 references; Call for papers in December)

In honour of our former Managing Editor, this award is open to any RCPSC or CFPC emergency medicine resident in Canada and will be awarded for the best paper with a focus on humanities in emergencey medicine. Prize:

  • Paper published in the CAEP Conference issue of CJEM;
  • $500 towards your flight to conference or conference registrations; and,
  • Honoured with a plaque acknowledging you as the recipient during awards ceremony at CAEP.
c) CAEP Paper

Authors should communicate directly with the CAEP Head Office. Further information on CAEP position statements and guidelines can be found here:

CAEP Position Statement & Guidelines
(Executive Summary, maximum 8 pages)

Executive summaries should be structured as follows: Unstructured Abstract, Introduction, Rationale, List of Recommendations; Tables summarizing recommendations; Going forward—what CAEP thinks next steps should be; Conclusion.

CAEP Academic Symposium Paper
(maximum 2500 words, 5 tables or figures, and 20 references)

CAEP's Academic Symposium panels will publish their recommendations in CJEM, following presentations and peer feedback at CAEP's annual conference. Submissions should be structured as follows: Abstract (objectives, methods, conclusion); Introduction; Methods; Summary of Recommendations; Conclusion; References. All Academic Symposium Papers must be submitted to CAEP's Manager for the Academic Section, Ms. Shanna Scarrow (

d) Just the Facts

(pre-approved topic, maximum 1000 words, 1 info-graphic, figure or table, 5 references, and 3 authors)

CJEM will consider original summary submissions, authored by faculty/staff physicians, that provide an up to date focused clinical synopsis of best practice on key topics relevant to Canadian clinicians. Each summary should be based around a typical case example of clinical question. Before preparing your full manuscript, please email to confirm topic with CJEM editorial staff. 

Submissions should be structured as follows:

  • Brief case description;
  • A main body of text consisting of:
    • Five or six brief clinical questions relating to the topic, each followed by:
    • a short paragraph covering key points from the literature that provide clear guidance on the case or questions;
  • Summary/Conclusion;
  • An info-graphic, figure or table that provides a rapid-read overview of the paper should be included;
  • provide a list of five or less references or further reading recommendations

Please ensure that one of the authors is an emergency physician or specialist with expertise in the topic area.

e) Educational Innovation

(maximum 1000 words, 1 figure or table, and 10 references)

CJEM will consider original scholarly submissions that are not original research, but that discuss educational advances in emergency medicine. Authors should define how the submissino is innovative, builds on existing literature and adds to the scholarship of education.

Submissions should be structured as follows:

  • Abstract;
  • Background;
  • Purpose or Rationale;
  • Description of the Innovation;
  • Discussion; and
  • Summary.

Sufficient detail allowing readers to reproduce the innovation is required. If necessary, forms or other tools required to set up the innovation may be accepted for publication as on-line appendices. An unstructured abstract of less than 150 words is also required.

f) Clinical Correspondence

(maximum 1000 words, 1 figure or table, and 5 references)

This section includes case reports, which have an interesting image and useful implications for clinical practice. All cases for consideration should have a "take home" clinical message pertinent to Emergency Physicians. No abstract.

g) Letter

(maximum 400 words and 5 references—letters will only be published online)

Letters should be addressed to the Editor and will be considered for publication if they relate to topics of interest to emergency physicians in urban, rural, community, or academic settings, or if they are in response to (and relevant to) a recent CJEM publication. Letters are generally not peer reviewed but may be edited for brevity and clarity. Letters responding to a previously published CJEM article should be submitted within eight weeks of the article's publication. Authors whose work is discussed will typically be given an opportunity to respond.

3. Formatting & Manuscript Submissions

All manuscripts (including tables and figures) must be submitted electronically via Manuscript Central's ScholarOne tracking system, and should be single-spaced, using 12-point Times New Roman or Calibri typeface using MS Word. Submissions must include the following:

a) Cover Letter

All submissions should be accompanied by a brief cover letter. Within the cover letter, the corresponding author should disclose potential conflicts of interest and financial support, specify each author's contribution to the work, and indicate that all co-authors have had the opportunity to review the final manuscript and have provided their permission to publish the manuscript.

b) Title Page

The title page should include the article title, the authors' name(s) as they should appear in print, and the affiliations and degrees of all authors. The name, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address for the corresponding author should be provided. The title page must also include a word count, running header of no more than 4 words, and keywords.

Choose the article title carefully. Be creative and ensure that the title accurately reflects the content of the article.


All abbreviations must be spelled out to improve readability. Some common abbreviations will be accepted; these include:

  1. MD: medical physician
  2. RN: nurse
  3. ED: emergency department
  4. EMS: emergency medical services
  5. CPR: cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  6. CTAS: Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale
  7. CI: confidence interval
  8. SD: standard deviation
d) References

Maximum references as specified by submission type, formatted using the Vancouver style. Within the text, references should be numbered in the order they appear using superscript numbers, following the punctuation mark. References should cite surname and initials for up to six authors, followed by "et al."

e) Conflict of Interest Form

Each author of a work must complete and submit a conflict of interest form. Completed conflict of interest declarations must be uploaded at the time of manuscript submission.

f) Copyright Transfer Form

Articles accepted for publication will require a Copyright Transfer Form to be completed and returned to

g) Author Lanugage Services

CJEM publishes articles in English and will provide French abstracts.

For all articles, Cambridge recommends that authors have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission; this will ensure that submissions are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. We list a number of third-party services specializing in language editing and/or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense.

4. Review and Editorial Processes

All submissions are initially reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief or one of the Deputy Editors. Articles judged unsuitable for CJEM will be returned to the authors following this step, typically within two weeks. Those meeting screening criteria will be forwarded for blinded peer review, except for CAEP Paper, Invited Commentary, and Letters to the Editor.

To revise your manuscript, log in and enter your Author Centre, where you will find your manuscript title listed under "Manuscripts with Decisions." Under "Actions," click on "Create a Revision." Your manuscript number will be appended to denote a revision. You will be unable to make your revisions on the originally submitted version of the manuscript. Instead, revise your manuscript using a word processing program and save it on your computer. You must highlight the changes to your manuscript within the document, ideally by using the track changes mode in MS Word or by using bold or colored text. Through your Author Centre, please upload and submit both the clean and tracked changes version of your manuscript.

When submitting your revised manuscript, you will be able to respond to the comments made by the reviewer(s) in the space provided. In this space, please address each suggestion and cite where in the manuscript the change has been made. If no change was made, please explain why. To expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in your repsonse to the reviewer(s).

All revisions will be reviewed by the Decision Editor, who may consult with the original or new peer reviewers, to determine whether review comments have been addressed. The Decision Editor, along with the Editor-in-Chief or a Senior Editor, will make a final decision regarding publication. Accepted articles will be edited, and authors will have the opportunity to review and approve revisions prior to publication. Manuscripts submitted to CJEM will be treated with respect and confidentiality.

In the event you wish to appeal a decision, please provide a letter specifying why, providing support for your request. The appeal request will be reviewed by the Editorial Office and, if warranted, will be returned to the Decision Editor for consideration.

Published manuscripts become the property of CAEP and may not be published elsewhere without permission.

5. Contacting CJEM Editors

Authors with questions regarding a submission or prospective authors who wish to discuss a paper in the development stage are encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief by email at Further information can be obtained from the Editor-in-Chief or the Managing Editor at

Publishing your article as Gold Open Access

You will have the option to publish your article as Gold Open Access, enabling the final published version to be made freely available under a Creative Commons license. You might be required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) for Gold Open Access. You may be eligible for a waiver or discount, for example if your institution is part of a Read and Publish sales agreement with Cambridge University Press. For more information about your Open Access options, please see here. For more information about the benefits of choosing to publish Open Access, see here.