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Instructions for contributors

Journal Overview

The Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes articles of interest to Emergency Medicine care providers in rural, urban, community, and academic settings. CJEM focuses on emergency medicine content relevant to clinical practice, emergency medical services, research, medical education, administration, and continuing professional development and knowledge exchange. CJEM is indexed by the National Library of Medicine and is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP).

Scope and Content

We welcome submissions in the following categories: Original Research, State of the Art (Systematic Reviews), Brief Educational Reports, Case Reports, Knowledge Applied to Practice, International Emergency Medicine, Editorials, Clinical Practice Guidelines, and Resident Issues.

Ethical Standards

Where research involves human and/or animal experimentation, the following statements should be included (as applicable): "The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional committees on human experimentation and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008." and "The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional guides on the care and use of laboratory animals." In accordance with Uniform Requirements, 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.

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 (2nd 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.

Why might we publish your manuscript?

  • 1. It provides unique information, either answering a previously unanswered question, providing a   new perspective, or clarifying previously ambiguous evidence, especially if it is a common or     important issue facing emergency medicine.
  • 2. It will help to frame policy and practice in fields relating to emergency medicine.
  • 3. It will stimulate new questions or further research.
  • 4. The methods used are appropriate, and were applied correctly.
  • 5. The data reported supports the conclusions presented.
  • 6. The work is appropriately referenced and results add to the current literature.
  • 7. It is well written with a narrative that is consistent, as well as easy and enjoyable to read.


Manuscripts should be submitted as double-spaced documents using 12 point Times New Roman typeface.

All manuscripts must include the following:

Title page: All manuscripts must include a 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 and running header of no more than 150 characters. Choose the article title carefully. Be creative, and ensure that the title accurately reflects the content of the article.

Abstract: Structured abstracts (Objectives, Methods, Results, Conclusions) of up to 250 words are required for Original Research articles. Structured abstracts of up to 250 words are also required for State of the Art systematic reviews (Objectives, Data Source, Study Selection, Data Extraction, Data Synthesis, Conclusions). Case Reports should include an unstructured abstract of up to 200 words that summarizes the main points of the case. Abstracts are not required for other submissions including Editorials/Commentaries, Knowledge Applied to Practice, Resident Issues, or Humanity articles.

  • Introduction: This section should succinctly discuss study background, importance and the a priori study question, objectives or hypothesis.
  • Methods: This section should include a description of the overall study design as planned, the study setting, time period, population studied (with eligibility criteria and unit of analysis if different from individual patients), a description of the intervention, the primary and secondary outcome measures, and the statistical analysis employed. For investigations involving human subjects, the nature and timing of the consent that was obtained must be specified. There should be sufficient detail to allow a knowledgeable reader to replicate the study, at least in theory. Authors must explicitly name the ethics committee or investigational review board which approved the research.
  • Results: In this section, authors should present primary and secondary results, without undue repetition of data reported in tables and figures. Any substantial deviations from the study as planned usually appear in this section. Measurements and rates should be reported using the appropriate number of significant digits, based on the precision of the measure (e.g. "After providing informed consent, 11 (13%) of 82 subjects withdrew from the study before being administered the intervention." rather than "(13.4%)"). All results should be reported using SI units, including molar rather than mass-based units for concentration in most cases.
  • Discussion: Here, authors highlight the important study findings and their implications especially in the context of previous work, but without exhaustively summarizing the prior literature. In addition, the Discussion should identify limitations of the research and how any biases may affect the interpretation of the findings.
  • Conclusions: These should be stated in one paragraph and must be supported by the study findings. Avoid extending your conclusion beyond what your data show.

References: References should be formatted using the Vancouver style. Within the text, references should be numbered in the order they appear using standard text and angular brackets (e.g., <1>) rather than using superscript numbers. Do not leave any special word-processing software formatting commands for sections or references embedded in the documents being submitted. References should cite surname and initials for up to six authors. Seventh and subsequent authors should be cited as "et al." Use official abbreviations for titles of journals (if available). Examples of layout include:

      Journal article

      Surname Initial(s). Title of article. Journal title/or title abbreviation. Year;volume(issue):page(s). DOI - if available

      Conference paper

      Surname author Initial(s). Paper title. In: Surname editor Initial(s), editor(s). Conference title. Place of publication: Publisher; Year. page(s).


      Surname Initial(s). Book title. Edition - if available. Place of publication: Publisher; Year.

      Anthology (book with several authors)

      Surname author Initial(s). Chapter title. In: Surname editor Initial(s), editor(s). Book title. Place of publication: Publisher; Year. page(s).

Figure and Table Legends: Most papers will benefit from at least one and not more than five tables or figures. List the figure and table legends, numbered in the order they are cited in the text.  


Tables must be prepared in MS Word or equivalent using the Table feature, and be part of the main manuscript document. Tables cannot be used if they are in PowerPoint or Excel, or if they are supplied as images. 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. Non-standard abbreviations and units of measure should appear in the table or legend.


Each individual figure should be uploaded as a separate digital file and should not be imbedded in the main manuscript (see below for further advice).

Acknowledgements: You may acknowledge individuals or organizations that provided advice, support (non-financial). Formal financial support and funding should be listed in the following section.

Financial support: Please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers. For example, "This work was supported by the Medical research Council (grant number XXXXXXX)". Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma and space, and where research was funded by more than one agency the different agencies should be separated by a semi-colon, with 'and' before the final funder. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors' initials. For example, "This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (A.B., grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (C.D., grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (E.F., grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (A.B., grant number GGGG), (E.F., grant number HHHH)". Where no specific funding has been provided for research, please 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.

Author Language Services

As a service to our authors, CJEM publishes articles in English or French; however, French language articles will be considered only if the bulk of the work was performed in Canada and the primary author is Canadian. Such submissions will be reviewed, edited, and published in French with an English abstract. Translation to French is provided for most editorials, abstracts of Original Research, issues of national significance, and CAEP position statements or guidelines.

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.

Manuscript Submission

All manuscripts (including tables and figures) must be submitted electronically via Manuscript Central's ScholarOne tracking system.

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.


Each individual figure should be uploaded as a separate digital file. Figures must be clearly numbered in order of callout, and file names must match the figure numbers in the text. Photographs should be saved as TIF files, 300 dpi, and five inches in width. All figures will be published in colour unless submitted in black and white. Black and white photographs should be saved in greyscale and colour photographs should be saved in CMYK. Line drawings should be saved as TIF, JPG, or EPS files, 600 dpi, and five inches in width. Black and white line drawings should be saved in greyscale and colour line drawings should be saved in CMYK.

Avoid unnecessary embellishments (e.g. 3-D bars for data with only two dimensions, internal gridlines, pie charts), but consider using the potential richness of a visual representation of the data to its fullest (e.g. scattergrams or boxplots rather than simple histograms, survival curves for time-to-event data). Flow charts must not exceed seven inches in width. A legend must be supplied for each figure including a descriptive title and sufficient information to render the figure to be self-explanatory.

The figure legend(s) should appear in the main manuscript document, on a separate page after the Tables and in order of callout. If figures, tables, illustrations, or other material have been taken or adapted from a previous publication, the authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce these items and providing said written permission to CJEM at the time of submission. If patients could possibly be identified by photographs or descriptions within the manuscript, authors are responsible for obtaining written consent from the patients to publish their photographs or descriptions.

Further questions or comments regarding manuscript submission can be sent to

Conflict of Interest Form

Each author of a work must complete and submit a conflict of interest form. If the corresponding author declares on behalf of all the other authors that no conflicts exist, then a single form to that effect from the corresponding author will suffice. Completed conflict of interest declarations must be uploaded at the time of manuscript submission.

Reporting guidelines

Authors are encouraged to submit articles in many areas of research. Common methodological guidelines for reporting different types of studies have been summarized here. Authors should generally follow, and report their use of these guidelines for a given study design, in an effort to improve the overall quality of the medical literature. Please be advised that this list should not be considered comprehensive for all possible study designs.

Manuscript Categories

Original Research

(2000–3000 words excluding abstract, tables, figures, and references)

These articles present primary data arising from original research. Effective September 2007, all clinical trial reports submitted to CJEM must be registered with an accepted clinical trials registry, such as the US National Institutes of Health or the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and the registration number should be included in the manuscript. Researchers initiating studies should register as soon as Ethics Board approval has been obtained. Although CJEM encourages researchers to use as their registry site, any recognized international registry will be accepted. Discussion about the role of trials registries can be found in an editorial by Laine et al. [Laine C, De Angelis C, Delamothe T, et al. Clinical trial registration: looking back and moving ahead. Annals of internal medicine. 2007; 147: 275-7.]

Authors of randomized clinical trials should conform to and report their use of the criteria specified in the CONSORT statement. Cardiac arrest studies should follow the Utstein criteria when appropriate. All papers should include a CONSORT flow diagram.

Authors reporting the performance of a diagnostic test should follow and report their use of the STARD initiative.

Authors of observational studies should conform to and report their use of the criteria specified in the STROBE statements

Retrospective medical record reviews should, where appropriate, incorporate and report the design elements discussed by Gilbert et al. CJEM has established minimal criteria for publication of medical record reviews based on these criteria that include answering: Were the abstractors trained before the data collection? Were the inclusion and exclusion criteria for case selection defined? Were the variables defined? Did the abstractors use data abstraction forms?
 Were meetings held to resolve disputes and review coding rules? Was the abstractors’ performance monitored?
 Were the abstractors aware of the hypothesis/study objectives? And was the interobserver reliability tested or measured?

State of the Art (Systematic Reviews)

(3000–4000 words excluding abstract, tables, figures, and references)

This section is devoted to quantitative or qualitative systematic reviews of the scientific literature. Narrative or non-systematic reviews will not be considered for publication. All articles or data sources should be selected systematically for inclusion and critically evaluated, and the selection process should be described in the paper. Authors of systematic reviews should refer to the PRISMA statement whether or not they incorporate a meta-analysis in the review. Authors of systematic reviews are encouraged to follow the 27-item PRISMA, and to provide a flow diagram describing the selection of studies.

Brief Educational Reports

(1000 words or less with one figure or table and no more than 10 references)

For this section, CJEM will consider original scholarly submissions that are not original research but do discuss educational advances in emergency medicine. Authors should define how the submission is innovative, builds on existing literature and adds to the scholarship of education. Submissions should be structured as follows: 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 on-line publication. An unstructured abstract of less than 200 words is also required.

Case Reports

(1000–2000 words excluding abstract, tables, figures, and references)

Case Reports will only be considered if they identify a previously undescribed finding or phenomenon and/or describe a therapy that could lead to future research or a change in practice. All cases for consideration should have a "take home" clinical message pertinent to Emergency Physicians.

Knowledge Applied to Practice

CJEM Journal Club: (600-1200 words excluding tables, figures, and references) "CJEM Journal Club" is devoted to evidence-based article reviews. The aims of this section are to demonstrate the use of the critical review format, to review articles of interest to emergency physicians, and to determine the relative validity and usefulness of these articles. To assist readers in keeping abreast of the relevant EM literature, timely reviews of important articles/topics will be a factor in the decision to accept. Review articles must address three key questions:

  •               What are the results?
  •               Are the results valid?
  •               Will the results help me care for my patients?

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.

Diagnostic Challenge: (500–1000 words excluding tables, figures, and references) Authors may submit brief case summaries accompanied by one or two images that will stimulate diagnostic deliberation by the reader and form a foundation for discussion. Diagnosis and explanation should be distinct from the case presentation.

Tips from the Trenches: (1000–1500 words excluding tables, figures, and references) The purpose of this section is to publish very brief reports of clinical techniques or "pearls."

Images: (250 words or less excluding references) This section should include interesting, high-quality clinical images with accompanying text that briefly reviews the important features of the related case.

International EM

(1000–1500 words excluding tables, figures, and references)

This is a forum for descriptive articles on emergency medicine experiences in countries other than Canada. Articles should contain elements of human interest or of disease or practice patterns that are unique or unusual and of interest to Canadian emergency physicians. Accompanying visual images are strongly encouraged.


(1000–1500 words excluding references)

Although normally by invitation, authors may submit a focused discussion commenting on major current problems of emergency physicians or on controversial matters with significant implications for emergency medicine. Commentaries may also be sought to accompany an original research article in a given issue, generally by invitation of the editors.

Clinical Practice Guidelines

Authors planning to submit clinical practice guidelines should communicate directly with the Editor-in-Chief, and will be expected to follow CJEM's clinical practice guidelines. In order to be considered for publication, guidelines should be endorsed by a national organization and may be abridged or edited due to space constraints.

Resident Issues

(750–1000 words excluding references)


(1000 words or less excluding 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.


(Letters will be limited to 400 words and five references)

Letters should be addressed to the Editor, and should be submitted electronically via Manuscript Central's Scholar One tracking system. Letters 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.

Review and Editorial Processes

All submissions are initially reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief or one of the Senior Associate 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, with the exception of Letters to the Editor and Images.

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. Please also 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. Once the revised manuscript is prepared, you can upload it and submit it through your Author Centre.

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 of the suggestions and cite where in the manuscript the change has been made. If no change was made, please explain why. In order to expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in your response 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 Associate 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.

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

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 or the appropriate Section Editor by e-mail at Further information can be obtained from the Editor-in-Chief or the Managing Editor at

Additional Resources

Authors are encouraged to submit articles in many areas of research. Common methodological guidelines for reporting different types of studies have been summarized below. Authors should generally follow these reporting guidelines for a given study design, in an effort to improve the overall quality of the medical literature. Please be advised that this list should not be considered comprehensive for all possible study designs.

Further information can be obtained from the Editor-in-Chief or the Managing Editor at

Randomized Controlled Trial - Superiority design CONSORT Statement
Randomized Controlled Trial - Non-Inferiority/Equivalence designModified CONSORT Statement
Systematic Review PRISMA Statement
Diagnostic Test Performance StudySTARD Statement
Systematic Review of Diagnostic TestsQUADAS Statement
Meta-analysis of Observational StudiesMOOSE Statement
Economic Evaluations CHEC Criteria
Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine
  • ISSN: 1481-8035 (Online)
  • Frequency: 6 issues per year
CJEM is Canada’s only academic journal in emergency medicine and the official publication of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians. 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. Original research, review articles, updates, editorials, case reports and diagnostic challenges, plus position statements from the national association are widely read.