Editorial Policies and Complete Instructions

Ethical Considerations and Editorial Policies Complete Instructions for Authors

Ethical Considerations and Editorial Policies

Statement on ICMJE Recommendations

CJIM adheres to the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journal (Recommendations) produced by the International Committee on Medical Journal Ethics (ICMJE). The Recommendations are replicated here with revisions and additions for brevity, applicability, and clarity.

CJIM will accept manuscripts meeting ICMJE Recommendations for review. However, CJIM reserves the right to stipulate revisions for adherence to CJIM-specific policies prior to final acceptance and publication.


Authorship Determination

Authorship designation confers credit and has important academic, social, and financial implications. Authorship also implies responsibility and accountability for published work. It is the responsibility of each and every author to affirm the following is of every individual designated as an author for a given submission.

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpre- tation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for im- portant 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 investi- gated and resolved.

Those who contributed to a submission, but do not meet all of these criteria may be appropriately credited in the Acknowledgements for their specific contributions.

For additional information on the importance and determination of authorship, see the ICMJE Recommendations on Authors and Contributors.

Author Eligibility

All authors meeting criteria for Authorship Determination must be included as authors. However, given CJIM’s focus on student-authored content, the first author of each manuscript must meet the following criteria:

  • Current student in an American or Canadian graduate health professional program
  • OR, be a recent graduate of an American or Canadian graduate health professional program if a majority of the work submitted to CJIM was completed as a student in said program.

Shared First Authorship

CJIM permits the designation of multiple first authors. In such cases, the method utilized to designate the first-listed author must be clearly stated within the Author Contributions section.

Prior and Duplicate Publication

CJIM only publishes original content and maintains a no prior publication policy. Submitted manuscripts must not have been previously published or be under consideration for publishing elsewhere. If a manuscript has been previously submitted for publication elsewhere we will still consider it for publication given the previous submission has been rejected by the time of submission to CJIM.

Authors must disclose any current or planned submissions to other journals with potentially overlapping content for review. CJIM reserves the right to reject publications without sufficiently different content and data.

The following activities do not violate the no-prior-publication policy:

  • Presenting data at a scientific meeting.
  • Releasing data to government agencies as part of regulatory requirements or urgent public health needs.
  • Posting a manuscript on a non-profit preparing server for feedback from the scientific community.

Conflicts of Interest and Disclosures

CJIM is dedicated to publishing high quality and reliable articles free from external influence. We require all submissions come with disclosures of any potential conflicts of interests including relevant financial disclosures as covered in ICMJE's COI Form.

For all primary research published articles CJIM will:

  • List study sponsorship
  • Post online (on CJIM.pub) disclosure forms filed by all author

While these disclosures may or may not pertain to editorials, review articles, and other commentary pieces, we expect and require all authors to submit potential conflicts of interests and financial ties to relevant companies.

When there are disclosed financial ties and potential conflicts of interest, CJIM editors decide whether they are relevant to the subject and/or significant to the integrity of the article in question.

Editorial Processes


In the event that CJIM declines to publish an article and does not suggest resubmission, authors are advised to submit their article for publication elsewhere. If the authors wish to appeal against CJIM's decision they may do so by making the request in writing and detailing the case for publication.

In the case of an appeal CJIM is hesitant to include new referees in the review process as referees are specifically chosen due to their knowledge in the field and the addition of new referees often adds complication and only serves to lengthen the publication process. That being said if a sound argument is made to include a certain perspective or a sound complaint is made against one of the original referees the inclusion of new ones may be considered.

If CJIM's editors agree to reconsider an article, the original referees will have the chance to see and comment on the argument for publication as well as any complaints made. Please understand, though, that editors’ decisions to publish are weighted according to the expertise of the referees in consideration to their field, meaning it is highly unlikely for an article to be published due to the endorsement of one referee in isolation from the others.

Regardless of the outcome, in the event of an appeal it is likely to take some time for CJIM to respond during which the article in question must not be submitted for publication elsewhere.


Mistakes happen, and CJIM recognizes our responsibility to correct errors in previously published articles. Reasons for corrections can be, but are not limited to:

  • A small portion of an otherwise reliable article proves to be misleading
  • An error in a figure or data that does not significantly alter the conclusions
  • A mislabeled figure
  • An incorrect picture (eg. the wrong slide of microscopy)
  • An incorrect author/contributor list

Corrections are submitted through our submission system (see detailed instructions for submitting a correction and suggested templates for submission). If the error in question was introduced during the publishing process, please reach out to CJIM so we can correct them.


CJIM does not impose an embargo on any discussion of a published article between notification of acceptance and publication date.

Publication Online Ahead of Print

Like many modern journals, CJIM publishes articles online ahead of any print publishing. Special issues may be print published, but the vast majority of articles published by CJIM will be online-only.

Statement on Editor and Staff Submissions

Policy and Rationale

Individuals participating in the production of CJIM are eligible to submit articles for publication. While the scope of disciplinary content is intentionally broad, the Journal's focus on student and trainee scholarship is narrow. CJIM is produced by students and trainees possessing an interest in research. It is understandable individuals involved in the production CJIM also participate in research efforts for which CJIM is an appropriate destination.

A core tenet of CJIM is the dissemination of data generated by valid, robust methodologies. A limited number of journals focus on student research, negative and null results, limited sample sizes, and replication studies. The involvement of an individual in CJIM to support the Journal's efforts should not unduly restrict their work's eligibility for publication.

Fairness of evaluation must be maintained. Manuscripts must meet the same technical and editorial standards required of all submissions. CJIM personnel may not participate in any part of their own review, nor be given preferential treatment. As with any manuscript, double-blind peer-review will be utilized; however, given the proximity in which CJIM personnel operate, it is possible author anonymity cannot be guaranteed based on the content and style of their manuscript. Referee identity, however, must be maintained.


All manuscripts accepted for publication by CJIM personnel must address the potential conflict of interest in the Disclosures section of their manuscript. The author must state their explicit role in CJIM and verify they appropriately notified the editorial board, did not participate in the review of their manuscript, and did not seek nor receive special treatment.

Open Access, Copyright, and Permissions

All articles published by CJIM are open access, meaning everything we publish will be free for anyone to access. Content is published publicly under the terms of a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 License, meaning the authors retain copyright but the content may be used freely by anyone so long as appropriate attribution is given to the authors and CJIM is cited as the original publisher. The Creative Commons License does not apply to third-party materials displaying a copyright notice to prohibit copying and if authors wish to use these materials they must comply with the third-party copyright notices.

Compliance with NIH, RCUK, and Other Research Funding Agency Accessibility Requirements

Details of all funding sources must be clearly stated within an article, including grant numbers if applicable. Many funding bodies have accessibility requirements for articles published from research they funded. Our open access policy automatically fulfills accessibility requirements for many funding sources including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Research Councils UK (RCUK), and most other not-for-profit funding bodies.

If funding sources require publication in a specific index or repository, it is the author’s responsibility to notify CJIM. It is the responsibility of CJIM to upload the finalized manuscript to the appropriate resource.

Research Ethics

Studies Involving Human Subjects

Research involving human subjects must comply with the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki as well as relevant institutional and national guidelines. All human subject research must have been reviewed and approved by the relevant institutional ethics committee prior to the beginning of the study. Approval information must be provided alongside article submission. All articles using human subject data must contain a statement confirming:

  1. The name and affiliation of the ethics committee that approved the research.
  2. The participants provided written informed consent to participate in the research.

If the research included in the article was deemed to be exempt from ethics approval and consent procedures, the reasons for the exemption must be clearly stated in the article. CJIM may request further information regarding ethics board approval, exemption of approval, and/or exemption of consent procedures.

Studies Involving Animal Subjects

CJIM follows the International Association of Veterinary Editors guidelines for publication of research and data including animal subjects. All research involving regulated animals must have been reviewed and approved by the relevant institutional ethics committee prior to the beginning of the study. This approval must be provided alongside article submission and the article must include a statement similar to that of the human subject ethics statement, stating the name and affiliation of the ethics committee that approved the research.

If the article includes research involving client-owned animals the authors must adhere to best veterinary care and confirm that written informed consent has been granted by the owner(s) or legal representative. Authors must also state if the research was deemed exempt from ethical approval and include the reasons for such exemption. CJIM may request further information regarding ethics board approval, exemption of approval, and/or exemption of consent procedures.

inclusion of Identifiable Human Data

CJIM follows the ICMJE Recommendations on the protection of research participants, stating patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. We require nonessential identifiable data to be omitted from all submissions, and in the case where identifiable data is essential to the submission informed consent must be obtained for publication.

Documentation of written informed consent comes in many forms and most institutions will have consent form templates available for researchers. It is the responsibility of researchers and authors to ensure their work is done ethically. This includes gathering informed written consent.

Consent forms should not be included in the initial submission, but should be made available upon request from the editorial team.

Determination of what constitutes identifiable data lies with our editorial team, and submissions may be rejected if required consent documents cannot be provided.

Complete Instructions for Authors

Components Required of All Manuscripts


Titles must clearly convey the purpose of the manuscript in no more than 20 words.

Author Information

Authors must be listed in an order decided and agreed upon by all authors of the manuscript. Names must be formatted as [First Name 1] [Middle Initial 1 (if applicable)]. [Last Name 1], [Degree(s)1],... and [First Name X] [Middle Initial X (if applicable)]. [Last Name X], [Degree(s) X]. A Bachelor’s degree may be included only if it is an author’s highest degree at time of submission.

Corresponding author's full name, phone number, and e-mail address.

Sentence-style bios for each author including: year of study, position(s) or title(s), and institutional affiliation(s). Students authors may state year of study using standardized abbreviations (i.e. MS3, PY2, etc.). Authors may optionally include ORCID IDs, formatted as a hyperlink. For example, “A.B. Cannon is an MS4, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC; ORCID: https://orcid.org/XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX."

See Authorship for information regarding authorship eligibility and determination.

Statement of Significance

The Statement of Significance should be written at an undergraduate level primarily using non-technical language. It is not a summarization of the abstract written in plain language, rather it should serve to briefly qualify and contextualize the value of a manuscript to its field and society. It should include:

  1. The purpose of the study, AND
  2. The key findings of the study and why they are important; AND
  3. An interpretation of the study's limitations and future directions of investigation.

Limitations Statement

Limitations are inherent to all methodologies and are important considerations for the interpretation of research. A Limitations Statement must explicitly acknowledge key limitations of the methodology and how these limitations impact the interpretation and generalizability of the findings. Inclusion of information in the Limitations Statement does not preclude appropriate discussion in other sections; rather, the Limitations Statement should provide a succinct and readily reviewed summary of a study’s methodological restraints. Authors may choose to include reasons for limitations including practical constraints of time, data availability, data quality, and/or financial resources.

Structured Disclosure Statement

A Structured Disclosure Statement is required for all manuscripts. This must include, in order:

  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Funding/Support
  3. Conflicts of Interest
  4. Ethical Approval
  5. Disclaimers
  6. Previous Presentations

Responses of “Not applicable” or “None” are acceptable for any category, but no category may be left blank. Completion of the ICMJE COI Disclosure Form does not substitute inclusion of Conflicts of Interest in the Disclosure Statement, nor does inclusion of information in the COI Disclosure Form satisfy the requirement of submitting a COI Disclosure form. See Conflicts of Interest and Disclosures for more information.


References should adhere to the current AMA Manual of Style.

Submission Types

Original Research Article

An original research article reports the scientific results of novel clinical or basic science research on any topic relevant to the medical science and healthcare community. Generally, original research articles will not exceed 3,000 words and may include up to 5 figures. (Text from title page, abstract, figures, and references will not be included in the maximum word limit). Abstracts may not exceed 400 words. References should be limited to a maximum of 40. The final length and format will be determined by the editorial team during the review process or when the accepted manuscript is edited.

For convenience, please feel free to utilize the Original Research Article Template.

General Criteria

  • Study has appropriate generalizability and findings add value to the existing literature in the larger medical science and healthcare community.
  • There are no apparent conflicts of interest.
  • Conclusions in the abstract are justified by the text.
  • Article is well written for ease of comprehension with use of minimal jargon.


  • The introduction serves to provide adequate context and justification for the study through critical appraisal of the existing literature.
  • The research question is clearly presented and relevance to the field is articulated.
  • References to prior scholarly works and/or investigative studies are provided to substantiate claims and cited appropriately.


  • Methods are described to a sufficient detail that the study may be replicated.
  • Location, date, and duration of the study are identified.
  • All authors and investigators are identified.
  • The investigation has an appropriate design and addresses internal and external validity.
  • There is explicit statement of approval by an institutional review board (IRB) for any study directly involving human subjects or data about them.
  • Optimal statistical analysis is implemented and sufficient detail of the analysis is provided.


  • The results are presented in an organized fashion and are complete to sufficiently substantiate the authors’ claims.
  • Results visually presented within tables or figures agree with what is described within the text.
  • Data should be presented clearly and objectively without speculative interpretation which is better suited for the discussion section.

Discussion and Conclusions

  • Key insights from the study are clearly articulated.
  • Interpretation of the data is appropriately justified and not misleading.
  • Limitations of the study and alternative interpretations are discussed.
  • Statistical vs. clinical significance is discussed where appropriate.
  • Guidance for future investigations is included.

Brief Communication on Original Research

A brief communication of original research is meant to provide investigators the ability to report results from small scale studies or preliminary research that may be useful to the field and encourage further, more robust investigation. CJIM encourages the publication of null results which add value to our existing scientific body of knowledge. The structure and criteria for a brief report is similar to that of an original research article but with a shorter maximum word limit of 1500 words and limitation to 3 figures. Abstracts should be limited to 250 words. References may not exceed a maximum of 10. The final length and format will be determined by the editorial team during the review process or when the accepted manuscript is edited.

For convenience, please feel free to utilize the Brief Communications Template.

Case Report

Case reports may be submitted to CJIM. Case reports call attention to novel disease presentations or evaluate therapeutic effects, adverse events, and costs of interventions in order to advance real world problem solving in medical education. The CARE guidelines should be utilized for structuring case reports submitted to CJIM. Sections should include a title, abstract, introduction, clinical findings, diagnostic evaluation, therapeutic intervention, and discussion. Maximum word limit for a case report should not exceed 2500 words. (Text from title page, abstract, figures, and references will not be included in the maximum word limit). Abstracts may not exceed 350 words. References should be limited to a maximum of 20. The editorial team reserves the right to finalize the manuscript length and format during the review process.

For convenience, please feel free to utilize the Case Report Template.

Innovation Reports

Innovation reports showcase novel approaches that address challenges facing healthcare or provide a framework that improves how care is delivered. Quality Improvement projects conducted by students, for example, may be published as an innovation report. An innovation report should not exceed 2500 words with a maximum of 3 figures. (Text from title page, abstract, figures, and references will not be included in the maximum word limit). Abstracts may not exceed 350 words. References should be limited to a maximum of 20. The final length and format will be determined by the editorial team during the review process or when the accepted manuscript is edited.

For convenience, please feel free to utilize the Innovation Report Template.

Literature Review

Literature Reviews should contain a brief, 200-word introduction to communicate the current state of the field and summary of what the reviewed article contributes to the field. They should not review work done by the author. Reviews should be no more than 4,000 words, contain no more than 100 references, and have no more than 5 figures. The author must obtain permission to use any figures published elsewhere.

For convenience, please feel free to utilize the Literature Review Template.


Methods papers provide a platform to share innovative research techniques with the broader scientific community independent of comprehensive original research articles. They can enrich the body of scientific knowledge and provide guidance to other scientists conducting similar research. Method papers should begin with a brief, 200-word statement about why this novel approach is needed and any benefits of using such an approach. They should not exceed 2,000 words overall or 30 references. Methods should be described to a sufficient detail that they may be replicated.

For convenience, please feel free to utilize the Methods Template.


CJIM values the student perspective on issues relevant to medical science, healthcare and social policy, health science education, and related topics that impact our learning community or the patients we serve.


Perspective pieces generally serve to express the author’s opinion on current events in the medical community or in response to new research findings, guidelines or policies, in an effort to generate discussion around the topic of interest. Perspective pieces should not exceed 400 words in length. References are optional.

Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor pertain to events and/or policies in the scientific, medical, political, or societal realms and will detail the impact they may have on medical trainees, patients, the healthcare system, or society at large. They will often go beyond a description of a situation and will analyze potential ramifications as well as offering specific solutions to an issue or advocating for change. Letters to the Editor should not exceed 500 words in length. References are optional.

Humanities and Ethics

CJIM recognizes the need for robust works in the fields of ethics, creative/narrative writing, poetry, art, and music in creating a vibrant society. The Humanities and Ethics section will highlight creative works from medical trainees. Submissions may be directly related to the health sciences and biomedical field, or may serve to express a trainee’s own experiences as a student. Submissions from the Social and Health Systems course are strongly encouraged. Given the diverse nature of submissions in this section, there are no limits on length.

Submitting a Manuscript

To ensure the review process for your submission is as streamlined as possible we suggest all authors review our submission checklist and instructions for preparing a manuscript to ensure you have all necessary components in the appropriate format. Authors must register prior to submission in order to access our online portal. Authors who already hold an account with CJIM must simply login and select ‘New Submission’ to begin the 5 Step process.

How Manuscripts are Processed

Submissions to CJIM undergo a review process similar to all reputable academic journals. All submissions are subject to peer review by individuals learned in the relevant subject matter of the submission. Once reviewers have submitted their comments and suggestions to accept or reject the editorial team will synthesize these into a final decision regarding necessary revisions, acceptance, or rejection. This entire process is discussed in more detail in the following sections.

Initial Processing

This is the very first step every submission will take. All of the information given through our submission portal is compiled and sent to the relevant section editors to undergo an initial review before they are sent off to peer review.

Initial Review

All submissions undergo a brief initial review by section editors to ensure they are appropriate for further consideration. The vast majority of submissions will clear this point of review, but some submissions are clearly inappropriate and won’t make it beyond this stage.

Peer Review

CJIM uses double-blind peer review model wherein neither reviewers nor authors are aware of each other's name during the review process. Reviewers are chosen by the section editors based on their experience and field of study in relation to the submission with the goal of giving each submission a robust and holistic review. Each peer review is overseen by an advisor chosen based on their experience in the field of study. If an advisor with appropriate expertise cannot be identified, CJIM will notify the corresponding author and not proceed with review of the submission.

Publication Decisions

Once the referees have returned their comments and requested revisions to CJIM the section editors will make the decisions to:

  • Request Revisions
  • Accept the submission for publication
  • Reject the submission for publication

Please note that in the case where revisions are requested there may be multiple rounds of review in order to hone the submission into a final draft that may be accepted for publication.

Rejected Manuscripts

If a submission is rejected for publication, editors will most likely suggest the authors seek publication with a different journal or make major revisions to their work. Authors may appeal the rejection by sending their argument for publication in writing to CJIM. Further information on the appeals process can be found here.


Once a submission is accepted for publication our editorial team will create copyedits. Copyedits are simply the content of the submission formatted to CJIM's style and are given to authors to review and approve in the form of proofs.


Proofs are versions of the article that represent how the piece will be published. Every author will have the opportunity to look over the proofs and approve them before publication, ensuring they are happy with the final product.


With most traditional journals reprints are hard or digital copies of an article that can be ordered by the authors. CJIM is an online, open-access journal, so reprints are not necessary for our articles. That being said, we are happy to try and accommodate special requests for hard or digital copies of publications.


CJIM does not advertise on it's website, nor does it allow advertisement in any submission.