Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

The Journal of Canada's Physician Assistants (JCanPA) is a bi-annual, peer-reviewed publication offering a forum for the work of Canada's Physician Assistants (PA), PA-Students, and our community.  Accepted articles will include original research, clinical cases, reviews, creative works, and perspectives highlighting PA practice in Canada. JCanPA supports PA advocacy, research, and knowledge translation through an open-access forum.   This journal is hosted by the University of Manitoba.

The Editorial Board reflect the aims and scope of the journal.  The Editorial Board participates in the journal activities, including peer review, and soliciting manuscripts.  The members of the board represent the range of topics published in the journal and are subject matter experts called upon as needed.  The editorial board is national in scope and attempts to ensure diversity and representation.  If you are interested in serving on the editorial board, please submit a letter of interests and your curriculum vitae to the Editor care of JCanPA@umanitoba.ca   


Section Policies

About the Journal of Canada's Physician Assistants

The Journal of Canada's Physician Assistants: JCanPA is a twice a year, peer-reviewed publication that offers original research, continuing education, clinical articles and editorials highlighting PA practice in Canada. JCanPA supports PA advocacy and knowledge translation through an open-access forum.  

 The Journal of Canada’s Physician Assistants prescribes to the principals of transparency, and the best practice in scholarly publishing identified (https://doaj.org/bestpractice) in the Directory of Open Access Journals. 

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Original Research

Original research:  Original research is classified as primary literature.  The acceptable format must include a brief Abstract (250 words) followed by Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion sections.  To be accepted research requires ethics review or declaration (The Declaration of Helsinki (DoH) is a set of ethical principles regarding human experimentation developed for the medical community by the World Medical Association).   Original Research includes hypothesis, background study, methods, results, interpretation of findings, and a discussion of possible implications. Original research articles are range from 2500 to 5000 words. Poster abstracts will be considered for publication.  It is recommended to inquire of the Editor if the subject is suitable for the Journal of Canada’s Physician Assistants.

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Review Article

Review article: Providing an overview of existing literature in a field.  Review Article often identifies specific problems or issues of interest to readers.  The author analyses information from available published work on the topic with a balanced perspective.  Review Articles are secondary literature and are encouraged as an efficient way for early researchers to begin publishing.  Review articles are of three types: literature reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses.  Review articles have the maximum limit of 3000-5000 words.

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Clinical Case Studies

Clinical Case Study: Clinical case studies present the details of real patient encounter and an episode from medical or clinical practice. The cases contribute significantly to the existing knowledge on the field from a Physician Assistant's perspective.   The author focuses on a topic that is reality-based, relevant and reflects evidence of best practices in medicine.

Accepted topics deal with a scenario from past medical experience or one that highlights and emphasises the scope of current clinical practice.  Each case study requires at least three objectives or desired outcomes learnt from the case study. (2000-3000 words)

Case studies have an introduction to the scenario, the course of care, treatments of choice, and evaluation of outcomes.   Additional material, such as graphs, copies of questionnaires etc., should be included only if appropriate and need references using the Vancouver Style of notation.  Photographs identifying patients will not be published.

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Perspective, opinion, and commentary:

Perspective, opinion, and commentary: Scholarly reviews of fundamental concepts or prevalent ideas in a field are perspective pieces.  Perspective pieces are essays presenting a personal point of view critiquing concepts or practices about Canadian PA practice. A perspective piece is considered as secondary literature and is usually short, around 2000 words. 

The viewpoint expressed in the interpretation, analysis, or methods used in a particular study is an opinion article.  Comments on the strength and weakness of a theory or hypothesis presented by another author must be constructive criticism and use evidence to support the argument for publication.  

Commentaries present a scholarly criticism of actions taken by professional or education bodies, a previously published article, book, or report.  Commentaries are opinion pieces explaining why it interested the author, presents an alternative perspective, and how second thought might be illuminating for readers.

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Creative Work

Creative Work:  JCanPA will accept creative writing submissions.  Submissions will include any writing that falls outside professional, academic, or technical forms of literature with an emphasis on narrative craft, the use of literary tropes, or various poetry.  A creative essay is any short, non-fiction text written from the point-of-view of the author with attention to its aesthetic qualities and presentation.  (http://www.vvc.edu/offices/writing_center/resources/Creative-Writing-and-Tips/How%20to%20Write%20a%20Creative%20Essay.pdf

Length determined by the Editorial Board and may be published in serial.

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Lay Sumary

Lay Summary: Lay summaries provide a synopsis of a study emphasizing the broad significance of research to the reader in accessible language.  JCanPA is interested in the knowledge translation required in the understanding of the complex subject and providing clinical applications suitable for Physician Assistant practice.   Lay Summaries require dissemination of research and scientific material, objectives, and findings and increasing their adoption by providing accessible language for a general audience. (1,000 to 2,000 words) (http://www.pnas.org/content/112/12/3585.full).

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Letters to the Editor

A letter to the editor provides a means of communication between the Editor, submission authors, and other readers.   A letter may provide new insight, make corrections, offer alternate theories, or request clarification about content printed in the journal. By providing additional information, the evidence may be strengthened. The editor will consider brief letters under 500 words.

A guide to assist in your letters is Brown CJ. Unvarnished viewpoints and scientific scrutiny. Can Med Assoc J. 1997;157:792–794

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PA-Student Submission

Articles, Papers, Thesis, and other submissions in this section are the works of Physician Assistant Students.  All submissions require approval by the PA-S respective Program or Medical Directors.  Students from any International PA programs are welcome to submit.

There is no formal word limit.  All published articles are subject to review and editing by JCanPA editorial staff.

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Peer Review Process

The Editor determines whether submissions fit within the aims and scope of the journal and evaluates manuscript submissions.  If the manuscript is not a good fit, the editor will notify the author of their reasoning. 

The Managing Editor provides a coordinating role supporting reviewers and resources.  The Managing Editor is responsible to the Editorial Board and is a senior member of the Journals’ management team and oversees all aspects of the publication.  The Journal will designate editors for each category of submission. 

It is the Policy of JCanPA that a minimum of two peer reviews of publications and submitted articles will occur before publication.   Peer review means that a scholarly critic of submitted material occurs before acceptance for publication.  JCanPA's Peer Review uses a double-blind approach with names hidden from both reviewers and the authors.  The selected reviewers will have experience in the assigned subject area of the journal.  A review of submitted materials confirms the presented quality of research and adherence to editorial standards.  

To be a reviewer, Register and indicate interest in the appropriate box.

Further information on review process is found at https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/how-to-review-articles



Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.



This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...



Referencing Style accepted:  The Journal of Canada’s Physician Assistants uses the Vancouver Style for citations and references.  Vancouver Style follows the rules established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.  It is also known as Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals.  The numbering system and citations are a numbered referencing style used in medicine and science,  consisting of citations for other’s work in the text indicated by the use of a number.  Essentially a sequentially numbered reference list at the end of the document providing full details of the corresponding in-text reference.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK7256/