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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 submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references and the date accessed have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  • Yes, I agree to have my data collected and stored according to the privacy statement.

Author Guidelines

Please read the About the Journal section before offering submissions to ensure this Journal is appropriate for your work. Understanding the bibliographic and formatting standards used for items submitted to JCanPA is essential.

Common Questions for Submissions

  • What is the font size and type preferred? Time Roman 12 font.
  • Original research articles range from 2500 to 5000 words, and Review pieces have a limit of 3000 words. 
  • Is an abstract required? Yes -- Enter author and submission information in the METADATA section. Use the (?) for explanations.
  • Original research is classified as primary literature. The acceptable format must include a brief Abstract (250 words) followed by the Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion sections. To be accepted, research requires an ethics review or declaration. The Declaration of Helsinki (DoH) is a set of ethical principles regarding human experimentation developed by the World Medical Association for the medical community. Posters and their abstracts will be considered for publication.

First-Time Authors: It is a daunting task preparing your first article for publication.  May we suggest the following series on Preparing a Manuscript for International Journals, where a seasoned editor Angel Borja, Ph.D. provides suggestions and advice to assist you:

Author(s) are encouraged to recommend reviewers.

Authors must ensure reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research or academic misconduct has occurred. Suppose a journal's publisher or editors know of any research misconduct relating to a published article. In that case, the editor will follow COPE's guidelines in dealing with allegations.

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. A sequentially numbered reference list at the end of the document provides full details of the corresponding in-text reference.

Original Research

Original research is classified as primary literature. The acceptable format must include a brief Abstract (250 words) followed by the 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 range from 2500 to 5000 words. Poster abstracts will be considered for publication and the poster in the Poster section. It is recommended to inquire of the Editor if the subject is suitable for the Journal of Canada's Physician Assistants.

Clinical Case Studies

Clinical Case Study: Clinical case studies present the details of patient encounters. The cases contribute significantly to existing knowledge 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 that highlights and emphasizes 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 referenced using the Vancouver Style of notation. Photographs identifying patients will not be published.

Perspective, opinion, and commentary:

Perspective, opinion, and commentary are scholarly reviews of fundamental concepts or prevalent ideas in a field of study. 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 weaknesses 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 explaining why it interested the author. These pieces present an alternative perspective, and how second thought might be illuminating for readers.

Creative Work

Creative Work: JCANPA will accept creative writing submissions including writing that falls outside professional, academic or technical forms of literature. These pieces emphasis the narrative craft and reflection through the use of literary tropes or various poetry. A creative essay is a short text written from the point-of-view of the author with attention to its aesthetic qualities and presentation.  ( 

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

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) (

Letters to the Editor

A letter to the editor provides a means of communication between the Editor, submission authors, and other readers. Letters 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 editors 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

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


JCANPA will be happy to display your academic work.  PDF version of Posters accepted for display at a conference, i.e CAPA, PAEA, or University. Please supply abstract which includes where the poster has been exhibited.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.