Medicine: Postgraduate Medical Education

Choosing a journal

When considering a publication venue, there are a few factors that you may want to consider: 

Peer Review
Check the journal's website to verify its peer review policy. Is it open? Blind or double-blind? Does it guarantee a timely review?

Frequency: How many numbers are issued every year?
Speed: What would be an acceptable turnaround time in your discipline? Does it offer an online first or online advance posting of your article after peer review and before formal publication?

Topic relevance and writing style
Does your article fit in with the journal's aim and scope? Sample previous issues to get an idea of the type of articles that are published.
Does the journal mainly publish applied, clinical or basic research? If yours is a review article, does it publish these?
Do the titles appear in the results of a literature review on your topic?

Indexing and abstracting
Is the journal indexed in major databases in your field (Scopus, Ebsco, etc.)? This will have an impact on your article's discoverability. Search Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory to see where the journals you are considering are indexed.

Impact factors and journal rankings
See the University of Ottawa's Scholarly Communications website to see our section on measuring research impact.

Do the terms of the publisher's copyright or licensing agreements allow you to use your work in the ways you would like to? See our section on negotiating copyright for more information.

Is the journal widely available? Consider the subscription cost of the journal (sometimes listed in Ulrich'sWeb or on the publisher's website).
Who would be able to afford access? Is it Open Access?


You can find more information on choosing a journal at the University of Ottawa's Scholarly Communication website - Choosing a journal

Keeping your copyright

As a condition of publication, many publishers require you to sign over your copyright. This can create significant barriers if you want to reuse your work, or allow others to use it.

Negotiate changes to these standard agreements if you want the right to:

  • Widely disseminate your published work by posting it on your website
  • Reuse or allow others to reuse parts of your published work in other formats
  • Make your work available to those who lack access to the journal in which it appears
  • Prohibit or allow commercial use of your work
  • Preserve your published work in a digital repository
  • Use your published work in public lectures and at conferences
  • Allow others to reuse and modify your work

Alternatives to standard agreements:

  • Use an author addendum.
  • Publish in Open Access.
  • Use a Creative Commons license.

A short guide on how to navigate copyright by the University of Ottawa Library.

SPARC Canadian Author’s Addendum [PDF] »
Learn how the law allows you to transfer copyright while retaining rights for yourself and others.


You can find more information on choosing a journal at the University of Ottawa's Scholarly Communication website - Keep your copyright.

Author rights for copyright

Practicing Open Access

There are two ways to make articles available in open access, commonly referred to as Green and Gold open access.

diagram showing the green and gold routes for open access, the context for which is provided on this page


Generally speaking, in academic publishing, there are three “versions” of the article:

the version you submit
to the journal

the version that has been revised
following peer review

the final version published
by the journal

The peer-reviewed version is usually the one you may post online, keep this version when publishing your article.

From left to right, icons showing a book opened to a page with a bookmark, a checkmark in a box, and a computer screen with documents opened. Below each icon from left to right are the words journal submission, peer review, and publication.


Green Open Access
The author takes the initiative to make their article published in a subscription journal openly available by placing a version of it online in an open repository, often referred to as self-archiving. 

Publishers rarely allow the final version to be posted. Use Sherpa/Romeo to verify your journal’s policy and whether an embargo is required. You can then deposit the permitted version in the University of Ottawa’s institutional repository, uO Research. Instructions on depositing your work quickly and easily can be found on the uO Research website under "Deposit your Research". You may also use a subject or disciplinary repository, depending on the journal's policy. Usually you are not permitted to post on commercial sites so uploading your article to and ResearchGate may violate the journal policy.

Always check the particular journal policy before posting your article. You can learn more about your rights as an author, including how to keep your copyright.

Gold open access
Publishing directly in open access. In other words, the publisher is responsible for making final published version of the article openly available online. There are two types of gold open access journals. Fully open access journals are journals in which all content of the journal is available in open access. Hybrid journals are subscription journals that provide authors the option to choose to pay for their article (and only their article) to be available in open access.

As in subscription publishing, some open access journals are affiliated with large commercial publishers, some are affiliated with academic societies, while others are smaller or independent journals and may be affiliated with academic institutions or departments.

Costs to publishing in Open Access journals
Similarly there are different economic models for open access publishing. Some journals may charge a fee for publishing, while others may not. There are also models whereby an author is a member of a publishing platform, provides a peer-review in return for no-fee open access publishing, or the cost of publishing is covered by collective funding from libraries and other organizations.

If there is a cost associated with open access publishing, you can include this amount in your request for grant funding or take advantage of the financial support offered by the Library.

Consult the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or contact your liaison librarian in order to find OA journals in your discipline.



You can find more information on choosing a journal at the University of Ottawa's Scholarly Communication website - Open Access.

University of Ottawa funding opportunities

The University of Ottawa Library offers financial support for open access publishing in several ways:

  • through publisher agreements that provide discounts for publishing;
  • through shared financial support for publishing;
  • through memberships and infrastructure for new models of open access publishing; and
  • through campus partnerships.

All faculty members, staff, current graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and adjunct professors affiliated with the University of Ottawa may take advantage of the following initiatives. Researchers working for University of Ottawa Research Centres and Institutes and Affiliated Research Institutes are also eligible.

To be eligible the uOttawa or affiliated researcher must be the corresponding author.

Discounts and shared financial support options are subject to the availability of funds.

You can find more information on specific types of funding available from the University of Ottawa on our Financial Support page.