MD Program Admissions

A leading edge 3-year MD program at the University of Calgary

MD Program Admissions header image 2

Entering data into the Publications Section of UCan-PLEASE READ

July 7th, 2019 by Dr. Remo Panaccione

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable weekend.  Calgary is in full Stampede mode and hopefully the weather will cooperate so that our international visitors can take full advantage of our city and the festivities.

The applications are starting to flow in and we are looking forward to receiving the final submissions as the summer rolls along.

It has already become apparent that some applicants are not adhering to the guidelines in section 4.9 of the applicant manual and are entering data which we do not consider publications at the admissions committee level and may be interpreted by reviewers as potentially misleading.  For some of you, it may be that you feel obliged that something needs to go in this section. For others, it may be that you want to highlight that you have done some research.  If that research is important to you, then you may want to reflect it in your top 10 but do not misrepresent it in this section.

I once again encourage you to read section 4.9 but will offer some clarification.

There may be some confusion by what is meant by peer-reviewed.  This means external scholarly individuals have reviewed the work and deemed it acceptable for publication and or presentation (oral or poster).   Non-peer reviewed usually refers to invited reviews, editorials, letters, book reviews.  They may even be commissioned.

In addition, for poster or oral presentations, please only list those at recognized national or international conferences.  These are usually run by or sanctioned by a major national or international scientific organization. We should be able to easily find these with a simple search in the information you provide.

Oral or poster presentations at local meetings SHOULD NOT BE ENTERED.  We give examples in the application manual but this includes inter or intra-university presentations.  For example, at the University of Calgary we annually hold a one day conference in Gastroenterology called the Schaffer Awards where undergrad, grad students, and residents  present their research as posters or oral presentations.  This is considered a local meeting.   Therefore, local research days, half-days and  symposiums do not meet do not meet our criteria.

T0 qualify as a regional meeting it  still needs to be sanctioned by a scientific body and this does not mean a university/universities.  I will again give an example from Gastroenterology.  We have an annual meeting called the Alberta Digestive Disease Summit.  This is hosted by the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta under the umbrella of the Alberta Society of Gastroenterology.  Students and residents may present their research but this is only found in the syllabus given to attendees.   It is not public and therefore we have no way of verifying the accuracy. Therefore, it should not be entered.

In the end the simplest rule to follow is –if what your entering can not be found in a journal, supplement to a journal, published conference proceeding (which is public), or online then it likely does not meet our criteria.

Tags: 24 Comments

Leave a Comment

24 responses so far ↓

  • Hi Sam,

    Although thus is “peer reviewed” the articles published here are essentially extended abstracts based on the theme of a journal for that particular year and the journal is not associated with a scientific body.

  • Hi Dr. Panaccione,

    Thank you for this clarification regarding publications and I have greatly appreciated the clarity offered by the other posts that have been made. My question is that I have an in-press publication with Journal of Undergraduate Research of Alberta (JURA). I noticed that in-press papers can be put under publications. However, JURA is not a major paper but a peer reviewed journal offered jointly by the University of Calgary and University of Alberta. Would this be considered a publication?

    Thank you so much for your time.

    Best Regards,


  • Hi Dr, Panaccione,

    What about undergraduate or graduate theses and dissertations? They are searchable in university databases,so are they classified under “non-peer reviewed academic and nonacademic publications”?

    • Dear Vincent,

      This is an excellent question. Although we appreciate the amount of effort that goes into this work. Theses work/projects whether they be at the undergraduate or graduate level are not considered peer reviewed. They are also not considered publications.

      This opinion is shared with AD of graduate studies at the U of C

      Hopefully, this type of research has led to either abstracts or other publications that meet the criteria.

  • Dear Dr. Panaccione,

    I have had two oral presentations for the same research at different conferences (Undergraduate Research in Science Conference of Alberta and Campus Alberta Student Conference on Health). Both abstracts can be found in the respective published conference proceedings online. Should I include both or just one of these in my application?

    Thank you,


    • Hi John, unfortunately neither of these would qualify under publications section as they are not sanctioned by a scientific body.

      Yes, we can find the conferences and abstracts but they are not sanctioned. In particular CASCH is basically a student run organization and is not recognized as an academic conference

  • Hi Dr. Panaccione,

    The manual mentions, “Applicants may also include published prose or poetry, but not articles written for student newspapers,
    newsletters or brochures.”

    Would a newspaper article (e.g. for the Lethbridge Herald or Edmonton Journal) or a letter to the editor be acceptable to include?

    Thank you!

    • Thank you Perter. for the question. No these should not be included. What we are looking for is scholarly activity and therefore this would pertain to those in the arts who may have published poetry, written a book etc…

  • Dear Dr. Panaccione,

    I had a question about presentations. If we are a co-author and have contributed significantly to the content on a poster or oral presentation at a national or international conference but was not the presenter, can we still report this in the publication section?

    Thank you in advance.

    • If you are on the authorship and it meets the guidelines outlined than yes you can include it. The abstract/oral presentation should be easily searchable and your name needs to appear in the list of authors.

      • Hello Dr. Panaccione,

        I am in a similar situation where I am a co-author on a poster presentation at ASM Microbe 2019 but was not the presenter. As well, the abstract was submitted months in advance, before my involvement. So while I was an author for the actual poster presented, I was not included in the initial abstract submitted that is listed online. Is there an alternate way to confirm my authorship for this poster presentation so that I may include it in my application?

        Thanks in advance.

        • Dear Mackenzie,

          Unfortunately, you can not include this. The abstract was submitted without your name and prior to your involvement . This means the review of the abstract ultimately accepted was one to which you didn’t actually contribute to. In addition, we would question why you were added after the fact and your contribution to this work.

          The only way we could confidently allow this is if there was a correction published somewhere .

  • Just to confirm, should we only include those manuscripts that have been published? If we have any that are Submitted/Under Review or In Press, should these be left out, or clarified in the description?

    • Hi Zoe,

      For manuscripts, we will not accept submitted or under review as this is to difficult to track. We will accept in press because we can contact the journal editors and publication team and/or it’s likely when we verify between October and February that it would haave been published.

      • Great, thank you for the clarification. FYI, I believe that the UCAN website won’t currently accommodate a max. 150-word description (as suggested in the application manual) in the “Description” box for a publication. Probably just a tech issue but one I imagine other applicants will also run into.

  • In regards to this particular section, I was involved in a pilot project with a radiation oncologist working alongside him as an assistant doing patient education, organizing follow-up clinics, and doing some triaging with nurse navigators, etc. My manager asked me to put together a report with background information and findings including statistical efficacy and survey results to eventually be presented to our Community Oncology group in order to potentially increase the scope of practice of the radiation therapists in Red Deer. It has not been published in any journal however it will be source of information in our organization moving forward in regards to professional practice. I will definitely use this experience in my Top 10 however, in your opinion, is the report worthy of the publication section? Thanks for taking the time and I look forward to your response.

    • Dear Matt,

      Congratulations on this project and your important work on it. What your describing would not fit the criteria for the publication section as outlined in the manual or clarified on the blog.

      However, you can include it in your top 10 as you have suggested.

  • It would be great if you could please release our scores from the previous application cycle as it helps us work on the new application and make adjustments etc. I believe they were supposed to be released in July. Thank you!

    • Please see my next post addressing this. We attempted to address this in our correspondence to the candidates during the last cycle at the interview or final decision stage