How to publish a case report
Dr Kieran Walsh,
BMJ Learning
Case report
Rare or unreported
• Condition
• Feature of condition
• Association
• Complication
• Intervention
Stages in writing a case report
• Finding a rare case
• Collecting information related to the case
• Literature search
• Writing
Don’t anonymise
Consent form of publication
Informed consent
Patient’s phone number
Finding a case
• Your own
• Ask around
• “Bottom drawer”
Did it happen before?
• Ask
• Your own literature search
• Librarian literature search
Writing a case report
Introduction - very short
The report— the story
• History – only positives
• Exam – only positives
• Tests
• Progress
• Treatment and outcome
Discussion—review of literature
• Message
• ?? Recommendations
Writing a case report
• Get copies—do not take the originals
• Digital copies
How to get accepted
• Rare rare rare
• Relevant
• Science/scientific arguments
What journal?
General medical journal
Specialist journals
Journal of medical case reports
BMJ case reports
• . . . and how many authors? 2!
Choose the meeting
• Does it take abstracts?
• Is there a chance it would take yours?
• Does it publish abstracts in a journal
• Will I be able to go?
• Will I get a reduced fee as a presenter?
Choose the meeting
• The abstract deadline – six months ahead?
• Will they accept “work in progress”?
Write it up
• What happens to your abstract on
How to avoid automatic rejection?
• Word count
• Format
• Font size
Potential problems
Authorship credit should be based on:
• Substantial contributions to conception and design,
or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation
of data?
• Drafting the article or revising it critically for
important intellectual content?
• Final approval of the version to be published?
• All of the above?
To avoid disputes over attribution of academic credit,
decide before you start. Read the target journal’s
“Advice to Authors.” Don’t gift authorship.
Conflicts of interest?
• You received a travel bursary of £200 from a
relevant company two years ago
• You own stock in a competing company
• You are a member of an academic body that may be
influenced as a result of research even though you
will not benefit personally in any way
• You have based your research reputation on a
certain treatment even though you have no financial
interests in the treatment
Conflicts of interest
• May be personal, commercial, political, academic, or
• “Financial” interests may include employment,
research funding, stock or share ownership,
payment for lectures or travel, consultancies, and
company support for staff
Conflicts of interest arise when authors, reviewers, or
editors have interests that are not fully apparent and
that MAY influence their judgments on what is
published. They have been described as those which,
when revealed later, would make a REASONABLE
reader feel misled or deceived.
Conflicts of interest?
• The solution?
• Declare them