IADSR International Conference 2012 Aiwan-e-Iqbal Lahore, Pakistan 27–29 April 2012 Writing Review Articles and Case Reports Barbara Gastel, MD, MPH AuthorAID at INASP (www.authoraid.info) and Texas A&M University Writing Review Articles Review Articles • Review article—an article summarizing the literature on a topic • Popularity of review articles with – Graduate students – Practitioners – People changing research areas – Others • High citation rates of some review articles and review journals Tips: Preparing to Write a Review Article • See whether the journal publishes review articles. • Consult the journal’s instructions to authors. • Look at review articles in the journal. • Check beforehand whether the editor might be interested. • Carefully define the scope of the review article. Tips: Preparing to Write a Review Article (cont) • Search the literature thoroughly and methodically. • Keep a record of your search strategy. • If possible, obtain help from a librarian who is an expert in literature searching. • Perhaps have criteria for including articles. • Consider recording information on standardized forms. • Consider using bibliographic software. Two Structures for Review Articles • Subtopic-by-Subtopic (with a subheading for each) • Modified IMRAD—for example, for a “systematic review article” – Introduction – Methods used to search and analyze the literature – Results (findings of the search) – Discussion Examples of Review Articles with the Two Structures Tips: Writing a Review Article • Organize the article carefully. • Stay focused. • Integrate what you found; do not merely catalogue it. • Because the audience may be broad, write especially clearly. • Double-check the text and references for accuracy. Writing Case Reports The Case Report • Basic definition: description and discussion of a clinical case • “The archetypal medical [or dental] article” • Popular with readers • Perhaps the easiest type of journal article for clinicians to write Functions • Presenting newly found – Conditions – Manifestations – Disease mechanisms – Effects of drugs – Etc • Teaching – Students – Health professionals Potential Publication Sites • Research-oriented journals – General dental journals – Specialty and subspecialty journals – (Note: sometimes may have cases as letters) • Teaching-oriented publications – Journals – Textbooks etc • Journals specializing in case reports Examples: Dental Case-Report Journals • Case Reports in Dentistry (http://www.hindawi.com/crim/dentistry/) • International Journal of Dental Case Reports (http://www.ijdcr.com/) • Other? Case Reports: Some Structures • Usual structure: introduction, case description, discussion/conclusions, references • Modified IMRAD structure: (Mainly) introduction, methods, results, discussion • Clinico-pathological conference (CPC) • “Case presentation” (case description followed by topic discussion) Examples of Case Reports General Pointers • Consult the journal’s instructions to authors. • Use other case reports in the same journal as models. • Review the literature. • Cite the literature selectively. (Case reports generally have short reference lists.) • Consider including one or more figures or tables. • Provide an informative title. • Write in a style that clinicians will find readable. Section-by-Section Advice • Introduction: – Provide background to help readers appreciate the case. – Note why the case is being reported. • Case description: – Focus on aspects relating to why the case is being reported. – Therefore include mainly pertinent positives and negatives. Section-by-Section Advice (cont) • Discussion/conclusions: – Again, focus on items relating to why the case is being reported. – Note evidence supporting the conclusions being drawn. – Discuss ambiguities and alternative interpretations, if any. – Relate content to previously published material. – Discuss implications for clinical care and, if applicable, for research. Case Reports: Some Issues • Obtaining data and documentation on potentially publishable cases • Confidentiality of information and photos • Sensitivity of wording • Style Points – “Case” versus “patient” – Drug names (generic or trade, capitalization) – Avoiding excessive capitalization of disease names Thank you!