Clinical Case Reports
© John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Articles are published under the terms of the Creative Commons License as stated in the final article.
Editor-in-Chief: Dr Charles Young
Online ISSN: 2050-0904
Thank you for considering Clinical Case Reports (CCR) for the publication of your case report. As healthcare professionals, authors, and publishers ourselves, the CCR team believe in the value of case reports and we know how hard they can be to write and publish. Our aim is make this process as easy for you as possible. If you are not sure if your case is suitable, if you experience any problems with the publication process, or if you have any other questions please feel free to contact the CCR team at any stage (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
When writing your case report please consider that the mission for CCR “…is to use clinical case reports to disseminate best clinical practice, to examine important common as well as uncommon clinical scenarios, and to illustrate and inform the use of important clinical guidelines and systematic reviews.”
All clinical cases should be reported in a way that provide evidence that adequate steps have been taken to minimize harm, to avoid coercion or exploitation, to protect confidentiality, to minimise the risk of physical and psychological damage, and to respect autonomy.
CCR endorses the CARE Statement ((www.CARE-statement.org). Authors may wish to refer to the CARE Statement checklist http://www.care-statement.org/care-checklist.html for guidance when submitting clinical case reports.
What we need from you:
1. An excellent case report with an excellent clinical message
We welcome case reports from every clinical discipline including medicine, nursing, dentistry, and veterinary science and publish three main types of article:
- Full case reports
- Clinical images
- Clinical videos (procedural video reports)
A) Full case reports
Full case reports describe…
- Any clinical case or procedure that illustrates an important best practice clinical message
- Any clinical case or procedure that illustrates the appropriate use of an important clinical guideline or systematic review.
As well as:
- The management of novel or very uncommon diseases
- A common disease presenting in an uncommon way
- An uncommon disease masquerading as something more common
- Cases that expand understanding of disease pathogenesis
- Cases where the teaching point is based on an error
- Cases that allow us to re-think established medical or healthcare lore
- Unreported adverse effects of interventions (drug, procedural or other).
When preparing your full case report, you may find it useful to read our peer review guidance. We rely heavily on the opinions of our Associate Editor team who manage the peer review process. Our advice to Associate Editors is also very useful when writing your case report because it allows you to see what reviewers will be looking for when providing us with their opinion about whether or not to publish your report.
The key elements of a CCR case report are:
- The title accurately reflects the case.
- The case involves an important area of health.
- Where possible the case illustrates the use of an important clinical guideline or systematic review and if so, the report is clear about exactly which part of the review or guideline the case relates to.
- The report presents a clear and clinically useful message.
- The report is well written in terms of clarity, style and use of English.
- The report has a logical construction (it would make sense as a telephone referral to a colleague).
- The patient’s history, clinical examination plus findings, and investigations plus results are sufficiently detailed to explain the case but without including extraneous information (if it’s not relevant to the main message don’t include it).
- The relevant details of differential diagnosis, treatment plan, and follow-up are included.
- There is a clear and definite outcome for the case, so readers are not left thinking “But what happened in the end?”.
- The discussion section explains the case in the context of published information.
- The conclusions accurately and clearly explain the main clinical message.
- The report is a reasonable length (1,000-3,000 words). Please note that you do not have to reformat your manuscript for initial submission, if your manuscript has been transferred from another Wiley journal.
- There are no omissions of important content.
- The references are appropriate and current.
All full CCR case reports need to have a Key Clinical Message at the start of the case report, which should be no longer than 50 words. At submission please enter this in the Abstract field of the CCR ScholarOne Manuscripts site. The aim of this part of the report is to succinctly summarise the one take-home message the authors would like readers to remember after reading their report. The entire report should be built around this clinical message. Brevity is crucial here; if you cannot summarise your Key Clinical Message in 50 words you may need to re-think the message you are trying to convey.
We know that different clinical disciplines and subject areas are best presented differently. The following sections are common to many published case reports and are useful as general guidance:
- Title page
- Case history / examination
- Differential diagnosis, investigations and treatment
- Outcome and follow-up
- References (see below for tips)
- Images, tables, graphs or videos
For more details about full case reports, please also see our Aims and Scope section. You can also watch a webinar on writing a case report by Dr Charles Young (CCR Founding Editor-in-Chief).
B) Clinical Images
Clinical images are pictures that illustrate a key clinical finding that can be presented in the form of a question. Once again, the images do not have to be unusual, but do have to convey an important message.
The accompanying text should be no longer than 100 words in length and have no more than 2 references. The text should describe a clinical question relating to the image, along with a carefully validated answer. The aim of the questions and answer should be to educate or remind readers about an important clinical situation or event.
We recommend that you save photographic images in .tiff format and the resolution should be greater than 300 dpi. For more guidance on graphics please review the illustrations guidelines on our Author Services page.
C) Clinical Videos
Videos are a very good way to describe clinical procedures that are crucial in all aspects of healthcare. Our view again is that these procedures do not have to be novel or unusual, but do need to reflect best practice and must be accompanied by an illustrative video segment.
The accompanying text should be no longer than 100 words in length and have no more than 2 references. The text should describe a clinical question relating to the procedure in the video, along with a carefully validated answer. The aim of the question and answer should be to educate or remind readers about an important clinical situation or event. Video segments will be published as supporting information to the clinical question text. We recommend that video files are submitted in Quicktime, MPEG, AVI file formats as these are the most commonly used and accessible by readers. Please try to restrict individual file sizes to 10Mb maximum (zipped or unzipped). Larger files may be hosted, but these can lead to download issues for users.
As with the main body of text, the completeness and content of your reference list is more important than the format chosen. A clear and consistent, generic style will assist the accuracy of our production processes and produce the highest quality published work, but it is not necessary to try to replicate the journal’s own style, which is applied during the production process. If you use bibliographic software to generate your reference list, select a standard output style, and check that it produces full and comprehensive reference listings. The final journal output will use the ‘Vancouver’ style of reference citation. If your manuscript has already been prepared using the ‘Harvard’ system, we are quite happy to receive it in this form. We will perform the conversion from one system to the other during the production process.
Search Engine Optimization for your paper
Please consult our SEO Tips for Authors in order to maximize online discoverability for your published research. Included are tips for making your title and abstract SEO-friendly, choosing appropriate keywords, and promoting your research through social media.
2. Cover letter
Your cover is extremely important. You are the expert about your case report, and the cover letter is your chance to briefly explain why your report is important, and how it could help other healthcare practitioners. When writing your letter, please assume that we know a reasonable amount about many areas of clinical healthcare, but that we are not experts in your particular area.
All CCR case reports involving human patients require signed informed consent from either the patient or a relative if the patient is unable to provide consent. Please use either the CCR consent form or any other suitable consent form (eg. from your own institution). Please upload a scanned copy of the consent documentation when submitting your manuscript, selecting manuscript files not for review.
Clinical Case Reports requires that all appropriate steps be taken in obtaining informed consent of any and all human and/or animal subjects participating in the research comprising the manuscript submitted for review and possible publication. For those investigators who do not have formal ethics review committees, the principles outlined in the Helsinki Declaration should be followed. A statement is required with any report of investigations involving human subjects confirming that informed consent was obtained from the subject(s) and/or guardian(s). It should be stated clearly in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained.
Patients have a right to privacy. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. If a patient is identifiable, written permission to use the photograph must be obtained from the patient or guardian and sent to the Clinical Case Reports Editorial Office upon manuscript submission. Clearly state in the manuscript that informed consent has been obtained for identifying information.
CCR adopts the authorship and contributorship criteria provided by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The ICMJE authorship criteria state “authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3. (…) All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgments section.”
5. Disclosure and Competing Interests
Authors are required to disclose financial interests in any company or institution that might benefit from their publication. A competing interest exists when a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) might be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal rivalry). It may arise for the authors of an article when they have a financial interest that may influence their interpretation of their results or those of others. Financial interests are the easiest to define and they have the greatest potential to influence the objectivity, integrity or perceived value of a publication. They may include any or all, but are not limited to, the following:
• Personal financial interests: Stocks or shares in companies that may gain or lose financially through publication; consultant fees or fees from speakers bureaus other forms of remuneration from organisations that may gain or lose financially; patents or patent applications whose value may be affected by publication.
• Funding: Research support from organisations that might gain or lose financially through publication of the paper.
• Employment: Recent, present or anticipated employment of you or a family member by any organization that may gain or lose financially through publication of the paper. Any such competing interest that authors may have should be declared. The aim of the statement is not to eradicate competing interests, as they are almost inevitable. Papers will not be rejected because there is a competing interest, but a declaration on whether or not there are competing interests will be added to the paper.
• Patent rights
• Consultancy work.
All authors must disclose competing interests, or state “none” via the Journal's ScholarOne Manuscripts website.
Authors are asked to disclose funding in the Acknowledgments section of the paper. List governmental, industrial, charitable, philanthropic and/or personal sources of funding used for the studies described in the manuscript. Attribution of these funding sources is preferred. Examples:
• This work was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, USA (DKxxxx to AB).
• This work was supported by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada (grant to AB and CD).
• This work was supported by a grant from Big Pharma Inc. (to AB) and equipment was donated by Small Pharma Inc. EF received a graduate studentship award from the University of xxxxx.
Should any author’s position change during submission to article acceptance, the author has a duty to contact the editorial office. The existence of a conflict of interest does not mean that we will reject your paper, but it does allow us to be transparent in our decision making process with you, and for you and us to be transparent with our readers.
It is very important that information reproduced from another source is properly cited. The corresponding author for your CCR submission is responsible for obtaining written permission from the appropriate authors and/or copyright holders to use previously published or copyrighted material. Signed permission statements from the copyright holder for both print and online reproduction need to be scanned and submitted along with your case report. You also need permission statements from at least one author when citing unpublished data, in press articles, and/or personal communications.
Acknowledgments should include any contributors who did not meet the requirements for authorship as described in section 4 and any medical writers or corporate employees who participated in the development of the case report.
8. The Peer Review Process
As an author it will be very useful for you to read our guidance to Associate Editors who run our peer reviewers process. All CCR articles are peer reviewed and we rely heavily on the opinions of our Associate Editors when making decisions about submissions. The CCR Editor-in-Chief has complete editorial independence and accepts responsibility for the final decision on whether or not to publish any manuscripts submitted to CCR.
9. Publication Ethics and CrossCheck
CrossCheck is a multi-publisher initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality. To find out more about CrossCheck visit http://www.crossref.org/crosscheck.html. By submitting your manuscript to CCR you accept that your manuscript may be screened, using the iThenticate tool, for textual similarity to other previously published works.
Wiley follows ethical publication practices. Please see http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/publicationethics.asp for further details.
CCR takes potential cases of scientific misconduct seriously and is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). If the team of editors have concerns about the publication ethics or research ethics of a submitted manuscript, in the first instance they will contact the author(s) to request further clarification. The editor will progress the situation by following the appropriate COPE flowchart. If the editors still have concerns after discussion with the author(s) and the issue is novel, it may be presented as an annonymised case for discussion at a COPE committee meeting.
10. Appeals Procedure
Should an author wish to launch an appeal, please request the CCR Appeals Process document (email@example.com) within 7 days.
11. Complaints Procedure
Complaints should be addressed in writing to the Editor-in-Chief for consideration and any necessary action. Where a complaint remains unresolved, the complainant can refer the matter to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
12. Clinical Case Reports – 5 steps to publication
- Submit or confirm your submission at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/clinicalcasereports .
- We will send you an email confirmation of your submission details.
- After review and acceptance, you will be prompted to sign the Open Access Agreement form (see below) and you will need to pay the article publication charge. You can then track the progress of your case report through Wiley's Author Services by registering and or logging in at: http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/
- You will receive notification that your proof is ready for review, and be able to make corrections to your case report.
- Your article will be published on Wiley Online Library. If you have previously signed up for alerts through Wiley’s Author Services, you will be sent an email when your article is published online.
Open Access Agreement
If your paper is accepted, the author whom you identify as being the corresponding author for the paper will be presented with the option to sign an open access agreement (on behalf of all co-authors) to make the case report available under the terms of either the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC) license or the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs (CC-BY-NC-ND) license. RCUK or Wellcome trust funded authors will be directed to sign the Open Access Agreement under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license in order to be funder compliant. For more information on the terms and conditions of these licenses please visit:
The open access agreement is administered electronically. The author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.
And finally…. The most important point in all of the information provided here is if you are unsure about any aspect of submitting your case report to CCR, please ask any member of the editorial team and we will be happy to help! [Email: firstname.lastname@example.org]