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Instructions for authors

Case reports

See 'About this journal' for descriptions of different article types and information about policies and the refereeing process.

Criteria

Journal of Medical Case Reports publishes original and interesting case reports that contribute significantly to medical knowledge.

Manuscripts must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Unreported or unusual side effects or adverse interactions involving medications
  2. Unexpected or unusual presentations of a disease
  3. New associations or variations in disease processes
  4. Presentations, diagnoses and/or management of new and emerging diseases
  5. An unexpected association between diseases or symptoms
  6. An unexpected event in the course of observing or treating a patient
  7. Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect

Authors should indicate in the abstract and cover letter how the case report adds to the medical literature. Submissions that do not include this information will be returned to authors prior to peer review.

Case reports should include an up-to-date review of all previous cases in the field. Authors should seek written and signed consent to publish the information from the patients or their guardians prior to submission. Authors will be asked to confirm informed consent was received as part of the submission process, and the manuscript must include a statement to this effect by including a 'Consent' section, as follows: "Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor-in-Chief of this journal

Manuscripts must be submitted in our journal style. Please download and follow our template closely.

Case series should follow the same format and include a case presentation for each patient.

Case reports should include relevant positive and negative findings from history, examination and investigation, and can include clinical photographs, provided these are accompanied by written consent to publish from the patient(s).

You must make it clear to the Editor what your case adds to the field of medicine. In your cover letter, please consider the following:

  1. Do you believe it is the first report of this kind in the literature?
  2. Will it significantly advance our understanding of a particular disease etiology or drug mechanism?
  3. Is it an original case report of interest to a particular clinical speciality of medicine or will it have a broader clinical impact across more than one area of medicine?

Submission process

Manuscripts must be submitted by one of the authors of the manuscript, and should not be submitted by anyone on their behalf. The submitting author takes responsibility for the article during submission and peer review.

Please note that Journal of Medical Case Reports levies an article-processing charge on all accepted Case reports; if the submitting author's institution is a BioMed Central member the cost of the article-processing charge may be covered by the membership (see About page for detail). Please note that the membership is only automatically recognised on submission if the submitting author is based at the member institution.

To facilitate rapid publication and to minimize administrative costs, Journal of Medical Case Reports prefers online submission.

Files can be submitted as a batch, or one by one. The submission process can be interrupted at any time; when users return to the site, they can carry on where they left off.

See below for examples of word processor and graphics file formats that can be accepted for the main manuscript document by the online submission system. Additional files of any type, such as movies, animations, or original data files, can also be submitted as part of the manuscript.

During submission you will be asked to provide a cover letter. Use this to explain why your manuscript should be published in the journal, to elaborate on any issues relating to our editorial policies in the 'About Journal of Medical Case Reports' page, and to declare any potential competing interests. You will be also asked to provide the contact details (including email addresses) of potential peer reviewers for your manuscript. These should be experts in their field, who will be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Any suggested peer reviewers should not have published with any of the authors of the manuscript within the past five years, should not be current collaborators, and should not be members of the same research institution. Suggested reviewers will be considered alongside potential reviewers recommended by Editorial Board members or other advisers.

Assistance with the process of manuscript preparation and submission is available from BioMed Central customer support team.

We also provide a collection of links to useful tools and resources for scientific authors on our Useful Tools page.

File formats

The following word processor file formats are acceptable for the main manuscript document:

  • Microsoft word (DOC, DOCX)
  • Rich text format (RTF)
  • Portable document format (PDF)
  • TeX/LaTeX (use BioMed Central's TeX template)
  • DeVice Independent format (DVI)

TeX/LaTeX users: Please use BioMed Central's TeX template and BibTeX stylefile if you use TeX format. During the TeX submission process, please submit your TeX file as the main manuscript file and your bib/bbl file as a dependent file. Please also convert your TeX file into a PDF and submit this PDF as an additional file with the name 'Reference PDF'. This PDF will be used by internal staff as a reference point to check the layout of the article as the author intended. Please also note that all figures must be coded at the end of the TeX file and not inline.

If you have used another template for your manuscript, or if you do not wish to use BibTeX, then please submit your manuscript as a DVI file. We do not recommend converting to RTF.

For all TeX submissions, all relevant editable source must be submitted during the submission process. Failing to submit these source files will cause unnecessary delays in the publication procedures.

Publishing Datasets

Through a special arrangement with LabArchives, LLC, authors submitting manuscripts to Journal of Medical Case Reports can obtain a complimentary subscription to LabArchives with an allotment of 100MB of storage. LabArchives is an Electronic Laboratory Notebook which will enable scientists to share and publish data files in situ; you can then link your paper to these data. Data files linked to published articles are assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) and will remain available in perpetuity. Use of LabArchives or similar data publishing services does not replace preexisting data deposition requirements, such as for nucleic acid sequences, protein sequences and atomic coordinates.

Instructions on assigning DOIs to datasets, so they can be permanently linked to publications, can be found on the LabArchives website. Use of LabArchives’ software has no influence on the editorial decision to accept or reject a manuscript.

Authors linking datasets to their publications should include an Availability of supporting data section in their manuscript and cite the dataset in their reference list.

Preparing main manuscript text

General guidelines of the journal's style and language are given below.

Overview of manuscript sections for Case reports

Manuscripts for case reports submitted to Journal of Medical Case Reports should be divided into the following sections (in this order):

Journal of Medical Case Reports endorses the CARE Guidelines. For case reports, Journal of Medical Case Reports requires the submission of a populated CARE checklist. The checklist should be provided as additional files. Submissions received without these elements will be returned to the authors as incomplete. A Word file of the checklist and flow diagram can be downloaded here.

The checklist will not be used as a tool for judging the suitability of manuscripts for publication in Journal of Medical Case Reports, but is intended as an aid to authors to clearly, completely, and transparently let reviewers and readers know what authors did and found. Using the CARE guideline to write the case report and completing the CARE checklist are likely to optimize the quality of reporting and make the peer review process more efficient.

Title page

The first page of the manuscript should be a dedicated title page, including the title of the article. The title should include the study design, i.e. case reportreport. For example:

A presenting with B in C: a case report

OR, if the case reports details several patients:

A presenting with B in C: a case series

The full names, institutional addresses and email addresses for all authors must be included on the title page. The corresponding author should also be indicated.

Abstract

This should start on page 2 of the manuscript. The abstract must not exceed 350 words. Please do not use abbreviations or references in the abstract. The abstract should be structured into three sections and should make clear how the case report adds to the medical literature:

  • Introduction An introduction about why this case is important and needs to be reported. Please include information on whether this is the first report of this kind in the literature.
  • Case presentation Brief details of what the patient(s) presented with, including the patient's age, sex and ethnic background.
  • Conclusion A brief conclusion of what the reader should learn from the case report and what the clinical impact will be. Is it an original case report of interest to a particular clinical speciality of medicine or will it have a broader clinical impact across medicine? Please include information on how it will significantly advance our knowledge of a particular disease etiology or drug mechanism.

Keywords

Three to ten keywords representing the main content of the article.

Introduction

The Introduction section should explain the background of the case, including the disorder, usual presentation and progression and an explanation of the presentation if it is a new disease. If it is a case discussing an adverse drug interaction the introduction should give details of the drug's common use and any previously reported side effects. It should also include a brief literature review.

Case presentation(s)

This should present all relevant details concerning the case. The case presentation should contain a description of the patient's relevant demographic information (without adding any details that could lead to the identification of the patient); any relevant medical history of the patient; the patient's symptoms and signs; any tests that were carried out and a description of any treatment or intervention. If it is a case series, then details must be included for all patients.

Discussion

This is an optional section for additional comments that provide any additional relevant information not included in the case presentation, and that put the case in context or that explain specific treatment decisions.

Conclusions

This should state clearly the main conclusions of the case report and give a clear explanation of their importance and relevance. Is it an original case report of interest to a particular clinical speciality of medicine or will it have a broader clinical impact across medicine? Please include information on how it will significantly advance our knowledge of a particular disease etiology or drug mechanism.

Patient's perspective

This section is an opportunity for the patient to add a description of the case from their own perspective. The patient should be encouraged to state what originally made them seek medical advice, give a description of their symptoms, whether the symptoms were better or worse at different times, how any tests and treatments affected them, and how the problem is now. See our consent form for more details.

This section can be written as deemed appropriate by the patient, but should not include identifying information that is irrelevant to the case reported. An example of a patient's perspective can be found here. Consent to publish forms will be requested on submission for any manuscript that includes a patient's perspective.

List of abbreviations

If abbreviations are used in the text they should be defined in the text at first use, and a list of abbreviations can be provided, which should precede the competing interests and authors' contributions.

Manuscripts will not be peer-reviewed if a statement of patient consent is not present.

This section is compulsory. It should provide a statement to confirm that the patient has given their informed consent for the case report to be published. The editorial office may request copies of the consent documentation at any time. We recommend the following wording is used for the consent section: "Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor-in-Chief of this journal."

You can use the consent form to gain consent for publication from the patient, or a form from your own institution or region if you prefer. You do not need to send the form to us on submission, but we may request to see a copy at any stage (including after publication). The consent form is also available in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Chinese, Swahili, Turkish, Russian, Romanian and Korean.

In the absence of consent, to comply with UK Data Protection legislation, a case report about a living person must be anonymised so that neither the individual, nor anyone who knows them, can identify themselves from the published article. The nature of case reports means that this is almost always impossible to achieve with certainty. Therefore, cases without consent for publication will not be considered.

If the person described in the case report has died, then consent for publication must be sought from their next of kin. If the next of kin are not traceable, and the authors have made every effort to trace the family, publication of the case may be possible if all three conditions specified by the Committee on Publication Ethics' (COPE) Code of Conduct are met.

If the individual described in the case report is a minor, or unable to provide consent, then consent must be sought from their parents or legal guardians. In these cases, the statement in the 'Consent' section of the manuscript should be amended accordingly.

Case reports without appropriate consent will be rejected prior to peer review.

Competing interests

Authors are required to complete a declaration of competing interests. All competing interests that are declared will be listed at the end of published articles. Where an author gives no competing interests, the listing will read 'The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests'.

When completing your declaration, please check BioMed Central's competing interest policy.

Authors' contributions

In order to give appropriate credit to each author of a paper, the individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section.

According to ICMJE guidelines, An 'author' is generally considered to be someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a published study. To qualify as an author one should 1) have made substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) have been involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content; 3) have given final approval of the version to be published; and 4) agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not justify authorship.

We suggest the following kind of format (please use initials to refer to each author's contribution): FC analyzed and interpreted the patient data regarding the hematological disease and the transplant. RH performed the histological examination of the kidney, and was a major contributor in writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support.

Authors' information

You may choose to use this section to include any relevant information about the author(s) that may aid the reader's interpretation of the article, and understand the standpoint of the author(s). This may include details about the authors' qualifications, current positions they hold at institutions or societies, or any other relevant background information. Please refer to authors using their initials. Note this section should not be used to describe any competing interests.

Acknowledgements

Please acknowledge anyone who contributed towards the article by making substantial contributions to conception, design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, or who was involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content, but who does not meet the criteria for authorship. Please also include the source(s) of funding for each author, and for the manuscript preparation. Authors must describe the role of the funding body, if any, in design, in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. Please also acknowledge anyone who contributed materials essential for the study. If a language editor has made significant revision of the manuscript, we recommend that you acknowledge the editor by name, where possible. Authors may also like to acknowledge (anonymously) the patient on whom the case report is based.

The role of a scientific (medical) writer must be included in the acknowledgements section, including their source(s) of funding. We suggest wording such as 'We thank Jane Doe who provided medical writing services on behalf of XYZ Pharmaceuticals Ltd.'

Authors should obtain permission to acknowledge from all those mentioned in the Acknowledgements section.

Endnotes

Endnotes should be designated within the text using a superscript lowercase letter and all notes (along with their corresponding letter) should be included in the Endnotes section. Please format this section in a paragraph rather than a list.

References

Authors must search for and cite published case reports that are relevant to the case they are presenting.

There should be no more than 15 references. All references, including URLs, must be numbered consecutively, in square brackets, in the order in which they are cited in the text, followed by any in tables or legends. Each reference must have an individual reference number. Please avoid excessive referencing. If automatic numbering systems are used, the reference numbers must be finalized and the bibliography must be fully formatted before submission.

Only articles, datasets, clinical trial registration records and abstracts that have been published or are in press, or are available through public e-print/preprint servers, may be cited; unpublished abstracts, unpublished data and personal communications should not be included in the reference list, but may be included in the text and referred to as "unpublished observations" or "personal communications" giving the names of the involved researchers. Obtaining permission to quote personal communications and unpublished data from the cited colleagues is the responsibility of the author. Footnotes are not allowed, but endnotes are permitted. Journal abbreviations follow Index Medicus/MEDLINE. Citations in the reference list should include all named authors, up to the first 30 before adding 'et al.'..

Any in press articles cited within the references and necessary for the reviewers' assessment of the manuscript should be made available if requested by the editorial office.

Style files are available for use with popular bibliographic management software:

Examples of the Journal of Medical Case Reports reference style are shown below. Please ensure that the reference style is followed precisely; if the references are not in the correct style they may have to be retyped and carefully proofread.

All web links and URLs, including links to the authors' own websites, should be given a reference number and included in the reference list rather than within the text of the manuscript. They should be provided in full, including both the title of the site and the URL, in the following format: The Mouse Tumor Biology Database [http://tumor.informatics.jax.org/mtbwi/index.do]. If an author or group of authors can clearly be associated with a web link, such as for weblogs, then they should be included in the reference.

Examples of the Journal of Medical Case Reports reference style


Article within a journal
Koonin EV, Altschul SF, Bork P: BRCA1 protein products: functional motifs. Nat Genet 1996, 13:266-267.

Article within a journal supplement
Orengo CA, Bray JE, Hubbard T, LoConte L, Sillitoe I: Analysis and assessment of ab initio three-dimensional prediction, secondary structure, and contacts prediction. Proteins 1999, 43(Suppl 3):149-170.

In press article
Kharitonov SA, Barnes PJ: Clinical aspects of exhaled nitric oxide. Eur Respir J, in press.

Published abstract
Zvaifler NJ, Burger JA, Marinova-Mutafchieva L, Taylor P, Maini RN: Mesenchymal cells, stromal derived factor-1 and rheumatoid arthritis [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 1999, 42:s250.

Article within conference proceedings
Jones X: Zeolites and synthetic mechanisms. In Proceedings of the First National Conference on Porous Sieves: 27-30 June 1996; Baltimore. Edited by Smith Y. Stoneham: Butterworth-Heinemann; 1996:16-27.

Book chapter, or article within a book
Schnepf E: From prey via endosymbiont to plastids: comparative studies in dinoflagellates. In Origins of Plastids. Volume 2. 2nd edition. Edited by Lewin RA. New York: Chapman and Hall; 1993:53-76.

Whole issue of journal
Ponder B, Johnston S, Chodosh L (Eds): Innovative oncology. In Breast Cancer Res 1998, 10:1-72.

Whole conference proceedings
Smith Y (Ed): Proceedings of the First National Conference on Porous Sieves: 27-30 June 1996; Baltimore. Stoneham: Butterworth-Heinemann; 1996.

Complete book
Margulis L: Origin of Eukaryotic Cells. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1970.

Monograph or book in a series
Hunninghake GW, Gadek JE: The alveolar macrophage. In Cultured Human Cells and Tissues. Edited by Harris TJR. New York: Academic Press; 1995:54-56. [Stoner G (Series Editor): Methods and Perspectives in Cell Biology, vol 1.]

Book with institutional author
Advisory Committee on Genetic Modification: Annual Report. London; 1999.

PhD thesis
Kohavi R: Wrappers for performance enhancement and oblivious decision graphs. PhD thesis. Stanford University, Computer Science Department; 1995.

Link / URL
The Mouse Tumor Biology Database [http://tumor.informatics.jax.org/mtbwi/index.do]

Link / URL with author(s)
Corpas M: The Crowdfunding Genome Project: a personal genomics community with open source values [http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcblog/2012/07/16/the-crowdfunding-genome-project-a-personal-genomics-community-with-open-source-values/]

Dataset with persistent identifier
Zheng, L-Y; Guo, X-S; He, B; Sun, L-J; Peng, Y; Dong, S-S; Liu, T-F; Jiang, S; Ramachandran, S; Liu, C-M; Jing, H-C (2011): Genome data from sweet and grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). GigaScience Database. http://dx.doi.org/10.5524/100012.

Clinical trial registration record with persistent identifier
Mendelow, AD (2006): Surgical Trial in Lobar Intracerebral Haemorrhage. Current Controlled Trials. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/ISRCTN22153967

Preparing illustrations and figures

Please note that Journal of Medical Case Reports can only publish ten figures in each case report. If you have more than ten figures and feel that all are essential to the understanding of the case report, please make this clear in your covering letter, explaining why the figures are needed. Figures and tables should be sequentially referenced. Authors should include all relevant supporting data with each article.

Illustrations should be provided as separate files, not embedded in the text file. Each figure should include a single illustration and should fit on a single page in portrait format. If a figure consists of separate parts, it is important that a single composite illustration file be submitted which contains all parts of the figure. There is no charge for the use of color figures.

Please read our figure preparation guidelines for detailed instructions on maximising the quality of your figures.

NB/ Authors must have written informed patient consent for publication of all figures. See 'Consent' section for further details.

Authors should make every effort to preserve the anonymity of the patient be removing or concealing any identifiable features, including birthmarks and tattoos. Please take extra care with images of the head and face, ensuring that only the relevant features are shown. Publication of facial images will be subject to approval by the Editor-in-Chief.

Formats

The following file formats can be accepted:

  • PDF (preferred format for diagrams)
  • DOCX/DOC (single page only)
  • PPTX/PPT (single slide only)
  • EPS
  • PNG (preferred format for photos or images)
  • TIFF
  • JPEG
  • BMP

Figure legends

The legends should be included in the main manuscript text file at the end of the document, rather than being a part of the figure file. For each figure, the following information should be provided: Figure number (in sequence, using Arabic numerals - i.e. Figure 1, 2, 3 etc); short title of figure (maximum 15 words); detailed legend, up to 300 words.

The legend should include a brief description of the exact location of image on the patient, the type of image (e.g. micrograph/x-ray), and time in relation to progression e.g. one week after surgery. There must be no abbreviations unless they are expanded (excluding common abbreviations such as antibodies).

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures or tables that have previously been published elsewhere.

Preparing a personal cover page

If you wish to do so, you may submit an image which, in the event of publication, will be used to create a cover page for the PDF version of your article. The cover page will also display the journal logo, article title and citation details. The image may either be a figure from your manuscript or another relevant image. You must have permission from the copyright to reproduce the image. Images that do not meet our requirements will not be used.

Images must be 300dpi and 155mm square (1831 x 1831 pixels for a raster image).

Allowable formats - EPS, PDF (for line drawings), PNG, TIFF (for photographs and screen dumps), JPEG, BMP, DOC, PPT, CDX, TGF (ISIS/Draw).

Preparing tables

Each table should be numbered and cited in sequence using Arabic numerals (i.e. Table 1, 2, 3 etc.). Tables should also have a title (above the table) that summarizes the whole table; it should be no longer than 15 words. Detailed legends may then follow, but they should be concise. Tables should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.

Smaller tables considered to be integral to the manuscript can be pasted into the end of the document text file, in A4 portrait or landscape format. These will be typeset and displayed in the final published form of the article. Such tables should be formatted using the 'Table object' in a word processing program to ensure that columns of data are kept aligned when the file is sent electronically for review; this will not always be the case if columns are generated by simply using tabs to separate text. Columns and rows of data should be made visibly distinct by ensuring that the borders of each cell display as black lines. Commas should not be used to indicate numerical values. Color and shading may not be used; parts of the table can be highlighted using symbols or bold text, the meaning of which should be explained in a table legend. Tables should not be embedded as figures or spreadsheet files.

Larger datasets or tables too wide for a landscape page can be uploaded separately as additional files. Additional files will not be displayed in the final, laid-out PDF of the article, but a link will be provided to the files as supplied by the author.

Tabular data provided as additional files can be uploaded as an Excel spreadsheet (.xls ) or comma separated values (.csv). As with all files, please use the standard file extensions.

Preparing additional files

Although Journal of Medical Case Reports does not restrict the length and quantity of data included in an article, we encourage authors to provide datasets, tables, movies, or other information as additional files.

Please note: All Additional files will be published along with the article. Do not include files such as patient consent forms, certificates of language editing, or revised versions of the main manuscript document with tracked changes. Such files should be sent by email to jmcreditorial@biomedcentral.com, quoting the Manuscript ID number.

Results that would otherwise be indicated as "data not shown" can and should be included as additional files. Since many weblinks and URLs rapidly become broken, Journal of Medical Case Reports requires that supporting data are included as additional files, or deposited in a recognized repository. Please do not link to data on a personal/departmental website. The maximum file size for additional files is 20 MB each, and files will be virus-scanned on submission.

Additional files can be in any format, and will be downloadable from the final published article as supplied by the author. We recommend CSV rather than PDF for tabular data.

Certain supported files formats are recognized and can be displayed to the user in the browser. These include most movie formats (for users with the Quicktime plugin), mini-websites prepared according to our guidelines, chemical structure files (MOL, PDB), geographic data files (KML).

If additional material is provided, please list the following information in a separate section of the manuscript text:

  • File name (e.g. Additional file 1)
  • File format including the correct file extension for example .pdf, .xls, .txt, .pptx (including name and a URL of an appropriate viewer if format is unusual)
  • Title of data
  • Description of data

Additional files should be named "Additional file 1" and so on and should be referenced explicitly by file name within the body of the article, e.g. 'An additional movie file shows this in more detail [see Additional file 1]'.

Additional file formats

Ideally, file formats for additional files should not be platform-specific, and should be viewable using free or widely available tools. The following are examples of suitable formats.

  • Additional documentation
    • PDF (Adode Acrobat)
  • Animations
    • SWF (Shockwave Flash)
  • Movies
    • MP4 (MPEG 4)
    • MOV (Quicktime)
  • Tabular data
    • XLS, XLSX (Excel Spreadsheet)
    • CSV (Comma separated values)

As with figure files, files should be given the standard file extensions.

Mini-websites

Small self-contained websites can be submitted as additional files, in such a way that they will be browsable from within the full text HTML version of the article. In order to do this, please follow these instructions:

  1. Create a folder containing a starting file called index.html (or index.htm) in the root.
  2. Put all files necessary for viewing the mini-website within the folder, or sub-folders.
  3. Ensure that all links are relative (ie "images/picture.jpg" rather than "/images/picture.jpg" or "http://yourdomain.net/images/picture.jpg" or "C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\mini-website\images\picture.jpg") and no link is longer than 255 characters.
  4. Access the index.html file and browse around the mini-website, to ensure that the most commonly used browsers (Internet Explorer and Firefox) are able to view all parts of the mini-website without problems, it is ideal to check this on a different machine.
  5. Compress the folder into a ZIP, check the file size is under 20 MB, ensure that index.html is in the root of the ZIP, and that the file has .zip extension, then submit as an additional file with your article.

Style and language

General

Currently, Journal of Medical Case Reports can only accept manuscripts written in English. Spelling should be US English or British English, but not a mixture.

It is essential that submitted manuscripts have a high standard of written English. Manuscripts that are poorly written will be returned to authors for revision prior to peer review. Authors are advised to write clearly and simply, and to have their article checked by colleagues before submission. Non-native speakers of English may choose to make use of a copyediting service before submission.

Journal of Medical Case Reports will copy edit accepted manuscripts before they are published. The editing is designed only to correct such things as misused words, spelling errors, missing references or incomplete citation information.

Language editing

For authors who wish to have the language in their manuscript edited by a native-English speaker with scientific expertise, BioMed Central recommends Edanz. BioMed Central has arranged a 10% discount to the fee charged to BioMed Central authors by Edanz. Use of an editing service is neither a requirement nor a guarantee of acceptance for publication. Please contact Edanz directly to make arrangements for editing, and for pricing and payment details.

Help and advice on scientific writing

The abstract is one of the most important parts of a manuscript. For guidance, please visit our page on Writing titles and abstracts for scientific articles.

Tim Albert has produced for BioMed Central a list of tips for writing a scientific manuscript. American Scientist also provides a list of resources for science writing. For more detailed guidance on preparing a manuscript and writing in English, please visit the BioMed Central author academy.

Abbreviations

Abbreviations should be used as sparingly as possible. They should be defined when first used and a list of abbreviations can be provided following the main manuscript text.

Typography

  • Please use double line spacing.
  • Type the text unjustified, without hyphenating words at line breaks.
  • Use hard returns only to end headings and paragraphs, not to rearrange lines.
  • Capitalize only the first word, and proper nouns, in the title.
  • All pages should be numbered.
  • Use the Journal of Medical Case Reports reference format.
  • Footnotes are not allowed, but endnotes are permitted.
  • Please do not format the text in multiple columns.
  • Greek and other special characters may be included. If you are unable to reproduce a particular special character, please type out the name of the symbol in full. Please ensure that all special characters used are embedded in the text, otherwise they will be lost during conversion to PDF.

Units

SI units should be used throughout (liter and molar are permitted, however).

Case Overview

You will be asked to answer a series of questions as part of the submission process. The process will take just a few minutes. An outline of the case overview content is given below. NB/ Authors will not need to prepare this section in advance of submission.

A. Patient details

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Country of residence

B. Clinical details

  • Reasons for case presentation
  • Primary diagnosis
  • Secondary diagnosis (if applicable)
  • Investigations carried out before diagnosis
  • Pharmaceutical preparations
  • Geographical location of this report