Preparing a Case Report
The TSMJ is looking for cases that are unique, unusual/atypical, novel or educational. For example, you may consider a case write-up for a patient who presents atypically; unusual findings on examination/investigations; novel treatment options etc. It may be helpful to consult your team (Consultant or SpR) for identification of an interesting case and for guidance to demonstrate the originality of the case. Your teams are usually involved in research and can help you make the link between your case and what’s in the literature.
You may find it useful to review previous editions of the TSMJ to familiarise yourself with the structure/content of a case report. Case reports should be no more than 2000 words in length excluding text in boxes, figure legends and references.
** You must obtain informed consent from your patient to submit a case report.
- The title should be clear, concise, and informative – the reader should have an idea of what the case is about. No abbreviations are used in the title.
- You may wish to create a “catchy” title to capture the attention of the reader – the decision to read an article often rests on the appeal of its title. However, it should contain key words related to the case content.
- Designation, degree, affiliation and address of all authors are to be clearly indicated, with additional details such as telephone number and/or email address of the corresponding author.
Presentation of Case
- Should take the form of (a) coherent paragraph(s), which should include the relevant details of your case. This involves taking the positive findings and relevant negatives from your history and exam, and summarising this information to highlight the most important aspects of your case.
Investigations and Diagnosis
- An overview of the investigations performed and the relevant findings – blood results, lab findings, imaging, etc.
- Be clear on how a diagnosis was established/confirmed. Detailed results should be included as support.
- Images of investigation results are highly encouraged – Chest X-ray, MRI scan, neuroimaging, etc. Colour illustrations are welcome.
- Send them clearly labelled, preferably as jpeg, in a separate PowerPoint file to the article.
- Each image should have a corresponding legend.
- Please remember that we need informed consent from the patient for any material you obtain even if it does not include identifiable information. This includes X-rays, histology slides, and so on.
- Should be in high definition.
- Include references where applicable.
- Provide an overview of how the patient was managed in hospital, in OPD and/or in the community. For example, medical versus surgical management. Describe in detail specific treatment regimens and effectiveness.
- Include references where applicable.
Outcome and Follow-Up
- Be sure to follow up with your patient to determine their response to management and clinical outcome.
- Discuss prognosis if applicable.
- Discuss the findings of your case with an emphasis on what makes this case unique, unusual, etc. It is important to use current literature to support your points. However, do not use the literature to provide a general overview of the disease – be sure to relate the literature to your particular case.
- You may wish to discuss management, prognosis, etc. in this section if applicable.
- Titles and subheadings should be in bold and in 24pt and 16pt font size respectively. The remainder of the text including author names, references and figure legends should be in size 12 font. Any standard font is acceptable e.g. Times New Roman.
- A single clear paragraph space should be left between each title and its text, between each paragraph and between the end of a paragraph and a new heading.
Figures and Tables
- We highly encourage the inclusion of figures, photos, illustrations and tables.
- Please ensure they are fully labelled with accompanying legends at the end of the manuscript after the references section.
Articles referenced in the text should be cited by name and year e.g. (Quinn and Hamilton, 2014) when there are two or less authors or (Quinn et al, 2014) if there are more than two authors.
In the references section we ask that references are listed in alphabetical order as bullet points. Our referencing style is in the APA format an example of which is as follows:
Hiraiwa, K., Elliott, M., Hogg, J. C., & Van Eeden, S. F. (2015). Effect Of Statins On The Retention Of Ambient Particulate Matters (pm) In COPD. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 191, A5804.
References in this style can be found by clicking on the ‘cite’ button under the article you wish to reference on the search results page on Google Scholar.
This section is to acknowledge the work of anyone who contributed with the research but who is not listed as an author. This section comes after the conclusion.
Conflict of Interest Statement
We request that all authors declare whether there are any personal or financial or other factors that may have influenced their work. If there are no such factors, then please declare no conflicting interests after the acknowledgements section and before the references.
Publishing Agreement and Patient Confidentiality
A publishing agreement must be signed and completed by all authors as well as a declaration that informed consent was gained for any patient cases and for all materials that may allow for patient identification. The document can be downloaded by following this link: http://tsmj.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Publishing-agreement.docx