Case studies usually present a major programme intervention or policy option relevant to the journal field. Manuscripts that include a rigorous assessment of the processes and the impact of the study, as well as recommendations for the future, will generally be considered favourably.
Preparing your manuscript
The information below details the section headings that you should include in your manuscript and what information should be within each section.
Please note that your manuscript must include a 'Declarations' section including all of the subheadings (please see below for more information).
The title page should:
- present a title that includes, if appropriate, the study design e.g.:
- "A versus B in the treatment of C: a randomized controlled trial", "X is a risk factor for Y: a case control study", "What is the impact of factor X on subject Y: A systematic review, A case report etc."
- or, for non-clinical or non-research studies: a description of what the article reports
- list the full names and institutional addresses for all authors
- if a collaboration group should be listed as an author, please list the Group name as an author. If you would like the names of the individual members of the Group to be searchable through their individual PubMed records, please include this information in the “Acknowledgements” section in accordance with the instructions below
- indicate the corresponding author
The Abstract should not exceed 350 words. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract. The abstract must include the following separate sections:
- Background: why the case should be reported and its novelty
- Case presentation: a brief description of the patient’s clinical and demographic details, the diagnosis, any interventions and the outcomes
- Conclusions: a brief summary of the clinical impact or potential implications of the case report
Three to ten keywords representing the main content of the article.
The Background section should explain the background to the case report or study, its aims, a summary of the existing literature.
This section should include a description of the patient’s relevant demographic details, medical history, symptoms and signs, treatment or intervention, outcomes and any other significant details.
Discussion and Conclusions
This should discuss the relevant existing literature and should state clearly the main conclusions, including an explanation of their relevance or importance to the field.
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 should be provided.
All manuscripts must contain the following sections under the heading 'Declarations':
- Ethics approval and consent to participate
- Consent for publication
- Availability of data and materials
- Competing interests
- Authors' contributions
- Authors' information (optional)
Please see below for details on the information to be included in these sections.
If any of the sections are not relevant to your manuscript, please include the heading and write 'Not applicable' for that section.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
Manuscripts reporting studies involving human participants, human data or human tissue must:
- include a statement on ethics approval and consent (even where the need for approval was waived)
- include the name of the ethics committee that approved the study and the committee’s reference number if appropriate
Studies involving animals must include a statement on ethics approval.
See our editorial policies for more information.
If your manuscript does not report on or involve the use of any animal or human data or tissue, please state “Not applicable” in this section.
Consent for publication
If your manuscript contains any individual person’s data in any form (including any individual details, images or videos), consent for publication must be obtained from that person, or in the case of children, their parent or legal guardian. All presentations of case reports must have consent for publication.
You can use your institutional consent form or our consent form if you prefer. You should not send the form to us on submission, but we may request to see a copy at any stage (including after publication).
See our editorial policies for more information on consent for publication.
If your manuscript does not contain data from any individual person, please state “Not applicable” in this section.
Availability of data and materials
All manuscripts must include an ‘Availability of data and materials’ statement. Data availability statements should include information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study. By data we mean the minimal dataset that would be necessary to interpret, replicate and build upon the findings reported in the article. We recognise it is not always possible to share research data publicly, for instance when individual privacy could be compromised, and in such instances data availability should still be stated in the manuscript along with any conditions for access.
Data availability statements can take one of the following forms (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple datasets):
- The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS]
- The datasets used and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
- All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article [and its supplementary information files].
- The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are not publicly available due [REASON WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC] but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
- Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.
- The data that support the findings of this study are available from [third party name] but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of [third party name].
- Not applicable. If your manuscript does not contain any data, please state 'Not applicable' in this section.
More examples of template data availability statements, which include examples of openly available and restricted access datasets, are available here.
BioMed Central also requires that authors cite any publicly available data on which the conclusions of the paper rely in the manuscript. Data citations should include a persistent identifier (such as a DOI) and should ideally be included in the reference list. Citations of datasets, when they appear in the reference list, should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite and follow journal style. Dataset identifiers including DOIs should be expressed as full URLs. For example:
Hao Z, AghaKouchak A, Nakhjiri N, Farahmand A. Global integrated drought monitoring and prediction system (GIDMaPS) data sets. figshare. 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.853801
With the corresponding text in the Availability of data and materials statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS].[Reference number]
All financial and non-financial competing interests must be declared in this section.
See our editorial policies for a full explanation of competing interests. If you are unsure whether you or any of your co-authors have a competing interest please contact the editorial office.
Please use the authors initials to refer to each authors' competing interests in this section.
If you do not have any competing interests, please state "The authors declare that they have no competing interests" in this section.
All sources of funding for the research reported should be declared. The role of the funding body in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript should be declared.
The individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section. Guidance and criteria for authorship can be found in our editorial policies.
Please use initials to refer to each author's contribution in this section, for example: "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."
Please acknowledge anyone who contributed towards the article who does not meet the criteria for authorship including anyone who provided professional writing services or materials.
Authors should obtain permission to acknowledge from all those mentioned in the Acknowledgements section.
See our editorial policies for a full explanation of acknowledgements and authorship criteria.
If you do not have anyone to acknowledge, please write "Not applicable" in this section.
Group authorship (for manuscripts involving a collaboration group): if you would like the names of the individual members of a collaboration Group to be searchable through their individual PubMed records, please ensure that the title of the collaboration Group is included on the title page and in the submission system and also include collaborating author names as the last paragraph of the “Acknowledgements” section. Please add authors in the format First Name, Middle initial(s) (optional), Last Name. You can add institution or country information for each author if you wish, but this should be consistent across all authors.
Please note that individual names may not be present in the PubMed record at the time a published article is initially included in PubMed as it takes PubMed additional time to code this information.
This section is optional.
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.
Footnotes can be used to give additional information, which may include the citation of a reference included in the reference list. They should not consist solely of a reference citation, and they should never include the bibliographic details of a reference. They should also not contain any figures or tables.
Footnotes to the text are numbered consecutively; those to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data). Footnotes to the title or the authors of the article are not given reference symbols.
Always use footnotes instead of endnotes.
Examples of the Basic Springer reference style are shown below.
See our editorial policies for author guidance on good citation practice.
Web links and URLs: 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, as well as the date the site was accessed, in the following format: The Mouse Tumor Biology Database. http://tumor.informatics.jax.org/mtbwi/index.do. Accessed 20 May 2013. 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.
Example reference style:
Article within a journal
Smith J, Jones M Jr, Houghton L (1999) Future of health insurance. N Engl J Med 965:325-329.
Article by DOI (with page numbers)
Slifka MK, Whitton JL (2000) Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J Mol Med 78:74-80. doi:10.1007/s001090000086.
Article by DOI (before issue publication and with page numbers)
Slifka MK, Whitton JL (2000) Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J Mol Med. doi:10.1007/s001090000086.
Article in electronic journal by DOI (no paginated version)
Slifka MK, Whitton JL (2000) Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. Dig J Mol Med. doi:10.1007/s801090000086.
Journal issue with issue editor
Smith J (ed) (1998) Rodent genes. Mod Genomics J 14(6):126-233.
Journal issue with no issue editor
Mod Genomics J (1998) Rodent genes. Mod Genomics J 14(6):126-233.
Book chapter, or an article within a book
Brown B, Aaron M (2001) The politics of nature. In: Smith J (ed) The rise of modern genomics, 3rd edn. Wiley, New York.
Complete book, authored
South J, Blass B (2001) The future of modern genomics. Blackwell, London.
Complete book, edited
Smith J, Brown B (eds) (2001) The demise of modern genomics. Blackwell, London.
Complete book, also showing a translated edition [Either edition may be listed first.]
Adorno TW (1966) Negative Dialektik. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt. English edition: Adorno TW (1973) Negative Dialectics (trans: Ashton EB). Routledge, London.
Chapter in a book in a series without volume titles
Schmidt H (1989) Testing results. In: Hutzinger O (ed) Handbook of environmental chemistry, vol 2E. Springer, Heidelberg, p 111.
Chapter in a book in a series with volume titles
Smith SE (1976) Neuromuscular blocking drugs in man. In: Zaimis E (ed) Neuromuscular junction. Handbook of experimental pharmacology, vol 42. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 593-660.
OnlineFirst chapter in a series (without a volume designation but with a DOI)
Saito, Yukio, and Hyuga, Hiroyuki. (2007) Rate equation approaches to amplification of enantiomeric excess and chiral symmetry breaking. Topics in Current Chemistry. doi:10.1007/128_2006_108.
Proceedings as a book (in a series and subseries)
Zowghi D (1996) A framework for reasoning about requirements in evolution. In: Foo N, Goebel R (eds) PRICAI'96: topics in artificial intelligence. 4th Pacific Rim conference on artificial intelligence, Cairns, August 1996. Lecture notes in computer science (Lecture notes in artificial intelligence), vol 1114. Springer, Heidelberg, p 157.
Article within conference proceedings with an editor (without a publisher)
Aaron M (1999) The future of genomics. In: Williams H (ed) Proceedings of the genomic researchers, Boston, 1999.
Article within conference proceedings without an editor (without a publisher)
Chung S-T, Morris RL (1978) Isolation and characterization of plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid from Streptomyces fradiae. In: Abstracts of the 3rd international symposium on the genetics of industrial microorganisms, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 4-9 June 1978.
Article presented at a conference
Chung S-T, Morris RL (1978) Isolation and characterization of plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid from Streptomyces fradiae. Paper presented at the 3rd international symposium on the genetics of industrial microorganisms, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 4-9 June 1978.
Norman LO (1998) Lightning rods. US Patent 4,379,752, 9 Sept 1998.
Trent JW (1975) Experimental acute renal failure. Dissertation, University of California.
Book with institutional author
International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee (1966) Nomina anatomica. Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam.
In press article
Major M (2007) Recent developments. In: Jones W (ed) Surgery today. Springer, Dordrecht (in press).
Doe J (1999) Title of subordinate document. In: The dictionary of substances and their effects. Royal Society of Chemistry. Available via DIALOG. http://www.rsc.org/dose/title of subordinate document. Accessed 15 Jan 1999.
Healthwise Knowledgebase (1998) US Pharmacopeia, Rockville. http://www.healthwise.org. Accessed 21 Sept 1998.
Supplementary material/private homepage
Doe J (2000) Title of supplementary material. http://www.privatehomepage.com. Accessed 22 Feb 2000.
Doe J (1999) Title of preprint. http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/mydata.html. Accessed 25 Dec 1999.
Doe J (1999) Trivial HTTP, RFC2169. ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2169.txt. Accessed 12 Nov 1999.
ISSN International Centre (2006) The ISSN register. http://www.issn.org. Accessed 20 Feb 2007.
Figures, tables and additional files
See General formatting guidelines for information on how to format figures, tables and additional files.
2018 Journal Metrics
52 days to first decision for reviewed manuscripts only
47 days to first decision for all manuscripts
160 days from submission to acceptance
23 days from acceptance to publication
52 Altmetric mentions
- ISSN: 1868-6966 (electronic)
- ISSN: 1868-6958 (print)