Here is a selection of articles on writing, taken from the chiropractic literature. Included are links to the Index to Chiropractic Literature, as well as links to PubMed, journal records or DOIs. See also Where should I publish my article? ; Submitting manuscripts to biomedical journals: Common errors and helpful solutions
Budgell B. Commentary: Guidelines to the writing of case studies. JCCA 2008; 52(4):199-204.
Introduction: Case studies are an invaluable record of the clinical practices of a profession. While case studies cannot provide specific guidance for the management of successive patients, they are a record of clinical interactions which help us to frame questions for more rigorously designed clinical studies. Case studies also provide valuable teaching teaching material, demonstrating both classical and unusual presentations which may confront the practitioner. Quite obviously, since the overwhelming majority of clinical interactions occur in the field, not in teaching or research facilities, it falls to the field practitioner to record and pass on their experiences. However, field practitioners generally are not well-practised in writing for publication, and so may hesitate to embark on the task of carrying a case study to publication. These guidelines are intended to assist the relatively novice writer – practitioner or student – in efficiently navigating the relatively easy course to publication of a quality case study. Guidelines are not intended to be proscriptive, and so throughout this document we advise what authors “may” or “should” do, rather than what they “must” do. Authors may decide that the particular circumstances of their case study justify digression from our recommendations.
Green BN, Johnson CD. How to write a case report for publication. J Chiropr Med 2006; 5(2):72-82.
Objective: This paper describes how and why to write a case report for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Methods: PubMed, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and the Index to Chiropractic Literature were searched from 2000 through September 2006 using the following search terms: case report, authorship, peer review, and manuscript. Relevant manuscripts were retrieved and the results were used to update a previous narrative overview of the literature.
Discussion: Commensurate with the increased use of evidence-based health care and recent changes in publication requirements, new standards are expected of case reports. Case reports should present new information to the literature and be written succinctly. The types of case reports available are discussed. Steps for preparing a case report are described based upon the current available literature.
Conclusion: Case reports are important contributions to the health sciences literature. Proper preparation of this study design is necessary in order for it to be published. A self-evaluation check sheet for authors is included to assist in the writing process. [Appendix A. Case Report Check Sheet]
ICL Journal Link
Johnson CD, Green BN. Helpful hints: Writing effective letters to the editor [editorial]. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2006; 29(6):415-416.
Abstract: Letters to the editor serve an important role in postpublication review by maintaining the integrity of evidence. The act of critical appraisal of the literature, an important step of evidence-based practice, may generate letters to the editor. Letters may serve to
(1) identify errors or deficiencies and make a correction to the literature,
(2) point out alternative theories or additional information not contained in the original article,
(3) offer new, additional, or counterevidence to that of the original article, and/or
(4) hold authors and journals accountable for their publications. Through letters, the readership helps to strengthen the evidence base. Recommendations for writing and assessing a letter to the editor are included in this editorial.
ICL DOI Link
Anwar R. How to write a case report. Student BMJ 2004; 12:60-61.
Rahij Anwar and colleagues give advice on the practical details of writing case reports.
Young M. Writing for the peer-reviewed biomedical literature: Part I. The why and the wherefore. Clin Chiropr 2003; 6(3-4):144-150.
Abstract: Within the chiropractic literature, there is under-representation of clinical observation, small-scale trials and pilot studies. This can have an adverse effect in framing the research questions of larger projects. It can also lead to a diminution in the perceived significance of research by clinicians. In many countries, graduate education programmes are seeking to redress this balance by including training in writing for biomedical journals in their content. Continuing professional development portfolios are also increasingly recognizing the importance of such work, both to the professional and to the profession. This two-part article seeks to outline the reasons why clinical papers are important and offer advice as to the best way in which to translate clinical observation and deduction into a publishable format.
ICL DOI Link
Young M. Writing for the peer-reviewed biomedical literature: Part II. The how and the when. Clin Chiropr 2004; 7(2):90-99.
Abstract: Within the chiropractic literature, there is under-representation of clinical observation, small-scale trials and pilot studies. This can have an adverse effect in framing the research questions of larger projects. It can also lead to a diminution in the perceived significance of such research by clinicians. In many countries, graduate education programmes are seeking to redress this balance by including training in writing for biomedical journals. Continuing professional development portfolios are also increasingly recognising the importance of such work, both to the professional and to the profession. This two-part article seeks to outline the reasons why clinical papers are important and offer advice as to the best way in which to translate clinical observation and deduction into a publishable format. This second part deals with the technical aspects of creating a journal submission and the increasingly diverse formats in which submission can be made. Again, emphasis is placed on the formats most appropriate to practicing chiropractors working in a clinical setting.
ICL DOI Link
Green BN, Johnson CD. Writing narrative literature reviews for peer-reviewed journals: secrets of the trade. J Sports Chiropr & Rehabil 2001; 15(1):5-16.
Objective: To describe and discuss the process used to write a narrative review of the literature for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The JSCR wishes to standardize its publication of narrative overviews of the literature to increase their objectivity.
Background: In the past decade numerous changes in research methodology pertaining to reviews of the literature have occurred. These changes necessitate authors of review articles to be familiar with current standards in the publication process.
Methods: Narrative overview of the literature synthesizing the findings of literature retrieved from searches of computerized databases, hand searches, and authoritative texts.
Discussion: An overview of the use of three types of reviews of the literature is resented. Step by step instructions for how to conduct and write a narrative overview utilizing a ‘best-evidence synthesis’ approach are discussed, starting with appropriate preparatory work and ending with how to create proper illustrations. Several resources for creating reviews of the literature are presented and a narrative overview critical appraisal worksheet is included. A bibliography of other useful reading is presented in an appendix.
Conclusion: Narrative overviews can be a valuable contribution to the literature if prepared properly. New and experienced authors wishing to write a narrative overview should find this article useful in constructing such a paper and carrying out the research process. It is hoped that this article will stimulate scholarly dialog amongst colleagues about this research design and other complex literature review methods.
ICL Full Text
Green BN, Johnson CD. Writing patient case reports for peer-reviewed journals: Secrets of the trade. J Sports Chiropr & Rehabil 2000; 14(3):51-59.
Objective: To describe and discuss the process used to write a case report for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Methods: Narrative review of the literature.
Discussion: The importance for case reports is presented as well as the explanation of how to write them in a standardized format. Steps in preparing a case report are described and discussed starting with selecting a title and concluding with preparing appropriate illustrations. Conclusion: Case reports are important contributions to the health sciences literature. Proper preparation of this research design is necessary in order for it to be published in a credible manner.