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How to Write and Publish a Case Report

About this Guide

Welcome to the Temple University Libraries guide on writing and publishing case reports

This guide will help you:

  • Learn what a case report is
  • Provide guidance on how to select an appropriate case to report
  • Learn about the different components of a case report
  • Provide guidelines and writing resources
  • Help you find appropriate journals to submit to for publication
  • Provide writing resources available at Temple University

Definition and Purpose of Case Reports

Case Report: A detailed report of the symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. Case reports usually describe an unusual or novel occurrence and as such, remain one of the cornerstones of medical progress and provide many new ideas in medicine. The case report is a rapid short communication between busy clinicians who may not have time or resources to conduct large scale research.

The most common reasons for publishing a case report:

  • Unusual or unexpected presentations of commonly seen illnesses
  • New associations or variations in disease processes
  • Presentations, diagnoses, or management of new or emerging diseases
  • An unexpected event in the course of treating or observing a patient
  • Unreported of unusual adverse effects or interactions of medications or treatments
  • Novel or useful approach to managing patients with complex chronic conditions


Source: Guidelines To Writing A Clinical Case Report. Heart Views. 2017 Jul-Sep;18(3):104-105. doi: 10.4103/1995-705X.217857. PMID: 29184619; PMCID: PMC5686928.

Benefits of Publishing a Case Report

Here are some benefits of publishing a case report:

  • Provides a communication channel for researchers through-out fields
  • It's a good addition to your CV and resume