Literature Review, Case Report, and Scientific Paper Standards for Submission

Your submission must be evaluated by the program director for clarity, focus, and appropriateness. In addition, the program director must review and approve the paper or case study. The resident must submit the paper via the AOAO Case Log System.

Author Disclosure Statement

Briefly collate all information regarding conflicts directly related to the material being published from the individual author’s summaries. Use the format: Author’s initials, then category, then company name. Relevant categories include “has nothing to declare”, “is employed by”, “was previously employed by”, “consults for”, “has previously consulted for”, “has served as an expert witness for”, “received lecture fees from”, “has equity interests in”, “received grant support (dates) from”, “is an inventor on (country)(patent number)”, “receives royalties from”. Authors may also add other pertinent categories. The paper must be double-spaced, paginated, with references required for all material derived from the work of others. Note: Authors must obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Animal Care and Use Committee (ACAUC) approval for their projects when carrying out research on either human or animal subjects. Documentation of having obtained this approval must be explicitly included in the manuscript.

Literature Review Format

A literature review can be just a simple summary of sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis. A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of the information. It might give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations. Or it might trace the intellectual progression of the field, including major debates. Depending on the situation, the literature review may evaluate the sources and advise the reader on the most pertinent or relevant conclusion. A literature review may also use meta-analysis (examination of data from a number of independent studies of the same subject, in order to determine overall trends).

1. Abstract – Summary include key words and definitions.
2. Introduction – State research subject. Prepare the reader for what is to come in the body of the paper.
3. Review of literature – Systematic reporting of literature with particular emphasis on new data, new interpretation, or new use of old material contained in the search.
4. Discussion – Critical comments, interpretive statements or the taking of a new perspective based on the review. The discussion should include charts, tables, illustrations or case histories that clarify the subject being presented.
5. Conclusion – What should the reader learn as a result of the literature review that was reported? What is the outcome? What can the reader deduct from information presented?
6. References – See below for Basic Rules

Case Report Format

The format of a patient case report encompasses the following five sections: an abstract, an introduction and objective that contain a literature review, a description of the case report, a discussion that includes a detailed explanation of the literature review, a summary of the case, and a conclusion.

1. Abstract – A concise review indicating the nature of the report and what is the key feature or features to be learned from the body of the report. Key words must be included and separately identified immediately below the abstract.
2. Introduction and Objectives – This section should provide the subject, purpose, and merit of the case report. It must explain why the case report is novel or merits review, and it should include a comprehensive literature review that corroborates the author’s claim.
3. Case Report – This section should be relatively short and it should stress the key or pertinent pieces of information and/or data that apply to the reason why the study was undertaken. The areas to be covered, if applicable, include:

• Brief history
• Chief clinical findings
• Past history
• Family history
• Laboratory results
• X-ray results
• Consultations
• Therapy utilized
• Outcome
• Autopsy or special report

4. Discussion – Discuss how, based on the literature review, the case is unique or interesting and warrants consideration by the reader. Clearly delineate how the experience of others should be altered by the information provided from the case. Indicate where there is a difference from the experience of other authors who have been cited in the literature review.
5. Summary – A short and succinct review of what was learned and what is expected for others to learn from the experience of reading the paper.
6. Conclusion – What was learned from the research? What is it that the resident wants the reader to walk away with after reading the article?
7. References – See below for Basic Rules

Scientific Paper

A well-written scientific paper explains the scientist’s motivation for doing an experiment, the experiment design and execution, and the meaning of the results. Scientific papers are written in a style that is exceedingly clear and concise. Their purpose is to inform an audience of other scientists about an important issue and to document the particular approach they use to investigate that issue. The scientific paper must meet all requirements for a scientific paper using the IMRAD format: (Introduction, Methods, Results, Abstract and, Discussion)

1. Introduction – Why are you writing and what is relevant about this topic now? What problem are you addressing; what is the background to it; and what is the prior hypothesis you were testing?
2. Methods – How did you do the study? What materials did you use or what types of patient did you study?
3. Results – What was your outcome or conclusion? How much can you include? What belongs in tables or figures and what is better in the text?
4. Abstract – A short review in 250 words or less indicating the nature of the report and what is the key feature or features to be learned from the body of the report. Key words must be included and separately identified immediately below the abstract.
5. Discussion – What are the strengths and weaknesses of your study? How do your findings, correlate or not correlate with other published evidence? Where now – i.e., what comes next in your research and has your prior hypothesis stood up to your test of it or should you modify it or even abandon it?
6. References – see below for Basic Rules

References –Basic Rules

Your reference list should appear at the end of your paper. It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you cite in the body of the paper. Each source you cite in the paper must appear in your reference list. Likewise, each entry in the reference list must be cited in your text.
Your references should begin on a new page separate from the text of the essay. Label this page References (with no quotation marks, underlining, etc.), centered at the top of the page. It should be double-spaced just like the rest of your essay.

Basic Rules
• All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.
• Authors’ names are inverted (last name first); give the last name and initials for all authors of a particular work unless the work has more than six authors. If the work has more than six authors, list the first six authors and then use et al. after the sixth author’s name to indicate the rest of the authors.
• Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.
• If you have more than one article by the same author, single-author references or multiple-author references with the exact same authors in the exact same order are listed in order by the year of publication, starting with the earliest.
• When referring to any work that is NOT a journal, such as a book, article, or Web page, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns. Do not capitalize the first letter of the second word in a hyphenated compound word.
• Capitalize all major words in journal titles.
• Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals.
• Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays in edited collections.
• For more information on writing a research abstract, the following link offers some helpful tips: Please be aware the above link provides a guideline ONLY. The AOAO does not endorse the website or society in any way.