Article type definitions


Case report
In medicine, a case report is a detailed report of the symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. Case reports may contain a demographic profile of the patient, but usually describe an unusual or novel occurrence. Some case reports also contain a literature review of other reported cases.

Case series
More than 1 case report.  A case series (also known as a clinical series) is a medical research descriptive study that tracks patients with a known exposure given similar treatment or examines their medical records for exposure and outcome.
It can be retrospective or prospective and usually involves a smaller number of patients than more powerful case-control studies or randomized controlled trials. Case series may be consecutive or non-consecutive, depending on whether all cases presenting to the reporting authors over a period were included, or only a selection.

Clinical Trial Report 
A clinical trial report is based on any human research study that prospectively assigns individuals or groups of participants to one or more health-related interventions to assess a health-related outcome. The types of interventions assessed can include (but are not restricted to) drugs, cells and biological products, surgical products, devices and behavioural treatments.

Short, decisive observations and findings that generally relate to a contemporary issue, such as recent research findings, but can also include the discussion of difficulties and possible solutions in a field of research.

Correction to an error in published paper; due to author’s error.

An opinion piece written by the senior editorial staff or publisher. Editorials may be supposed to reflect the opinion of the journal. Guest Editorials may only be submitted when an Editor-in-Chief has approached the author to write one directly. Regular submissions cannot be made as Editorial pieces.

Correction to an error in published paper; due to publisher’s error.

Expert opinion
Where experts in their field can promote rigorous research that makes a significant contribution to advancing knowledge.

A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories. Even though the words "hypothesis" and "theory" are often used synonymously, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory. A scientific hypothesis is a proposed explanation of a phenomenon which still has to be rigorously tested. In contrast, a scientific theory has undergone extensive testing and is generally accepted to be the accurate explanation behind an observation. A working hypothesis is a provisionally accepted hypothesis proposed for further research.

Letter to the editor
Letters to the editor will be considered for publication if they are pertinent to articles recently published in Dove Medical Press (DMP) journals. They should provide a useful and objective critique of the DMP paper, usually warranting a response from the original authors. All letters will be screened for appropriateness and significance, and the editor may assign external peer review at their discretion. All letters should be received as soon as possible after publication of the original paper. Letters should not exceed 500 words or five references, one of which should be the DMP paper. There should be no more than three authors and no more than two letters should be submitted per journal per year.


Meeting Report
Should focus on developments presented at the meeting, particularly any new research discoveries. The abstract of the Meeting Report should be short and unstructured giving the name, location (city and state or country) and dates, as well as an indication of the meeting. The body of the article can have subsections with short headings. If speakers are mentioned please provide their full name, institution, city and country. There should be a maximum word count of 2500 words. A reference list should not be included. If a collection of the abstracts is published from the meeting a URL should be included of where these can be found.


A Method article is a medium length peer-reviewed, research-focused article type that aims to answer a specific question. It also describes an advancement or development of current methodological approaches and research procedures (akin to a research article), following the standard layout for research articles.
This includes new study methods, substantive modifications to existing methods, or innovative applications of existing methods to new models or scientific questions. These should include adequate and appropriate validation to be considered, and any datasets associated with the paper must publish all experimental controls and make full datasets available.  

They share innovations and new ways of approaching research questions, increasing the transparency, accessibility and reproducibility of research, and can be uploaded to to increase findability.

Information on formatting Method Articles

The systematic, theoretical analysis of the methods applied to a field of study, or the theoretical analysis of the body of methods and principles associated with a branch of knowledge. A Methodology does not set out to provide solutions but offers the theoretical underpinning for understanding which method, set of methods or so called “best practices” can be applied to a specific case.

Original research
Reports data from original research, in which the conclusions drawn from data collected, show a major advance in understanding an important issue. Original research is the results of a study written by the researchers who did the study. The hypothesis, research method and results are detailed and the results are discussed.

More like a review but written with the author’s point of view in mind. They focus on a specific field or discipline, and discuss current advances or future directions, and may include original data as well as personal insights and opinions.

Photo Essays

A Photo Essay should focus on the visual aspects of the topic presented. It should be a series of photographs that visually tell the story the author wishes to convey. The photos should be self-explanatory of very high quality. Photographs can be of clinical subjects, laboratory results (eg, slides, scans, magnetic resonance images, ultrasonograms) and therapeutic procedures. A Photo Essay should not exceed 300 words and should have no more than 10 references. The number of photographs is limited to 10, with a limit of 60 words for each legend. Please note that not all journals published by Dove Medical Press accept Photo Essays, please ask before submitting.

Poster Extracts

Poster extracts are an alternative publication solution to poster presentations at conferences. The intention of poster extracts is to reformat the poster into a publication-based summary for ease of dissemination. Poster extracts can cover multiple posters within one article, up to a maximum of 15 poster extracts within one article. We encourage the grouping of poster extracts by broad topic (e.g., a therapy type or indication) under one descriptive, overarching title (in addition to the individual poster titles). When including multiple poster extracts within one article, please number your poster extracts. The authors of the poster extract should be the same as on the original poster.

Rapid communication
Same as a Short report.

Research Letter

Research Letters are concise, focused reports of original research or observations. They should not be under consideration, submitted or published elsewhere in any form, in part or as whole. They should not exceed 2,000 words of text and 7 references, and up to 2 tables or figures/photographs/images (photograph format should follow research article guidelines – see Figures and Tables). Research Letters should not contain an Abstract or Keywords but authors should follow the manuscript preparation and submission guidelines. Research letters are subject to external peer review and will be screened for appropriateness and significance. The Editor-in-Chief of the journal will make the final decision on publication. Research Letters not meeting these specifications are generally not considered for publication.

In science, a retraction of a published scientific article indicates that the original article should not have been published and that its data and conclusions should not be used as part of the foundation for future research. The most common reasons for the retraction of articles are scientific misconduct including plagiarism, serious errors, and duplicate/concurrent publishing (self-plagiarism).

Literature reviews of published papers. These look in depth and discuss topics that have had significant research or progress over recent years.

Short report
Same as Rapid communication. Brief reports of up to 2000 words containing data from original research, focused on initial findings that will be of interest to scientists in other fields.

Study protocol
A study protocol describes in detail the plan for conducting a specific clinical study and explains the purpose and function of the study as well as how to carry it out.

Updated 7 September 2023