Paper 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.

Commentary
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.

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

Editorial
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.

Erratum
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.

Hypothesis
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 that are pertinent to articles recently published in Dove Medical Press (DMP) journals. Please ensure that your letter is addressed to the appropriate Editor-in-Chief of the journal concerned. All letters should be received within 30 days of the published paper appearing in a DMP journal. Letters received after this time will rarely be considered. All letters will be screened for appropriateness and significance and the Editor may assign external peer review at their discretion. DMP journals are not a vehicle for grievances or personal rebukes. DMP reserves the right to reject letters where the Editor-in-Chief has deemed it unfit on the grounds of misleading, inaccurate or inappropriate content. The Editor-in-Chief will make a final decision. Word count should not exceed 500 words of text and 5 references, 1 of which should be to the recent article, and no more than 3 cited authors. The text should include the full name, academic degrees, and a single institutional affiliation for each author and the e-mail address for the corresponding author. Letters should not duplicate other material published or submitted for publication and should not include unpublished data. Letters not meeting these specifications are generally not considered for publication.

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 abstracts are published from the meeting a URL should be included of where these can be found.

Methodology
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.

Perspectives
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.

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 600 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). An abstract is not required for a Research Letter 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.

Retraction
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).

Review
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 (2-3 page) reports of 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 10 October 2017