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HIV Clinical Cases Library Instructions to Authors

The Editors at the Center for HIV Information at the University of California San Francisco invite authors to submit original patient case studies for inclusion in the HIV Clinical Cases Library. Such cases should describe observations related to HIV care and treatment in resource-constrained countries. The Library will contain a comprehensive online collection of real-life clinical cases from resource-constrained countries that will be shared on the Internet, free of charge, to health care providers and organizations that support them around the world.

Criteria for Publication

The UCSF Center for HIV Information will be highly selective in the case studies that it will choose for inclusion in the Library. Submitted case studies will be assessed by Library editorial staff members who will decide whether it has the potential to convey useful clinical lessons; if so, it will be sent to a Library medical editor for peer review. To be considered for publication in HIV Clinical Cases Library, case studies must be clearly written and must adhere to the guidelines listed below.

Selection criteria for case studies will include the following:

Practical relevance of the case to clinicians in the field, particularly those working in facilities with limited diagnostic resources
Creativity and originality displayed in resolving the case
Usefulness of the case in filling a content gap in the Library
Regional uniqueness of the case; cases discussing clinical situations that are common in particular regions of the world but uncommon in the United States and Europe will be prioritized

Once the editorial review is complete, a decision letter will be sent to the author. The Library editorial team will either:

Accept the case study and request revision
Invite the author to revise the case study before a making final decision
Reject the case study because it does not meet the criteria listed above

Upon acceptance, case studies enter our production system and usually appear online within 3 months.

Author Agreement

Please review and sign the accompanying author agreement. Note that it includes spaces for the title of your case study, your name, title(s), a complete mailing address, phone and fax number, as well as email address, which is essential.

Outline for Case Study
Patient presentation: signs and symptoms or chief complaint(s) (1-2 sentences).
Relevant patient history (1-2 paragraphs).
The results of initial physical exams. When possible, please include patient photos.
Initial (nondiagnostic) lab and imaging test results, if available. Provide the results of only the relevant tests.
Differential diagnosis or diagnoses considered at the time of presentation (list the possible diagnoses with a 2-3 sentence discussion after each item).
Conclusive lab, imaging, path, or other diagnostic tests, if available.
Diagnosis (1 sentence) or reason why diagnosis could not be definitively made.
Treatment (1 paragraph on the selection of treatment).
Clinical course (1-2 paragraphs) including interdisciplinary approaches.
Discussion: What was particularly usual or interesting about this case? How was the presentation, treatment, and/or course different from what would be expected in the United States or elsewhere?
3-5 bulleted summary points.
General Writing Instructions

Please follow the instructions below when writing and submitting your case study.

Case studies should be written in English.
Please write your case study in MS Word or, if this is not available, in your email program.
Spell out abbreviated terms at first mention in all text, tables, and figures.
Local terms should be explained or translated.
Project-specific jargon and uncommon abbreviations should be avoided.
Please use the generic names of drugs.
Please give specific drug dosage schedules.
Please reference tables and figures in the text of your chapter; for example, "(see Table 1)".
Tables in the text must be numbered (consecutively in the order mentioned in the text) and titled. Abbreviations in tables must be explained in a footnote.

Please cite references numerically in order of appearance in text. Please ensure accuracy in spelling and details of publication. The first 3 authors of a publication must be listed, followed by "et al" for 4 or more authors. Only published or accepted manuscripts should be included in the reference list.

Example of CHI Reference Format:
Journal Article: Honer WG, Thornton AE, Chen EY, et al. Clozapine alone versus clozapine and risperidone with refractory schizophrenia. N Engl J Med. 2006 Feb 2;354(5):472-82.
Book: Sherlock S, Dooley J. Diseases of the Liver and Biliary System; 9th ed. Oxford, England: Blackwell Scientific Publications; 1993.
We encourage the inclusion of figures with case studies.
All figures should be submitted as digital files of at least 300 dpi (when taking photographs, please use the highest quality setting on your camera).
Please title image files so that it is clear how they correspond with the figures mentioned in the text.
For each figure, please include a caption and title that does not duplicate text material.
The preferred file formats for figures are TIFF and EPS. Although JPG files are also acceptable, they have low resolution and are suboptimal.
Please submit files either as attachments to the email in which you send your case study or by post on a CD-ROM.
Multiple images can be sent by email by using WinZip software.
Please do not embed figures in Microsoft application files such as MS Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
Author Checklist and Permission
In clinical photographs in which the patient could be recognized, the case study must either be accompanied by a statement signed by the patient or the patient's guardian granting permission to publish the photograph for educational purposes. If permission is not obtained, the photograph will be cropped accordingly to ensure that the patient's identity is not disclosed.
Please ensure that you have received appropriate written permission to use any previously published figures and tables.
Please supply a complete credit line for each previously published table or figure, especially if the table is modified from the original. A complete citation is vital.
All images that are submitted as part of a case study will also be considered for inclusion in the CHI's HIV Image Library for open access. By submitting case studies to CHI, the authors grant CHI permission to disseminate these images.
Please ensure that a signed author checklist is included in your case study submission.
Submitting the Case Study

At the time of submission, the case study package should include the following components:

    Author agreement
    The case study text including references and tables
    Clinical photographs (if applicable)

Case studies should be submitted by email to

In circumstances in which material cannot be sent by email, it may be copied to a CD-ROM and sent by post to the following address:

UCSF Center for HIV Information
Attn: Clinical Cases Library
4150 Clement Street, Building 16
San Francisco, CA 94121 USA