American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

ACS Case Reviews in Surgery Author Instructions

ACS Case Reviews in Surgery will publish case reports in various surgical specialties. The content of each case report should be something of interest to practicing surgeons and describe experiences that may not be routinely seen or was treated in a unique fashion. Case reports that involve patients who have common surgical problems—where the clinical presentation and/or challenges of management produced knowledge and insights that have educational value—are also worthy of submission to ACS Case Reviews in Surgery. Case reports will be reviewed with the understanding that the work has not been published by, and is not under consideration at, any other journal. All manuscripts are peer-reviewed.

Authors are encouraged to review a prototype case review. ACS Case Reviews in Surgery is strictly an electronic journal; no reprints will be available.

Ideally, each case report will be approximately 1,000 (four pages) words including the case description. Please see the “Word Count” section for more details.

Please note: Medical students and residents are encouraged to submit to ACS Case Reviews in Surgery; however, in order to do so, an ACS fellow must be included as one of the case report authors.

I. Manuscript Format

Title Page

Title

The title page must be the first page of the manuscript; all pages should be numbered. The title of the manuscript should include the report’s key concepts so that search engines will locate the manuscript. No abbreviations are allowed in titles, unless they are standard acronyms (for example, ACS NSQIP).

Author Names and Affiliations

List the names of all authors, including first name and middle initial, graduate degrees of authors, and FACS if author(s) are Fellows of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). No more than 10 names will appear under the title. Where the family name may be ambiguous (for example, a double name), please indicate this clearly.

Present the authors’ affiliation addresses—where the actual work was done—below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lowercase superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate affiliation.

Provide the full affiliation for each author, including department and institution, city, and state.

Correspondence Address

Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of review, revision, publication, and post-publication. Only one corresponding author is allowed. Ensure that a valid phone number, with country and area code, is provided in addition to an e-mail address and complete postal address. Contact details must be kept up to date by the corresponding author.

Present/Permanent Address

If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a “Present address” (or “Permanent address”) may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main affiliation address.

Meeting Presentation

Include meeting presentation information: the name (spelled out) of the sponsoring organization; city and state where the meeting took place; and month and year of the meeting.

Abstract

Structured abstracts are required. Abstract should contain about 300 words. The format for the abstract is:

  • Background (one sentence)
  • Case Report summary (one paragraph)
  • Conclusion (two to three sentences)

Describe the problem presented by the case and the main lesson(s) learned. Do not cite references in the abstract.

Keywords

Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of six (6) keywords, using American spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, “and,” “of”). These keywords will be used for indexing and searching purposes.

Case Description

Abbreviations

Abbreviations/acronyms should be in parentheses immediately after the words for which they stand, and must be spelled out completely at first use in the abstract and again at first use in the text. Abbreviations/acronyms used in figures must be spelled out in the figure legend. Up to 10 abbreviations of common terms (for example, DCIS, HBV, TIA) or acronyms (for example, SPECT, TRISS, SEER) may be used throughout the manuscript. On a separate page after the abstract, list the selected abbreviations and their definitions (for example, DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ). The editors will determine which lesser-known terms should not be abbreviated.

Units and Drug Names

Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other units are mentioned, please give their equivalent in SI.

Generic names should be used for drugs, with trade name and company in parentheses. Do not use patient names, initials, or hospital numbers.

Artwork

  • Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
  • Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
  • Use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or fonts that look similar.
  • Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
  • Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
  • Provide captions to illustrations separately.
  • Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the published version.
  • Submit each illustration as a separate file.

If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply as is in the native document format.

Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please “Save as” or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):

  • EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
  • TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
  • TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
  • TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.

Please do not:

  • Supply files that are optimized for screen use (i.e., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG). These typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors.
  • Supply files that are too low in resolution.
  • Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Artwork can be black and white or color

Tables

Submit tables as part of the manuscript document, at the end after the reference list. Tables should be submitted in "table editor" format within the Word-processed document (not in PDF or graphics format), and they should not use tabs or spaces to separate columns. If a table is large or exceedingly complex, the author should consider separating the data into two or more simpler tables. Submit no more than five tables, on separate pages, and number tables in Arabic numbers consecutively in order of text citation. Provide a brief title. Each column must have a heading. Put all explanatory matter in footnotes, including an explanation for all nonstandard abbreviations used in table. For every key symbol used in the table (*,†, ‡, §, ||, ¶, #, **, ††, ‡‡, §§, etc.) make sure a corresponding footnote is included.

If a table contains data from previously published material—by you or others—obtain permission and acknowledge fully in the table footnote. Include the permission letter with the manuscript submission.

Figure Legends
Supply legends separately at the end of the manuscript file, not attached to the figure. The figure itself should not include a title. A legend should begin with a brief title and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations to a minimum.

Number the figures consecutively with Arabic numbers. Label figure parts “A” and “B”, etc., in Arial bold font. When symbols, arrowheads, or letters identify parts of an illustration, explain each clearly in the legend and spell out all abbreviations. Explain, if necessary, the internal scale, and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs.

If a figure has been previously published—by you or others—obtain permission and state the permission fully in the figure legend. Include the permission letter with the manuscript submission.

Discussion

This section should include a brief review of the literature as well as a discussion of the management and decision-making involved in the case. The discussion section should also evaluate the patient case for accuracy, validity, and uniqueness; compare and contrast the case report with the published literature; derive new knowledge; and summarize the essential features of the report; and draw recommendations.

Conclusion

Briefly reiterate evidence-based recommendations and applicability to practice.

Lessons Learned

Authors must provide a brief 1–3-sentence summary of essential points, statements, or facts (not to exceed 50 words), summarizing the findings of their manuscript. If the article is accepted, it will appear in the table of contents.

References

If you use automated reference numbering software (such as EndNotes) or bibliography software, turn it off before submitting the manuscript.

Citation in Text

Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Reference Links

Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, CrossRef and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is encouraged.

Reference Style

Number consecutively in the order mentioned in text. The citation number is placed in the text after the name when the reference is cited; if no name is mentioned the citation is placed in the text at the end of the material referred to. [Ex: "Meakins and Jones (13) have shown that..." and "A group of oncologists has proved that if.... (13)"] References to manuscripts accepted but not published at time of submission can be designated as "J Am Coll Surg. In press 2008." Personal communication is cited within the text, not in references. Authors must obtain written permission and confirmation of accuracy from the source of personal communication before submission. References must be verified against original documents; authors are responsible for completeness and accuracy of all citations.

The Reference List should follow the text, and begin on a separate page, double-spaced and numbered consecutively. If there are 5 or more authors, list 3 authors, et al. If there are 4 authors or fewer than 4, list them all.

Order of reference parts for a journal article:
[Authors]. [Title]. [Journal name] [Year];[Volume]:[Pages].

Samples:
Standard journal article

Less than 4 authors:
1. Valabussa P, Bonadonna G, Veronesi U. Patterns of relapse and survival following radical mastectomy. Cancer 1978;41:1170-1178.

II. Case Report Submission Checklist

Please use this list to carry out a final check of your case report before you submit it for review.

Ensure that the following items are present:

Contact Information

Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of review, revision, publication, and post-publication. Only ONE author is allowed to be designated as the corresponding author, with the following contact details provided:

  • Valid e-mail address
  • Complete postal address
  • Valid phone number (with country and area code)

Contact details must be kept up-to-date by the corresponding author.

All Necessary Files Have Been Submitted

  • Include keywords
  • Include all figures (include relevant captions) and permissions statements, when applicable
  • Include all tables (including titles, description, footnotes) and permissions statements, when applicable
  • Ensure all figure and table citations in the text match the files provided

Further Considerations

  • Manuscript has been "spell checked" and "grammar checked"
  • All references mentioned in the References are cited in the text, and vice versa
  • Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet)
  • Relevant declarations of interest have been made
  • Journal policies detailed in this guide have been reviewed

If you have any questions, please contact the editorial team at casereviews@facs.org

Word Count

As stated previously, we highly recommend submitting case reports that are no longer than four pages (approximately 1,000 words). That said, the ultimate goal of ACS Case Reviews in Surgery is to provide access to unique and in-depth analyses of actual surgical cases. In addition, this innovative, peer-reviewed journal will provide surgeons with opportunities to learn effective surgical approaches and provide the highest quality of service and care to patients. Therefore, as long as the submitted case report accomplishes these goals, we will leave the final report length to the discretion of the author(s).

Images

Photographs/X-Rays

Photographs and X-rays are encouraged, as long as all identifying information has been removed or blacked out.

Videos

At this time, videos will not be able to be included.

Figures/Charts/Graphs/Tables/Illustrations

If the author(s) would like to include tables, illustrations, charts, etc., that require permission, please submit the granted permission(s) with the case report.

III. How to Submit Case Reports

Editors of ACS CRS will review each submission and decide if it is appropriate for publication in this journal. All case reports will be checked for plagiarism prior to publication. If accepted for publication, edits and/or recommendations will be sent to the authors, along with a request for changes. Once accepted, the case report will be considered the property of the American College of Surgeons, subject to all applicable copyright laws, and not publishable again in any form.

ACS Case Reviews in Surgery Case Report Submission Steps

  1. Author(s) will submit their case study to casereviews@facs.org
  2. A preliminary review will be conducted to determine whether to accept submitted case study for initial review. If case study is rejected, no appeals will be permitted.
  3. After the initial review, the case study editor will decide whether to reject the case study, accept it, or request revisions by the author. Case study authors will be notified via e-mail regarding the status of their submitted study. If the case study needs to be revised, authors will be provided with copies of the completed review forms.
  4. Case study authors will be given a deadline of 14 days to submit their requested case study revisions, which should include the revised case study (with tracked changes implemented) and an explanatory cover letter that details the exact revisions made per the revision recommendations. If the case study author cannot meet this deadline, then the case study will immediately be rejected.
  5. If the submitted case report is approved for submission after the review process has been completed, the author(s) will be notified vial e-mail. At this time, the author(s) will also be sent ACS Project Agreement/Financial Disclosure forms to review, sign, date, and submit to casereviews@facs.org. The case study authors will also submit approved permissions statements for any images, including, but not limited to, figures, charts, tables, graphs, and illustrations.
  6. The corresponding case study author will be e-mailed a final proof of the case study for their approval. Special attention should be given to correct presentation of the author names. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure that all authors listed on the manuscript agree with how those names are listed on the final proof. Formatting changes, grammar changes, and routine rephrasing of sentences or additions are not permitted. Alteration recommendations should be restricted to serious changes in interpretation or corrections of data.

    All changes are subject to editorial review and approval.

    Additionally, the case study author will have up to 48 hours to recommend any content alterations. After 48 hours, the content cannot be revised by the case study author and will be considered final.
  7. Once the case study author approves the case study proof, it will be submitted for publication.
  8. After the case study has been published, the case study author will be contacted via e-mail with a link to and/or an electronic copy of their newly published work, along with a formatted reference citation for their use.

IV. Conflict of Interest

In accordance with ACCME regulations, the American College of Surgeons must ensure that anyone who is in a position to control the content of ACS Case Reviews in Surgery has disclosed all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest as it pertains to the content of their contribution. All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work using the ACS Case Reviews in Surgery Disclosure Form/Project Agreement form. You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. If none of the authors has any financial relationships to disclose, one disclosure form may be submitted for all authors. If any author has financial relationships to disclose, then a separate disclosure form must be submitted for each author. Failure or refusal to disclose or the inability to resolve the identified conflict will result in the withdrawal of your contribution.

Author(s) are strongly advised to not submit any content or other materials that compete with the work products covered by the ACS Project Agreement. Further, any and all authors will agree that ideas and materials developed by other group members and submitted to ACS for publication will not be used for any other purpose, particularly as described by the ACS Project Agreement. Additionally, authors will not develop materials that are similar to or would compete with the project covered by the ACS Project Agreement.

V. Statement on Duplicate Publication

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere including electronically in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder.

When submitting a paper, the author must always make a complete statement to the editor about all submissions and previous reports (including meeting presentations and posting of results in registries) that might be regarded as redundant or duplicate publication. The author must alert the editor if the manuscript includes subjects about which the authors have published a previous report or have submitted a related report to another publication. Any such report must be referred to and referenced in the new paper. Copies of such material should be included with the submitted manuscript to help the editor decide how to handle the matter.

If redundant or duplicate publication is attempted or occurs without such notification, authors should expect editorial action to be taken. At the least, prompt rejection of the submitted manuscript should be expected. If the editor was not aware of the violations and the article has already been published, then a notice of redundant or duplicate publication will probably be published with or without the author's explanation or approval.

VI. Confidentiality

In order to protect and maintain the confidentiality of any ACS projects, authors will agree not to make copies of, disclose, discuss, describe, distribute, or disseminate in any manner whatsoever, including in any oral, written, or electronic form, any information discussed, developed, or disseminated in conjunction with the case report. Case report content will not be used for personal or professional benefit or for any other reason, except directly in conjunction with the terms of the ACS Project Agreement. Authors will take reasonable steps to protect the confidential nature of this matter and to dispose of all materials and notes regarding such confidential information in a manner consistent with confidential information. In the event that the authors receive questions about the ACS project, the author will agree to direct all questions, concerns, or inquiries to the College’s staff.  The author will acknowledge that ACS will be irreparably harmed and that the author shall have no adequate remedy at law for any breach of this provision.

VII. Authorship

In accordance with the Consensus Statement on Surgery Journals Authorship-2006, all authors should have made substantial contributions to all three of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. Allowing one's name to appear as an author without having contributed significantly to the study or adding the name of an individual who has not contributed or who has not agreed to the work in its current form is considered a breach of appropriate authorship.

VIII. Human Rights

If the work involves the use of human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans; Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.