Case publishing guidelines
Case publishing guidelines are really here to help get an idea of the minimum set of expectations that we, as an editorial board, think are acceptable when uploading a case.
As Radiopaedia.org gets bigger and attracts a greater number of people from across the web, we will need to tighten our expectations of what cases get published. As such, these guidelines act as a checklist that can be used prior to upload.
If cases do not meet these criteria, we will be turning them into private cases that only the owner can see (this feature is pending). You will only be able to have a small number of private cases and once you have the allotted number, you'll not be able to upload any more cases.
The image must either be free of copyright restrictions or belong to you. Read more...
Plagiarism of images or text is absolutely not acceptable. Read more...
All cases submitted should be de-identified, in such a way as to leave no way of identifying an individual patient. Ideally images should be devoid of ALL text overlay. This not only removes visual clutter, but ensures that no information is inadvertently left. Most PACS environments allow you to export without text overlay.
Information which should NOT appear on any of the cases includes (based on HIPAA guidelines), but is not limited to:
- date of birth
- address, including full or partial postal code
- telephone or fax numbers or contact information
- e-mail addresses
- unique identifying numbers (e.g. UR, MRN, HID etc..)
- vehicle identifiers
- medical device identifiers (e.g serial numbers)
- web or internet protocol addresses containing any link to the patient
- biometric data
- facial photograph or comparable image
- names of relatives
Additionally if a case is for one reason or another unique in a way that could lead to identification of an individual then it should also not be uploaded. This means that a case which is has been featured in the media is usually inappropriate.
The vast majority of radiology departments now have PACS and with that, the ability to export images to disc. It is unlikely that taking a photograph of a screen will provide a case that is helpful for the illustration of a sign or disease process.
Since our aim is to create the best radiology resource of the internet, we need good quality images. Moreover, if the case includes cross-sectional imaging or DSA, the images should be uploaded as a stack. Ideally we would like around 20-50 images per stack and excessive images (e.g over 70 are discouraged)
Image quality standards
- resolution - no specific figure is set. Ideally native resolution of the modality should be uploaded (e.g. 512x512px for CT, 128 to 1024px for MRI (depending on sequence / scan parameters), >1024 for plain films etc.. ). Images can be smaller provided they still are useful when displayed full screen on a normal monitor (say 1024 x 768px)
- contrast / brightness - the abnormality should be visible easily and the image displayed with optimum windowing and levels (remember that these are not dicom and therefore should be optimized at the time of capture)
Images should also be cropped appropriately, so that there isn't extraneous amounts of blank space around them. Read more...
Just because you know what the image or stack of images shows, doesn't mean that everybody does! So, add in a short description about the study. It doesn't need to be a complete report, but should highlight the salient features.
Cases need to have a diagnosis. This may be radiological (supracondylar fracture) or histological (eosinophilic granuloma). It is important that if the diagnosis is histological, that appropriate mention is made in the discussion. Ideally you should include the histology report (and even better images of the slides)
If the diagnosis is a presumptive diagnosis pending histological confirmation, this should be clarified in the text.
In some cases, where no laboratory or pathological test are definitive, the diagnosis is presumptive. In such cases you need to convince the readers / editors of why your diagnosis is correct.
These aren't mandatory, but can turn a good case into a great case!
The discussion portion of the case isn't mandatory, but can be helpful for more complex cases. It should be limited to this case and delegate discussion of the condition in general to the "related article" section (see below).
At the end of each case you should include a related articles section, listing and linking to a minimum of 1 but usually 2 or three related Radiopaedia.org articles. Read more about linking...