Guide for the presentation of Clinical Cases and Communications

The following information is for those new researchers who will present their first investigations. For those with more experience, it can serve as a guide to tutor people in your group of investigation or in your workplace.

This guide includes information on formal aspects, the practices and ethics of the presentation, and a revision of scientific communications.
Our conference offers the possibility to present your investigations either in the form of a clinic case or as a scientific communication. Clinical cases are limited to three cases per pathology, and should include new information that is relevant to congress delegates. The communications are works of clinical investigations including clinical essays or experiments.
For those clinical studies that investigate new therapies or diagnostic techniques, it’s necessary to check that they meet the required ethics on animal testing (see more on this later).

What can you present?
Before considering presenting a clinical case, it’s recommended that you check previous publications in databases such as PubMed to make sure your findings are not already known. The first thing that the assessors will do is to check that your submission is new information. Remember that you cannot present abstracts already presented or accepted at other congresses. We want the results of investigations to be available to the scientific community, but it’s important to choose the audience for which the information will be most relevant. This includes choosing the conference or congress where you want your investigation to be presented.

Who can present?
Only those people who have actively participated in the investigation should be considered authors. This includes the conception and design of the investigation, the acquisition of data and interpretation of the results, or in the writing of the text. All parties have to approve the text that is sent. The main author is the person who has worked most throughout the study. The most senior investigator or whoever made the final revision of the study before submission should take the final place.

How to present?
The structure of the presentation of clinical cases and communications is clear. Please follow the instructions to avoid errors during the online form submission process. In both types of submissions the word limit is 1,200 words, including the bibliography.

Structure of clinical cases
Introduction: Describe briefly why the case is interesting.
Case description: Describe the case using medical terms.
Discussion and conclusions: Explain the findings and their relevance.
• Bibliography

Structure of communications
Object of the study: Why am I investigating? Give a brief introduction of the motive for the investigation using the relevant up-to-date bibliography. Finalise this section indicating the objectives of the study.
Materials and Method: How have I carried out my investigation? Given the limitation of words, describe the techniques used in a general way so that the assessors can understand the nature of the study. In the poster format, this can be extended to explain the details of the experiment.
Results: What have I discovered? Describe the most important results. You cannot use expressions such as “The results will be presented…” If you still don’t have results, it’s too early to present your communication.
Conclusions: What implications do these results have? Explain the results in the context of your research and hypothesis. Any statement made in your study, which is not derived from your own results, must carry a bibliographic reference. You can include future stages of the investigation.
• Bibliography.

If you plan to enlarge your study and send it for publication later, remember that some journals don’t accept work whose previous results have already been presented in more than 250 words. If the study is good, we hope that it will be published once completed. The congress is a place to present part of the results and we don’t wish to close the door on future publication. If this is the case, send us your abstract with a maximum of 250 words, which briefly includes the aforementioned sections and as appropriate for either the clinical case or communications.

What title should I give?
The title should be between 10 and 12 words and reflect the content of the study. It can be informative (what type of study) or descriptive (partly giving the result).

Is it a study that includes animals?
If it is a study that implies new diagnostic techniques or new therapies, it’s necessary to justify the use of animals, whether they are experimental animals or pets.
You must justify the research – give the preliminary data or other investigations that can justify its use, the potential benefit compared to current therapies or techniques, the lack of alternatives or models, and try to obtain results using the least number of cases possible.
• If the study has been made in a centre for investigation or an academic institution, where it was required to pass an ethical committee, that authorisation should be included.
• If the animals are pets, has the owner been fully informed of the study and of any possible complications, and have they signed a document of consent?

By who and how will my work be evaluated?
Each scientific publication is evaluated by two people (both with experience in the relevant field) to determine whether the publication is adequate for the congress or not. The revision is anonymous. The author doesn’t know who reviews their work, and the reviewers don’t know the author. Therefore, it’s important to avoid, as far as possible, that the reviewer can identify the authors. Don’t include that your study was presented to XXX service of the YYY veterinary hospital, located in ZZZ. In some cases it will be impossible (if you are the only person offering a certain service), but as a general rule please maintain anonymity.
The reviews will check to see that the study complies with the required formalities (structure, word limit, is well written, with a title that reflects the results, etc.). However, these are the important points:
• Is the study adequate for the congress audience? Remember that it’s a small animal congress (dogs, cats and new companion animals). Because of this, studies of horses, for example, will not be accepted.
• Does it contribute significantly to the knowledge on the subject area? Is it relevant? New? Does it corroborate previous results that were preliminary or contradictory? Is it a new line of research?
• Scientific rigour. Does the work use adequate vocabulary, good methodology, and explain the results clearly? Does it conform to the ethical criteria on animal research?
• Practical application. Clinical cases of one study have a limited interest, especially for assessing therapy responses. Work that follows a series of cases of medium- to long-term studies that are well documented offer more valuable information.
• Ethics. Aspects such as the animal’s wellbeing, potential conflicts of interest, authorship or repetitive publication will be taken into account.

If both reviewers are in agreement and either accept or don’t accept a study, this will be the decision taken. In cases of disagreement between the two reviewers, a third person will review the work and a majority decision will then be taken. In general, work that requires important changes to the abstract will be rejected.