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Submission requirements

We are looking for high-quality, peer reviewed teaching cases, with a focus on management and business situations in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

Before submitting your case please make sure that you have read our submission requirements. Any items submitted that do not meet these requirements will be returned to the author(s) for further work.

PDF icon Download a PDF of the submission requirements, including a handy checklist
 
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Authorship

Cases and their accompanying teaching notes must have been written by authors located in the MEA region (see a list of countries classified as being in the MEA region).

Authors must be a business or management teacher to submit a case to Case Focus. Cases can be written by a team of two or more authors. Students and research assistants can be part of a writing team, but it must be led by a faculty member.

All named authors must have substantially contributed to the writing of the case, ghost authorship is not accepted.

Any items submitted to Case Focus must be the author’s own original work. If we discover that it is not, we are obliged to report it to the copyright owners, reject the material, and we reserve the right to not publish any future work that the author may produce.

Language

Cases and their accompanying teaching note must be written in English (American or British are both acceptable).

The written language of all items submitted to the journal must be of the highest quality and meet the following quality guidelines throughout.

All submitted items must:

  • be well written, understandable and readable
  • include no spelling or grammatical errors
  • have clear sentence and paragraph structures
  • have been thoroughly proof-read for grammar, spelling, syntax, punctuation and formatting.

We reserve the right to make minor linguistic and editorial adjustments to the text before publication.

Cases

Cases will be welcomed on all areas of business, management and government that are set in the MEA region.

Cases must have been written for teaching purposes and been completed a maximum of three years prior to submission. 

Case series will be accepted as long as in combination they conform to the word length.

Cases must be:

  • unpublished, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere
  • from published sources or field research (fictional cases, or those from generalised experience are not accepted)
  • a printable document (i.e. no multimedia or video cases).

Structure

Cases must:

  • be well presented and structured
  • include a clear opening section
  • include a clear closing section
  • have labelled exhibits/appendices at the end of the document that are clearly referenced within the text of the case
  • only include figures in the body of text if necessary, if included they should be clearly labelled and captioned
  • use end notes rather than foot notes
  • use the Harvard system of referencing, and have references collated at the end of the document.

We recommend that:

  • headings and sub-headings are used to break up the text
  • the opening section sets the scene & decision point
  • the closing section revisits the decision point set out in the opening section
  • any colour graphs or images used in the case should also print well in black and white as not everybody that uses the case will have access to a colour printer.

Content

Cases must:

  • be topical and relevant to current management and business education issues in the MEA region
  • be relevant to the industry in which they are set
  • be no more than 7,500 words, excluding exhibits, appendices and references
  • be written in the past tense and in the third person
  • support the teaching objectives and theoretical literature stated in the teaching note
  • not include assignment questions, these should be in the teaching note
  • not include the summary or abstract of the case, this should be in the teaching note
  • not include learning objectives or the author’s own ‘solution’ to the case, these should be in the teaching note
  • not include details of authors or authoring organisations to enable our anonymous review process.

We recommend that cases:

  • clearly articulate an issue, decision, problem, or opportunity
  • identify a protagonist and supporting actors.

Teaching notes

Cases submitted to Case Focus must include an accompanying teaching note.

The teaching note must link the case to its learning objectives and the theory it is designed to teach. Teaching notes will be considered alongside the case.

Although teaching notes will not be published in Case Focus they will be made available for educators via The Case Centre’s website.

Content

Teaching notes must be presented and structured clearly.

They must include clear sections that cover:

  1. A synopsis of the case
    A brief description of what the case is about, and the context in which it is set.
  2. The target learning group
    An indication of the target learning group, for example, undergraduates, postgraduates, executives.
  3. The learning objectives and key issues
    The learning objectives will be set out, and key issues in the case to achieve them will be identified.
  4. The teaching strategy
    A description of how the case may be used in class. For example, trigger questions to open the case discussion; ideas for group work; suggestions of how learning can be consolidated at the end of the case session, and so on. This section will generally reflect the author’s own teaching style.
  5. Questions for discussion
    A list of questions designed to promote discussion of the key issues within the case.
  6. Analysis of data
    If the case contains quantitative data for analysis it can be helpful if the results of essential ‘number crunching’ are provided in the teaching note. Teachers can use this to check their own calculations.
  7. Background reading
    References to relevant supplementary material on the case or related issues. Authors may also provide information on ‘what happened next’, something students are usually keen to know.
  8. Experience of using the case
    Feedback on how the case has worked in different classes, and the issues on which students have tended to focus. This can be useful for other teachers preparing to teach the case.

We recommend that:

  • the teaching strategy section includes board plans, timings for the classroom session, alternate ways that the case could be used, and the technical requirements of any multimedia used
  • the target learning group section details any prerequisite learning, and positions the session where the case may be used within the course/module
  • links to video and audio clips that are relevant to the case are included.

Case release

If authors are in any doubt about the legal position regarding case release we suggest that they seek further advice within their institution regarding its policy on these matters.

Field researched cases

When submitting a field researched case to the journal, authors must get signed permission from the subject organisation to release the finished case for distribution. 

This is normally obtained by asking the organisation to sign a form or letter, or send an email, authorising the case’s use. Download an example.

If a case is based on field research, but the company has been disguised, we still recommend that you request release from the featured company.

Should you undertake field research, but not use it in the case, we recommend that you still show the finished document to the featured company for their comments, although you will not need their formal release.

While we don’t require copies of case release documents, authors will be asked to confirm that they have them during the journal submission process.

Desk researched cases

Cases that have been prepared from published sources (e.g. press reports and journal articles) do not require formal release. However, if you have drawn extensively on a particular report then permission should be obtained from the publisher for use of the material within the case.

Copyright

Unlike other journals Case Focus does not require the authors or authoring organisation to sign over copyright of cases that are published.

In most instances, where a case is written by an employee in the course of their employment, it is the employer who retains copyright.

If an employee desires the copyright in a case to be transferred to them, this is a private matter that they must resolve with their employer. However, royalties can only be paid by The Case Centre to member organisations.

Authors, such as lecturers who also work as consultants, may have more than one employer or may have prepared a case outside the course of their employment. Such authors must reach written agreement with all employers on who retains copyright; this will usually be the institution at which most of the work on the case was carried out.

If copyright is not retained by the author’s main organisation you must keep copies of these agreements (a copyright waiver agreement) as they will be required should your case be published in Case Focus. Download an example.

Teaching tests

We do not consider a case to be 'finished' or ready for submission and distribution until it has been comprehensively tested in the classroom.

All cases that are successful in being selected for the journal must have been taught at least twice by the time of publication.

Before publication successful authors will need to give full details (course title on which the material was taught, name of the institution at which it was taught, details of the educator who taught it, date when it was taught, number of students in the class) of at least two times that the materials that they have submitted have been tested.

File format and layout

File format

  • All documents must be provided as Word files.

Document format

All documents must:

  • have no borders around the edge of pages
  • display page numbers (if included) in the bottom right corner
  • not include any blank pages.

Layout

Example page formatSize and orientation must be:

  • A4 (no A3, US letter or custom sized pages)
  • portrait (no landscape pages).

Margins must be:

  • 2.9cm on the left and right of every page
  • 2.7cm at the top of every page
  • 2.7cm at the bottom of the first page

Text must use:

  • the Arial font
  • the following font sizes:
    • titles: 14pt, bold
    • headings: 12 pt, bold
    • sub-headings: 10pt, bold
    • body text: 10pt
  • single line spacing.
     
PDF icon Download a PDF of the submission requirements, including a handy checklist

Ready to submit to Case Focus?

If you're ready to submit your case and teaching note please use our online submission form.


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