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Guidance on case release

Before submitting a case to us authors are required to gain permission from the subject organisation to release the finished case for distribution. 

Field researched cases

Before a case based on field research can be used for teaching or examination purposes, permission for such use must be given by the subject organisation, ie case release must be obtained. This is normally obtained by asking the organisation to sign a form or letter authorising its use.

Desk researched cases

The release of cases prepared from press reports and journal articles presents a rather different problem. 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.

If on the other hand you have read widely on a particular topic or organisation, and then written the case on the basis of your own distillation of this, then formal release may not be necessary. However, the sources of information should be acknowledged and it may be wise to send a copy of the draft case to the subject organisation.This can be accompanied by a letter explaining your wish to use the case for teaching purposes, and your willingness to correct any errors of facts they draw to your attention. This should be done as a matter of courtesy, and can even be fruitful in gaining useful additional data for inclusion in the case.

If you have drawn extensively on a company’s Offer for Sale document then, although this may be regarded as in the public domain, it is advisable to seek permission to use it. 

If you are in any doubt about the legal position regarding case release it would be wise to seek further advice within your institution regarding its policy on these matters.

Read more

John Heath's article, Case release, offers guidance on case release along with sample case release letters.
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We distribute a range of books and articles that explore the case writing proess and look at the issue of case release.
Paper icon Teaching and Writing Case Studies: A practical guide
John Heath
Published by The Case Centre
Paper icon Writing Cases
Michiel R Leenders, James A Erskine and Louise A Mauffette-Leenders
Paper icon Writing Cases and Teaching Notes
E Raymond Corey
Harvard Business School
Paper icon Writing Cases: Tips and Pointers
Jane Linder
Harvard Business School

Full list of case method books and articles