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North American Case Research Association
Global Leaders in Business Case Research

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Editorial Policies and Submission Guidelines

Case Content

The Case Research Journal(CRJ) publishes outstanding teaching cases drawn from research in real organizations, dealing with important issues in all administration-related disciplines. The CRJ specializes in decision-focused cases based on original primary research – normally interviews with key decision makers in the organization but substantial quotes from legal proceedings and/or congressional testimony are also acceptable. Secondary research (e.g., journalist accounts, high quality website content, etc.) can be used to supplement primary data as needed and appropriate. Exceptional cases that are analytical or descriptive rather than decision-focused will only be considered when a decision focus is not practical and when there is a clear and important gap in the case literature that the case would fill. Cases based entirely on secondary sources will be considered only in unusual circumstances. The Journal also publishes occasional articles concerning case research, case writing or case teaching.

Previously published cases or articles (except those appearing in Proceedings or workshop presentations) are not eligible for consideration. The Journal does not accept fictional works or composite cases synthesized from author experience.

Multi-media cases or case supplements will be accepted for review. Contact the journal editor for instructions.

Case Format

Cases and articles submitted for review should be single- spaced, with 12-point font and 1" margins. Published cases are typically 8-12 pages long (before exhibits), though more concise cases are encouraged and longer cases may be acceptable for complex situations. All cases should be written in the past tense except for quotations that refer to events contemporaneous with the decision focus.

Figures and tables should be embedded in the text and numbered separately. Exhibits should be grouped at the end of the case. Figures, tables, and exhibits should have a number and title as well as a source. Necessary citations of secondary sources (e.g., quotes, data) should be included as endnotes at the end of the case (not at the end of the IM) in APA format. In the IM, necessary citations (e.g., citations of theoretical work from which the analysis draws) should be included using parenthetical author/year embedded in the text (similar to a traditional academic paper) that feeds into a list of references at the end of the IM. Note that the CRJ approaches citations differently in the case and the IM given the differing audiences for which each document is developed (i.e., the case is written for the student while the IM is written for the instructor). In some rare instances, footnotes may be used in the case for short explanations when including these explanations in the body of the text would significantly disrupt the flow of the case, but generally the use of footnotes in the case should be avoided if possible.

The following notice should appear at the bottom of the first page of the manuscript: Review copy for use of the Case Research Journal. Not for reproduction or distribution. Dated (date of submission). Acknowledgements can be included in a first page footnote after the case is accepted for publication, and should mention any prior conference presentation of the case.

It is the author(s)’s responsibility to ensure that they have permission to publish material contained in the case. To verify acceptance of this responsibility, include the following paragraph on a separate page at the beginning of the submission.

In submitting this case to the Case Research Journal for widespread distribution in print and electronic media, I (we) certify that it is original work, based on real events in a real organization. It has not been published and is not under review elsewhere. Copyright holders have given written permission for the use of any material not permitted by the "Fair Use Doctrine." The host organization(s) or individual informant(s) have provided written authorization allowing publication of all information contained in the case that was gathered directly from the organization and/or individual.

Instructor’s Manual

Cases must be accompanied by a comprehensive Instructor’s Manual (sometimes called a Teaching Note) that includes the following elements:

  1. Case Synopsis: A brief (three-quarters of a page maximum) synopsis of the case.
  2. Intended Courses & Learning Objectives: Identification of the intended course(s) that the case was written for, including the case’s position within the course and the specific learning objectives that the case was designed to achieve. Please also indicate whether the case was developed for an undergraduate or graduate student audience. For more details on learning objectives, see the article titled "Writing Effective Learning Objectives" at the useful articles link.
  3. Research Methods: A Research Methods section that discloses the research basis for gathering the case information, including any relationship between case authors and the organization, or how access to case data was obtained. Include a description of any disguises imposed and their extent. Authors should disclose the relationship between this case and any other cases or articles published about this organization by these authors without revealing the author’s identity during the review process. If the case has been test taught and this has influenced the development of the case, this should be noted. This section should also indicate who in the organization has reviewed the case for content and presentation and has authorized the authors to publish it (note that this last component is not necessary for cases based on congressional or legal testimonies).
  4. Theoretical Linkages: In this section please provide a brief overview of the theoretical concepts and frameworks that will ground the analysis/discussion of the case situation in theory and research. Please include associated readings or theoretical material that instructors might assign to students or draw on to relate the case to their field or to the course. In developing this section, recognize that business courses are often taught by adjunct faculty who are business professionals who may not be steeped in the theory of the discipline the way an active researcher might be. Develop this section with the intent of helping that type of instructor effectively apply and teach these theories/frameworks.
  5. Suggested Teaching Approaches: Suggested teaching approaches or a teaching plan, including the expected flow of discussion with an accompanying board plan. Include a description of any role plays, debates, use of audiovisuals or in-class handouts, youtube videos, etc. that might be used to enhance the teaching of the case. Authors are strongly encouraged to classroom test a case before submission so that experience in teaching the case can be discussed in the IM. Authors are discouraged from including websites as integral resources for the teaching plan because websites are not static and the content of the website link may change between the writing of the case and an instructor’s subsequent use of the case.
  6. Assignment/Discussion Questions: A set of assignment/discussion questions (typically three to ten depending on discipline) that can be provided to students to organize and guide their preparation of the case. For most cases, either the final or the penultimate question will ask students for their recommendation on the overarching decision facing the decision maker in the case along with their rationale for that recommendation.
  7. Analysis & Responses to Assignment/Discussion Questions: This section of the IM represents the core of the case analysis. Repeat each assignment/discussion question, and then present a full analysis of that question that demonstrates application of relevant theory to the case. Note that the analysis in this section should go beyond what a good student might present as an ‘answer’ to the question. Write to the instructor with an eye toward helping him or her understand in detail how the theory applies to the case scenario, how discussion of this particular question might be approached with students, where the limitations in the theory might be relative to the case scenario, and how the analysis contributes to the building of an integrated recommendation regarding the decision the case protagonist must make.
  8. Epilogue: If appropriate, an epilogue or follow-up information about the decision actually made and the outcomes that were realized as a result of the decision made.
  9. References: Provide full citations (in APA format) for all references that were cited in the Instructor’s Manual.

Review process

All manuscripts (both the case and the instructor’s manual) are double-blind refereed by Editorial Board members and ad hoc reviewers in the appropriate discipline. Most submissions require at least one round of revision before acceptance and it is common for accepted cases to go through two or more rounds of revisions. The target time frame from submission to author feedback for each version is 60 days.

Distribution of published cases

The right to reproduce a case in a commercially available textbook, or instructor-created course pack, is reserved to NACRA and the authors, who share copyright for these purposes. After publication, CRJ cases are distributed through NACRA’s distribution partners according to non-exclusive contracts. NACRA charges royalty fees for these publication rights and case adoptions in order to fund its operations including publication of the Case Research Journal. Royalties paid are split 50/50 between NACRA and member authors.

Manuscript Submission

Submit the case manuscript and Instructor’s Manual in one document via the Case Research Journal ScholarOne site at This site provides step by step instructions for uploading your case. You will also be provided the opportunity to upload two case supplements – this is to allow submission of a spreadsheet supplement for the student and for the instructor. No identification of authors or their institutions should appear on either the main case/IM document or on the spreadsheets. All identifying information should be removed from the file properties before submission. If you have audiovisual content to your case, please contact the editor to determine the best way to make this content available to reviewers without revealing the authors’ identities.

At least one author must be a member of the North American Case Research Association. Membership dues are included in annual registration for the NACRA conference, or may be paid separately here.

For questions, contact the Editor:
Gina Grandy