Abstract Within the chiropractic literature, there is under-representation of clinical observation, small-scale trials and pilot studies. This can have an adverse effect in framing the research questions of larger projects. It can also lead to a diminution in the perceived significance of research by clinicians. In many countries, graduate education programmes are seeking to redress this balance by including training in writing for biomedical journals in their content. Continuing professional development portfolios are also increasingly recognizing the importance of such work, both to the professional and to the profession. This two-part article seeks to outline the reasons why clinical papers are important and offer advice as to the best way in which to translate clinical observation and deduction into a publishable format.