Open Access
Open Peer Review

This article has Open Peer Review reports available.

How does Open Peer Review work?

How to choose the best journal for your case report

  • Richard A. Rison1, 2Email author,
  • Jennifer Kelly Shepphird3 and
  • Michael R. Kidd4, 5
Journal of Medical Case Reports201711:198

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13256-017-1351-y

Received: 29 November 2016

Accepted: 5 June 2017

Published: 22 July 2017

Abstract

Since the establishment of the Journal of Medical Case Reports in 2006, the number of journals that publish case reports has increased rapidly, and most of these journals are open access. Open access publishing usually requires authors to pay publication fees while offering the articles online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. The movement for open access has gained support in the research community, with the publishers BioMed Central and PLOS ONE becoming leaders in scientific publishing in their number of articles and citations. As the number of open access publishers has exploded, so too has the number of publishers that act in bad faith to profit from the open access model. Simple guidelines have been developed and resources are available to help authors choose a suitable journal for publication of their case reports.

Background

Case reports offer unique value to the body of medical knowledge by describing new diseases, disease mechanisms, therapeutic approaches, and adverse or beneficial effects of drugs. The act of recording, discussing with colleagues, and publishing clinical observations as case reports remains essential to the art of medicine and patient care [1]. These short communications generate or enforce hypotheses that may lead to further evaluation in larger study designs [2]. In providing detailed descriptions of the symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient, case reports reflect clinical experience and support medical progress. By design, the format lacks statistical sampling, placing it at the bottom of the hierarchy of clinical evidence. Case reports do not include controls, have limited sample size (one to a few individuals), and are unblinded, limitations that require a cautious approach to interpretation of findings. General medical journals publish case reports sparingly, often only publishing those that provide new information on adverse events that can be linked to an intervention [3, 4]. Journal editors may limit inclusion of case reports because they are cited less often than meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials, which negatively affects a journal’s impact factor.

The merits of large randomized studies are well known, but many clinicians recognize the value of case reports as a complement to evidence-based medicine. The case-based nature of clinical practice often is at odds with the population-based nature of research studies, where the findings may have little relevance to an individual patient. Narrow inclusion criteria and the absence of co-morbidities in randomized trials often create a disconnection between typical patient populations and populations represented in research studies [3]. Case reports provide enough detail on one or a small number of patients for clinicians to relate to their own practice. They are educational and interesting to read. For the challenging and patient-centered task of reporting on individual cases with inherent heterogeneous human variability in clinical research and the goal of applicability to real-life circumstances, the CARE guidelines provide a framework for completeness and transparency in case reports. The guidelines aid in finding the balance between adequate detail and concise writing [5].

In response to renewed interest and acknowledgment of their value, the number of peer-reviewed journals that publish case reports has increased in recent years to more than 160 [6]. In the digital era of paperless journals with few space restrictions, the case report has seen a resurgence. The digital format facilitates searches, which is a key factor in their utility [7]. Most of the case report journals are open access and have high acceptance rates. As the number of new scientific journals increases, so do the number of questionable publishers that mislead researchers regarding fees, peer review, and academic credentials. The process of submitting scientific work for publication now includes the need for thorough vetting of potential publishers.

New case report journals

In line with the growing demand for case report publishing opportunities, the number of new peer-reviewed journals that focus on case reports had increased to more than 160 journals produced by 78 publishers by mid-2015. Figure 1 shows that the number of case report journals increased rapidly beginning in 2007, a timeframe that coincides with the Great Recession of the late 2000s and the concomitant decline in federal and other funding for basic science and other research. Some of the new journals cover general medicine and others cover specific therapeutic areas. Most case report journals (94%) are open access and approximately 40% are indexed in PubMed. Clinical issues covered by case report journals include previously unreported adverse effects of drugs or other treatments, unexpected events that occur in the course of observing or treating a patient, observations on disease pathogenesis, presentations and/or management of new and emerging diseases, new therapeutic approaches, ethical challenges in patient management, and strategies for preventing or overcoming medical errors [6, 8].
Fig. 1

Number of case report journals by year. The number of journals that publish case reports has increased rapidly since 2007. (Reprinted with permission from Akers [6])

Open access publishing offers freely available and unrestricted use of research and scholarship, which many researchers see as vital to efficient dissemination of science in the digital world [9]. The open access model usually requires authors to pay submission and publication fees upon acceptance, typically between US $300 and $1200 [6]. The move toward making scholarly publications more accessible through open access has continued to gain supporters among the research community. The open access publisher BioMed Central launched in 2000 with 231 articles published that year in 60 journals. In 2015, the numbers increased to more than 30,000 articles in over 290 journals. In 2014, BioMed Central articles were accessed more than 277 million times and had 426,000 citations [10]. Similarly, the number of publications from the open access publisher PLOS ONE, increased from 138 at its inception in 2006 to 28,107 in 2015 [11].
Table 1

Case report journals

Journal title

Publisher/Society

Year launched

Open access

PubMed indexed

A&A Case Reports

Wolters Kluwer Health/International Anesthesia Research Society

2013

No

No

AACE Clinical Case Reports

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

2015

Yes

No

ACG Case Reports Journal

American College of Gastroenterology

2013

Yes

Yes

AJP Reports

Thieme Medical Publishers

2011

Yes

No

American Journal of Cancer Case Reports

Ivy Union Publishing

2013

Yes

No

American Journal of Case Reports

International Scientific Information

2001

Yes

Yes

Aperito Journal of Case Reports: Clinical

Aperito Online Publishing

2015

Yes

No

APSP Journal of Case Reports

EL-MED-Pub Publishers/Association of Paediatric Surgeons of Pakistan

2010

Yes

Yes

Austin Cardio & Cardiovascular Case Reports

Austin Publishing Group

2015

Yes

No

Austin Gynecology Case Reports

Austin Publishing Group

2015

Yes

No

Austin Journal of Clinical Case Reports

Austin Publishing Group

2014

Yes

No

Austin Oncology Case Reports

Austin Publishing Group

2015

Yes

No

Autopsy and Case Reports

Hospital Universitario of the University of San Paulo

2011

Yes

No

BJR Case Reports

British Institute of Radiology

2015

Yes

No

BMJ Case Reports

BMJ Publishing Group

2008

No

 

Case Reports in Anesthesiology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Cardiology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Clinical Medicine

Scientific Research Publishing

2012

Yes

No

Case Reports in Critical Care

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Dermatological Medicine

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Dermatology

Karger

2009

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Emergency Medicine

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Endocrinology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Gastroenterology

Karger

2007

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Gastrointestinal Medicine

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Genetics

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Hematology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Hepatology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Immunology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Infectious Diseases

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Internal Medicine

Sciedu Press

2014

Yes

No

Case Reports in Medicine

Hindawi Publishing

2009

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Nephrology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Nephrology and Dialysis

Karger

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Neurological Medicine

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Neurology

Karger

2009

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Oncological Medicine

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Oncology

Karger

2008

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Ophthalmological Medicine

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Ophthalmology

Karger

2010

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Orthopedics

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Otolaryngology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Pancreatic Cancer

Mary Ann Liebert Inc. Publishing

2015

Yes

No

Case Reports in Pathology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Pediatrics

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Perinatal Medicine

De Gruyter

2012

Optional

No

Case Reports in Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery

Taylor & Francis/Acta Chirurgica Scandinavica Society

2014

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Psychiatry

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Pulmonology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Radiology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Rheumatology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Surgery

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Transplantation

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Urology

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Vascular Medicine

Hindawi Publishing

2011

Yes

Yes

Case Reports in Women’s Health

Elsevier

2014

Yes

No

Case Reports International

Edorium Journals

2012

Yes

No

Case Reports: Open Access

Jscholar

2015

Yes

No

Case Study and Case Report

Sageya Publishing

2011

Yes

No

CEN Case Reports

Springer/Japanese Society of Nephrology

2012

Optional

No

Clinical Case Reports

Wiley

2013

Yes

Yes

Clinical Case Reports and Reviews

Open Access Text

2015

Yes

No

Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism

CIC Edizioni Internazionali/Italian Society of Orthopaedics and Medicine

2004

Yes

Yes

Clinical Medicine Insights: Case Reports

Libertas Academia

2008

Yes

Yes

Clinics and Practice

PAGEPress

2011

Yes

Yes

Cold Spring Harbor Molecular Case Studies

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

2015

Yes

No

Dermatology Case Reports

OMICS International

2015

Yes

No

Diabetes Case Reports

OMICS International

2015

Yes

No

Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism Case Reports

Bioscientifica

2013

Yes

Yes

Epilepsy & Behavior Case Reports

Elsevier

2013

Yes

Yes

European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine

European Federation of Internal Medicine

2014

Yes

No

European Journal of Pediatric Surgery Reports

Thieme Medical Publishers

2013

Yes

Yes

European Journal of Surgical Cases

Bilimsel Tip Yayinevi

2010

Yes

No

Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes Reports

Thieme Medical Publishers

2014

Yes

No

Global Journal of Medical and Clinical Case Reports

PeerTechz

2014

Yes

No

Grand Rounds

e-MED

2001

Yes

No

Gynecologic Oncology Reports

Elsevier

2011

Yes

Yes

HeartRhythm Case Reports

Elsevier/Heart Rhythm Society

2015

Yes

No

Human Pathology: Case Reports

Elsevier

2014

yes

No

IDCases

Elsevier

2014

Yes

No

IJSS Case Reports & Reviews

IJSS Group of Journals/Society of Malaysian Medical Association’s Medical Students and European Medical Student’s Association

2014

Yes

No

Indian Journal of Medical Case Reports

CIBTech

2012

Yes

No

Interdisciplinary Neurosurgery: Advanced Techniques and Case Management

Elsevier

2014

Yes

No

International Journal of Advances in Case Reports

McMed International

2014

Yes

No

International Journal of Case Reports and Images

Edorium Journals

2010

Yes

No

International Journal of Case Reports in Medicine

IBIMA Publishing

2012

Yes

No

International Journal of Case Studies

unclear

2012

Yes

No

International Journal of Clinical Case Studies

Graphy Publications

2014

Yes

No

International Journal of Clinical Cases and Investigations

unclear

2010

Yes

No

International Journal of Medical and Pharmaceutical Case Reports

ScienceDomain International

2014

Yes

No

International Journal of Surgery Case Reports

Elsevier

2010

Yes

Yes

International Medical Case Reports Journal

Dove Medical Press

2008

Yes

Yes

JAAD Case Reports

Elsevier/American Academy of Dermatology

2015

Yes

No

Jacobs Journal of Clinical Case Reports

Jacobs Publishers

2015

Yes

No

JBJS Case Connector

STRIATUS Orthopaedic Communications

2011

No

No

JCRS Online Case Reports

Elsevier/American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons

2013

Yes

No

JMM Case Reports

Microbiology Society

2014

Yes

No

Joseph Journal of Clinical Studies and Medical Case Reports

Joseph Publishing Group

2015

Yes

No

Journal of Anaesthesia & Critical Care Case Reports

International Academic Research Group

2015

Yes

No

Journal of Cardiology Cases

Elsevier/Japanese College of Cardiology

2010

No

No

Journal of Case Reports

unclear

2011

Yes

No

Journal of Case Reports and Clinical Research Studies

VRJ Publishers

2014

Yes

No

Journal of Case Reports and Images in Medicine

Edorium

2015

Yes

No

Journal of Case Reports and Images in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Edorium

2015

Yes

No

Journal of Case Reports and Images in Oncology

Edorium

2015

Yes

No

Journal of Case Reports and Images in Pathology

Edorium

2015

Yes

No

Journal of Case Reports and Images in Surgery

Edorium

2015

Yes

No

Journal of Case Reports and Studies

Annex Publishers

2013

Yes

No

Journal of Case Reports in Medicine

Ashdin Publishing

2012

Yes

No

Journal of Case Reports in Oncology and Therapy

EJourPub

2015

Yes

No

Journal of Case Reports in Practice

Saman Publishing

2013

Yes

No

Journal of Clinical & Medical Case Reports

Avens Publishing Group

2013

Yes

No

Journal of Clinical and Translational Endocrinology Case Reports

Elsevier

2015

Yes

No

Journal of Clinical Case Reports

OMICS International

2011

Yes

No

Journal of Clinical Studies & Medical Case Reports

Herald Scholarly Open Access

2014

Yes

No

Journal of Dermatological Case Reports

Specjaliści Dermatolodzy

2007

No

No

Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports

SAGE Publications

2013

Yes

No

Journal of Knee Surgery Reports

Thieme Medical Publishers

2013

Yes

No

Journal of Medical Case Reports

BioMed Central

2007

Yes

Yes

Journal of Medical Cases

Elmer Press

2010

Yes

No

Journal of Neurological Surgery Reports

Thieme Medical Publishers

2012

Yes

Yes

Journal of Orthopaedic Case Reports

Indian Orthopaedic Research Group

2011

Yes

No

Journal of Pediatric Surgery Case Reports

Elsevier

2013

Yes

No

Journal of Radiology Case Reports

EduRad Publishing

2008

Yes

Yes

Journal of Surgical Case Reports

Oxford University Press

2010

Yes

Yes

Journal of Surgical Technique and Case Report

Wolters Kluwer Health

2014

Yes

Yes

Journal of Vascular Surgery Cases

Elsevier/Society for Vascular Surgery

2015

Yes

No

JPRAS Open

Elsevier/British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons

2015

Yes

No

JSM Clinical Case Reports

JSciMed Central

2013

Yes

No

Medical Case Studies

Academic Journals

2010

Yes

No

Medical Mycology Case Reports

Elsevier/International Society for Human and Animal Mycology

2012

Yes

Yes

MOJ Clinical & Medical Case Reports

MedCrave

2015

Yes

No

Neurocase

Taylor & Francis

1995

Optional

Yes

NMC Case Report Journal

Japan Neurosurgical Society

2014

Yes

No

OA Case Reports

OA Publishing London

2012

yes

No

Oncology & Cancer Case Reports

OMICS International

2015

Yes

No

Open Journal of Clinical and Medical Case Reports

unclear

2015

Yes

No

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Cases

Elsevier

2015

yes

No

Oxford Medical Case Reports

Oxford University Press

2014

Yes

Yes

Pathology Case Reviews

Wolters Kluwer Health

1996

No

No

Pediatric Urology Case Reports

Hayrettin Ozturk

2014

Yes

No

Radiology Case Reports

Elsevier/University of Washington

2006

Yes

No

Respiratory Medicine Case Reports

Elsevier

2008

Yes

Yes

Respirology Case Reports

Wiley/Asian Pacific Society of Respirology

2013

Yes

Yes

Retinal Cases and Brief Reports

Wolters Kluwer Health

2007

Optional

Yes

SAGE Open Medical Case Reports

SAGE Publications

2013

Yes

Yes

Scholarena Journal of Case Reports

Scholarena

2014

Yes

No

Scholars Journal of Medical Case Reports

SAS Publishers

2013

Yes

No

Southeast Asian Journal of Case Report and Review

Sageya Publishing

2012

Yes

No

Surgical Case Reports

Springer/Japan Surgical Society

2015

Yes

No

The Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon Reports

Thieme Medical Publishers

2014

Yes

Yes

Translational Medicine Case Reports

Elsevier/European Society for Translational Medicine

2015

Yes

No

Trauma Case Reports

Elsevier

2015

Yes

No

Urology Case Reports

Elsevier

2013

yes

No

World Journal of Clinical Cases

Baishideng Publishing Group

2013

Yes

Yes

World Journal of Medical and Surgical Case Reports

Narain Publishers

2012

Yes

No

Reprinted with permission from Akers [6]

Controversial journals and publishers

As scientific publishing shifts from a business model of subscription revenue to open access, the number of open access journals has exploded. However, the proliferation of journals that will publish seemingly anything for a fee has caused alarm among many in the global research community. Alongside many respected open access publishers, others have entered the space acting in bad faith. Some see it as the “dark side” of open access, a growing collection of pseudo-academic, prestigiously titled journals, many of which have similar but not quite identical websites and names to those of well-known established journals. Many of the websites look sufficiently impressive that non-experts doing online research have trouble distinguishing credible research from junk. Experienced academics have been misled into submitting manuscripts and even serving on editorial boards for pseudo-academic journals, agreements that often are difficult to undo. Most of these journals do not post their publication fees, and often authors are not informed of fees until after submitting a manuscript. Withdrawal of a manuscript, which is necessary before submitting the same paper to a legitimate journal, may require payment of the high fees first [12]. For some authors, this means their work may be lost essentially to the disreputable publisher. Many researchers have complained about poorly executed or absent peer review, hidden fees for submission and publication, and unapproved inclusion of researchers’ names on editorial boards.

Jeffrey Beall, a librarian and associate professor at Auraria Library at the University of Colorado, Denver, coined the term “predatory open access publishing” to describe this situation. He is a critic of open access publishing, blaming the system for creating the problem of predatory publishers. His blog Scholarly Open Access, although removed by Beall for unknown reasons in January 2017, closely monitored the increasing number of open access publishers and alerted readers to individuals, publishers, publications, meetings, and scholarly metrics that, in the view of Mr Beall, appeared to exploit the open access model [13]. He maintained a list of “potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers” and another list of standalone journals. His criteria for inclusion on the lists were derived from the Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing from COPE, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors [1416]. Similarly, information in these communications may help authors to discern whether they can trust a particular publisher or journal. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the USA has taken notice of questionable publication practices. In August 2016 it filed a suit against the OMICS Group, a global conglomerate based in India that publishes more than 700 open access journals. The suit claimed that the OMICS Group misled researchers, particularly with regard to their peer-review process (or lack thereof) and high fees that were not readily apparent to authors upon manuscript submission [17]. The purpose of the lawsuit, according to the FTC, is to better inform authors of publishing fees and to have a more transparent peer-review system [18]. The case is still to be litigated in federal court in Nevada at the time of writing this article.

The challenge for watchdogs and authors alike is to decide when a publisher is untrustworthy or simply unprofessional. Some publishers may fall under suspicion due to poor copy editing or amateurish website design, but this may not reflect an outright neglect of scholarly standards. It is important not to blacklist startup publishers who lack experience. Another problem with maintaining lists of disreputable publishers is that because copycat journals are often short-lived, the blacklist will continue to grow but individual entries may quickly become obsolete.

Choose the right journal: Think. Check. Submit.

The “Think. Check. Submit.” campaign arose in response to concerns about publishing practices, and the effort is supported by a coalition of scholarly publishing organizations. “Think. Check. Submit.” takes a positive approach to help researchers identify credible journals, providing up-to-date guidance for choosing where to publish [18, 19]. To ascertain whether a journal is trusted, authors are advised to follow this checklist:
  • Do you or your colleagues know the journal?
    • Have you read any articles in the journal before?

    • Is it easy to discover the latest papers in the journal?

  • Can you easily identify and contact the publisher?
    • Is the publisher name clearly displayed on the journal website?

    • Can you contact the publisher by telephone, email, and post?

  • Is the journal clear about the type of peer review it uses?
    • Does the journal site explain what these fees are for and when they will be charged?

  • Do you recognize the editorial board?
    • Have you heard of the editorial board members?

    • Do members of the editorial board mention the journal on their own websites?

  • Is the publisher a member of a recognized industry initiative?
    • Do they belong to the COPE?

    • If the journal is open access, is it listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)?

    • If the journal is open access, does the publisher belong to the OASPA?

    • Is the publisher a member of another trade association?

In addition to consulting colleagues and academic librarians for journal suggestions, authors have available to them several online resources. BioMed Central previously collaborated with Edanz, a company that assists authors in navigating the publication process, to create the author academy [10]. The free online guide describes best practices in writing and publishing a manuscript, including sections on choosing a journal, writing the manuscript, and publication ethics, among others. BioMed Central now contracts with Nature Research Editing Services and American Journal Experts, both of which offer similar services [20, 21].

Several automated search tools help identify suitable journals as well. Authors insert keywords from their manuscript abstract into a search engine, which then compares the words to many online publications and Edanz Journal Selector covers a broad range of journals. The online tool is free, and Edanz also offers a journal selection service (US $300) in which experts use their publication experience to identify up to four of the best journals for a given paper [22]. The Journal/Author Name Estimator (Jane) focuses on biomedical science journals by searching the Medline database published by the US National Library of Medicine [23]. Other online services offered by publishers Springer and Elsevier suggest journals from their own extensive catalogues [24, 25].

Impact factor

Journal impact factors, calculated and published by Thomson Reuters, measure the average number of citations per published article for papers published over a 2-year period. Despite the fact that the simple metric can be misleading, the impact factor has become, over time, a marker of journal prestige and desirability. The judgment of a paper’s value is often based more on the journal in which it appears than on its content. Many researchers contend that reliance on impact factors undervalues disciplines or study designs, such as case reports, which have lower citation rates. Overall, the number of citations of an article is commensurate with hierarchies of evidence, with meta-analyses receiving more citations than any other study design. Case reports typically receive few citations, although there are notable exceptions [26]. The number of citations of an article, however, does not necessarily reflect how widely the article has been read or the dissemination of the findings in mainstream media [27].

Efforts to embrace a broader view of value in scientific communication, and perhaps diminish the influence of impact factors, have emerged. Journals of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) no longer advertise impact factors on their websites. Similarly, in recognizing that impact factors are just one of a number of metrics, Nature journals list a suite of citation-based metrics. Only one case report journal, Taylor & Francis’s Neurocase, has received an impact factor (1.124), dating back to 1998.

Medicine/National Institutes of Health Indexed research databases are often curated to ensure the quality of included publications. Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) offers The Web of Science™, as one such example, and recently introduced the “Emerging Sources Citation Index” to complement their more selective indexes. This collection reflects the growing number of peer-reviewed publications of regional importance and in emerging fields [28].

In conclusion, the growth in number of case report journals has provided authors multiple avenues for publication but, at the same time, it has introduced a new level of uncertainty in the journal selection process. Factors to consider when choosing a journal are: the topics the journal covers, the target audience, length restrictions, and the time to publication. Open access publications, such as the Journal of Medical Case Reports from BioMed Central, offer high visibility, relatively rapid publication, and transparent publication policies. The reputation of the journal plays an increasingly important part of the decision, requiring thorough vetting of potential journals.

Declarations

Acknowledgements

We thank the reviewers for their insightful and helpful comments on our editorial.

Authors’ contributions

All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Competing interests

RAR is a Deputy Editor and MRK is the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Medical Case Reports. JKS has nothing to disclose.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles County Medical Center
(2)
PIH Health Hospital-Whittier Stroke Center, PIH Health Hospital Non-Invasive Vascular Laboratory
(3)
JKS Science & Medical Writing
(4)
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University
(5)
Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of Toronto

References

  1. Rison RA. A guide to writing case reports for the Journal of Medical Case Reports and BioMed Central Research Notes. J Med Case Reports. 2013;7(1):1–9.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  2. Albrecht J, Meves A, Bigby M. Case reports and case series from Lancet had significant impact on medical literature. J Clin Epidemiol. 2005;58(12):1227–32.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Godlee F. Applying research evidence to individual patients. Evidence based case reports will help. BMJ. 1998;316(7145):1621–2.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  4. McDermott MM, Lefevre F, Feinglass J, Reifler D, Dolan N, Potts S, Senger K. Changes in study design, gender issues, and other characteristics of clinical research published in three major medical journals from 1971 to 1991. J Gen Intern Med. 1995;10(1):13–8.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Rison RA, Kidd MR, Koch CA. The CARE (CAse REport) guidelines and the standardization of case reports. J Med Case Reports. 2013;7:261.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  6. Akers KG. New journals for publishing medical case reports. J Med Libr Assoc. 2016;104(2):146–9.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Rison RA, Shepphird JK, Beydoun SR. When to write a neurology case report. J Med Case Reports. 2016;10(1):1–4.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  8. Kidd M, Hubbard C. Introducing Journal of Medical Case Reports. J Med Case Reports. 2007;1:1.View ArticlePubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Suber P. Open Access Overview: Focusing on open access to peer-reviewed research articles and their preprints. [http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/overview.htm] Published June 21, 2004. Updated December 5, 2015. Accessed 14 Nov 2016.
  10. BioMed Central. [https://www.biomedcentral.com/] Accessed 30 Sept 2016.
  11. Davis P. As PLOS ONE Shrinks, 2015 Impact Factor Expected to Rise. The scholarly kitchen website. [https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2016/02/02/as-plos-one-shrinks-2015-impact-factor-expected-to-rise/] Published February 2, 2016. Accessed 30 Sept 2016.
  12. Beall J. Best practices for scholarly authors in the age of predatory journals. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2016;98(2):77–9.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Silver A. Controversial website that lists ‘predatory’ publishers shuts down. Nature website. [http://www.nature.com/news/controversial-website-that-lists-predatory-publishers-shuts-down-1.21328] Published January 18, 2017. Accessed 10 May 2017.
  14. Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers. COPE Committee of Publication Ethics website. [http://publicationethics.org/files/Code of conduct for publishers FINAL_1_0.pdf]. Accessed 30 Sept 2016.
  15. Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. COPE Committee of Publication Ethics website. [http://publicationethics.org/files/Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.pdf] Accessed 30 Sept 2016.
  16. Beall J. Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers. Scholarly Open Access website. [https://scholarlyoa.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/criteria-2015.pdf] Updated January 1, 2015. Accessed 14 Nov 2016.
  17. Shonka D. Complaint for Permanent Injunction and Other Equitable Relief. Federal Trade Commission, Case 2:16-cv-02022; 2016. [https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/160826omicscmpt.pdf] Accessed 30 Sept 2016.
  18. Molteni M. The FTC Is Cracking Down on Predatory Science Journals. Wired website. [https://www.wired.com/2016/09/ftc-cracking-predatory-science-journals/]. Published September 19, 2016. Accessed 26 Sept 2016.
  19. Think.Check.Submit. [http://thinkchecksubmit.org/] Accessed 30 Sept 2016.
  20. Author Services. [http://authorservices.springernature.com/] Accessed 6 Dec 2016.
  21. American Journal Experts. [https://www.aje.com/us/] Accessed 6 Dec 2016.
  22. Edanz. [https://www.edanzediting.com/] Accessed 30 Sept 2016.
  23. Jane: Journal/Author Name Estimator. [http://jane.biosemantics.org/index.php]. Accessed 30 Sept 2016.
  24. Springer Journal Suggester. [http://journalsuggester.springer.com/] Accessed 30 Sept 2016.
  25. Elsevier Find the Perfect Journal for Your Article. [http://journalfinder.elsevier.com/] Accessed 30 Sept 2016.
  26. Patsopoulos NA, Analatos AA, Ioannidis JP. Relative citation impact of various study designs in the health sciences. JAMA. 2005;293(19):2362–6.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Mahajan RP, Hunter JM. Volume 100: Case reports: should they be confined to the dustbin? Br J Anaesth. 2008;100(6):744–6.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Web of Science: Emerging Source Citation Index. Thomson Reuters website. [http://wokinfo.com/products_tools/multidisciplinary/esci/] Accessed 30 Sept 2016.

Copyright

© The Author(s). 2017