A New Platform for Sharing Research and Teaching Experience
Copyright: © 2013 Sun Z. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Case reports are considered to be brief reports describing an episode of clinical case or a small number of cases. They may describe new or uncommon diagnoses, unusual outcomes or prognosis, new or unusual imaging findings, new or infrequently used therapies and side effects of therapy not previously discovered in clinical trials [1-6]. Case reports may represent the first line of evidence leading to the evaluation, quantification, and confirmation of a clinical or an experimental observation. For many doctors and other healthcare professionals, writing a case report represents the first effort at getting papers published in medical journals and it is considered a useful exercise in learning how to write scientifically due to similarity of the basic methodology.
Although case reports are valuable in both research and education, they are considered the lowest in the hierarchy of evidence in the medical literature. In the hierarchy of evidence-based medicine, meta-analysis and double - blinded randomised controlled trials are placed at the pinnacle of research and these types of articles are most likely to increase the journal's impact factor. Most institutions and authors are now aware of the impact factor of journals since impact factor is one of the important measures used for evaluating a journal. Case reports are infrequently cited and therefore, publishing case reports is likely to reduce the impact factor . The limited page space within a journal tends to be dedicated to original or experimental studies which have a higher impact on the journal’s impact factor, unlike the diminutive effect of case reports [8,9]. This has led many editors to remove case report sections from their journals .
Despite these limitations, case reports and studies/series have a high sensitivity for detecting novelty and therefore still remain one of the cornerstones of medical progress . Case reports may create a hypothesis that stimulates further research, and as a result subsequent steps to deal with a dilemma may be recommended or undertaken [12,13]. The Lancet suggests "case reports are intended to inform, entertain and inspire. Present a diagnostic conundrum, and explain how you solved it. In your discussion, educate the reader". Therefore, case reports provide valuable sources of new and unusual information for clinicians to share their anecdotal experiences with individual cases, make others aware of unusual presentations or complications, and deliver the educational and teaching message.
The Journal of Case Reports and Studies (JCRS) is a new peer-reviewed, open access, and instantly updated online journal which publishes case reports/case series, brief reports on clinical and laboratory observations, clinical briefs and advances, letter to the editor, photograph/radiograph and ECG of the month regarding all disorders and diseases of all medical specialties. Researchers are encouraged to fully utilise the JCRS as a platform for publishing their interesting cases and sharing research experience with colleagues from different disciplines.
The aim of JCRS is to encourage the publication of recent data by providing a platform for reporting of distinctive, unusual and rare cases that enhance our understanding of illness method, its identification, management and clinic-pathologic correlations. We believe that young researchers will greatly benefit from case reports and studies published in the JCRS, which serves as a driving force of case report publications.