BMC Research Notes stops considering case reports

Early in 2017, BMC Research Notes was re-structured with a focus on single observations published as short research notes. In September of last year we launched data notes, our second note article type focusing purely on data. The next step in BMC Research Notes’ new direction is to find a new home for medical case reports in the BMC series.

Medical case reports are an essential part of scholarly communication. It is a proven article format where authors describe patient cases that are of educational value. Over the years, the medical literature has established a vast collection of case reports that serve the medical practitioner as a library of useful resources in clinical practice and research.

Medical case reports at BMC

At BMC we have always welcomed case reports and will continue to do so. Many of our journals consider case reports, in particular all medical BMC series journals including BMC Veterinary Research, and the Journal of Medical Case Reports.

At BMC we have always welcomed case reports and will continue to do so

In 2017 we re-structured BMC Research Notes to fill a niche in the publication landscape. Not only did we expand the scope to include physical, engineering, earth and environmental sciences, but most importantly we re-focused the journal on short notes with the aim to give researchers a forum to publish their observations that would otherwise remain unpublished and therefore unknown.

BMC Research Notes and the other BMC series journals share the same editorial threshold. We offer BMC series journals for a variety of medical specialities that are the ideal home for the publication of medical case reports. Therefore, BMC Research Notes will no longer consider medical case reports and will instead focus solely on the publication of short note articles. Authors who are unsure about which BMC series journal is best suited for their particular manuscript are invited to send us a pre-submission enquiry.

Case reports criteria at the BMC series

Medical case reports submitted to a BMC series journal should make a contribution to medical knowledge and have educational and/or scientific merit, i.e.

  • Unreported or unusual side effects or adverse interactions involving medications.
  • Unexpected or unusual presentations of a disease.
  • New associations or variations in disease processes.
  • Presentations, diagnoses and/or management of new and emerging diseases.
  • An unexpected association between diseases or symptoms.
  • An unexpected event in the course of observing or treating a patient.
  • Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect.

We do not consider case reports describing preventive or therapeutic interventions, as these generally require stronger evidence. Authors should follow the CARE guidelines.

Case reports don’t need to be novel but must have educational value. As an example, while there might be little value in describing another simple case of the flu, it is worth publishing a case report of a condition of which only a handful of reports exist. This might not be novel but adding further experience to the literature on sparsely reported conditions is of educational value.

A clean look for BMC Research Notes

One year after BMC Research Notes was re-structured, we are excited to present a new and clear-cut offer to our authors with two short note article types, research note and data note. The former is the ideal forum for single observations, null results, replication studies, updates and extensions. Data notes are data descriptors to help researchers increase the visibility and discoverability of their data and to adhere to funder mandates. We offer two note article types, one for the presentation and analysis of results, and their concise discussion, and the other purely focusing on the description of research data.

We are confident that authors who have published their case reports in BMC Research Notes before will find a suitable home for future manuscripts at one of the medical BMC series journals or the Journal of Medical Case Reports. We are excited to announce this next step in the shaping of BMC Research Notes into an innovative open access outlet for short peer reviewed notes.

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