By Brett Sloan, MD, FAAD
Case reports and case series are an important part of medical publishing and continue to be published in virtually all dermatologic journals. They are often the first line of evidence for new therapies and can be a major source for detecting rare adverse events. Yet, many reputable medical journals have discontinued or significantly cut back on publishing case reports because they negatively affect a journal’s impact factor. Even if they are clinically important —
meaning that physicians read them and use them to help manage patients — they will not necessarily get cited.
Because the Academy recognizes the value that dermatologists place on learning from clinical anecdotes and patient-based stories, it has created the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology Case Reports (JAADCR), a new peer-reviewed, open access, online-only journal dedicated to publishing case reports and addressing controversial issues related to diseases of the skin, hair, and nails.
will publish cases that are novel, clinically interesting, and educational. All published content in the JAADCR
will be open access, posted on www.jaadcasereports.org
, and indexed in SCOPUS, EMBASE, and Google Scholar. The application for acceptance to PubMed Central is pending.The first issue of JAADCR
will be available early this fall.
What makes a good case report?
A good case report tells the story of a particular patient's case in a temporal sequence and with enough detail to describe for the reader how the case unfolded, what diagnostic tests and/or therapies were employed, the process of differential diagnosis, and the outcome of the case. Case reports are generally narrative, but are still subject to the basic principles of the scientific method. A case report provides a real-world example of how clinicians formulate and test hypotheses in a clinical scenario.
The JAADCR used the following criteria outlined by Edward J. Huth, a former editor of Annals of Internal Medicine, to identify case reports that merit publication:
- The unique, or nearly unique, case that appears to represent a previously undescribed syndrome or disease.
- The case with an unexpected association of two or more diseases or disorders that may represent a previously unsuspected causal relation.
- The case representing a new and clinically important variation from an expected pattern: the outlier case.
- The case with an unexpected evolution that suggests a possible therapeutic or an important adverse drug effect.
JAADCR submission process now open
JAADCR is now accepting case reports through an easy-to-use online submission process. Manuscripts must be authentic, understandable, educational, and of interest to an international audience of dermatologists, residents, fellows, and researchers in all dermatology subspecialties, as well as clinicians in related fields. All submissions are peer reviewed. Upon acceptance, the JAADCR requires the payment of a nominal article processing fee, which is utilized to cover the costs of producing the journal. The fee is $550 for non-members of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and a $400 for AAD members. Following payment of this fee, the article will be made universally available at www.jaadcasereports.org and www.sciencedirect.com. As of June 30, 2014, the Journal of the American Academy (JAAD) is no longer accepting Case Letters; rather authors are referred to the JAADCR submission site.
While the concept of the open access processing fee may be novel to some, this new paradigm has been increasing in popularity in the scientific community. As this shift saves universities large subscription fees, many academic libraries have funds set aside to pay the nominal processing fees. Finally, as an extension of our parent journal, the JAAD, the tradition will continue to provide our readership with a high quality, innovative journal and provide potential authors a rapid, smooth, and efficient submission process to publication.
Dr. Sloan is editor of JAADCR. He is an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Connecticut, Farmington, and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University.