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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Cases Database?

    Cases Database is a continuously-updated, freely-accessible database allowing users to interactively explore data from thousands of peer-reviewed medical case reports. The database offers structured search and filtering by condition, symptom, intervention, pathogen, patient demographic and many other data fields, allowing fast identification of relevant case reports to support clinical practice and research.

  2. What is a case report?

    In medicine, a case report provides important and detailed information about an individual patient, their symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and the outcome of that treatment. Case reports may arise during routine clinical practice and during clinical research studies. Case reports typically include but are not limited to:

    •  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
    •  Confirmatory or educational examples of any of the above types of case report

     

  3. What is BioMed Central?

    BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher of more than 240 open access, online, peer-reviewed journals. The portfolio of journals spans all areas of biology, medicine and chemistry and includes broad interest titles, such as BMC Biology, BMC Medicine, and Journal of Medical Case Reports alongside specialist journals, such as Retrovirology and BMC Genomics. All original research articles published by BioMed Central are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication. BioMed Central levies an article-processing charge to cover the cost of the publication process. Authors publishing with BioMed Central retain the copyright to their work, licensing it under the Creative Commons Attribution License which allows articles to be re-used and re-distributed without restriction, as long as the original work is correctly cited. BioMed Central is owned by Springer Science+ Business Media, and also hosts the SpringerOpen platform.

  4. What is the relationship between BioMed Central and Cases Database?

    Cases Database is a service provided by BioMed Central. BioMed Central is owned by Springer Science+ Business Media, and also hosts the SpringerOpen platform.

  5. What is the relationship between Journal of Medical Case Reports and Cases Database?

    Journal of Medical Case Reports is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal that will consider any original case report that expands the field of general medical knowledge, and original research relating to case reports. All case reports published in Journal of Medical Case Reports are included in Cases Database and a number of the journal’s senior editorial board members have been involved in developing the database. One of the aims of launching Journal of Medical Case Reports, in 2007, was to create Cases Database.

  6. Is Cases Database a journal?

    Cases Database is a search and indexing service which enables users to search for medical case reports published across many peer-reviewed journals. Cases Database is not a journal and does not directly publish case reports. Cases Database uses text mining technology to make published case reports more discoverable and valuable.

  7. How is the data extracted from each case report?

    Before case reports are indexed in Cases Database they first undergo a text mining process where key concepts (e.g. age, sex, ethnicity, conditions, etc) are extracted from the text. This method, designed and built specifically for Cases Database, uses the natural language and entity extraction processing technology provided by TEMIS – and enables you to search and filter for case reports in a medically meaningful and relevant way.

    We are continually improving our extraction processing so should you find any errors we encourage you to report them to us so they can be corrected.

  8. Which journals are included in Cases Database?

    Cases Database draws in case reports from all BioMed Central.  We are looking for more journals to include in the database. If you are a journal publisher or editor looking to include case reports in your journal(s) in Cases Database please contact us.

  9. What subjects are covered?

    Cases reports included in Cases Database cover all of clinical medicine. To view case reports by subject area please use the subject area filter on the browse Cases tab or advanced search.

  10. Who should use Cases Database?

    Cases Database is freely accessible to anyone online. We believe Cases Database will be of particular interest to:

    Medical doctors and other clinicians

    A single case report or collection of case reports is not a substitute for evidence-based practice. However, randomized trials are not performed for every type of patient, and patients with co-morbidities are often excluded from treatment guidelines. Doctors routinely use their experience and learn from the experience of others, and Cases Database is a collation of different clinical experiences. Cases Database may provide useful information – “practice-based evidence” – to clinicians in absence of evidence-based information about a particular clinical situation or may supplement evidence-based databases used by doctors.

    Researchers

    All new medical conditions and emergent disease begin with a single case of collection of cases. Also, case reports can help in understanding the mechanisms of disease and for recognizing rare manifestations of diseases. And researchers who look for all available evidence on a particular medical research question, systematic reviewers, routinely use online databases to search for relevant information. Cases Database should be a valuable tool to systematic reviewers whose searches include medical case reports.

    Students

    Writing a case report can often be a medical student’s first experience of preparing a publication for scholarly journal and Cases Database will be useful in identifying cases of interest or relevance to students when preparing new case reports. Also, Cases Database is a collation of authoritative reports of clinical experience, and much of the content is open access and includes images, which may be useful for learning.

    Regulators

    Case reports have always been important for detecting adverse drug reactions, and so drug regulatory agencies may find Cases Database useful for discovering safety information on specific drugs and devices. Our email alerting service helps users stay up-to-date on newly-added cases which match specific search terms.

    Lecturers

    Lecturers in medicine or scientific/medical writing who are looking for medical case reports for teaching purposes will find Cases Database helpful. Furthermore, much of the open access content discoverable through  Cases Database is published under a Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted redistribution and reuse, such as reproducing figures or entire case reports for teaching. The content license can be found at the end of the case summary, and on the original publisher’s website.

    Authors of medical case reports

    Authors of medical case reports should search Cases Database for cases similar to any cases they are considering writing for submission to a peer-reviewed journal, such as Journal of Medical Case Reports. Cases Database will help authors of medical case reports determine the novelty and originality of their case, and help authors decide on an appropriate journal to submit their case. When writing a case it is best practice to include an up-to-date review of all previous cases, citing any relevant case reports in the case report’s reference list. More information on preparing case reports can be found in Journal of Medical Case Reportsinstructions for authors.

    Patients

    Patients can use Cases Database to search for medical case reports, for discussion with their general practitioner or other healthcare professional responsible for their care. Cases Database should not be used as an alternative to seeking professional medical advice.

  11. What are the main features of Cases Database?

    Cases Database is a continuously-updated, freely-accessible case report database allowing users to interactively explore data from peer-reviewed case reports. Cases Database offers structured search and filtering by condition, symptom, intervention, pathogen, patient demographic and many other data fields, allowing fast identification of relevant case reports to support clinical practice and research.  Key features include:

    •  Simple, semantically-enhanced search
    •  ‘My Cases Database’ – save searches and favorite cases
    •  Email alerting to new cases matching your interests
    •  Download and export of search results
    •  Faceted and advanced search
    •  Links to full text of case reports in peer-reviewed journals
    •  Social media integration
  12. What are the different ways I can search?

    General search

    Type your search terms in search box in the top right hand corner of every page.  As you type within the search box our autocomplete function suggests search terms that might be similar to the one you're typing.

    Advanced search

    Type your search terms in the empty boxes, one or more per box. As you type within the search box our autocomplete function suggests search terms that might be similar to the one you're typing.

    Wildcard and Boolean searches

    Wildcard search, using * to take the place of any number of characters. Boolean queries, using AND, OR and AND NOT. Brackets may be used to make the order of the Boolean clauses clear.

    Field-specific searches

    Field-specific searches, with a field name separated by a colon from the field value being searched for, such as Sex:Female or Ethnicity:Caucasian. The available fields are: Sex, Ethnicity, AuthorCountry, TitleAbstract, Journal, PublicationYear, AllText, Condition, Symptom, Medication, Intervention, Pathogen and SubjectArea. It is important that the field name is spelled exactly as given here.

    Numeric ranges

    Field-specific numeric range searches, such as Age:20-50. These can omit the higher or the lower bound, so a query of Age:20- will find all patients of 20 years or older, and a query of Age:-50 will give all patients up to 50 years old.

    Saving searches

    After you have run a search you can use the “Save search” function to either store the search in My Cases or setup an email alert that will run the search every 7, 14, or 30 days.

  13. Is Cases Database free to use?

    Cases Database is freely accessible to anyone with access to the internet and an appropriate web browser.

  14. How do I submit a case report?

    New, unpublished case reports should be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal which is indexed by Cases Database. We recommend that novel, important case reports which expand the field of general medical knowledge be submitted to Journal of Medical Case Reports. Case reports which do not meet the submission criteria of Journal of Medical Case Reports will be offered the opportunity to be considered by BMC Research Notes. Authors cannot submit published or previously unpublished case reports directly to Cases Database.

  15. How do I cite Cases Database?

    To cite (reference) individual cases, please cite the journal article in which the case report was published. Source and citation details are given for all cases included in the database. When writing new case reports or other articles, please mention that Cases Database was used in the search strategy. To cite or link to Cases Database as a whole, please use: Cases Database. BioMed Central http://www.casesdatabase.com Accessed [DATE]

  16. How can journals or publishers get their case reports included in Cases Database?

    The more case reports that are included in Cases Database the more useful the database is. We are looking for more journals and publishers who would like to include their authors’ case reports in the database.

    Journals and publishers including their content in Cases Database can expect increased visibility and usage of their content, as all cases in Cases Database link to the full text version of the case report on the publisher’s website. Our goal is for Cases Database to be the largest online database of peer-reviewed medical case reports, to be used by researchers, clinicians, lecturers, students, regulators, and patients.

    The original publisher’s copyright and license information is indexed and displayed by Cases Database. Cases from open access and subscription content can be included in Cases Database. Case reports published by open access publishers which use the Creative Commons attribution license, which permits commercial use, and deposit their articles in PubMed Central may already be included in Cases Database. If you are an editor or publisher looking to include your case reports in Cases Database, or if you are a reader or author who would like to recommend a journal for inclusion, please contact us.

  17. Can I reproduce content in Cases Database?

    Cases Database displays summaries of case reports which have previously published in peer-reviewed journals. Where the source article is not published under a Creative Commons Attribution License then content has been included in the database with explicit permission of the original publisher.  Only content which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License can be reused without special permission, provided appropriate attribution is given.

    To reproduce any other cases please contact the original publisher of the case report before creating a copy or derivative work.  The original publisher's copyright and license information is indexed and displayed by Cases Database for each case.

    If you are an editor or publisher looking to include your case reports in Cases Database, or if you are a reader or author who would like to recommend a journal for inclusion, please contact us.

  18. What are the benefits of registering on the Cases Database website?

    By registering your details, including a valid email address, with Cases Database you can:

    •  Save cases
    •  Download and export search results to your local computer
    •  Save searches
    •  Receive emails when new cases match your saved searches
    •  Receive email updates