Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More debate on the utility of case reports

The Scientist posted a news item yesterday, "Case reports: Essential or irrelevant?", discussing reaction of members of other editorial teams to the launch of the new Journal of Medical Case Reports (a BMC title).

Does the medical literature need more case studies? A new journal is betting it does, even as editors at other journals say the answer is no.

Historically, case reports have proven extremely valuable to clinicians faced with diseases they knew little about. But in an age where countries spend more on research than ever before investigating both rare and common diseases, some experts argue that the obscure nature of many case reports makes them of little value to the average practitioner.

The article includes editorial staff commentary from the Lancet, the British Medical Journal, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the American Journal of Medicine.

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