Deedra J. Walton, MLS, D-AHIP
Head of Electronic Resources
Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library
University of Central Florida College of Medicine
This is an update of a review I wrote that was published in the June 2018 issue of Doody’s Collection Development Monthly. You can find the original review here: http://dcdm.doody.com/2018/06/a-review-of-bmj-case-reports/.
BMJ Case Reports is an online educational resource of peer-reviewed, clinically important cases on common and rare conditions from all medical disciplines [1,2]. Its intended audience is all healthcare professionals and researchers .
As the “largest single collection of online case reports,”  BMJ Case Reports publishes cases on diagnostic challenges, mechanism of injury, pharmacology, ethical or management dilemmas, global health, decision making, clinical guidelines, and pathology [2,4]. Published cases should promote discussion, valuable clinical lessons, and novel learning outcomes . BMJ Case Reports has also created a downloadable, six-unit global health educational curriculum consisting of a discussion tool with slides, along with questions and answers suitable for use by individuals, small groups, or in the classroom . BMJ Case Reports is published online and cases are continuously added to the website. Authors are required to submit manuscripts using templates provided by the publisher . This simplified manuscript preparation process guarantees all cases follow the same format and serves as a helpful guide for new authors. A maximum of four authors are allowed per case and each author must make a direct, substantial contribution to the writing of the article. At least one author must have been directly involved in the case . BMJ Case Reports is indexed by MEDLINE, PubMed Central, Scopus, Embase, and Google Scholar, but does not have an impact factor . Full text is available on PubMed Central after a two-year embargo. BMJ Case Reports adds on average 1,800 new case a year . In 2019, the acceptance rate was 54%, the time from submission to first decision was 66 days, and the time from acceptance to online publication was 17 days .
The BMJ Case Reports website has been redesigned. Its minimalist display and simple color scheme provide an uncluttered viewing experience. The now responsive site offers easy viewing on different devices and screen sizes. On the homepage, a basic search box allows users to search by keyword. Advanced search allows users to apply limits to search results, change the results display, search by citation (including DOI), and combine author/keyword searching.
There are other links on the homepage connecting users to content. Underneath the search box users may choose to browse case reports by Specialty, Latest Content, Most Read, Responses, Videos, and Images. Above the search box are links to Latest Content, Archive, and Global Health. The other information on the homepage is presented in six boxes titled: (1) Publish in BMJ Case Reports, which links to author instructions for submitting a case and subscription information; (2) Spotlight, which features a collection of cases on a specific topic; (3) Case Reports by Specialty, which links to collections of cases by medical specialties; (4) Altmetrics, which links to cases with strong social media presence; (5) Pathology Q & A Section, which tests users’ pathology knowledge through questions/answers derived from cases; and (6) Most Read, which links to cases with the most online downloads over the lifetime of the article. In 2019, BMJ Case Reports added month/volume/issue to its content and archives. However, searching the archive before 2019 is by year only.
The article full-text display has also received a makeover. Left adjacent to the article are links to Article Info, Citation Tools, Share, Responses, Article Metrics, and Alerts. Information available through these links include author affiliations and other publications written by the authors via ORCID ID, PubMed, and Google Scholar links; citation information and citation manager downloads; permission request; social media platform sharing; responses to the article; article usage statistics; and article email alerts. Article metrics from Altmetric.com are added to the full-text display as they become available.
At the end of the article are bulleted learning points summarizing the important takeaways from the article. The footnotes section provides information about each author’s contribution to the article, whether outside funding was used, authors’ competing interest, patient consent for publication, as well as provenance and peer review. Other recommended content and job advertisements by BMJ Careers are also listed at the end of the article full-text display.
The unique business model of BMJ Case Reports remains the same. Subscribers are called fellows and the subscription fee is called a fellowship fee. Institutional fellowships are available for libraries. All faculty, students, and staff affiliated with an institutional fellowship enjoy the same privileges as an individual fellow subscriber . See my original review for a detailed explanation.
The BMJ Case Reports open access publishing fee has increased to £400, which is around $500 using the current exchange rate. This fee is in addition to the fellowship fee; however, payment is only required if the case is accepted for publication . Despite the increase, the open access fee remains reasonably priced.
BMJ Case Reports, indexed by MEDLINE, PubMed Central, Scopus, Embase, and Google Scholar, is a large collection of peer-reviewed, online case reports covering all medical disciplines. On average, 1,800 cases are continuously added to the website yearly. Its unique institutional fellowship business model remains the same, as does its simplified manuscript preparation process, which serves as a useful guide for healthcare professionals who may not have published before. Since my original review, the BMJ Case Reports website has been redesigned. The new, minimalist, responsive site provides a fresh, uncluttered viewing experience.
- BMJ Case Reports. FAQs. Accessed May 29, 2020.
- BMJ Case Reports. About. Accessed May 29, 2020.
- BMJ Case Reports. 10 Years of BMJ Case Reports. Accessed May 29, 2020.
- BMJ Case Reports. Authors. Accessed May 29, 2020.
- BMJ Case Reports. Global Health. Accessed June 6, 2020.
- BMJ Case Reports. Fellowships. Accessed May 29, 2020.