Analysis of the reporting requirements of clinical case reports dedicated Journals: Towards updating the CARE guideline


1 Department of Medical Library and Information Sciences, School of Management and Medical Information Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Integrative Functional Gastroenterology Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 School of Engineering and Information Technology, University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia

4 School of Computer Engineering, Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan, Rafsanjan, Kerman, Iran

5 Clinical Informationist Research Group, Health Information Technology Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Following personalized medicine and the development of e-publishing, a large number of case report–dedicated journals have emerged. But the lack of integrated guidelines is a major obstacle to the quality of this evidence. The purpose of this study is to analyze the reporting requirements of case report–dedicated journals to update and strengthen the CARE guidelines.
Material and Methods: Quantitative and qualitative research approach has been done using the content analysis method. All case report–dedicated journals were selected from Scopus (54 out of a total of 68 journals). By referring to these journals' websites, all the contents of the authors' guideline section and two sample articles were examined as a unit of analysis. Quantitative data includes frequency and percentile; qualitative data was conducted through open coding, creating categories, and abstraction.
Results: 51% of journals are related to Elsevier and Hindawi publications. 14.8% of journals have been launched in the form of companions. 52% of journals endorse the CARE guidelines. Among the CARE elements, title, consent form (100%), discussion, abstract (94.4%), and introduction (90.7%) had the most frequent elements, and timeline and patients' perspective had the least repetition in the authors' guideline. Also, 19 new reporting elements and 27 types of case reports were identified.
Conclusions: Improving the reporting and content quality of case reports is very important to benefit from knowledge synthesis services. Medical journals publishing case reports should follow a more integrated process. An updated version of reporting guidelines needs to be available for publishers and editors of journals.


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