Case reports play vital role in knowledge advancement

January 15, 2010
Philip Ward

A quick web search shows just how essential case reports are in the practice of medical imaging.

A quick web search shows just how essential case reports are in the practice of medical imaging. For instance, if you type “case reports radiology” into Google, no less than 1.87 million items appear. Further evidence of the importance of these reports is the successful journal, Radiology Case Reports (radiology.casereports.net), launched in January 2006 by the University of Washington in the U.S.

“Increasingly, the established radiology journals have focused their efforts on bringing major research studies and review articles to their readers, so that there is very little opportunity for authors of case reports to have their work published,” the publishers state on the journal’s web site. “We believe that case reports have always had an important role in the advancement of medical knowledge, and that the loss of case reports would be a grave loss indeed for all of us.”

A major attraction of this journal for readers is that it is free of charge to anyone on the Internet. Authors pay a US$350 fee for the editing and production of manuscripts and to support the nonprofit status of the operation, according to the publishers. Furthermore, it is a peer-reviewed journal, not a teaching file, they add.

In our new section we will try to complement the efforts of this group by selecting a case report that is likely to be of interest to a broad readership within the Asia Pacific region. Since our debut issue in 1994, our clinical overview articleshave focused on hot topics and emerging areas that general radiologists and other medical doctors need to know about, and our case reports will adopt the same practical approach.

We are actively seeking submissions, so if you wish to contribute a case report, please contact me at philipward1@btconnect.com. I will send you our guidelines and other relevant information.

The guest editorial in this edition will also be of great interest to readers. For nearly a decade, Dr. Harald Østensen ran the World Health Organization’s imaging program. Before his retirement, he was also a founder of the influential NICER global training initiative. In his column, he shares his experiences and views on how educational needs can be met in countries with limited resources.

Given the current economic downturn and budgetary constraints, Dr. Østensen’s advice will have extra resonance. We hope you enjoy this editorial, and we look forward to bringing you other informative articles during 2010.