Public Release: 

Unlocking the value of medical case reports: BioMed Central launches Cases Database

BioMed Central

BioMed Central the open access publisher today announced the launch of a valuable new medical resource, Cases Database. Cases Database is a freely accessible and continuously updated tool, developed by BioMed Central, which allows clinicians, researchers, teachers and patients to explore thousands of peer-reviewed medical case reports from multiple journal publishers, including BioMed Central, Springer and BMJ Group.

The launch of BioMed Central's open access Journal of Medical Case Reports (JMCR) in 2007 drew attention to the valuable role that case reports can play in advancing medical understanding. Since then, case report publishing has become a burgeoning field and with the introduction of Cases Database, BioMed Central is now making the universe of published case reports even easier to explore.

Matt Cockerill, BioMed Central's Managing Director explains "Our vision, when we launched JMCR, was that case reports would have much more value if they could be assembled together in large numbers and made easy to find and compare. Cases Database delivers on that vision."

By bringing many thousands of case reports together, Cases Database adds value to individual reports, allowing comparison of similar cases and helping to highlight trends and patterns which may help researchers to develop hypotheses which can then be tested by systematic research.

To aid discovery, all cases reports in Case Database are annotated using text-mining, which extracts clinically relevant information such as age, sex, ethnicity, symptom, intervention or medication using standard controlled vocabularies.

Professor Michael Kidd AM, Editor-in-Chief of JMCR said, "Case reports have the potential to improve our understanding of clinical medicine and expand medical knowledge. By bringing similar case reports together, through the Cases Database, researchers and clinicians can start to look for new knowledge - new associations, new side effects, new thoughts about disease processes, new understandings about the impact of disease on our patients and our communities. This is an exciting development and is critical to the advancement of clinical medicine."

To make Cases Database as comprehensive as possible, BioMed Central is working with multiple publishers to include case reports, both open access and non-open access, from hundreds of journals. The database already includes data on more than 4000 case reports from BMJ Case Reports, published by BMJ Group, with further such partnerships under development.

As Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ, commented "Because most patients these days have not one condition but many we have to move beyond randomised trials, which usually exclude patients with comorbidities. A database of case reports will be invaluable in moving us forward."


For more information about Cases Database please visit the website or get in touch.

Media Contact

Rebecca Fairbairn
Public Relations Manager, BioMed Central
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3192 2433
Mob: +44 (0) 7825 257423

Notes to Editors

1. Cases Database is available at Searching and access to case summaries is free. Access to the full text of non-open access case reports may require a subscription to the relevant journal.

2. BioMed Central ( is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector. @BioMedCentral

3. Journal of Medical Case Reports ( is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal which publishes original case reports that expand the field of general medical knowledge, along with original research relating to case reports. @jmedcasereports

4. Springer Science+Business Media ( is a leading global scientific publisher, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions and corporate R&D departments with quality content via innovative information products and services. Springer is also a trusted local-language publisher in Europe - especially in Germany and the Netherlands - primarily for physicians and professionals working in the automotive, transport and healthcare sectors. Roughly 2,000 journals and more than 7,000 new books are published by Springer each year, and the group is home to the world's largest STM eBook collection, as well as the most comprehensive portfolio of open access journals. Springer employs more than 7,000 individuals across the globe and in 2011 generated sales of approximately EUR 875 million.

5. BMJ Group is a global provider of trusted and independent medical information and services for healthcare professionals. BMJ Group is owned by the British Medical Association, but is editorially independent and the articles and content it publishes do not necessarily reflect BMA policy. For a full list of BMJ Group products, please click here:, BMJ Group Media Centre:

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