Criteria required for publication will become more stringent effective January 1, 2015. (Image source: Thinkstock)

Criteria required for publication will become more stringent effective January 1, 2015. (Image source: Thinkstock)

As of September 2014, A&A Case Reports has been in publication for one full year. More than 900 reports have been submitted, and the acceptance rate has been slightly more than 15%. Dr. Steven L. Shafer, Editor-in-Chief, Anesthesia & Analgesia, Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, and coauthors celebrate that fact in their article published in this month’s issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia titled “A&A Case Reports: A Progress Report and an Update on Requirements for Patient Consent.”

They also note that over the past year, more authors have not been able to obtain patient or family consent prior to publication, in some cases the patient has actually explicitly refused consent, and “yet the authors still attempted to proceed with publication!” Effective January 1, 2015, “Case reports about one or more patients must include a statement that the patient and/or the patient’s family reviewed the case report and gave written permission for the authors to publish the report. At least one author must have participated in the care of the patient described in the case report.” If the patient or family cannot be contacted, e.g., the patient has died, and the local IRB states that written approval is not necessary, explanation by the author is acceptable only if the reported event occurred more than 3 years prior to the report, and the patient cannot be identified in any of the materials that are to be used for publication. If the authors report outcome at the time they are treating the patient(s), the report is considered a research study, and IRB approval and written consent must be obtained. If this is not possible, e.g., treatment was not anticipated, the authors should follow the same rules as described above. Of course, all IRB and consent documentation should be saved; the editors and reviewers of the journal may request it. Authors should carefully review the instructions and guidelines for submitting articles.

As previously mentioned, A&A Case Reports is now indexed with the National Library of Medicine, including PubMed and Medline. The indexing extends back to all papers published in A&A Case reports since the inaugural issue a year ago. This is great news for authors of case reports, and provides additional reasons for authors to submit their interesting clinical case reports, education case reports, and management case reports to A&A Case Reports for publication.