About the Journal

Focus, Scope and Objectives

CREST (Case Reports in Emergency Surgery and Trauma) is an international, peer-reviewed journal devoted to expanding the quality of care in the scientific field of Acute Care Surgery & Trauma (ACS&T) by publishing articles reporting clinical cases on this study area. The rationale for publishing case reports in the ACS&T field is double. On the one hand, in this area of study it is extremely costly and difficult to produce studies of the highest degree of scientific evidence (i.e. controlled clinical trials, especially randomised) and on the other hand, clinical cases (and their particular scientific information) find little, if non-zero, dissemination’ chance in the scientific literature. The journal welcomes submissions from international contributors and researchers of all specialties involved in ACS&T. CREST publishes essentially Case Reports or small Case Series related to the practice in the field of ACS&T. Clinical cases published on CREST must comply, in addition to originality, with three other conditions:

  1. to follow the CARE guidelines for publication of case reports (https://www.care-statement.org/);
  2. to report a comprehensive review of the central topic of the case report in the Discussion section;
  3. to indicate in the conclusions the fundamental "learning" obtained from the clinical case.

 

Why case reports?

A case report is generally considered a type of anecdotal and, for this reason, unreliable evidence. Given their methodological restrictions, including the absence of statistical sampling, case reports are positioned at the lowermost of the pyramid of clinical evidence, together with case series. Nonetheless, case reports have and have had, valuable roles in medical research and evidence-based medicine. The 17% of case reports and the 33% of case series published by Lancet in 1996-1997 were followed by clinical trial. In particular, they have helped the discovery of new illnesses and adverse effects of drugs and treatments. Case reports and case series show an extraordinary sensitivity for identifying originality and, therefore, they remain one of the origins of medical progress, providing many new ideas in medicine. While randomized clinical trials only check one variable or very few aspects of a disease/treatment, rarely reproducing the full representation of a complicated medical condition, case reports can detail many different aspects of the patient's medical situation (e.g. patient history, physical examination, diagnosis, psychosocial aspects, follow up). Case reports can moreover play a pertinent role in medical education and knowledge translation, providing a chance for case-based learning.

What are the CARE guidelines?

Accurate and transparent data collection from episodes of care informs the delivery of high-quality individualized healthcare. “Good case reporting demands a clear focus, to make explicit to the audience why a particular observation is important in the context of existing knowledge” (Vandenbroucke 2001). The CARE guidelines for case reports help authors reduce risk of bias, increase transparency, and provide early signals of what works, for which patients, and under which circumstances. Case reports following the CARE guidelines support the measurement of (1) clinician- and patient-assessed outcomes, (2) effectiveness of Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs), and (3) the return on investment (ROI). Healthcare stakeholder groups that benefit from case reports following the CARE guidelines include:

  • Patients – reviewing and comparing therapeutic options.
  • Clinicians – engaging in peer-to-peer communication at conferences or in their community.
  • Researchers – developing testable hypotheses from clinical settings (e.g., Driggers 2016).
  • Educators – systematic case reports from “real-world” clinical practice support case-based learning.
  • Authors – the CARE guidelines provide tools to inform and simplify the process of writing accurate and transparent case reports.
  • Medical Journals – the CARE guidelines support “Author Guidelines” and peer review.


The CARE guidelines (for CAse REports) were developed by an international group of experts to support an increase in the accuracy, transparency, and usefulness of case reports. View and download the CARE checklist here. The CARE guidelines have been endorsed by multiple medical journals and publishers and have been translated into multiple languages. Articles about the CARE guideline development process and a “manual” for writing case reports have been published in 2013 and 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. The CARE guidelines support the Equator Network’s mission to improve health research reporting. Online training to write case reports following the CARE guidelines is available from Scientific Writing in Health and Medicine (SWIHM), which also provides access to CARE-writer, an online application for writing case reports as preprints or for submission to a scientific journal.

 

Peer review process

Peer review is applied to all research articles and the majority of other article types published in PAGEPress journals. This usually entails at least two independent, expert peer reviewers.

Policy

All submissions to PAGEPress journals are first checked for completeness (criteria for desk reject are available in the Guide for Authors) before being sent to an Editor, who decides whether they are suitable for peer review. If an Editor is on the author list or has a competing interest in a particular manuscript, another member of the Editorial Board will be assigned to oversee peer review. When making a decision, Editors will consider the peer-reviewed reports, but they will not be bound by the opinions or recommendations contained in them. A single peer reviewer's or the Editor's concern may result in the manuscript being rejected. Peer review reports are sent to authors along with the editorial decision on their manuscript.

CREST uses the double-blind peer review: the reviewers do not know the authors’ names, and the authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript.

Selection

Peer reviewer selection is critical to the publication process. A variety of factors influence it, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations, conflicts of interest, and previous performance. All of these qualities are highly desirable: speed, thoroughness, sound reasoning, and collegiality.

When two independent peer reviewers cannot be obtained, the Editor may act as a second reviewer or make a decision based on only one report. If acting as a second reviewer, the editor must have sufficient knowledge in the area and sign the review to ensure transparency in the peer review process.

Before accepting an invitation to review a manuscript, potential peer reviewers should notify the Editor of any potential conflicts of interest. Editors' and peer reviewers' communications contain confidential information that should not be shared with third parties.

PAGEPress journals are committed to making editorial decisions and publishing them as soon as possible, and we believe that an efficient editorial process benefits both our authors and the research community as a whole. As a result, we ask reviewers to respond within the agreed-upon time frame. If reviewers anticipate a delay, we ask that they notify us so that we can keep the authors updated and, if necessary, find alternative solutions.

Diversity and equity

PAGEPress is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and strives for demographic diversity among peer reviewers. When inviting peer reviewers, editors are bly encouraged to consider geographical regions, gender identities, racial/ethnic groups, and other groups.

Misconduct

False or misleading information, such as identity theft and suggesting fake peer-reviewers, will result in the manuscript being rejected, further investigation in accordance with PAGEPress' misconduct policy (https://www.pagepress.org/site/plagiarism_misconduct), and notification to the authors' institutions/employers. PAGEPress journals follow the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidance about peer reviewer fraud/falsification.

Guidance

The primary goal of peer review is to provide the Editor with the information needed to make a fair, evidence-based decision that adheres to the journal's editorial criteria. Review reports should also assist authors in revising their paper so that it can be accepted for publication. Reports that include a recommendation to reject the paper should explain the major flaws in the research; this will help the authors prepare their manuscript for possible re-submission (if allowed by the Editor) or submission to a different journal.

A quick guide to reviewing is available here

Before submitting a report, reviewers should ask themselves the following questions:

  • How would you react if you received this report?
  • Do you find the tone offensive?
  • Is it polite and professional?
  • Do the authors or their competitors receive any unnecessary personal or antagonistic remarks?

Please keep in mind that any offensive language in your report may be removed by the Editor.

Publication Frequency

All papers are published as soon as they have been accepted, by adding them to the "current" volume's Table of Contents.

Article Processing Charge

Open Access publishing does have its costs. However, as a promotional activity, all articles accepted for publication in CREST (Case Reports in Emergency Surgery and Trauma) will be published completely exempt from any charge.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Archiving

This journal utilizes the PKP Preservation Network, the Global LOCKSS Network and Portico to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration.

Pre- and post-prints

PAGEPress allows and encourages authors to deposit both their pre- and post-prints in Open-Access institutional archives or repositories. The primary benefit of pre- and post-print self-archiving is reaching a larger audience which enhances the visibility and impact of your research.