Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

One-Journal-for-MEDLINE Initiative in Nepal

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

One-Journal-for-MEDLINE Initiative in Nepal

Article excerpt

Editor--In a recent paper in the Bulletin, Langer et ah argued that research data produced by developing country authors is underrepresented in the international health literature and identified the following factors to explain the reasons: poor research, poor preparation of manuscripts, poor access to scientific literature, poor participation in publication-related decision-making, and bias of journals (1).

To overcome this unequal representation, they proposed five steps:

1. Continue WHO's efforts to increase access to primary biomedical information.

2. Collaboration between researchers from industrialized and developing countries.

3. Increase active regional representation on editorial boards of international journals.

4. Expand free access to the scientific literature.

5. Encourage developing country authors to submit papers to the special issues of international journals.

These steps sound reasonable and could be effective; however, they require more input and commitment from developed than from developing countries. We suggest that a more clear-cut strategy should be taken by researchers in developing countries.

In an article published in 2003, we proposed that Nepal could demonstrate its research capacity by "having one journal in MEDLINE" (2). Subsequently, several Nepalese biomedical journals were approached by the National Library of Medicine, and in December 2003 the Nepal Medical College Journal was included in MEDLINE, eight months after the publication of our article.

In 2002, 133 articles were registered in MEDLINE with a Medical Subject Heading (MESH) that included "Nepal", none of which were published by Nepalese journals. …

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