Publication of epidemiological literature concerning emerging infectious disease outbreaks

May 05, 2010

Research published in PLoS Medicine this week by Weijia Xing and colleagues examines the publication of epidemiological literature concerning the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreaks in Hong Kong and Toronto. The research shows that the majority of the epidemiological articles on SARS were submitted after the epidemic had ended (22% submitted during the epidemic) with only 7% being published during the epidemic.

These findings show that although the academic response to the SARS epidemic was rapid, most articles on the of were published after the epidemic was over.

Outbreaks of emerging , especially those of a global nature, require rapid epidemiological analysis and dissemination of information for which journals are just one channel. This paper suggests that journals alone are not sufficient.

The authors conclude by suggesting that to minimize future delays in the publication of epidemiological research on emerging infectious diseases, epidemiologists could adopt common, predefined protocols and ready-to-use instruments, which would improve timeliness and ensure comparability across studies. Journals, in turn, could improve their fast-track procedures.

Explore further: Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

More information: Xing W, Hejblum G, Leung GM, Valleron A-J (2010) Anatomy of the Epidemiological Literature on the 2003 SARS Outbreaks in Hong Kong and Toronto: A Time-Stratified Review. PLoS Med 7(5): e1000272. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000272

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SARS: a model disease

Nov 21, 2007

A new model to predict the spread of emerging diseases has been developed by researchers in the US, Italy, and France. The model, described in the online open access journal BMC Medicine, could give healthcare professionals advanc ...

Study looks at Chinese herb use for SARS

Jan 25, 2006

Scientists at the West China Hospital in Sichuan say they've found the addition of Chinese herbs to current SARS therapy does not decrease death rates.

Entry screening won't stop SARS, flu

Sep 23, 2005

Screening air passengers as they arrive at British airports is unlikely to prevent importation of either SARS or influenza, researchers in London report.

Recommended for you

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

14 hours ago

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

Scientists find Ebola virus is mutating

Jan 30, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers working at Institut Pasteur in France have found that the Ebola virus is mutating "a lot" causing concern in the African countries where the virus has killed over eight thous ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.