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: Expert highlights research innovation and is optimistic about the future of IBS treatment

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

WHO: Ebola vaccine trials in W. Africa in January

11 hours ago

Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe, a top World Health Organization official ...

Ebola cases rise sharply in western Sierra Leone

11 hours ago

After emerging months ago in eastern Sierra Leone, Ebola is now hitting the western edges of the country where the capital is located with dozens of people falling sick each day, the government said Tuesday. So many people ...

User comments : 0