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How global is global health research? A large-scale analysis of trends in authorship
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  • Published on:
    On equity in authorship. Response to Dmitris et al.
    • Esmita Charani, Research Lead, Practice Design and Engineering at NIHR HPRU in HCAI and AMR Imperial College London
    • Other Contributors:
      • Winnie Nambatya, Pharmacist
      • Nusrat Shafiq, Professor
      • Alison H Holmes, Professor in Infectious Diseases
      • Marc Mendelson, Professor in Infectious Diseases
      • Sanjeev Singh, Medical Superintendent

    Dear Dr Abimbola,

    We read with interest the article ‘How global is global health Research? A large-scale analysis of tends in authorship’ by Dimitris and colleagues published in BMJ Global Health January 2021.1 The authors’ research highlights the slow progress in proportion of studies with any, first, and, last authors affiliated with a low- or middle-income country (LMICs), particularly in first and last authorship. The authors welcome and have called for a thorough discussion about the implications of these findings, particularly in identifying the barriers and facilitators to diversity in authorship.

    Reflecting on our experience of international research in infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance we present here some of the barriers we have faced together with the solutions which we have identified. Recognising however, that addressing this inequity requires broader inclusion and participation from academic institutions, scientific journals and funders, we propose remedial steps at every level which will require a different approach to scientific research funding and communication.

    There is a culture and hierarchy within academia which manifests itself in the authorship order. It is accepted that the first leads the writing and last author leads the research with all authors contributing to the final manuscript. There are of course the guidelines from the International Committee of medical Journal Editors which clearly stipulate the rol...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.