Ebola and its global research architecture : need for an improvement

  • Abstract: The current Ebola outbreak poses a threat to individual and global public health. Although the disease has been of interest to the scientific community since 1976, an effective vaccination approach is still lacking. This fact questions past global public health strategies, which have not foreseen the possible impact of this infectious disease. To quantify the global research activity in this field, a scientometric investigation was conducted. We analyzed the research output of countries, individual institutions and their collaborative networks. The resulting research architecture indicated that American and European countries played a leading role regarding output activity, citations and multi- and bilateral cooperations. When related to population numbers, African countries, which usually do not dominate the global research in other medical fields, were among the most prolific nations. We conclude that the field of Ebola research is constantly progressing, and the research landscape is influenced by economical and infrastructural factors as well as historical relations between countries and outbreak events. Author Summary: For the first time in the history of the disease, the Ebola virus left its local setting and affected people not only in isolated rural areas, but reached larger towns and cities leading to worldwide repercussions. This development prompted a joint global response to this health threat. This encompassed not only immediate relief efforts, but also an up search in global research work. In this study, the scientific output in Ebola research available in one of the mayor medical search platforms was characterized. We studied among others the origin of research, the collaboration between countries and the research topics. Partly, the obtained data was weighted against economic parameters. We attained a detailed map of the research activities from the discovery of Ebola in 1976 up to today. Our research provides the first overview of the worldwide Ebola research output. It might help stakeholders in Ebola research to better plan investigations with a global perspective.

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Author:David QuarcooORCiDGND, Dörthe BrüggmannORCiDGND, Doris KlingelhöferORCiD, Jan David Alexander GronebergORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):PLoS neglected tropical diseases, volume 9, issue 9, e0004083 (2015)
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2015/09/25
Date of first Publication:2015/09/25
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/02/02
Issue:(9): e0004083
Page Number:10
First Page:1
Last Page:10
Copyright: © 2015 Quarcoo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0