3 years ago

Evaluation of the scientific impact of the Ebola epidemic: a systematic review

The Ebola outbreak prompted an extensive number of scientific publications. Yet little attention has been paid to the involvement of scientific communities, the scientific impact as well as provided funding. We sought to systematically review publicly available information on the scientific impact of the Ebola epidemic. Methods A systematic review of scientific literature was performed. Information on the scientific impact of the Ebola epidemic including the involvement of scientific communities by determining the origins, funding, and impact factor (IF) of publications between December 6, 2013, and December 22, 2015 were included. Results We identified 460 relevant articles out of 3,281 references, which were mostly authored by American (46.6%) and European (28.4%) institutions; only 13.4% of authors were affiliated with African institutions. Most IF can be attributed to the Americas and Europe, with 43% (25,030.8 IF) and 34.5% (20,074.2 IF), respectively, compared to 17.9% (10,436.5 IF) in Africa. Funds were provided mainly by the Americas (31.8% of all funded studies) and Europe (17%). American and European funds were also distributed back mainly to American (77.8%) and European (85.2%) institutions, respectively. Conclusions The Ebola outbreak had a significant scientific impact and resulted in high IF numbers. The main impact could be measured in the Americas and Europe, and was directly related to funding. African researchers were only marginally involved in the scientific processing (86.6% of all researchers were not African), probably because major research centres are located in America and Europe. This emphasises the importance of promoting closer cooperation between regions.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1198743X17304901

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