Priya Shetty writes at New Scientist.
Why? For a start, research published in international journals might not be relevant to the needs of individual countries. For example, academics specialising in mental health, such as Vikram Patel at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, have argued that India’s cash-strapped mental health services should offer access to community health workers and not just specialised psychiatrists and psychologists, but such debates seldom make it into the pages of international journals.
Furthermore, by developing the research culture, local health journals can empower societies to be more engaged in the way healthcare is administered. Such involvement might have avoided the appalling failure of the WHO’s polio vaccination campaign in northern Nigeria in 2003, which fell apart after widespread panic caused by fears that the vaccine was contaminated with HIV. And in non-anglophone countries, journals in the locally used language can provide a useful channel by which to publicise local research that has appeared in international journals – typically in English.
Indeed. Know what else they(we) need? A popular science magazine that’s excellent in science and gloriously local, and in vernacular. Not many around that I know. In fact, I know no science magazine comparable to, say New Scientist or SEED, in India.