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Xenophobia in general psychiatry journals

Arghya Sarkhel (General Adult Psychiatry, c/o CDAS, The Taylor Centre, UK)
Linda Butterworth (Southend Community Drug and Alcohol Service, UK)
Sabu Varughese (CDAS, UK)
Harish Rao (Peter Bruff Unit, Clacton and District Hospital, UK)
Jason Luty (South Essex Partnership NHS Trust, UK)

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1757-0980

Article publication date: 20 November 2009



To establish the how far the leading psychiatric journals from the USA and UK show any favouritism to researchers from the journals' host countries. Retrospective review of original data‐based research reports published in 2006 from the five highest impact general psychiatric journals.British authors were 10 times more likely to appear as authors in two general psychiatry journals that are UK based than the three USA based journals (odds ratio=10.37 CI=8.95 to 12.02). American authors were 13 times more likely to publish in three leading three American psychiatry journals compared to British journals (odds ratio=14.27 CI=12.39 to 16.45). It is difficult to explain why researchers appear so much more likely to appear as authors in the host countries' journals other than by invoking some form of bias or favouritism in journals' editorial procedures. This creates a particular disadvantage for research outside the USA and UK.Research is funded and disseminated based on publications in high impact medical journals. If medical journals are xenophobic, that is they preferentially publish articles from their host countries, this severely disadvantages research in less developed countries, of which, many host no medical journals. For example simple, inexpensive research, such as the provision of non‐proprietary antidepressants and antipsychotics or measures to prevent the epidemic of alcohol and tobacco related problems in developed countries may be hugely beneficial to millions of people, but this is unlikely to be researched or disseminated if medical journals are xenophobic.



Sarkhel, A., Butterworth, L., Varughese, S., Rao, H. and Luty, J. (2009), "Xenophobia in general psychiatry journals", Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 29-31.



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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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