A lack of Open Access and Open Science data is hindering worldwide interdisciplinary collaboration needed for the study of global phenomena, such as trauma, according to the recent paper “Is traumatic stress research global? A bibliometric analysis” (European Journal of Psychotraumatology), co-authored by Global Young Academy member Dr Eva Alisic (Monash Injury Research Institute).

“Trauma is a global phenomenon, and in many ways it’s an issue of even greater severity in low income countries because there are fewer resources to cope with the consequences” says Dr Alisic. However despite an ongoing trend of internationalization the article provides evidence, that the largest part of research into this specific topic is conducted in high income countries or by researchers from high income countries (HIC).

In a bibliometric analysis of 1000 randomly sampled peer reviewed papers on traumatic stress from the year 2012, the study focused on potentially important factors to close the research gap between high income countries and countries with low and middle income (LMIC). These included the degree of research 1) conducted in LMIC; 2) conducted by researchers from LMIC; and 3) the degree of literature accessible to researchers from LMIC.

Two main reasons for this research gap between HIC and LMIC were brought forward: On an individual level researchers in LMIC need access to adequate training for example through quality training programs, distance learning options or international fellowships as well as active involvement in international research endeavors. This finding is in line with the findings in the recently published GYA GloSYS report, which also asserts amongst others a lack of training and lack of resources or funding are major obstacles for research in LMIC.

On an institutional level there exists a significant barrier to knowledge acquisition for researchers in LMIC countries, as more than half of the publications were only available through costly subscriptions. Therefore this current research proves once again the necessity and high priority to open access to recent scientific literature and research data. This is a major goal of the Global Young Academy as we emphasize in our position statement on Open Science. The aims of the Open Science movement are not only in the best interest for young researchers and science as a whole, but young researchers can contribute valuable knowledge from their recent work experience with data gathering, digital means of dissemination and preservation of data. Read the full report at http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v5.23269.