Publishing ethics in paediatric research: A cross-cultural comparative review

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Abstract

The present article aims to scrutinize publishing ethics in the fields of paediatrics and paediatric nursing. Full-text readings of all original research articles in paediatrics from a high-income economy, i.e. Sweden, and from all low-income economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, were reviewed as they were indexed and stored in Web of Science for the search period from 1 January 2007 to 7 October 2009. The application of quantitative and qualitative content analysis revealed a marked discrepancy in publishing frequencies between the two contrasting economies. Authors from 16 low-income economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, with at least one article stored, were obviously closely linked to co-authorships and foreign funding sources, predominantly from Europe and the USA. Statements concerning conflicts of interest were frequently missing (both regions), even when multiple financial sources, including companies, were involved. It is necessary to be aware of possible systematic bias when using electronic databases to search for certain topics and regions. Further research regarding publishing ethics in paediatrics and paediatric nursing is emphasized.

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