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April 2011
A WPA Sponsored Symposium and Workshop held during the 46th National Psychiatry Congress on October 7-8, 2010, Izmir, Turkey

The title of the symposium was "Scientific publications in psychiatry: current international and regional challenges" co-chaired by Levent Küey and Helen Herrman.

Christian Kieling (Member, WPA Operational Committee on Publications) made a presentation on "Scientific journals in psychiatry and mental health across the world". He emphasized the marked under-representation of low- and middle-income countries (LAMIC) in the psychiatric literature, which may reflect an overall low representation of LAMIC publications in databases of indexed journals. In 2007, a survey in Medline and Web of Science was performed in order to identify journals in psychiatry and their country of origin. There were 222 indexed publications; of these, 213 originated from high-income countries and only nine (4%) from middle-income countries. None was from a low-income country. Information obtained from the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) and the Global Forum for Health Research indicated the existence of another 118 unindexed psychiatric publications from LAMIC. Two years later, in 2009, the survey was repeated, using the same strategy, paying particular interest to a follow-up of the unindexed publications from LAMIC. In addition to the nine pre-existing indexed journals, four new publications were included in the databases: one from Brazil, two from South Africa, and one from Turkey. Also, three other journals that were indexed only in Medline two years ago are now part of the Web of Science database: one each from Croatia, Poland, and Turkey. However, despite these inclusions, the proportion of journals from LAMIC remains virtually unchanged (13 of 235 or 5.5%). The scarcity of indexed journals with a strong focus on LAMIC still represents a major obstacle to the enhancement of the international and multicultural aspects of psychiatric research.

Helen Herrman (WPA Secretary for Publications) made a presentation titled "The WPA scientific publications programme and the journal of World Psychiatry". She explained that the WPA publications program aims to support dissemination of information on significant clinical, service and research developments to psychiatrists worldwide, and encourage contributions from psychiatrists in all regions of the world. It is doing this through publication of the WPA official journal World Psychiatry (founded in 2002 and edited by WPA President Prof Mario Maj), the WPA books publication program, and the development of collaborative projects, especially the support of editors in low- and middle- income countries.  Information on all these components is available on the WPA website.

The WPA website provides free access to World Psychiatry, a high quality journal of international mental health published in several languages and supporting publication of material from authors in all regions. It is indexed in several databases including PubMed and the Science Citation Index. Its Impact Factor of 4.375 places it in the top 10 journals of general psychiatry and in the top 20 of all journals of clinical psychiatry, biological psychiatry and psychopharmacology, even though it has a number of unusual features designed to fulfil needs of psychiatrists in all countries for clinically relevant materials about their own settings.  It is sent free of charge to more than 33,000 psychiatrists in 121 countries, being for many thousands of them the only accessible international psychiatric journal.

Aylin Ulu┼čahin (Editor in Chief, Turkish Journal of Psychiatry) in her presentation titled, "A success story of a local journal: Turkish Journal of Psychiatry", had shared the challenges that the Turkish Journal of Psychiatry had experienced. She explained that the Turkish Journal of Psychiatry is a quarterly journal which has been published since 1990, includes studies on behavioral sciences, particularly on clinical psychiatry. The main revenue of income is through subscription fees and the pharmaceutical company advertisements in the journal. In 2001, online publication and free online access to research papers has started. The Journal has been accepted to PubMed/Medline in 2003 and to SSCI in 2005. It was the first medical journal in Turkish language accepted by ISI indexes. Since 2005, the online publication of English translations of the journal content was started. The aim of this attempt was to present the journal to international psychiatry. Many manuscripts have been submitted from other countries since then. The journal is open to free access. The major prospect of the editorial board is to raise the impact factor of the Journal. Impact factor in 2007 was 0.55 and ranked as 74th of 82 psychiatry journals indexed in SSCI. Impact factor in 2008 was 0.49.

Levent Küey (WPA Secretary General) in his presentation titled, “Discussion on scientific publications in psychiatry: Current challenges and future directions”, stated that, health research plays a major role in advancing science and in providing solutions for mental health problems. There are huge imbalances in health research output in terms of populations and disease burden. Although 13% of the Global Burden of Diseases are due to mental disorders, mental health is an under researched area. According to the ISI Web of Science database, between the years 1992-2001, mental health related publications consist of only %3.57 of the all health related publications. Moreover, “the 10/90 divide” is also valid in this area. 96 % of the contributions to internationally accessible mental health literature comes from the High-income Countries (%15 of the world population); while, only 4% is coming from the LAMIC (Low and Middle-Income Countries-%85 of the world population).

Then a Workshop, titled, "How to write, publish, and review scientific publications in psychiatry?" was undertaken on October 8, 2010 facilitated by L. Küey, H. Herrman, C. Kieling, and A. Ulu┼čahin with the participation of the members of editorial boards of Turkish psychiatric journals and interested participants.

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