A decade of achievements
By the end of October 2021, IDP had published a total of 940 articles selected from more than 3,927 submitted manuscripts whose authors representing 105 different countries. More than 60% of the authors are in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In an effort to support researchers with limited funding, the publication fees for nearly 30% of manuscripts from low- and middle-income countries were discounted or completely waived. Four major successful approaches were accomplished by the creation of the IDP publication platform that has advanced research and evidence building leading to improved public health interventions in poor settings.
Elevating impact through articles on essential topics and key thematic series
Scientific issues of central interest, such as climate change, emerging infections, antimicrobial resistance, social-economic evaluation, have been continually presented with special attention paid to the Nobel Prizes awarded in the medical field. In order to attract more readers, IDP has always been looking for essential topics related to infectious diseases of poverty and we promptly publicise comments on new research findings by well-known experts in these fields. Examples include the papers on the Nobel award for the artemisinin and ivermectin discoveries in 2015, the innovative treatment of Ascaris infection and malaria transmission in 2016, the poverty-related infectious diseases in 2019, and the transmission patterns of COVID-19 in 2020 [2,3,4,5].
The journal’s scope covers the three most important infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria), the 20 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and the many emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, such as Ebola, avian influenza, and COVID-19. Essential public health questions are addressed with strong emphasis on epidemiology, modelling, control strategies, implementation of new surveillance technologies and applications, treatment and case management as shown in Table 1. In addition, IDP also coordinates the publication of 3 to 5 thematic series every year to interpret the trans-disciplinary or multi-sectoral effects on health issues.
Dedication to the original goals in changing times
IDP was launched at a time focused on achieving the MDGs with the objective of filling the trans-disciplinary gaps in research with regard to the infectious diseases of poverty. Since 3 of the 8 MDGs were chosen to contribute to poverty alleviation and public health equity, the journal quickly found its niche. However, the scope changed to some extent in 2015 when the UN endorsed the succeeding 17 SDGs, as poverty alleviation and promotion of good health no longer received the same priority as before. Besides, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the efforts agreed. On the other hand, the Chinese Government strong political commitment to poverty alleviation and people-cantered policies, as reflected in the Healthy China 2030 plan , remains unperturbed. It has succeeded in finally lifting the whole Chinese population above the poverty line by 2020 prolonging the average life expectancy from 35 years in 1949 to 77.8 today. In addition, the elimination of malaria transmission in China was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in June 2021 . Against this background, IDP continues to emphasize the publication of papers with a focus on scientific evidence for global poverty reduction targeting SDG indicators relevant to infectious diseases and poverty, advancing technologies improving population health, implementing policy translation of high-quality scientific output and promoting trans-disciplinary communication.
Promotion of quality-publication thanks to the editorial board members
In order to publish high-quality articles with a wide impact on global health development, the members of the editorial board have been carefully chosen according to expertise on the diseases that affect poor people in poor countries. The IDP editorial board members consists of 58 professional leaders and senior managers from international organizations and disease control programmes from 25 countries, who have actively contributed to organizing thematic series, inviting review articles and formulating scoping review guidelines. These outstanding scientists represent a broad knowledge base, which has been well received by the many young scientists working as section editors.
During its first ten years, the journal has been a movable vanguard producing 36 thematic series categorized into four different types of approaches. The first providing information for the control of infecious diseaes, such as Ebola, malaria and most recently COVID-19; the second consisting of papers on the development of drug efficacy and resistance with regard to malaria, coronavirus and other infections; the third providing a platform for innovative research with trans-disciplinary papers, such as social innovation to transform health care delivery and the economic impact of infectious diseases of poverty, while the fourth focused on scoping reviews covering health system, health policy and disease control strategies. Examples of the latter include urban health, prevention and control of vector-borne diseases, health systems research and other approaches to control and eventually eliminate infectious diseases of poverty.
Capacity building through training courses and research forums
In order to improve communication among scientists as well develop their capacity of writing scientific papers, reporting on infectious diseases of poverty in particular, IDP organized six medical writing workshops during the last 10 years with more than 300 physical participants in total. Four visual “IDEA Forum—lessons from authors” were offered amid COVID-19 pandemic . The topics covered global response to local poverty-related disease priorities, development of sustainable financing for effective tuberculosis service delivery and more recently relevant study design and mathematical modelling with focus on COVID-19. Through interactions among readers, authors, editors and more than 3,600 participants from various parts of the world, young researchers have learnt how to select research topics and better communicate research results.