BMJ GH: How to address the geographical bias in academic publishing

30 January, 2024

CITATION: How to address the geographical bias in academic publishing

Juliana A Bol et al.

Correspondence to Dr Juliana A Bol;


Academic publishing is dominated by Western Europe and North America or the Global North, leading to a disparity in representation and access to research from other regions, particularly low-income and middle-income countries or the Global South.

Journals from the Global South face challenges in competing with Global North journals in terms of prestige and finances, which hinders their recognition and impact.

To diversify academic publishing, strategies should focus on improving the impact factor of Global South journals, such as requiring citation of relevant articles from within the region and copublishing with international journals.

Decentralising editorial boards, addressing the language bias towards English and establishing independent regional-level citation databases can contribute to improving the quality and representation of Global South journals.

COMMENT (NPW): The paper appears to focus on journals based in the Global North versus those based in the Global South, and arguably provides an incomplete picture of the issue (although I do not claim to have expertise in this area). I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: