Unintentional injuries in adolescents: a neglected issue in global health (1) Self-archiving: a neglected approach in research communication

4 July, 2023

Dear HIFA and CHIFA colleagues,

Congratulations to HIFA country representative Soumyadeep Bhaumik and colleagues for this new Comment in Lancet Child and Adolescent Health.

Citation, summary and comment from me below.

CITATION: Unintentional injuries in adolescents: a neglected issue in global health

Amy E Peden et al.

Lancet Child and Adolescent Health 2023

COMMENT| VOLUME 7, ISSUE 7, P447-449, JULY 2023


'Despite unintentional injuries (such as transport injuries, drowning, falls, and burns) being the leading cause of death for adolescents aged 10–24 years, 1 there remains a struggle to leverage the attention and political will needed to address this preventable loss of life. Globally in 2019, 369 000 adolescents and young people aged 10–24 years died from unintentional injuries. 31·1 million disability-adjusted life-years have been attributed to these injury mechanisms, and there has been little change over the past few decades. 1 Although injury poses potential lifelong impacts on physical and mental health and economic and social effects on families, adolescent health and wellbeing has typically focused on other issues such as mental health, suicide, sexual and reproductive health, and substance use. Among unintentional injuries in adolescents, only road traffic injuries receive attention.'

COMMENT (NPW): There is no doubt this is an important and neglected issue. The availability and use of reliable healthcare information, including information that might help prevent injury as well as first aid information for lay bystanders, would help prevent some of these deaths. Unfortunately the full text is restricted access and many of those who might benefit, or who might be able to implement policy and practice, are disempowered from doing so. There is a case here for self-archiving in an open access archive, but I have been unable to see evidence of this.

As a more general comment, self-archiving in open access archives has the potential to empower huge numbers of readers who do not have the means to pay for papers behind a paywall. Would anyone like to comment as to why this method seems to be used so little, when most publishers allow at least self-archiving of the unformatted version?

Join HIFA: www.hifa.org/joinhifa

Join CHIFA (child health and rights): http://www.hifa.org/joinchifa

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: neil@hifa.org