Geospatial Health: the first five years

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Jürg Utzinger *
Laura Rinaldi
John B. Malone
Stefanie J. Krauth
Thomas K. Kristensen
Giuseppe Cringoli
Robert Bergquist
(*) Corresponding Author:
Jürg Utzinger | juerg.utzinger@unibas.ch

Abstract

Geospatial Health is an international, peer-reviewed scientific journal produced by the Global Network for Geospatial Health (GnosisGIS). This network was founded in 2000 and the inaugural issue of its official journal was published in November 2006 with the aim to cover all aspects of geographical information system (GIS) applications, remote sensing and other spatial analytic tools focusing on human and veterinary health. The University of Naples Federico II is the publisher, producing two issues per year, both as hard copy and an open-access online version. The journal is referenced in major databases, including CABI, ISI Web of Knowledge and PubMed. In 2008, it was assigned its first impact factor (1.47), which has now reached 1.71. Geospatial Health is managed by an editor-in-chief and two associate editors, supported by five regional editors and a 23-member strong editorial board. This overview takes stock of the first five years of publishing: 133 contributions have been published so far, primarily original research (79.7%), followed by reviews (7.5%), announcements (6.0%), editorials and meeting reports (3.0% each) and a preface in the first issue. A content analysis of all the original research articles and reviews reveals that three quarters of the publications focus on human health with the remainder dealing with veterinary health. Two thirds of the papers come from Africa, Asia and Europe with similar numbers of contributions from each continent. Studies of more than 35 different diseases, injuries and risk factors have been presented. Malaria and schistosomiasis were identified as the two most important diseases (11.2% each). Almost half the contributions were based on GIS, one third on spatial analysis, often using advanced Bayesian geostatistics (13.8%), and one quarter on remote sensing. The 120 original research articles, reviews and editorials were produced by 505 authors based at institutions and universities in 52 countries. Importantly, a considerable proportion of the authors come from countries with a low or medium human development index (29.3%). In view of the increasing number of submissions, we are considering to publish more than two issues per year in the future. Finally, our vision is to open-up a new section predominantly based on visual presentations, including brief video clips, as discussed in a symposium at the 60th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in December 2011.

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