The recent issue of Asia Pacific Journal of Medical Toxicology made an important and interesting theme “What is the Best Research for Low Income Countries?” (1). We enjoyed reading the paper; nevertheless we hope to find a chance to share our idea.
It was mentioned that some, for sure not all, researchers from the developed countries might not have enough motivation to contribute to the scientific production in the developing countries. Sadly, we agree with this idea and in practice most of the researchers in the less developed countries face these barriers. But the question is why such subtle discrimination exists in the scientific environment of the world despite its dominant moral concepts?
Usually, scientists are working very hard to progress in their fields. Many indicators including H-index have been developed to measure the scientific level of experts. However, all of these indicators have their own limitations (2). Dr. Afshari mentioned in his paper that some scientists from north countries might not contribute since these contributions decelerate their progress. However, we did not find any strong logic for such explanation. There are many opportunities in the developing countries for scientific progress. Some of these opportunities are lower competition in scientific fields, more available International resources, many crucial questions for research, and the hospitality of the developing countries (including researchers, universities, and journals) to scientists of developed countries.
Despite the above positive points, there are some barriers as well. The scientific gaps in some fields, less effective organizations, political, and financial obstacles are some examples. However, we would like to highlight one more important issue; a considerable portion of scientists in the developed countries do not have a deep and comprehensive view about the real situation in the developing countries. Honestly, we think they might have a distorted view about the capacities and the level of works in less developed countries. As a result of such a view, it would be difficult to establish a real scientific communication and collaboration between them.
Therefore, it seems that a multi-dimensional strategy has to be taken by the scientific organizations in the developing countries with the following components:
Improving their capacities in order to minimize their gaps with the developed countries.
Working as a network and support each other efficiently by creating south-south links.
Changing the attitude of scientists in the developed countries and change their insight about the existing capacities in the developing countries.