Introducing the SDGs into Peer-Reviewed Literature

27.01.2020

Tropical Medicine and International Health is the first peer-reviewed journal that fully integrates the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its publication process. In turn, this will enhance the visibility of the contributions of the scientific community to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This novel feature was implemented following the recommendations of an editorial published today by Swiss TPH and partners in Tropical Medicine and International Health.

The Diagram shows the frequency of SDGs addressed by 216 papers published in Tropical Medicine and International Health between January 2018 and July 2019, weighted by the number of SDGs assigned per paper.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve as a compass to transform our world into a better and more equitable place. Organisations from all over the world, including the public and private sectors as well as academia and the scientific community, are urged to work towards the SDGs. Several universities and research institutes have started to report on their activities in terms of specific contribution to the SDGs. What is missing, however, is a systematic classification of the peer-reviewed literature in terms of their contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Tropical Medicine and International Health is the first peer-reviewed journal to introduce an innovative feature that tracks the SDGs addressed in research articles, reviews and editorials. This innovative feature was introduced following recommendations of an editorial published today by Swiss TPH researchers in collaboration with two of the editors of Tropical Medicine and International Health from the United Kingdom Research and Innovation and the Heidelberg University Hospital. According to the first authors, Anaïs Galli, Andrea Leuenberger and Dominik Dietler (all Swiss TPH), the new feature will better enhance the visibility and interconnectivity of the SDGs. The feature will also allow for the monitoring of trends over time and help identify synergies and interactions between the different SDGs.

As of January 2020, each article published in Tropical Medicine and International Health will report the respective SDGs on the title page, just after the abstract and the keywords. The editorial proposes a standard methodology for how to identify the SDGs addressed in manuscripts. To assist prospective authors, a set of keywords was defined for each SDG and their respective targets. These keywords serve as a guide for authors to assign the SDGs relevant to their own work.

“We are proud that Tropical Medicine and International Health implemented our recommendations, and hope that other journals will follow this example,” said Jürg Utzinger, Director of Swiss TPH and senior author of the editorial. “We strongly believe that this initiative will help visualise the important contribution that science makes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”