We are delighted today to announce the launch of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the world’s first open-access journal devoted specifically to raising the profile of the ancient diseases of poverty, such as river blindness, elephantiasis, hookworm, leprosy, and schistosomiasis. The inaugural issue now available online is the result of collaboration between hundreds of editorial board members, researchers, reviewers, and staff members based around the globe.
We are particularly pleased that over half of the authors (51 out of 101) in the launch issue are based in developing countries. And to demonstrate the truly international nature of the fight to eradicate neglected diseases, here is the list of countries where authors in the first issue are based: Mexico, Ghana, Cameroon, Thailand, Spain, the Netherlands, Bolivia, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Mali, the United States, the Philippines, Tanzania, Egypt, Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Kenya, and China.
Now that the journal is live, we hope it will facilitate, through unrestricted access to all content and the latest online community tools, communication and cooperation among the researchers, health practitioners, patients, students, teachers, economists, non-governmental organizations, policy makers, and others who comprise our audience. In time, we hope this event will prove to be, in the words of Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, a “turning point in the long and notorious history of some of humanity’s oldest diseases.”
The research showcased in the first issue exemplifies the broad-reaching and globally relevant content that will be featured in this new journal. Researchers apply a variety of approaches, such as epidemiology, cost-effectiveness analysis, genotyping, enzyme screening, clinical trials, and computer modeling to report on a diversity of diseases, such as Buruli ulcer, leishmaniasis, river blindness, Chagas disease, elephantiasis, and strongyloides.