ISSN: 2451-0637
Archives of Medical Science - Civilization Diseases
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vol. 8
Letter to the Editor

The believer is not stung from the same place twice: the monkeypox outbreak

Khaled Saad
Anas Elgenidy

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Arch Med Sci Civil Dis 2023; 8: e1
Online publish date: 2023/01/25
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On 23 July 2022 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the current monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency. Since the first case was identified, the number of research articles discussing the monkeypox virus has been increasing. A search for “Monkeypox OR Monkey Pox” in the PubMed database by title and abstract revealed 536 publications between 1 January 2022, and 9 September 2022. However, it is crucial to ensure quality and ethical considerations.
In the 3 top-ranked scientific medical journals, Zdravkovic et al. [1] examined the quality of evidence of COVID-19 publications compared to non-COVID-19 publications and revealed that the quality of COVID-19 articles is below the quality average of these journals. A retraction watch has tracked the retractions of papers about COVID-19 and revealed more than 258 retracted papers. Following the studies assessing the quality of COVID-19 publications, we can see that the limitation lies in the potential conflicts of interest, lower quality on the level of evidence pyramid, weak association measure, missing data, under-reporting, nonblinding in the randomized trials, being repetitive, inaccurate, or biased [1, 2].
This pandemic of publications can be explained by the fact that the editorial boards and the authors are more occupied with any public health emergency-related publications. However, with the eagerness to publish trendy research, other irrelevant public health papers can be unintentionally affected [3].
In conclusion, we can only appeal to authors and editors to keep the responsibilities regarding the ethical standards and not to repeat the same mistakes in dealing with the smallpox outbreak as were made when dealing with COVID-19.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


1. Zdravkovic M, Berger-Estilita J, Zdravkovic B, Berger D. Scientific quality of COVID-19 and SARS CoV-2 publications in the highest impact medical journals during the early phase of the pandemic: a case control study. PLoS One 2020; 15: e0241826.
2. Papes D, Ozimec E. Redundancy in reporting on COVID-19. European J Clin Investig 2020; 50: e13257.
3. Parmar A. Panic publishing: an unwarranted consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychiatry Res 2020; 294: 113525.
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