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Academic emergency medicine in the UK
  1. Jason E Smith1,2
  1. 1 Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Plymouth, UK
  2. 2 Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jason E Smith, Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK; jasonesmith{at}

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In the linked paper, Professor Taylor and his colleagues describe an interesting trend over the last 20 years of increasing research publications from other countries but a reduction from the UK.1 There is much to celebrate in the results, including a global increase in multicentre studies, international collaboration and improved methodological rigour in emergency research. Emergency medicine is growing as a specialty internationally, and research in this field is growing in parallel—and therefore the proportion of papers from the UK will naturally fall as other countries contribute more.

However, there were both proportionate and absolute decreases in publication numbers from the UK in the sample of emergency medicine journals used in the study, suggesting that this could be a canary in a very worrying mine. Overcrowding, as well as being bad for patients and staff, makes conducting research more difficult and may have had a negative impact over the last few years. However, although the findings may at face value be alarming, there may be explanations other than the obvious conclusion that emergency medicine research in the UK is …

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  • Contributors JS wrote the editorial.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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