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Although I am usually a hopeless optimist, after reading the great work of Smith et al reporting trends in the publication of research in the emergency medicine literature over the past 20 years, I could not help but feel that this glass may be at least half empty.1 Reading Table 1, I was heartened to see that the number of publications has increased consistently almost across the board: numbers has grown steadily in the USA, Europe, Canada, Australasia and other countries.
There was just one exception. While the number of publications from the UK increased steadily between 1997 and 2012, there seems to have been a sharp decline over the past 5 years, from 67 (10.5% of the international total) in 2012 to just 37 (5.7% of the total) in 2017. This seems concerning. What could have caused such a sharp reversal in the …
Contributors This is the sole work of one author.
Funding The author has 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 and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.