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Launch of PLoS Currents: Disasters

Despite the breadth of technological possibilities available, publishers and scientific journals have not provided adequate solutions for publication during fast moving emergencies. The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction has identified that "the sharing of research findings, lessons learned and best practices" are a priority in its Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015.

To help fill this gap, PLoS announces the launch of PLoS Currents: Disasters (, a new, innovative open-access publication for the rapid communication of new research results and operational analyses derived from the study or management of all types of disasters.

PLoS Currents is a flexible publishing channel, which responds to the particular needs of the community of disasters-related researchers and practitioners. In addition to the decreased publishing time through a streamlined review and production process, it has article formats which reflect the diverse types of disasters-related research and in addition supports the use of revisions of articles.

The most recent article, from 16 international experts in the fields of research, education, ethics and operational aspects of disaster medical management, highlights a critical issue in disaster management and describes a template for uniform data reporting of acute medical response in disasters.

PLoS Currents: Disasters is supported by an international group of more than 30 researchers and practitioners, who serve on its editorial and review board.

Professor Virginia Murray, an Editor for PLoS Currents: Disasters, and the Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at the Health Protection Agency, said "evidence based advice is essential for providing relevant up-to-date evidence based information to support the development of planning for extreme events PLoS Currents: Disasters is a valuable publication resource to help to build the information that is so vitally needed for this purpose."

Professor Mike Clarke, also an Editor for PLoS Currents: Disasters, and the current Chair of the MRC Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research and one of the founders of Evidence Aid, said "We are increasingly aware of the problems caused by research not being published in a timely and accessible way, and the damage this does to decision making and, consequently, to health care and health. The arrival of PLoS Currents: Disasters will help ensure that we learn from those lessons, by improving access to the knowledge needed in disasters. Evidence Aid is trying to make it easier for people to use systematic reviews of relevant information, and this new resource is a landmark step in making this information available."

Fabrice Renaud, Head of the Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystems Services Section, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security, Bonn, Germany and an Editor of PLoS Currents: Disasters said: "PLoS Currents: Disasters will enable scientists and practitioners who directly work on the many facets of disaster prevention, disaster management and disaster response to rapidly share their on the ground expertise, observations and research results with a wide range of stakeholders."

Professor David Sanderson, Director, Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) and an Editor of PLoS Currents: Disasters said: "PLoS Currents: Disasters aims to fill an important gap that of getting good evidence-based research out fast to those working in disasters."

Contact: Patrick Reilly
Public Library of Science

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