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01 December 2008

What we need to promote transplantation research in Iran

Hossein Khedmat, Saeed Taheri

Ann Transplant 2009; 14(3): 78-79 :: ID: 880546

Abstract

Dear Editor,
Iran is one of the leading countries in transplantation practice most notably in "renal transplantation" in the world. Moreover, transplantation practice in this country is quiet especial in the world with its unique model for organ procurement that has tenacious opponents and proponents. You can rarely find any articles published in this context worldwide without addressing the Iranian practice, with several misconceptions in some of the papers; and all of this shows the relevance of research and publications in this issue in Iran. On the other hand, with such a high patient population volume in this country, the amount of science production and articles involving mass number of patients is extremely limited. If one makes a search in search engines to find papers from Iranian authors about transplantation, he or she will find relatively few articles. Where is the problem? About 30 years ago, Iran experienced an extremely deep political revolution that comprehensively changed the country's pathway and relations. Before this revolution submits well by the Iranian community, a devastating war was started by Iraq against Iran which thoroughly destroyed almost all infra-structure in both of the countries. A great number of scientists left the countries to find better life and opportunities in the west and several were also killed during the war. One another major impact of the war was the very conservative system which was inevitable to establish for management of financial resources. In such a contractive management of resources, the good manager was who could expend less money "to maintain the current situation". When the country as a whole is in danger, no one thinks about a progress. On the other hand, it is very clear that with such a tightening approach no advance in science production as well as researches is expected to be achieved. However, after the war, and more especially in the recent years with an intense rise of oil prices that brings the country good opportunities to make infrastructural researches, the condition has generally changed. But, the question remains unanswered "how much we were successful to manage these funds through consistent processes to bring some good prospects to the future?" For example, please consider a manager that sets a system to achieve new achievements; he/she brings people into the system and they achieve new goals that once they were not expectable. But, after a while, a new manager comes and he/she thinks that this system is highly expensive. He/she thinks "well, I can manage with fewer funds." He/she cuts the finances leading several people working in this system lose their jobs. Although in the first one to two years, the changes may not be obvious, the whole system would collapse and come back to the point zero voicelessly just after a short while. But it is not the worst thing. When such events occur over and over, we would lose feeling of confidence among potential people who may care to work in research. This leads people try to find some more stable conditions; and non-motivated people will not work well to achieve big things. If you are highly successful, it does not essentially mean that you would be appreciated. This may simply mean that you will lose what you have now, including your job! If you are too much successful, it may make people think that the system can be managed with lesser funds! So this could be a threat to work hard. Thus, people would try to less work and say: "hey decision-makers, these funds are not enough; pay me more (or at least do not cut my current funds)!" Maybe this is hard to imagine but it is what exactly happens. Lack of professional researchers to address country's health dilemmas in the developing countries is one of the very urgent dilemmas that are simply disregarded. Every achievement has its own expenditure. As it was noticed in the article by Nourbala et al. [1] and a letter by Shervin Assari, non-consistent approach has led to non-consistent progress in the Iranian transplantation research publications. Taking a look at the rates of publications by Iranian authors in different years [1], one would realize that in some years the publication volume falls down into the extremely low and in some years it experiences a missile like rise. According to the mentioned letter to editor [2], a sudden cut of funds could led to desperation of highly motivated groups of young researchers, all of them experienced in research; leading some of them to be absorbed by non-related areas, and some others to leave the country hopeful to find more stable situations. This simply wastes the future. If we want to reestablish such a system once again, we should start from point zero. Finally, we conclude that to have the future, we should invest and set up confidential conditions to motivate young investigators to go forward. We should have eminent goals with no satisfaction at any levels achieved (this will discourage investigators to rise up). Designing economics in research is critical to ensure the future for people who come into the practice. Research should not be an only half time consideration or something that can help young doctors to immigrate to west. It should be regard as a crucial part of medicine than just something respectable.
References:
1. Nourbala MH, Taheri S, Habibi R et al: "Transplantation" research output by Muslim Nations: Current status, trends and future outlook. Ann Transplant, 2008; 13(2): 21-27
2. Assari S: How Iran could maintain its peak of transplantation publication? Ann Transplant, 2008; 13(3): 48-49

Keywords: Transplantation, Research Output, Bibliometrics, Iran

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Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358
Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358