Research interest should be grown among the new generations to ensure the sustainability of Bangladesh's economic success, experts say.
They have called for ensuring the participation of young researchers in difficult subjects, such as biomedical science, and comparatively easy ones, such as sociology.
At a Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW) webinar on launching the BHW repository of Covid-19 research on Wednesday, Vice-Chancellor of Brac University Professor Vincent Chang said Bangladesh's first priority should be focusing on research and innovation as the economy was booming day by day.
"In this regard, the BHW repository may help enthusiastic researchers greatly as data and information are quite expensive today. The young blood can contribute more as they know the updated use of information and communication technology," he said.
Mentioning the tremendous economic development of China, he said China had done excellent development in research over the last four decades and the sustainability of this development had depended mostly on continuous progress in this field.
Bangladesh needs a comprehensive plan for research agenda to make sustainable development, he added.
BHW Programme Officer (media and communications) Raihana Sayeeda Kamal and Senior Research Associate at Brac James P Grant School of Public Health Mir Raihanul Islam said various organisations had conducted research during the pandemic, and those had revealed the socioeconomic conditions and the state of public health.
"There was no way to find the research results in one place as the articles were published in different renowned journals at home and abroad. We aggregated all the research in the BHW repository so that those interested in research in future can find information easily," Raihana said.
Most of the papers were published on PubMed, Scopus, and LitCovid. Of those, 3,257 were selected initially. Of those, 323 scientific approach papers and 23 convention approach papers were finally selected for the BHW repository.
Of those, 42 articles contain the name of at least one researcher working at institutes under Brac University, 232 articles were published by other Bangladeshi researchers and the number of studies conducted abroad using Bangladeshi data is 73.
The project was led by Director of the Centre of Excellence of Health Systems and Universal Health Coverage at Brac James P Grant School of Public Health Professor Sayed Masud Ahmed. Research Assistant at the school Mehedi Hasan Sarkar was a member.
Head of the mucosal immunology and vaccinology unit at icddr,b Firdausi Qadri said she had been involved in research for long but never thought there could be such an initiative.
This is a great idea and young researchers will hopefully benefit from it, she added.
Dr Rounaq Jahan, a fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue and the chair of the advisory group of BHW, said the number of researches conducted in Bangladesh was low, and the number of medical researches even lower.
She said there was no culture of research in the country, but some sociology studies were carried out.
There should be more and more practical research in these fields now as the country is moving ahead, she added.
Dean and Professor at Brac James P Grant School of Public Health Dr Sabina Faiz Rashid said peer-reviewed publications were not well understood in Bangladesh.
"We need to build a research culture amongst junior and mid-level researchers/faculty at universities. We also need to push them to publish articles in peer-reviewed journals eventually," she added.
Brac James P Grant School of Public Health published over 120 peer-reviewed publications in international journals from 2020 to June this year.