Collaboration Among the Chaos: Research Accessibility During Global Natural Disasters and Pandemics

By Marshall Myers on Mar 2, 2020

For the past several months, the world watched as Australian bush fires ravaged the Land Down Under. At the time of this article, most of the bush fires have been contained or put out by rainstorms, however, the lasting destruction left behind has only begun to be addressed.

Now the world may soon come face-to-face with a global pandemic that has so far infected over 80,000 individuals and has resulted in almost 3,000 deaths: the coronavirus, or more formally known as COVID-19 (WHO, 2020). Between these two natural disasters, one issue in particular falls within the realm of academia and is not limited just to fires or global viruses: the lasting effects to individuals in academia and individual’s research after a natural disaster. For instance, at Texas Southern University during the time of Hurricane Harvey (August 25, 2017), widespread flooding displaced faculty, staff, and students in the area, resulted in the university losing major amounts of data, delayed the start of classes and registration for the next semester, and damaged valuable scientific instruments (Hedges et al., 2018). Natural disasters can also potentially effect research samples, job security, research funding, and a variety of complications for researchers (Benjamin, Brown, & Carlin, 2017). In the long term, events such as the Australian bush fires or the coronavirus can also call into question future funding and international recruitment for universities (Ross, 2020). Not to mention how the many study abroad students are forced to change their educational career plans due to these natural disasters (Graham, 2020; Ciechalski, 2020). Overall, these disasters halt critical research progress.

Amid the chaos and life-altering events for researchers in academia, international academic publishers such as IGI Global are acutely aware of the consequences not just to academics, but the world in general. Thus, as the coronavirus started to spread across China, IGI Global was quick to offer complimentary resources on containment strategies to Chinese researchers in Chinese institutions. The complimentary access offered to colleagues in China included several areas of critical research such as disease prevention, public health, and other related topics to aid the medical community in China to develop disease suppression strategies. Also, in collaboration with IGI Global’s global subsidiary office in China and our Chinese distribution partners, we are working closely with all research institutions to ensure their access to the latest research published by IGI Global. To view a full message from IGI Global's President and CEO, Dr. Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, please see the weblink provided here.

The future prevention and mitigation of the global impacts of natural disasters and pandemics can only be solved through high-quality, vetted research. If you would like to contribute your research to the betterment of society, please visit IGI Global’s Publications Seeking Submissions page or Submit a Book Proposal today.


Benjamin, G.C., Brown, L., & Carlin, E. (2017). Strengthening the disaster resilience of the academic biomedical research community: Protecting the nation's investment. NCBI. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from

Ciechalski, Suzanne. (2020). 'I got no help': U.S. students on study abroad in China left scrambling by coronavirus. NBC News. Retrieved February 27, 2020, from n1140766

Graham, K. (2020, January 9). Australia's wildfires and study abroad: 'We're hoping we have a country to go visit.' The State News. study-abroad-were-hoping-we-have-a-country-to-go-visit

Hedges, J. R., Soliman, K. F. A., D’Amour, G., Liang, D., Rodríguez-Díaz, C. E., Thompson, K., … Yanagihara, R. (2018). Academic response to storm-related natural disasters—lessons learned. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(8), 1768. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081768

Ross, J. (2020, January 14). Australian academics debate long-term impact of bushfire crisis. The World University Rankings.

World Health Organization. (2020). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report – 37. WHO. Retrieved February 27, 2020, from

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This scholarly publication is an essential reference source for the latest scholarly information on library engagement in official emergency response and how these institutions can offer community aid in disaster situations. Featuring extensive coverage on a number of topics such as hazard analysis, mitigation planning, and local command structure, this publication is ideally designed for academicians, researchers, and practitioners seeking current research on the role local businesses play in emergency response situations.

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This scholarly publication bridges the gap between the theoretical and the practical components of crisis management and response. By discussing and presenting research on the benefits and challenges of such partnerships, this publication is an essential resource for academicians, practitioners, and researchers interested in understanding the complexities of crisis management and relief through public and private partnerships.

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About IGI Global: Founded in 1988, IGI Global, an international academic publisher, is commitment to producing the highest quality research (as an active full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics “COPE”) and ensuring the timely dissemination of innovative research findings through an expeditious and technologically-advanced publishing processes. Through their commitment to supporting the research community ahead of profitability, and taking a chance on virtually untapped topic coverage, IGI Global has been able to collaborate with over 100,000+ researchers from some of the most prominent research institutions around the world to publish the most emerging research across 350+ topics in 11 subject areas including business, computer science, education, engineering, social sciences, and more. To learn more about IGI Global, click here.

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