UP’s pioneer articles in int’l journals: 1911 to 1920

The University of the Philippines is a major producer of scientific articles in the country. In the last 18 years alone, UP published over 7000 articles in prestigious journals, all refereed.

A survey of Scopus, the biggest database of peer-reviewed literature, reveals that during its initial years, UP was able to publish in what are now some of the world’s longest running international journals. Furthermore, UP’s submissions came from prominent practitioners and researchers in the Philippines.

American scholars as authors

UP’s first international journal article “Practical Experiences with Beriberi and Unpolished Rice in the Philippines” made an appearance in the Journal of the American Medical Association in April 1911. The author was Dr. Victor G. Heiser, Professor of Hygiene at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of UP. As Director of Health, Heiser established the country’s public-health system for the American colonial government. The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) was opened in 1910 during his term.

First page of “Practical Experiences with Beriberi and Unpolished Rice in the Philippines”. Source: Journal of the American Medical Association

In 1913, UP had three international journal articles. “Bubonic Plague in Manila” was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June. It was written by Dr. A. P. Goff, visiting physician at the PGH and chief of San Lazaro Hospital. “Anatomy in the Far East” by Dr. E. Clark was in the July 1913 issue of The Anatomical Record. Clark was part of the College of Medicine and Surgery of UP. The last quarter of the year saw the publication in the Journal of Heredity of “Dissemination of New Tropical Plants: Rich Harvest Awaits Concerted Effort Among States in Warmer Climates — New Plants to be Secured and Better Varieties of Old Ones to be Tried” by Dr. C. F. Baker, Professor of Agronomy at the then two-year old UP Los Baños.

UP’s fifth article was published in 1914, this time in the Journal of Comparative Neurology. It was titled “Regeneration of Medullated Nerves in the Absence of Embryonic Nerve Fibers, Following Experimental Nontraumatic Degeneration” and authored by Dr. Elbert Howard Clark who was affiliated with the Anatomical Laboratory of UP. Also in the same year, UP published “Roentgen Ray as a Diagnostic Measure in Tuberculous Lymphadenitis” in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. G. G. Davis, Associate Professor of Surgery at UP, was its author.

Published two years later was UP’s first collaborative paper. “The Free Ions in the Atmosphere of the Tropics” by Dr. J. R. Wright and Dr. O. F. Smith of the Department of Physics, UP Manila was printed in the Physical Review in 1916.

UP was founded by the American colonial government in June 1908.

Filipino scholars as authors

It took three more years before UP was able to publish international journal articles authored by Filipino scholars. The first was “The New Philippine Government” by Dr. Maximo M. Kalaw which appeared in an issue of the American Political Science Review in August 1919. Kalaw was the first to head the Department of Political Science and was dean of the College of Liberal Arts. A pioneer in the study of political science in the Philippines, he examined the development of politics in the country. 

In September 1919, the Journal of the American Medical Association printed the article “The Influence of Influenza on Menstruation, Pregnancy and Puerperium”. It was authored by Dr. Fernando Calderon, PGH director, Professor of Obstetrics and at that time dean of the College of Medicine and Surgery. 

Dr. Maximo M. Kalaw authored UP’s first international journal publication in the social sciences. Photo credit: The Scrapbook of Clyde Tavenner

Dr. Bienvenido M. Gonzalez was the youngest UP president. Photo credit: FABernardo via the Office of Alumni Relations, UP Los Baños

Appearing in the November 1919 issue of the Journal of Heredity was “The Gestation of the Carabao” by Dr. Bienvenido M. Gonzalez, Associate Professor of Animal Husbandry at the College of Agriculture and the first Filipino dean of the college. In 1939, Gonzalez was appointed president of UP; he was 46 years old.

The first paper of UP that benefited from a collaboration between a Filipino and an American was the landmark “Fungous Developmental Growth Forms of Bacillus Influenzæ” written by Drs. Herbert Windsor Wade and Cristobal Manalang and published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine in January 1920. Wade and Manalang were professors from the Department of Pathology and Bacteriology of the College of Medicine and Surgery. Manalang was chief pathologist of the former Culion Leper Colony and Wade was the founder of the International Journal of Leprosy who worked on leprosy research in Culion for half a century until his death in 1968.

These publications show why UP is the country’s premier university. Today, 110 years after its foundation, UP continues to be a source of high-quality innovative research, connecting with the scientific community and the general public through its publications.