Abstract Background Translating research into practice is a central priority within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap. The underlying aim of the NIH Roadmap is to accelerate the movement of scientific findings into practical health care provisions through translational research. Main text Despite the advances in health sciences, emerging infectious diseases have become more frequent in recent decades. Furthermore, emerging and reemerging pathogens have led to several global public health challenges. A question, and to an extent a concern, arises from this: Why our health care system is experiencing several challenges in encountering the coronavirus outbreak, despite the ever-growing advances in sciences, and the exponential rise in the number of published articles in the first quartile journals and even the ones among the top 1%? Conclusion Two responses could be potentially provided to the above question: First, there seems to be a significant gap between our theoretical knowledge and practice. And second that many scholars and scientists publish papers only to have a longer list of publications, and therefore publishing is viewed as a personal objective, rather than for improving communities’ public health.