Background: Little is known about the influence of the site of research or publication on the impact of the research findings on clinical practice, particularly in developing countries. The International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN) is dedicated to improving the quality of health research in the Developing World through institutional capacity building for evidence based medicine, and provided the opportunity to examine the likely impact of research location and journal location on physicians' practice in a number of the participating countries. Methods: Physicians from secondary and tertiary hospitals in six cities located in China, Thailand, India, Egypt and Kenya were enrolled in a cross-sectional questionnaire survey. The primary outcome measures were scores on a Likert scale reflecting stated likelihood of changing clinical practice depending on the source of the research or its publication. Results: Overall, local research and publications were most likely to effect change in clinical practice, followed by North American, European and regional research/publications respectively, although there were significant variations between countries. The impact of local and regional research would be greater if the perceived research quality improved in those settings. Conclusion: Conducting high quality local research is likely to be an effective way of getting research findings into practice in developing countries.