More Than 87,000 Scientific Papers Published on Coronavirus Since Start of COVID Pandemic

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Scientists from around the globe have actually released more than 87,000 documents about coronavirus in between the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and October 2020, a brand-new analysis programs.

Even provided the value of the pandemic, scientists were shocked by the substantial variety of research studies and other documents that researchers produced on the topic in such a brief time.

“It is an astonishing number of publications – it may be unprecedented in the history of science,” stated Caroline Wagner, co-author of the research study and associate teacher in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.

“Nearly all of the scientific community around the world turned its attention to this one issue.”

Wagner carried out the analysis with Xiaojing Cai from Zhejiang University in China and Caroline Fry of the University of Hawai’i. The research study was released online this month in the journal Scientometrics.

The scientists looked for coronavirus-related short articles in numerous clinical databases and discovered that 4,875 short articles were produced on the problem in between January and mid-April of 2020. That increased to 44,013 by mid-July and 87,515 by the start of October.

Wagner compared research study on coronavirus to the attention offered to nanoscale science, which was among the most popular subjects in science throughout the 1990s.

It took more than 19 years to go from 4,000 to 90,000 clinical short articles on that subject, she stated.

“Coronavirus research reached that level in about five months,” she stated.

This brand-new research study was an upgrade to one the scientists released in July in PLOS ONE.

In the earlier research study, the scientists discovered that China and the United States led the world in coronavirus research study throughout the early months of the pandemic.

This brand-new research study revealed that China’s contributions dropped off considerably after infection rates in the nation fell. From Jan. 1 to April 8, Chinese researchers were associated with 47% of all around the world publications on coronavirus. That dropped to just 16% from July 13 to Oct. 5.

Similar outcomes were discovered in other nations when infection levels dropped amongst their populations.

“That surprised us a bit,” Wanger stated.

It might be that federal government financing for research study on the problem dropped significantly in nations like China when the pandemic no longer impersonated big of a hazard.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, governments flooded scientists with funding for COVID research, probably because they wanted to look like they were responding,” she stated. “It may be that when the threat went down, so did the funding.”

In China, the work was likewise slowed by a federal government requirement that authorities authorize all short articles connected to COVID-19, Wagner stated. Political leaders were worried about how China, as the source of the infection, appeared to the remainder of the world.

Scientists in the United States were associated with 23% of all around the world coronavirus research studies at the start of the pandemic and about 33% from July to October, the last duration covered in this research study.

The brand-new research study discovered that the size of groups on coronavirus research study jobs, which had actually currently begun to get smaller sized in the very first research study, continued to drop.

That was unanticipated, Wagner stated. She and coworkers had actually expected group sizes would gradually get bigger as the pandemic ongoing and scientists had more time to strategy and determine what was occurring.

“We attribute this continued decline to the need for speedy results as pandemic infections grew rapidly,” Wagner stated. “Smaller teams make it easier to work quickly.”

The rate of worldwide cooperations likewise continued to drop, the research study discovered. Part of the factor was useful: Travel restrictions made it difficult for scientists to fulfill. This especially harmed the development of brand-new cooperations amongst researchers, which generally start in person, Wagner stated.

But there might have likewise been a political element, she stated, especially in U.S.-China cooperations.

The Chinese federal government’s requirement of research study evaluation most likely harmed. In addition, the U.S. federal government has actually provided more analysis to Chinese scientists in the United States, which might have led some researchers to give up collaborations.

“We need to figure out a way to restart these collaborations as we move into the post-COVID period,” Wagner stated. “International cooperation is crucial for the scientific enterprise.”


“International collaboration during the COVID-19 crisis: autumn 2020 developments” by X. Cai, C. V. Fry and C. S. Wagner, 14 February 2021, Scientometrics.
DOI: 10.1007/s11192-021-03873-7

“Consolidation in a crisis: Patterns of international collaboration in early COVID-19 research” by Caroline V. Fry, Xiaojing Cai, Yi Zhang and Caroline S. Wagner, , 21 July 2021, PLOS ONE.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236307

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