COVID-19: a crash test for biomedical publishing?
View ORCID ProfileIvan Y Iourov, View ORCID ProfileMaria A Zelenova, View ORCID ProfileSvetlana G Vorsanova
This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.
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The effect of COVID-19 on biomedical publishing (BP) (i.e. scientific biomedical periodicals continuously published by research communities or commercial publishers) has not been deeply explored. To estimate the immediate COVID-19 impact on BP, we have assessed PubMed-indexed articles about COVID-19 (PMIAC) from December 2019 to April 2020. PMIAC have been classified according to publication date, country, and journals for evaluation of time-, region- and scientometric-dependant impact of COVID-19 on BP and have been curated manually (i.e. each entry has been individually analyzed). PMIAC analysis reflects geographic and temporal parameters of outbreak spread. A major BP problem is related to the fact that only 40% of articles report/review/analyze data. Another BP weakness is the clusterization of “highly-trusted” publications according to countries of origin and “highly impacting” journals. Finally, a problem highlighted by COVID-19 crisis is the increased specification of biomedical research. To solve the problem, analytical reviews integrating data from different areas of biology and medicine are required. The data on PMIAC suggest priority of “what is published” over “where it is published” and “who are the authors”. We believe that our brief analysis may help to shape forthcoming BP to become more effective in solving immediate problems resulted from global threats.
Competing Interest Statement
The authors have declared no competing interest.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Authors are partially supported by RFBR and CITMA according to the research project No. 18-515-34005. Prof. IY Iourov is supported by the Government Assignment of the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Assignment no. AAAA-A19-119040490101-6. Prof. SG Vorsanova is supported by the Government Assignment of the Russian Ministry of Health, Assignment no. AAAA-A18-118051590122-7.
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This is the analysis of bibliographic data published in peer-reviewed periodicals indexed in publicly accessible databases. No patients are involved in this study. Accordingly, there is no need for specific clinical trial registration, ethics committee approvals or related actions.
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