Preliminary Analysis of COVID-19 Academic Information Patterns: A Call for Open Science in the Times of Closed Borders[v1] | Preprints
mdelhaye's bookmarks 2020-04-08
The Pandemic of COVID-19, an infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 motivated the scientific community to work together in order to gather, organize, process and distribute data on the novel biomedical hazard. Here, we analyzed how the scientific community responded to this challenge by quantifying distribution and availability patterns of the academic information related to COVID-19. The aim of our study was to assess the quality of the information flow and scientific collaboration, two factors we believe to be critical for finding new solutions for the ongoing pandemic.
Materials and Methods: The RISmed R package, and a custom Python script were used to fetch metadata on articles indexed in PubMed and published on rXiv preprint server. Scopus was manually searched and the metadata was exported in BibTex file. Publication rate and publication status, affiliation and author count per article, and submission-to-publication time were analysed in R. Biblioshiny application was used to create a world collaboration map.
Results: Our preliminary data suggest that COVID-19 pandemic resulted in generation of a large amount of scientific data, and demonstrates potential problems regarding the information velocity, availability, and scientific collaboration in the early stages of the pandemic. More specifically, our results indicate precarious overload of the standard publication systems, delayed adoption of the preprint publishing, significant problems with data availability and apparent deficient collaboration.
Conclusion: In conclusion, we believe the scientific community could have used the data more efficiently in order to create proper foundations for finding new solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, we believe we can learn from this on the go and adopt open science principles and a more mindful approach to COVID-19-related data to accelerate the discovery of more efficient solutions. We take this opportunity to invite our colleagues to contribute to this global scientific collaboration by publishing their findings with maximal transparency.