May 17, 2022

Research Article: “A Scientometric Overview of CORD-19” (Preprint)

The research article (preprint) linked to below was posted on bioRxiv earlier today.


A Scientometric Overview of CORD-19


Giovanni Colavizza
University of Amsterdam

Rodrigo Costas
Leiden University

Vincent A. Traag
Leiden University

Nees Jan van Eck
Leiden University

Thed van Leeuwen
Leiden University

Ludo Waltman
Leiden University


via bioRxiv


As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, researchers from all disciplines are coming together and contributing their expertise. CORD-19, a dataset of COVID-19 and coronavirus publications, has recently been published alongside calls to help mine the information it contains, and to create tools to search it more effectively. Here, we focus on the delineation of the publications included in CORD-19, and analyse this delineation from a scientometric perspective.

We find that CORD-19 contains research not only on COVID-19 and coronaviruses, but on viruses in general. Publications from CORD-19 mostly focus on a few, well-defined areas, including: coronaviruses (primarily SARS, MERS, COVID-19); public health and viral epidemics; the molecular biology of viruses; influenza and other families of viruses; immunology and antivirals; methodology (testing, diagnosing, clinical trials). CORD-19 publications published in 2020, especially focused on topics of pressing relevance (spread, infection, efficacy of counter-measures), are disproportionately popular on social media. While we fully endorse the initiative that led to CORD-19, we also advise to consider its relatively broad content critically.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.