Report: “How a Torrent of COVID Science Changed Research Publishing — in Seven Charts
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted science in 2020 — and transformed research publishing, show data collated and analysed by Nature.
Around 4% of the world’s research output was devoted to the coronavirus in 2020, according to one database. But 2020 also saw a sharp increase in articles on all subjects being submitted to scientific journals — perhaps because many researchers had to stay at home and focus on writing up papers rather than conducting science.
Submissions to publisher Elsevier’s journals alone were up by around 270,000 — or 58% — between February and May when compared with the same period in 2019, one analysis found1. The increase was even higher for health and medicine titles, at a whopping 92%.
More than 30,000 of the COVID-19 articles published in 2020 were preprints — between 17% and 30% of total COVID-19 research papers (depending on database searched). And, according to Dimensions, one-tenth of all preprints this year were about COVID-19.
More than half of the preprints appeared on one of three sites — medRxiv, SSRN and Research Square (see ‘Coronavirus preprints’).
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.