Overall and COVID-19-specific citation impact of highly visible COVID-19 media experts: bibliometric analysis release_6hyjjhmrkbghve3g3wc3nz6oni

by John Ioannidis, Alangoya Tezel, Reshma Jagsi

Published in BMJ Open by BMJ.

2021   Volume 11, Issue 10, e052856


<jats:sec><jats:title>Objective</jats:title>To evaluate whether the COVID-19 experts who appear most frequently in media have high citation impact for their research overall, and for their COVID-19 peer-reviewed publications in particular and to examine the representation of women among such experts.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Design</jats:title>Cross-linking of data sets of most highly visible COVID-19 media experts with citation data on the impact of their published work (career-long publication record and COVID-19-specific work).</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Setting</jats:title>Cable news appearance in prime-time programming or overall media appearances.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Participants</jats:title>Most highly visible COVID-19 media experts in the USA, Switzerland, Greece and Denmark.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Interventions</jats:title>None.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Outcome measures</jats:title>Citation data from Scopus along with discipline-specific ranks of overall career-long and COVID-19-specific impact based on a previously validated composite citation indicator.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title>We assessed 76 COVID-19 experts who were highly visible in US prime-time cable news, and 50, 12 and 2 highly visible experts in media in Denmark, Greece and Switzerland, respectively. Of those, 23/76, 10/50, 2/12 and 0/2 were among the top 2% of overall citation impact among scientists in the same discipline worldwide. Moreover, 37/76, 15/50, 7/12 and 2/2 had published anything on COVID-19 that was indexed in Scopus as of 30 August 2021. Only 18/76, 6/50, 2/12 and 0/2 of the highly visible COVID-19 media experts were women. 55 scientists in the USA, 5 in Denmark, 64 in Greece and 56 in Switzerland had a higher citation impact for their COVID-19 work than any of the evaluated highly visible media COVID-19 experts in the respective country; 10/55, 2/5, 22/64 and 14/56 of them were women.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title>Despite notable exceptions, there is a worrisome disconnect between COVID-19 claimed media expertise and scholarship. Highly cited women COVID-19 experts are rarely included among highly visible media experts.</jats:sec>
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