The rapid, massive growth of COVID-19 authors in the scientific literature release_uyloznqvrvegbhhix5lkstpqd4

by John Ioannidis, Maia Salholz-Hillel, Kevin W. Boyack, Jeroen Baas

Published in Royal Society Open Science by The Royal Society.

2021   Volume 8, Issue 9, p210389


We examined the extent to which the scientific workforce in different fields was engaged in publishing COVID-19-related papers. According to Scopus (data cut, 1 August 2021), 210 183 COVID-19-related publications included 720 801 unique authors, of which 360 005 authors had published at least five full papers in their career and 23 520 authors were at the top 2% of their scientific subfield based on a career-long composite citation indicator. The growth of COVID-19 authors was far more rapid and massive compared with cohorts of authors historically publishing on H1N1, Zika, Ebola, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. All 174 scientific subfields had some specialists who had published on COVID-19. In 109 of the 174 subfields of science, at least one in 10 active, influential (top 2% composite citation indicator) authors in the subfield had authored something on COVID-19. Fifty-three hyper-prolific authors had already at least 60 (and up to 227) COVID-19 publications each. Among the 300 authors with the highest composite citation indicator for their COVID-19 publications, most common countries were USA ( <jats:italic>n</jats:italic> = 67), China ( <jats:italic>n</jats:italic> = 52), UK ( <jats:italic>n</jats:italic> = 32) and Italy ( <jats:italic>n</jats:italic> = 18). The rapid and massive involvement of the scientific workforce in COVID-19-related work is unprecedented and creates opportunities and challenges. There is evidence for hyper-prolific productivity.
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Type  article-journal
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Date   2021-09-07
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DOI  10.1098/rsos.210389
PubMed  34527271
PMC  PMC8422596
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