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CWTS Research on the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic struck the world in early 2020. Scientists from all over the world and from all disciplines have started research projects to fight the pandemic with their knowledge and resources.

To contribute to this global effort, CWTS has developed a research program around the pandemic and its effects, contributing from the different areas of expertise of the centre. Our research for instance covers the analysis of scientific articles, including preprints, on COVID-19, the study of peer review of these articles, the analysis of discussions of COVID-19 research on social media, and the study of funding programs for COVID-19 research. In a number of our projects, we rely on data sets that have been made openly available for studying COVID-19 research. In particular, we use the CORD-19 data set made available by the Semantic Scholar team at the Allen Institute for AI as well as the Dimensions COVID-19 data set made available by Digital Science.

In addition to preprints and journal articles, we use blog posts, in particular in our own Leiden Madtrics blog, to share the results of our research. The Leiden Madtrics blog welcomes contributions dealing with science studies research on COVID-19, also by colleagues not affiliated with CWTS. We also make software available, and we hope to organize webinars on COVID-19 science studies research. Below we provide an overview of the results of our research.

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Blog posts on COVID-19 research

Below we list blog posts related to the COVID-19 pandemic that have appeared on the Leiden Madtrics blog, listed in order of publication.

COVID-19: What do funders consider relevant research?
As emergency calls for research funding are made to tackle the COVID-19, some difficult questions come to mind: What types of knowledge are relevant? What types of research should be prioritised?

Delineating COVID-19 and coronavirus research
Many initiatives are keeping track of research on COVID-19 and coronaviruses. These initiatives, while valuable because they allow for fast access to relevant research, pose the question of subject delineation. We analyse here one such initiative, the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19).

Exploring the COVID-19 discourse in “The Conversation” - Leiden Madtrics
The current pandemic has revealed a pressing demand for accessible and reliable science communication. Platforms such as “The Conversation” can help by enabling experts to communicate research to the public. Here, we explore the topics that became prevalent in this medium in the context of COVID-19.

Monitoring the dissemination of COVID-19-related scientific publications in online media - Leiden Madtrics
Research around COVID-19 has experienced broad public interest, with new findings being distributed in various communication platforms. In this blog post we introduce a monitoring tool for exploring the social media reception of scientific publications on the pandemic.

COVID-19 research in the news: Visualizing the sentiment and topics in science news about the pandemic - Leiden Madtrics
Every day news outlets around the world play a central role in disseminating the latest COVID-19 research. In this post, we discuss the impact of COVID-19 findings on the news by applying state-of-the-art sentiment analysis and present some interesting preliminary results, stay tuned!

Broadening the perspective on Covid-19
While the pandemic has led many to first seek biomedical and epidemiological expertise, we should be careful not to overlook inputs from different scientific fields that could provide important insights in the current crisis. Here are some early academic responses you might have missed.

Articles and preprints on COVID-19 research

Colavizza, G., Costas, R., Traag, V. A., Van Eck, N. J., Van Leeuwen, T., & Waltman, L. (2020). A scientometric overview of CORD-19. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.20.046144.

Colavizza, G. (2020). COVID-19 research in Wikipedia. bioaRxiv.  https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.10.087643.

Fang, Z.; Costas, R. (2020). Tracking the Twitter attention around the research efforts on the COVID-19 pandemic. ArXiv. https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.05783.

Horbach, S. P. J. M. (2020). Pandemic Publishing: Medical journals drastically speed up their publication process for Covid-19. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.18.045963.

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