Using Bibliometrics During the Pandemic

Since news of COVID-19 first erupted early this year, scientists have been producing research around the virus at a rapid rate. Bibliometrics, a field that uses quantitative methods to analyze the research impact and quality of published works, provides invaluable insight during the pandemic, because it allows researchers to identify and study large-scale trends and patterns across the growing body of coronavirus research.

Here at CADRE, we’re utilizing the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) to contribute research to the evolving COVID-19 research landscape.

A visualiztion of the coronavirus, which is round with small spokes emerging from it.

We’re not alone in our efforts to foster increased bibliometric analysis of the current global pandemic. Researchers in one study, which analyzed the research activity around the virus between December 2019 and March 2020, said increased COVID-19 research is “essential for assessing pathogenic characteristics and developing novel treatment options” (Chahrour et al. 1).

A doctoral student in public health is tracing our growing understanding of COVID-19 and displaying gaps where we need to focus more, while a group of scientists are creating interactive visualizations to easily browse COVID-19 research topics and resources (which you can find on the Strategic Futures Laboratory website).

One team of researchers created an entire website dedicated to the study of COVID-19 with updates on new research papers, trends, and gaps.

How CADRE Fellows help

After the White House created a call to action in March inviting the scientific community to use CORD-19 to answer questions about COVID-19, CADRE created its own Research Cohort for the Study of Coronaviruses (RCSC). These fellows will contribute research about COVID-19 while taking advantage of CADRE’s resources.

Our RCSC fellow teams include:

1. Science maps of research referenced in COVID-19 articles from the Indiana University Network Science Institute and the University of São Paulo

These researchers will create a network-driven study and visualizations that summarizes the fields related to recent COVID-19 literature to help others find the most relevant and recent research in their field.

2. Creating a map of COVID-19 research using neural embeddings: A retrospective approach from Indiana University Bloomington

This project will create a map of papers on COVID-19 that will be compared with maps for similar viruses, such as SARS and influenza, to better understand unexplored and concentration areas in research.

3. Tracking and Recognizing Patterns of Communication, Search, and International Collaboration in COVID-19 Research from Ohio State University, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and University of Technology Sydney

The research team plans to study the international collaborations that are forming to perform COVID-19 research, providing insight into research collaboration, teaming, and science dynamics during the pandemic.

4. Study of Pandemic Publishing: How Scholarly Literature is Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic from University of Michigan

This project will uncover the quality of COVID-19 related scholarly works by identifying signs of incoherency, irreproducibility, and haste to ensure researchers can find the balance between expediting publication timelines and maintaining research quality.

Learn more about our RCSC Fellows cohort.

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