The number of scientists and other authors worldwide who have made one or more scientific publications on the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the Covid-19 pandemic is strikingly high.
A new study in the journal of the Royal Society Open Science, led by Greek professor Giannis Ioannidis of Stanford University School of Medicine, shows that by early August 2021, 720,801 Scopus authors had been recorded in the database. who had participated in 210,183 publications and pre-publications made on the pandemic (which constitute 3.7% of the total 5.73 million scientific publications between January 2020-August 2021). Of these, 360,005 have made at least five publications, while 53 overproductive scientists have each made 60 to 227 publications.
The growth of coronavirus-related publications is much faster and more massive than publications on the H1N1 flu virus, Zika and Ebola viruses, HIV / AIDS or tuberculosis. Never before has an infectious and epidemic disease attracted so much interest in scientific publications, although other diseases may have proved more deadly (HIV / AIDS has killed more than 35 million people and tuberculosis over a billion in the long run).
China produced more Covid-19 releases by May 2020, when the United States surpassed it. Following in the productivity of researcher-writers are Britain, Italy, India and Spain. The fields with the most publications are public health and clinical medicine.
As Mr. Ioannidis points out, “the number is astronomical, if compared to any other infectious disease, even those that have multiple deaths, e.g. tuberculosis and AIDS. The vast majority of publications are desperately of poor quality. “Scientists from all 174 major science fields have flocked to publish about Covid-19, most with obvious, blatant ignorance of elementary epidemiology.”
In addition, according to the researchers, in fact the literature on Covid-19 is even larger, as not all publications in the Scopus database are recorded. On the other hand, a few publications have not been made by scientists, but by journalists and editors of scientific journals, mainly medical.
The article also includes an updated list of the most highly regarded scientists in their published work specifically on Covid-19 based on a combined index of heteroreferences. Researchers from the USA, China, Britain and Italy have the greatest impact.
Link to the scientific publication: