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Visualizing the knowledge outburst in global research on COVID-19

Jiban K. Pal ()
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Jiban K. Pal: Indian Statistical Institute

Scientometrics, 2021, vol. 126, issue 5, No 22, 4173-4193

Abstract: Abstract The scholarly output of the new coronavirus research has been proliferating. During five months, an amount of 14,588 scientific publications about nCoV-2 and COVID-19 has been generated intensively (as indexed in Scopus on 31 May 2020). Such a knowledge outburst has created ample interest in understanding the research landscape of this newly configured area. This paper demonstrates on scientometric dimensions of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) research using quantifiable characteristics of the publication dataset. Findings reveal that the rate of publication growth (1600%) is very significant to a synergic response of the researchers to combat with the most extended sequence of an RNA virus. Indeed their response has geared up to an average of 100 articles per day. Many scholarly publishers have disclosed their preprint servers to make the publications available immediately, even by enabling Open Access. The scientific contents have published in more than 500 journals from 240 academic publishers. While the top-ten publishers occupied almost 70% of the articles, then about 25% of the studies were sponsored by 300 funding agencies. Among the notable journals Lancet, Nature, BMJ, JAMA, JMV, and NEJM are prominent. Findings also reveal that majority of the contributions have occurred in Medical Science, focusing on virology, immunology, epidemiology, pharmacology, public health, critical care, and emergency medicine. However, the closely associated terms are virus transmission, infection control, asymptomatic, quarantine, pneumonia, human, disease severity, clinical trials, viral pathogenesis, pandemic, risk, and mortality. The study suggests that academic hubs are located mostly in the USA, China, Italy, and the UK. Among the productive institutions; Huazhong Univ (China), Tongji Med. College (China), Harvard Med. School (USA), Univ of Milan (Italy), INSERM (France), UCL (UK) are outstanding. The G7 countries together produced 50% of the global research output on nCov-2. It also noted an encouraging trend of collaborative research across many countries and disciplines, where the values of CI (6.46), DC (0.79), and CC (0.59) are very significant. It examines the geographical diversity of the collaborating authors, thereby visualized their linkages via co-authorship occurrences. Finally, it analyzed the publications’ impact to showcase the most influential contributions of the new coronavirus research.

Keywords: Scientometrics; Scientific visualization; Research evaluation; Knowledge mapping; Quantitative analysis; Novel Coronavirus; COVID-19; 2019-nCoV; SARS-CoV-2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s11192-021-03912-3

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