Coronavirus (1023) The impact of COVID-19 on scientific publishing

10 October, 2020

A new paper in the Journal of the European Association for Health Information and Libraries:

CITATION: Barbaro A, Napolitani Cheyne F, Barbaro MC. The impact of COVID-19 on scientific publishing. JEAHIL [Internet]. 2Oct.2020 [cited 10Oct.2020];16(3):37-3. Available from: http://ojs.eahil.eu/ojs/index.php/JEAHIL/article/view/407

ABSTRACT

This article proposes an analysis on the impact that COVID-19 pandemic is having on the process of scientific publishing in academic journals. It will specifically describe the response of the scholarly publishing community to meet the pressing demand from authors and researchers wishing to disseminate, as rapidly as possible, information on the virus. Its aim is to provide an overview for the community of librarians and information specialists about publishing in the COVID-19 era.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32384/jeahil16407

SELECTED EXRACTS

The massive number ofarticles on COVID-19 submitted for publicationdemands skills and new strategies to find balancebetween accuracy, scrupulousness, flexibility andurgency of release, and journals are quickly evolvingtheir publishing procedures in response to the COVID-19 health crisis...

During the COVID-19 outbreak, science journals haveexperienced an unprecedented situation: they receivedwhat many called a “tsunami” of COVID-19 relatedsubmissions, which eventually lead to a “pandemic” ofpublications... This huge increase in the number of new publications on this topic mainly affected the most prestigious journals...

From the point of view of reviewers, those perceived to be experts in the field were “inundated” with requests and the strict deadlines posed the risk of lowering the quality of the review and the spreading of inaccurate, potentially dangerous information...

Preprints are drafts of research papers, archived on specific platforms, that are open for public viewing without having undergone a peer review and being published. Due to their capacity of spreading research findings almost immediately, preprints have been, since the beginning of the pandemic, one of the main forms of up-to-date information...

What seems to emerge from all the new publishing initiatives linked to the COVID-19 crisis is the emergence of a “fluid” publishing ecosystem where preprints are bidirectionally linked to peer-reviewed papers, which in turn are bidirectionally linked to postpublication comments, updates and amendments.

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Comment (NPW): I find this last observation quite interesting: 'a “fluid” publishing ecosystem where preprints are bidirectionally linked to peer-reviewed papers, which in turn are bidirectionally linked to postpublication comments, updates and amendments'. As a general reader, I have not noticed a major change in the interoperability of research outputs. Perhaps this applies primarily to specialised researchers rather than general readers?

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org