Coronavirus (916) Definition of infodemic (16)

18 August, 2020

Thanks to Geoff for a valuable fresh eye on the infodemic question. If we are to consider an infodemic along side of a pandemic, we can translate the "symptoms" of the pandemic onto the "characteristics" of an infodemic. Both volume (what Geoff terms "stock") and velocity ("flow") of information are clearly both characteristics of an infodemic. Geoff suggests we need to stem the flow - whether this would be possible or not is one question. The other is, would this be beneficial?

When an emergency health situation arises, we need as much information as we can get about everything related to it. The problem, surely, is how to cope with it, not how to reduce it. We need to work on better knowledge management systems, better information management systems (classifying/filing/storing/extracting). We need emergency librarians, specialists in high-velocity facts and memes, and communication avalanches. There is a whole new field of infodemic knowledge management waiting to be rolled out. Infodemiology will become a university subject.



Chris Zielinski

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Research publications:

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Global Health, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme at the University of Winchester. Formerly an NGO, Phi supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. Chris also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. He was the founder of the ExtraMED project (Third World biomedical journals on CD-ROM), and managed the Gates Foundation-supported Health Information Resource Centres project. He served on WHO’s Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. Chris has been a director of the World Association of Medical Editors, UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). UK-based, he is also building houses in Zambia. chris AT

His publications are at and and his blogs are and