EHS-COVID (421) 'Transformative' platform for COVID-19 research

24 June, 2021

Dear HIFA colleagues,

'This application has the potential to transform how COVID-19 researchers utilize public literature to enable their research.'

However, when I tried to identify research on Maintaining essential health services during COVID-19, I obtained zero results. Citation, abstract and a comment from me below.

CITATION: J Med Internet Res. 2021 Jun 12. Online Interactive Platform for COVID-19 Literature Visual Analytics. Moran A, Hampton S, Dowson S, Dagdelen J, Trewartha A, Ceder G, Persson K, Saxon E, Barker A, Charles L, Webb-Robertson BJ


BACKGROUND: The rate of publication of COVID-19 literature is astonishing and the research is extremely varied. Innovative tools are needed to aid researchers to find patterns in this vast amount of literature to identify subsets of interest in an automated fashion.

OBJECTIVE: We present a new online software resource with a friendly user interface that allow users to query and interact with visual representations of relationships between publications.

METHODS: We publicly released an application called PLATIPUS (Publication Literature Analysis and Text Interaction Platform for User Studies) that allows researchers to interact with literature supplied by COVIDScholar via a visual analytics platform. This tool contains standard filtering

capabilities based on authors, journals, high-level categories, and various research-specific details via natural language processing and dozens of customizable visualizations that dynamically update from a researcher's query.

RESULTS: PLATIPUS is available at and currently links to over hundreds of thousands of publications and still growing. This application has the potential to transform how COVID-19 researchers utilize public literature to enable their research.

CONCLUSIONS: The PLATIPUS application provides the end-user with a variety of ways to search, filter and visualize over one hundred thousand COVID-19 publications.



COMMENT (NPW): We have HIFA volunteers helping to identify papers relevant to Maintaining essential health services during COVID-19. And yet there is no easy way to identify such research. The 'transformative' application described above does not appear to help.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,