`Pandem-icons’ — exploring the characteristics of highly visible scientists during the Covid-19 pandemic

Authors : Marina Joubert, Lars Guenther, Jenni Metcalfe, Michelle Riedlinger, Anwesha Chakraborty, Toss Gascoigne, Bernard Schiele, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Dmitry Malkov, Eliana Fattorini, Gema Revuelta, Germana Barata, Jan Riise, Justin T. Schröder, Maja Horst, Margaret Kaseje, Marnell Kirsten, Martin W. Bauer, Massimiano Bucchi, Natália Flores, Orli Wolfson, Tingjie Chen

The Covid-19 pandemic escalated demand for scientific explanations and guidance, creating opportunities for scientists to become publicly visible. In this study, we compared characteristics of visible scientists during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic (January to December 2020) across 16 countries.

We find that the scientists who became visible largely matched socio-cultural criteria that have characterised visible scientists in the past (e.g., age, gender, credibility, public image, involvement in controversies).

However, there were limited tendencies that scientists commented outside their areas of expertise. We conclude that the unusual circumstances created by Covid-19 did not change the phenomenon of visible scientists in significant ways.

URL : `Pandem-icons’ — exploring the characteristics of highly visible scientists during the Covid-19 pandemic

DOI : https://doi.org/10.22323/2.22010204

La science (dé)confinée

Autrice/Author : Clara Galliano

Plusieurs pays d’Asie, d’Afrique, d’Europe, d’Amérique latine et certains états américains ont mis en place des mesures de confinement pour lutter contre la propagation du virus et l’arrivée de nouveaux variants.

En France comme ailleurs, ces mesures ont provoqué de lourdes conséquences sur l’économie du pays, ainsi que sur le moral des populations. Cet article propose d’évaluer, à partir de plusieurs méthodes, les impacts du confinement sur la recherche en étudiant plusieurs éléments comme : les collaborations internationales, les efforts des éditeurs sur l’accessibilité aux ressources numériques et les différentes enquêtes menées au sein des communautés scientifiques.

La Science Ouverte, entre mouvement et norme, a été un point clé stratégique et libérateur pendant la crise sanitaire afin d’accéder aux résultats pour faire avancer les recherches sur le vaccin, mais aussi pour continuer à maintenir l’activité scientifique quand tout la contraignait.

URL : https://revue-cossi.numerev.com/articles/revue-11/2750-la-science-deconfinee

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on scientists’ productivity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and medicine fields

Authors : Seulkee Heo, Alisha Yee Chan, Pedro Diaz Peralta, Lan Jin, Claudia Ribeiro Pereira Nunes, Michelle L. Bell

While studies suggested adverse impacts of COVID-19 on scientific outputs and work routines for scientists, more evidence is required to understand detailed obstacles challenging scientists’ work and productivity during the pandemic, including how different people are affected (e.g., by gender).

This online survey-based thematic analysis investigated how the pandemic affected scientists’ perception of scientific and academic productivity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and medicine fields.

The analysis examined if inequitable changes in duties and responsibilities for caregiving for children, family, and/or households exist between scientists who are mothers compared to scientists who are fathers or non-parents.

The survey collected data from 2548 survey responses in six languages across 132 countries. Results indicate that many scientists suffered from delays and restrictions on research activities and administrations due to the lockdown of institutions, as well as increased workloads from adapting to online teaching environment.

Caregiving responsibility for children and family increased, which compromised time for academic efforts, especially due to the temporary shutdown of social supports. Higher percentages of female parent participants than male parent participants expressed such increased burdens indicating unequal divisions of caregiving between women and men.

A range of physical and mental health issues was identified mainly due to overworking and isolation. Despite numerous obstacles, some participants reported advantages during the pandemic including the efficiency of online teaching, increased funding for COVID-related research, application of alternative research methodologies, and fluidity of the workday from not commuting.

Findings imply the need for rapid institutional support to aid various academic activities and diminish gender inequity in career development among academicians, highlighting how crisis can exacerbate existing inequalities.

URL : Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on scientists’ productivity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and medicine fields

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-022-01466-0


Open science and conflict of interest policies of medical and health sciences journals before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: A repeat cross-sectional study

Authors : Antoni D. Gardener, Ellen J. Hick, Chloe Jacklin, Gifford Tan, Aidan G. Cashin, Hopin Lee, David Nunan, Elaine C. Toomey, Georgia C. Richards


To audit the transparent and open science standards of health and medical sciences journal policies and explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Repeat cross-sectional study.


19 journals listed in Google Scholar’s Top Publications for health and medical sciences.


Blood, Cell, Circulation, European Heart Journal, Gastroenterology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Nature Genetics, Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, PLoS ONE, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science Translational Medicine, The British Medical Journal, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, The Lancet Oncology, and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Main outcome measures

We used the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guideline and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) requirements for disclosing conflicts
of interest (COIs) to evaluate journals standards.


TOP scores slightly improved during the COVID-19 pandemic, from a median of 5 (IQR: 212.5) out of a possible 24 points in February 2020 to 7 (IQR: 4–12) in May 2021, but overall, scores were very low at both time points. Journal policies scored highest for their adherence to data transparency and scored lowest for preregistration of study protocols and analysis plans and the submission of replication studies. Most journals fulfilled all ICMJE provisions for reporting COIs before (84%; n = 16) and during (95%; n = 18) the COVID-19 pandemic.


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of practising open science. However, requirements for open science practices in audited policies were overall low, which may impede progress in health and medical research. As key stakeholders in disseminating research, journals should promote a research culture of greater transparency and more robust open science practices.

URL : Open science and conflict of interest policies of medical and health sciences journals before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: A repeat cross-sectional study

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1177/20542704221132139

Attitudes, behaviours and experiences of authors of COVID-19 preprints

Authors : Narmin Rzayeva, Susana Oliveira Henriques, Stephen Pinfield, Ludo Waltman

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a rise in preprinting, apparently triggered by the need for open and rapid dissemination of research outputs. We surveyed authors of COVID-19 preprints to learn about their experience of preprinting as well as publishing in a peer-reviewed journal.

A key aim was to consider preprints in terms of their effectiveness for authors to receive feedback on their work. We also aimed to compare the impact of feedback on preprints with the impact of comments of editors and reviewers on papers submitted to journals. We observed a high rate of new adopters of preprinting who reported positive intentions regarding preprinting their future work.

This allows us to posit that the boost in preprinting may have a structural effect that will last after the pandemic. We also saw a high rate of feedback on preprints but mainly through “closed” channels – directly to the authors.

This means that preprinting was a useful way to receive feedback on research, but the value of feedback could be increased further by facilitating and promoting “open” channels for preprint feedback. At the same time, almost a quarter of the preprints that received feedback received comments resembling journal peer review.

This shows the potential of preprint feedback to provide valuable detailed comments on research. However, journal peer review resulted in a higher rate of major changes in the papers surveyed, suggesting that the journal peer review process has significant added value compared to preprint feedback.

URL : Attitudes, behaviours and experiences of authors of COVID-19 preprints

DOI : https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/d96yj

COVID‑19 and the scientific publishing system: growth, open access and scientific fields

Authors : Gabriela F. Nane, Nicolas Robinson‑Garcia, François van Schalkwyk, Daniel Torres‑Salinas

We model the growth of scientific literature related to COVID-19 and forecast the expected growth from 1 June 2021. Considering the significant scientific and financial efforts made by the research community to find solutions to end the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented volume of scientific outputs is being produced.

This questions the capacity of scientists, politicians and citizens to maintain infrastructure, digest content and take scientifically informed decisions. A crucial aspect is to make predictions to prepare for such a large corpus of scientific literature.

Here we base our predictions on the Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) and exponential smoothing models using the Dimensions database. This source has the particularity of including in the metadata information on the date in which papers were indexed.

We present global predictions, plus predictions in three specific settings: by type of access (Open Access), by domain-specific repository (SSRN and MedRxiv) and by several research fields. We conclude by discussing our findings.

URL : COVID‑19 and the scientific publishing system: growth, open access and scientific fields

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-022-04536-x

Forecasting the publication and citation outcomes of COVID-19 preprints

Authors : Michael Gordon, Michael Bishop, Yiling Chen, Anna Dreber, Brandon Goldfedder, Felix Holzmeister, Magnus Johannesson, Yang Liu, Louisa Tran, Charles Twardy, Juntao Wang, Thomas Pfeiffer

Many publications on COVID-19 were released on preprint servers such as medRxiv and bioRxiv. It is unknown how reliable these preprints are, and which ones will eventually be published in scientific journals.

In this study, we use crowdsourced human forecasts to predict publication outcomes and future citation counts for a sample of 400 preprints with high Altmetric score. Most of these preprints were published within 1 year of upload on a preprint server (70%), with a considerable fraction (45%) appearing in a high-impact journal with a journal impact factor of at least 10.

On average, the preprints received 162 citations within the first year. We found that forecasters can predict if preprints will be published after 1 year and if the publishing journal has high impact. Forecasts are also informative with respect to Google Scholar citations within 1 year of upload on a preprint server.

For both types of assessment, we found statistically significant positive correlations between forecasts and observed outcomes. While the forecasts can help to provide a preliminary assessment of preprints at a faster pace than traditional peer-review, it remains to be investigated if such an assessment is suited to identify methodological problems in preprints.

URL : Forecasting the publication and citation outcomes of COVID-19 preprints

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.220440