The impact of pandemics on medical research publication trend: Tested on PubMed as an example through the COVID-19 era
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Pathology Department, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, SAUDI ARABIA
Publication date: 2022-04-14
Electron J Gen Med 2022;19(4):em379
COVID-19 pandemic negatively influenced the entire life globally including various aspects of patients’ care. Its effect on medical research production is not known. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on medical research reporting trend.

Advanced search on PubMed was performed over 2011- August, 2021. Monthly comparison was done for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021. Kruskal Wallis test was used to compare continuous distributions.

The total publication count showed constant increment over the study period. Faster rise was noticed on 2020 (15.7%). A steady growth in publications over the years and through the pandemic was also seen in seven studied countries with variable, both in total and also after exclusion of COVID-19 related papers. Italy and India have the highest proportions of COVID-19 related publications in comparison to the total papers in 2020, but USA has the highest quantity. Statistically significant differences exist between the first eight months of the last three years with and without counting COVID-19 related publications (p-values=0.0003907 and 0.001084, respectively).

Our results reflect that investigators world-wide succeeded to reconfigure their work style and utilize the spared time induced by the lockdown to enrich the medical research platform.

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