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Medical Literature on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: A Scientometric Study with Special Reference to WHO COVID- 19 Database

Author:

Chandima Wadasinghe

University of Colombo, LK
About Chandima
Senior Assistant Librarian, Postgraduate Institute of Medicine
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Abstract

Since the emergence of the novel Coronavirus disease from Wuhan, China, in early December 2019, scientists every where in the world have focused on this infection to find a way to deal with it. Due to the rapid growth in the literature on this disease, the WHO took the initiative to collate the emerging publications and created "WHO COVID-19 Database". A scientometric study was conducted to better understand the nature of medical literature on COVID-19 included in the WHO COVID- 19 Database, and this article aims to provide an analysis of the coverage of those publications focusing on the twelve months, from December 2019 to November 2020. A total of 35,791 full-text research articles on Coronavirus infections has been published across the world. These publications were originated from 57 countries, indicating the international spread of COVID-19 research. The USA was the largest contributor with 12,989 articles, followed by UK and Netherlands. All the publications mentioned above are written in 15 different languages where English has become the dominant language out of all those languages with 93.25%. According to the findings, the co-authorship network of 3 authors Eric J. Rubin, Lindsey R. Baden and Stephen Morrissey has made the highest contribution with 34 papers published in the New England Journal of Medicine (N Engl J Med). The journal with the highest number of publications on COVID-19 research was the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health - online). The classification of study type reveals that the maximum number of articles are published on risk factors. This study showed that core journals publishing COVID-19 research are scattered among journals, closely conforming to Bradford's Law of scattering. The Lotka's Law on authorship productivity has been tested to confirm the law's applicability to the present dataset. According to the test, there is a variation of author productivity between the observed percentage and expected percentage of authors as in Lotka's Law. This study will help the research community to get the required information for their research. Further, the information in this paper will encourage the researchers in finding more facts on COVID-19.
How to Cite: Wadasinghe, C., 2021. Medical Literature on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: A Scientometric Study with Special Reference to WHO COVID- 19 Database. Journal of the University Librarians Association of Sri Lanka, 24(2), pp.57–87. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jula.v24i2.8047
Published on 29 Jun 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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