Coronavirus research before 2020 is more relevant than ever, especially when interpreted for COVID-19
AbstractThe speed with which biomedical specialists were able to identify and characterise COVID-19 was partly due to prior research with other coronaviruses. Early epidemiological comparisons with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), also made it easier to predict COVID-19’s likely spread and lethality. This article assesses whether academic interest in prior coronavirus research has translated into interest in the primary source material, using Mendeley reader counts for early academic impact evidence. The results confirm that SARS and MERS research 2008-2017 experienced anomalously high increases in Mendeley readers in April-May 2020. Nevertheless, studies learning COVID-19 lessons from SARS and MERS or using them as a benchmark for COVID-19 have generated much more academic interest than primary studies of SARS or MERS. Thus, research that interprets prior relevant research for new diseases when they are discovered seems to be particularly important to help researchers to understand its implications in the new context.
CitationThelwall, M. (2020) Coronavirus research before 2020 is more relevant than ever, especially when interpreted for COVID-19, Quantitative Science Studies 2020; 1 (4): 1381–1395. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00083
JournalQuantitative Science Studies
Description© 2020 The Authors. Published by MIT Press. This is an open access article available under a Creative Commons licence. The published version can be accessed at the following link on the publisher’s website: https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00083
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/