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In the year 2020, nothing is more popular than Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This also includes scientific publication. In just a few months, there are 1,228 articles on PubMed about COVID-19 and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).1 Furthermore, articles in popular preprint server medRxiv and bioRxiv2 about COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 have reached 760. This is quite a phenomenon for scientific publishing as headlining by Jeffrey S. Flier as “Covid-19 is reshaping the world of bioscience publishing”3
Comparing to similar events of viral epidemic; severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), there were similarity in surges of scientific publications.4 We can expect many more research and publications to come as COVID-19 epidemic is still going on.
However, it would be wise for scientific readers to be skeptical and cautious about validity of each study. Rushing and competition are risk factors to mistakes. For example, the recent study about efficacy of Favilavir in treatment of COVID-19 has been published in journal “Engineering”5 which is the official journal of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Higher Education Press.6 This would initiate some doubts in validity of the study.
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2. MedRxiv.https://medrxiv.org. Assessed March 25, 2020.
3. Flier JS. Covid-19 is reshaping the world of bioscience publishing. STATS. https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/23/bioscience-publishing-reshaped-covid-19/. Published March 23, 2020. Assessed March 25, 2020.
4. The Economist. Coronavirus research is being published at a furious pace. https://www.economist.com/graphicdetail/2020/03/20/coronavirus-research-is-being-published-at-a-furious-pace. Published March 20, 2020. Assessed March 25, 2020.
5. Cai Q, Yang M, Liu D. Experimental treatment with favipiravir for COVID-19: an open-label control study. Engineering. 2020. doi:10.1016/j.eng.2020.03.007.
6. Engineering. https://www.journals.elsevier.com/engineering. Assessed March 25, 2020.