How COVID-19 Changed Science

Researchers face a new post-pandemic world

Since the emergence of COVID-19, scientists have conducted 29,000 peer-reviewed research articles on the disease, per PubMed. That’s on top of nearly 5,000 published COVID-19 preprints, over 2,000 clinical trials, 150 vaccines in the works, and more than 30 issued patents, according to NewsRx’s BUTTER platform.

For comparison’s sake, during the first six months of the 2009, H1N1 swine flu outbreak, a mere 2,000 peer reviewed research articles were published on the new flu. 29,000 articles represent a staggering amount of worldwide scientific muscle directed against the deadly pandemic.

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Clearly, science did not simply respond to the virus with business as usual. Scientists and labs in a variety of fields tossed their business-as-usual to focus on the outbreak. Scientific publishers committed to new standards for transparency and started to fast track coronavirus-related research.

New forms of scientific discussion and debate have also welled up on social media as scientists battle against a misinformation ‘infodemic’. This is all on top of new ways of scientific working, publishing, and communicating. The staggering coronavirus pandemic, which has already taken nearly 500,000 lives, has changed science for good.

Here’s the rundown on how the COVID-19 coronavirus has transformed science—and whether or not it’ll last.

The evolving COVID-19 pandemic created a pressing need for rapid-fire, accurate scientific evidence.