Current Status of Global Research on Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): A Bibliometric Analysis and Knowledge Mapping
21 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2020 Last revised: 3 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 2, 2020
Background: Novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first identified in China, which eventually became a major global health concern due to its pathogenicity and widespread distribution around the world. Despite a growing interest in COVID-19 across populations, little is known about the current state of knowledge on COVID-19, which can inform how much is known about this problem. This bibliometric study evaluated the contemporary scientific literature to assess the evolution of knowledge on COVID-19, identify the leading research stakeholders, and analyze the conceptual areas of knowledge development in this domain.
Methods: Bibliometric data on COVID-19 related studies published until April 1, 2020, were retrieved from three major databases within Web of Science core collection. Further, a quantitative evaluation was conducted to assess the characteristics of the current studies and create visualizations of knowledge areas in COVID-19 research by statistical and text-mining approaches using bibliometric tools and R software.
Results: A total of 422 citations were retained in this study, including journal articles, reviews, letters, and other publications. The mean number of authors and citations per document was 3.91 and 2.47, respectively. Also, the top ten articles, authors, and journals were identified based on the frequencies of citations and publications. Networks of contributing authors, institutions, and countries were visualized in maps, which highlight discrete developments in research collaborations. Major areas identified through evaluating keywords and text data included genetic, epidemiological, zoonotic, and other biological topics associated with COVID-19.
Conclusions: Current status of COVID-19 research shows varying progress in different areas of knowledge. However, more research should be conducted in less-explored areas, including socioeconomic determinants and impacts of COVID-19. Also, research collaboration should be encouraged among global nations to mobilize shared resources. Lastly, the global knowledge base should be strengthened for evidence-based decision-making preventing and addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and aftermath around the world.
Note: Funding: No funding was received at any stage of conducting this study.
Conflicts of interest: None.
Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Communicable Diseases, Bibliometric Analysis, Knowledge Mapping
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