Transparency Assessment of COVID-19 Models

8 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2020

See all articles by Mohammad S. Jalali

Mohammad S. Jalali

Harvard University - Harvard Medical School

Catherine DiGennaro

Massachusetts General Hospital

Devi Sridhar

University of Edinburgh

Date Written: July 18, 2020

Abstract

As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major societal unrest, modelers have worked to project future trends of COVID-19 and predict upcoming challenges and impacts of policy action. These models, alone or in aggregate, are influential for decision-makers at every level. Therefore, the method and documentation of COVID-19 models must be highly transparent to ensure that projections and consequential policies put forth have sound epistemological grounds. We evaluated 29 COVID-19 models receiving high attention levels within the scientific community and/or informing government responses. We evaluated these models against 27 transparency criteria. We found high levels of transparency in model documentation aspects such as reporting uncertainty analysis; however, about half of the models do not share code and a quarter do not report equations. These discrepancies underscore the need for transparency and reproducibility to be at the forefront of researchers’ priorities, especially during a global health crisis when stakes are critically high.

Note: Funding: No funding was used to conduct this study.

Conflict of Interest: Authors declare no competing interests.

Suggested Citation

Jalali, Mohammad S. and DiGennaro, Catherine and Sridhar, Devi, Transparency Assessment of COVID-19 Models (July 18, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3655208 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3655208

Mohammad S. Jalali (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Medical School ( email )

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Suite 1010
Boston, MA 02114
United States

HOME PAGE: http://scholar.harvard.edu/jalali

Catherine DiGennaro

Massachusetts General Hospital ( email )

55 Fruit Street Boston
Boston, MA 02114
United States

Devi Sridhar

University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JY
United Kingdom

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