What has been the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the volume, quality, and impact of otolaryngology publications?
Explore This IssueDecember 2022
COVID-19 was associated with an increase in volume, citations, and attention for both COVID and non-COVID articles in otolaryngology journals as compared to pre-COVID articles.
BACKGROUND: As the COVID-19 pandemic spurred an upsurge in publications aiming to elucidate disease features, pathophysiology, and management, the scientific community was challenged by having to balance rigorous research with rapid dissemination of knowledge. Although otolaryngology researchers have been similarly affected, COVID-19’s impact on their work has not been formally described.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis.
SETTING: Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia.
SYNOPSIS: Researchers queried 15 top peer-reviewed otolaryngology journals for COVID- and non-COVID–related articles between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021 (pandemic period), and pre-COVID articles from the year prior. A total of 9,844 articles (759 COVID, 4,885 non-COVID, and 4,200 pre-COVID) were included in the study. Findings showed a 34.4% increase in otolaryngology publications during the COVID period compared to the prior year. Using citations per article as a marker for impact, publication type as a proxy for quality, and Altmetric Attention Score and social media mentions as a representation of attention across media, researchers found a correlation between the pandemic period and higher impact/attention for COVID and non-COVID otolaryngology articles, and a dramatic increase in publication volume. COVID articles generally had a higher acceptance rate than non-COVID articles across several top otolaryngology journals. The pandemic was associated with a modest increase in citations and attention for non-COVID articles in otolaryngology journals, suggesting a readership spillover effect. Study limitations included the use of “publication type” tags, which hindered researchers’ ability to differentiate nuances in studies.
CITATION: Chillakuru YR, Gerhard EF, Shim T, et al. Impact of COVID-19 on otolaryngology literature. Laryngoscope. 2022;132:1364–1373.