Are all voices heard in the COVID-19 debate?

Stan Benjamens*, Vincent E de Meijer, Robert A Pol, Martijn P D Haring

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
85 Downloads (Pure)


The COVID-19 pandemic has vast global consequences. Yet, effective mitigation strategies and economic and medical outfall differ extensively across the globe. It is currently unclear how well researchers from all continents are represented in the unsolicited and solicited publications. A literature review was performed in SCOPUS on COVID-19 oriented publications in the four most impactful medical journals. These included the British Medical Journal, Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. We identified 809 eligible publications out of identified 924 records. The vast majority of publications on COVID-19, in the four can be considered European (47.7%) or North-American (37.3%) research. Chinese reports were relatively common (8.8%); however, reports from other Asian countries (3.2%) were minimal. Research from the African (1.0%) and South-American continents (0.6%) was rarely published in these journals. These observations are not surprising, as they reflect global academic publishing. However, involving all continents into COVID-19 research is important as COVID-19 management strategies and societal and economic consequences differ extensively across the globe. We see an important role for medical journals in encouraging global voices through solicited articles, to ensure a weighted research and humanitarian response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2021


  • Global health
  • COVID-19
  • Literature review


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