Impact of COVID-19 on Otolaryngology Literature
© 2021 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.
Objectives/hypothesis: To understand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the volume, quality, and impact of otolaryngology publications.
Study design: Retrospective analysis.
Methods: Fifteen of the top peer-reviewed otolaryngology journals were queried on PubMed for COVID and non-COVID-related articles from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 (pandemic period) and pre-COVID articles from the year prior. Information on total number of submissions and rate of acceptance were collected from seven top-ranked journals.
Results: Our PubMed query returned 759 COVID articles, 4,885 non-COVID articles, and 4,200 pre-COVID articles, corresponding to a 34% increase in otolaryngology publications during the pandemic period. Meta-analysis/reviews and miscellaneous publication types made up a larger portion of COVID publications than that of non-COVID and pre-COVID publications. Compared to pre-COVID articles, citations per article 120 days after publication and Altmetric Attention Score were higher in both COVID articles (citations/article: 2.75 ± 0.45, P < .001; Altmetric Attention Score: 2.05 ± 0.60, P = .001) and non-COVID articles (citations/article: 0.03 ± 0.01, P = .002; Altmetric Attention Score: 0.67 ± 0.28, P = .016). COVID manuscripts were associated with a 1.65 times higher acceptance rate compared to non-COVID articles (P < .001).
Conclusions: COVID-19 was associated with an increase in volume, citations, and attention for both COVID and non-COVID articles compared to pre-COVID articles. However, COVID articles were associated with lower evidence levels than non-COVID and pre-COVID articles.
Level of evidence: Level 3 Laryngoscope, 2021.