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Information and Misinformation on COVID-19: a Cross-Sectional Survey Study

Journal of Korean Medical Science 2020년 35권 27호 p.256 ~ 256
 ( Gupta Latika ) - Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology

 ( Gasparyan Armen Yuri ) - Russells Hall Hospital Department of Rheumatology
 ( Misra Durga Prasanna ) - Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology
 ( Agarwal Vikas ) - Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology
 ( Zimba Olena ) - Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University Department of Internal Medicine
 ( Yessirkepov Marlen ) - South Kazakhstan Medical Academy Department of Biology and Biochemistry

Abstract


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a large volume of publications, a barrage of non-reviewed preprints on various professional repositories and a slew of retractions in a short amount of time.

Methods: We conducted an e-survey using a cloud-based website to gauge the potential sources of trustworthy information and misinformation and analyzed researchers', clinicians', and academics' attitude toward unpublished items, and pre- and post-publication quality checks in this challenging time.

Results: Among 128 respondents (mean age, 43.2 years; M:F, 1.1:1), 60 (46.9%) were scholarly journal editors and editorial board members. Social media channels were distinguished as the most important sources of information as well as misinformation (81 [63.3%] and 86 [67.2%]). Nearly two in five (62, 48.4%) respondents blamed reviewers, editors, and misinterpretation by readers as additional contributors alongside authors for misinformation. A higher risk of plagiarism was perceived by the majority (70, 58.6%), especially plagiarism of ideas (64.1%) followed by inappropriate paraphrasing (54.7%). Opinion was divided on the utility of preprints for changing practice and changing retraction rates during the pandemic period, and higher rejections were not supported by most (76.6%) while the importance of peer review was agreed upon by a majority (80, 62.5%). More stringent screening by journal editors (61.7%), and facilitating open access plagiarism software (59.4%), including Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based algorithms (43.8%) were among the suggested solutions. Most (74.2%) supported the need to launch a specialist bibliographic database for COVID-19, with information indexed (62.3%), available as open-access (82.8%), after expanding search terms (52.3%) and following due verification by academics (66.4%), and journal editors (52.3%).

Conclusion: While identifying social media as a potential source of misinformation on COVID-19, and a perceived high risk of plagiarism, more stringent peer review and skilled post-publication promotion are advisable. Journal editors should play a more active role in streamlining publication and promotion of trustworthy information on COVID-19.

키워드

Coronavirus Disease 2019; COVID-19; Information; Publishing; Social Media; Periodicals as Topic
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