Pandemics are catalysts of scientific novelty: Evidence from COVID-19

Meijun Liu, Yi Bu, Chongyan Chen, Jian Xu, Daifeng Li, Yan Leng, Richard B. Freeman, Eric T. Meyer, Wonjin Yoon, Mujeen Sung, Minbyul Jeong, Jinhyuk Lee, Jaewoo Kang, Chao Min, Min Song, Yujia Zhai, Ying Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Scientific novelty drives the efforts to invent new vaccines and solutions during the pandemic. First-time collaboration and international collaboration are two pivotal channels to expand teams' search activities for a broader scope of resources required to address the global challenge, which might facilitate the generation of novel ideas. Our analysis of 98,981 coronavirus papers suggests that scientific novelty measured by the BioBERT model that is pretrained on 29 million PubMed articles, and first-time collaboration increased after the outbreak of COVID-19, and international collaboration witnessed a sudden decrease. During COVID-19, papers with more first-time collaboration were found to be more novel and international collaboration did not hamper novelty as it had done in the normal periods. The findings suggest the necessity of reaching out for distant resources and the importance of maintaining a collaborative scientific community beyond nationalism during a pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1078
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Volume73
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No: 72104054 and No: 72104007), the Youth Project of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education (MOE) of China (No: 21YJC870001), and Shanghai Pujiang Program (No: 21PJC026). Ying Ding would like to acknowledge the funding support from NSF RAPID 2028717. The authors sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments to improve the quality of this paper. The authors thank S. L. Liu for major contribution in idealization stage. 1

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This paper was sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No: 72104054 and No: 72104007), the Youth Project of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education (MOE) of China (No: 21YJC870001), and Shanghai Pujiang Program (No: 21PJC026). Ying Ding would like to acknowledge the funding support from NSF RAPID 2028717. The authors sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments to improve the quality of this paper. The authors thank S. L. Liu for major contribution in idealization stage.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Association for Information Science and Technology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences

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