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Revista Médica del Uruguay

versión impresa ISSN 0303-3295versión On-line ISSN 1688-0390


SCASSO, Carolina  y  MEDINA, Julio. Challenges of scientific publications in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic context. Rev. Méd. Urug. [online]. 2020, vol.36, n.3, pp.198-215.  Epub 01-Sep-2020. ISSN 0303-3295.

The COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has resulted in unexpected changes in the way in which scientific knowledge is produced and published, although recent events sparked the debate on the quality of the information that is being disseminated. Within the context of the pandemic, the scientific community has responded by exponentially increasing research and making findings rapidly known. Despite this being a worthy action towards making progress in the knowledge about the COVID-19, it also entails certain risks.

This opinion article addresses several topics: 1) free access with the purpose of sharing relevant scientific literature in an open and fast mode; 2) the impact of the most well-known preprint information repositories such as medRxiv, aRxiv, bioRxiv y ChemRxiv; 3) the use of artificial intelligence applied to data analysis, for example COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) or SciSight ; 4) the strategies to maintain scientific rigour, be it through an open guardianship by the scientific community or by means of the Outbreak Science Rapid PREreview of the Wellcome Trust or the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium (NCRC); 5) Last, it addresses the dilemmas of peer review that seeks to improve the process's transparency. Thus, several authors encourage open referral to be the norm, what requires the original text to be published along with its review, with or without the inclusion of the reviewers' names.

It may be appreciated that not all that is published observes the required quality standards and that speed undermines good science. We must consider what is published in preprint as preliminary data, and it would be advisable to hold a certain degree of skepticism even in the case of articles from audited journals. The systematic review of scientific research is of the essence, be it the traditional one or aided by the new tools that have been developed in this pandemic. The health policies and standards of care must be based on solid knowledge, obtained in a transparent way, so that even in times of uncertainty, all the actors are positive that the suggested course of action is the best one in the light of the information available at the time.

Palabras clave : Coronavirus; Scientific and technical publications; Information dissemination.

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