Is Coronavirus-Related Research Becoming More Interdisciplinary? A Perspective of Co-occurrence Analysis and Diversity Measure of Scientific Articles

Yi Zhao, Lifan Liu, Chengzhi Zhang
2021 Technological forecasting & social change  
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had a significant repercussion on the health, economy, politics and environment, making coronavirus-related issues more complicated and difficult to adequately address by relying on a single field. Interdisciplinary research can provide an effective solution to complex issues in the related field of coronavirus. However, whether coronavirus-related research becomes more interdisciplinary still needs corroboration. In this study, we
more » ... ate interdisciplinary status of the coronavirus-related fields via the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). To this end, we calculate bibliometric indicators of interdisciplinarity and apply a co-occurrence analysis method. The results show that co-occurrence relationships between cited disciplines have evolved dynamically over time. The two types of co-occurrence relationships, Immunology and Microbiology & Medicine and Chemical Engineering & Chemistry, last for a long time in this field during 1990-2020. Moreover, the number of disciplines cited by coronavirus-related research increases, whereas the distribution of disciplines is uneven, and this field tends to focus on several dominant disciplines such as Medicine, Immunology and Microbiology, Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology. We also measure the disciplinary diversity of COVID-19 related papers published from January to December 2020; the disciplinary variety shows an upward trend, while the degree of disciplinary balance shows a downward trend. Meanwhile, the comprehensive index 2Ds demonstrates that the degree of interdisciplinarity in coronavirus field decreases between 1990 and 2019, but it increases in 2020. The results help to map the interdisciplinarity of coronavirus-related research, gaining insight into the degree and history of interdisciplinary cooperation.
doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2021.121344 pmid:34782813 pmcid:PMC8572695 fatcat:5do7kfne3bcqrpur6grvz4jpuu