Review of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Urology Literature
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed not only our daily lives, but the very practice of medicine as we once knew it. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Since then, our lives have changed in ways we could have never imagined. COVID-19 has become a staple of our daily conversations with family, friends, patients, and particularly fellow colleagues in medicine. During the pandemic, the lives of healthcare workers have changed significantly, both in terms of clinical work and research. There has also been an increased interest in reviewing, studying and analyzing bibliometric trends to characterize and understand the academic literature and how it affects clinical practice [1,2]. Bibliometric instruments have been applied for analyses of the urologic literature [3,4]. Given the immense impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical care, investigators from many other specialties have sought to characterize the influence of the pandemic on their respective literature. Preliminary reports have documented a substantial number of peer-reviewed publications pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic and have noted that these publications have garnered more attention compared to other articles published concomitantly . Our objective in this study was to classify the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the urologic literature. We hypothesized that similar trends would be observed in the urological literature with articles related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Materials and Methods
Using the Journal Citation Reports, the 15 urology journals with the highest impact factors in 2019 were identified [6,7]. These journals were subsequently queried in an Advanced PubMed search to identify all articles published in 2020. This search identified 5,614 articles. The Altmetric Attention score (AAS) for each article was collected using the Altmetric Bookmarklet tool. AAS is a wellestablished metric of article dissemination and influence taking into account article mentions across various social media outlets, the news, and research outlets. The number of subsequent citations was obtained using the National Institute of Health iCite tool . All queries were performed in February 2021. Articles were screened to be subsequently divided into two cohorts, those related to the COVID-19 pandemic and those not related, by searching titles for the following terms: “COVID”, “SARS”, “pandemic”, “corona”, “COVID-19”, “2019 nCoV”, “2019 novel coronavirus”, or “SARS-CoV-2”. Two hundred and sixteen (3.8%) articles met these criteria. Kruskal- Wallis tests were used to compare AAS and citations for COVID-19 versus non-COVID-19 articles. Mann-Whitney and Chi-squared tests were used to assess continuous and categorical variables, respectively. Furthermore, for articles related to COVID-19, AAS and citations were compared by type of article, sub-specialty of urology, and quarter of the year (Q) in which the article was published. Analyses were performed using R Statistical Software (version 4.0.2; R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria) and p-value of <0.05 was considered significant.