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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Elizabeth M. Hechenbleikner, ehechen@emory.edu

All authors contributed equally to this manuscript and meet all four criteria for authorship based on ICMJE Recommendations.

Disclosures: None of the authors have any relevant conflicts of interest, financial relationships, or funding sources to report for this article.

Research Funding:

None declared


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Medicine, General & Internal
  • General & Internal Medicine

Data explosion during COVID-19: A call for collaboration with the tech industry & data scrutiny


Journal Title:



Volume 23


, Pages 100377-100377

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


The volume and speed of data generation in biomedical literature, social media, and other resources during the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. This mountain of data is growing daily across PubMed, Twitter, Google Scholar, and the World Health Organization's COVID-19 database [1], naming a few. The recently published COVID-19 Twitter dataset may offer insights into multiple topics from compliance with social distancing to assembling homemade masks and mental health tips [2]. Beyond social media, the massive COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) has been assembled from tech giants like Microsoft, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology [3]. This dataset houses over 12,000 full text articles in “machine-readable form” that can be ingested programmatically into computer software programs and analyzed using machine learning applications like natural language processing (NLP). Furthermore, CovidSurg is a global registry for tracking outcomes in COVID-19 infected surgical patients with over 100 countries registered [4]. This registry represents a unique opportunity to evaluate variation in patient characteristics, peri‑operative management and surgical outcomes. Additionally, guidelines continue to emerge from large international surgical societies like Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES). SAGES has developed peri‑operative safety practices involving filtration, smoke evacuation, and personal protective equipment use [5]. It is paramount that prospective data collection efforts across these resources and multiple areas of clinical practice continues both institutionally and globally.

Copyright information:

© 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
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