Can pandemics transform scientific novelty? Evidence from COVID-19

by   Meijun Liu, et al.

Scientific novelty is important during the pandemic due to its critical role in generating new vaccines. Parachuting collaboration and international collaboration are two crucial channels to expand teams' search activities for a broader scope of resources required to address the global challenge. Our analysis of 58,728 coronavirus papers suggests that scientific novelty measured by the BioBERT model that is pre-trained on 29 million PubMed articles, and parachuting collaboration dramatically increased after the outbreak of COVID-19, while international collaboration witnessed a sudden decrease. During the COVID-19, papers with more parachuting collaboration and internationally collaborative papers are predicted to be more novel. The findings suggest the necessity of reaching out for distant resources, and the importance of maintaining a collaborative scientific community beyond established networks and nationalism during a pandemic.


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