Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jul 12;119(28):e2204074119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2204074119. Epub 2022 Jul 7.
Massive scientific productivity accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the citation impact of COVID-19 publications relative to all scientific work published in 2020 to 2021 and assessed the impact on scientist citation profiles. Using Scopus data until August 1, 2021, COVID-19 items accounted for 4% of papers published, 20% of citations received to papers published in 2020 to 2021, and >30% of citations received in 36 of the 174 disciplines of science (up to 79.3% in general and internal medicine). Across science, 98 of the 100 most-cited papers published in 2020 to 2021 were related to COVID-19; 110 scientists received ≥10,000 citations for COVID-19 work, but none received ≥10,000 citations for non-COVID-19 work published in 2020 to 2021. For many scientists, citations to their COVID-19 work already accounted for more than half of their total career citation count. Overall, these data show a strong covidization of research citations across science, with major impact on shaping the citation elite.