Laryngorhinootologie. 2021 Mar 24. doi: 10.1055/a-1430-7735. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has led to profound limitations in patient care and student teaching at the University Hospitals of Otorhinolaryngology (ORL). In contrast, the impact on research has been variable. To classify the pandemic-related effect on research, the development of the number of scientific publications of the German ORL university hospitals before and during the pandemic was analyzed.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The publication performance between 2015 and 2020 of the 39 current chairmen was surveyed using a literature search (Pubmed). All entries relating to the chairmen of the university hospital as first, last or co-author were included. The absolute and relative development of each author’s publication performance was determined and evaluated using nonparametric statistical methods.
RESULTS: A total of 2420 publications could be documented. From 2015 to 2019, an average of 368 publications were published per year. In 2020, this number increased by 57.9 % to 581 publications. While the number of monthly publications remained constant between 2015 and 2019, a significant increase was seen from May 2020 up to a maximum of 74 publications in September 2020. In 2020, 34 articles (5.9 %) had a thematic relation to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, with 7 of these papers (20.6 %) resulting from cross-site publications.
CONCLUSION: In 2020, the number of scientific publications was raised to more than 1.5 times the usual annual publications. This increase was clearly related in time to the reduction of elective patient care during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic starting in mid-March 2020. Probably, free time capacities enabled this increased publication output. Our results confirm the great scientific potential of the ORL university hospitals, which has been successfully implemented despite the pandemic.