UCL ranked 1st in the UK and 7th in the world for Covid-19 research output at start of pandemic

UCL has been ranked 7th globally and top in the UK for its research output relating to Covid-19 in the first months of the pandemic.

The analysis published in the journal Scientometrics looked at all research published worldwide in the first five months of the pandemic between January and May 2020. In this period almost 15,000 papers – around 100 a day – were published in a total of 525 journals from 240 academic publishers.

UCL was responsible for the seventh-highest number of publications globally and the highest number in the UK with a total of 170 publications - behind institutions in China, Italy and the US.

A separate list suggests UCL remains at number 7 globally up to March 2021 – with a total of 970 Covid-19 publications.

Much of the research output of UCL has been in clinical research where the close partnership between UCLH and UCL has enabled insights from hospital clinics to drive clinical research at UCLH and beyond.

Key UCL/UCLH research during the pandemic include developing a life-saving CPAP device now used across NHS hospitals and around the world; being a leading site in vaccine trials; and contributing to the discoveries that the drugs dexamethasone and remdesivir can improve outcomes in hospitalised patients.

And UCLH/UCL Prof Marie Scully was the first UK clinician to spot the link between a Covid-19 vaccine and rare cases of blood clotting with a low platelet count.

The analysis of research around the world was based on figures gathered using Scopus, a widely used database of publications which has a powerful search interface.

Overall, most publications in the first five months of the pandemic related to the fields of virology, immunology, epidemiology, pharmacology, public health, critical care, and emergency medicine.

80% of research was made freely available, and 93% of research was published in the English language. The author of the analysis welcomed the fact that 80% of research was collaborative.