Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on scientific communication: A review




science communication, COVID-19, misinformation, science popularization, public understanding of science, fake science


Objective. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on scientific communication was analyzed.

Design/Methodology/Approach. A literature review was conducted based on studies indexed in the Scopus, Web of Science, Proquest, and Pubmed databases. The temporal coverage was from 2020 to 2024. Descriptors and keywords related to the topic in question, as well as inclusion and exclusion criteria, were used to select the relevant literature.

Results/Discussion. The COVID-19 crisis revealed the vulnerability of the scientific system, especially the development of preprints, fake studies, and retractions. All this exacerbated misinformation and undermined public confidence. The proliferation of fake news and conspiracy theories complicated the task of scientists and policymakers to report effectively.

Conclusions. Despite these challenges, science communication gained relevance with the increased use of digital platforms and social networks for faster and wider dissemination, reflecting a growing public demand for transparency and accuracy in the information disseminated.


Download data is not yet available.


Adhanom, T., & Ng, A. (2020, February 18). Disinformation versus medicine: Let's tackle 'infodemia'. El País. Available at

Aguilera, R. (2014). systematic review, narrative review or meta-analysis? Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor, 21(6), 359-360. DOI:

Antúnez, T., Camargo, A. de, Silva, A. da R., Pereira, B., Oliveira, N. de, & Gouw, A. (2022). Divulgação científica e formação de professores: Possibilidades extensistas na pandemia de covid-19. Prometeica - Revista de Filosofia e Ciências, 24, 157-168. DOI:

Arias, F. (2012). The Research Project. Introducción a La Metodología Científica (6th ed.). Episteme.

Artigas, W., Casanova, I., & López, D. (2021). Immediacy in response of high-impact information science journals to Covid-19. Journal of Social Sciences, 27(3), 477-490.

Banerjee, R., Kelkar, A., Logan, A., Majhail, N., & Pemmaraju, N. (2021). The Democratization of Scientific Conferences: Twitter in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond. Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports, 16(2), 132-139. DOI:

Beldarrain, E. (2020). Reliable scientific information and the COVID- 19. Cuban Journal of Health Sciences Information (ACIMED), 31(3), 1-6. Available at

Brainar, J. (2020). Do preprints improve with peer review? A little, one study suggests. Available at DOI:

Campos, E. de, Dorta, D., & De Martinis, B. (2022). Trends in scientific communication and continuing education in forensic sciences during the pandemic of COVID-19: The role of virtual conferences and experiences of the 2020 Online Congress of the Brazilian Society of Forensic Sciences. Brazilian Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 9(34), 177-187. DOI:

Carvalho, D., Felipe, L., Albuquerque, P., Zicker, F., & Fonseca, B. de P. (2023). Leadership and international collaboration on COVID-19 research: Reducing the North-South divide? Scientometrics, 128(8), 4689-4705. DOI:

Corbera, E., Anguelovski, I., Honey, J., & Ruiz, I. (2020). Academia in the Time of COVID-19: Towards an Ethics of Care. Planning Theory & Practice, 21(2), 191-199. DOI:

Elías, C. (2020). Scientific experts and government communication in the era of fake news. Prisma Social: revista de investigación social, 31, 6-39.

Enserink, M. (2017). Plan for new medical preprint server receives a mixed response. Available at DOI:

Fernández, M., & Alfonso, I. (2021). Information professionals: Performance and challenges during the confrontation with COVID-19. Cuban Journal of Health Sciences Information, 32(3), 1-6. Available at

Feune, N., Bueno, F., Alger, J., Baker, B., Canario, J., Mestra, L., Osorio, L., Hormazabal, O. S., Soriano, M. E., Matta, G., Lang, T., & Soto, R. J. (2020). COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean: Determination of research priorities and call to action. Revista Médica Hondureña, 88(2), Article 2.

Fraser, N., Brierley, L., Dey, G., Polka, J., Pálfy, M., Nanni, F., & Coates, J. (2021). The evolving role of preprints in the dissemination of COVID-19 research and their impact on the science communication landscape. PLOS Biology, 19(4), e3000959. DOI:

Gálvez, C. (2023). Bibliometric analysis of scientific production on the COVID-19 effect in the Information Sciences. Revista Cubana de Información en Ciencias de la Salud, 34. Available at

Ganga, F., Garrido, N., Godoy, Y., & Cautín, C. (2020). Actions tending to increase scientific production at the Universidad de Tarapacá-Chile. Revista de ciencias sociales, 26(3), 297-311.

García, D., Grimaldo, F., Bravo, G., Mehmani, B., & Squazzoni, F. (2024). The silver lining of COVID-19 restrictions: Research output of academics under lockdown. Scientometrics, 129(3), 1771-1786. DOI:

GreenFacts (2024). Glossary: Scientific Consensus. Available at

Hernández, Á. (2020). Role of scientific prepublication (preprint) during and after the pandemic. Pediatría Atención Primaria, 22(88), e217-e222. Available at

Horbach, S. (2020). Pandemic publishing: Medical journals strongly speed up their publication process for COVID-19. Quantitative Science Studies, 1(3), 1056-1067. DOI:

Jourovála, V. (2020). "From pandemic to infodemic". European Commission - European Commission. Available at

Kalabamu, F. (2020). Promotion of unproved and potential dangerous measures in fighting COVID-19 pandemic: Urgent need for vigilant appropriate public communication and generation of scientific evidence. The Pan African Medical Journal, 37(Suppl 1), 29. DOI:

Kouzy, R., Abi, J., Kraitem, A., El Alam, M., Karam, B., Adib, E., Zarka, J., Traboulsi, C., Akl, E., & Baddour, K. (2020). Coronavirus Goes Viral: Quantifying the COVID-19 Misinformation Epidemic on Twitter. Cureus, 12(3), 1-8. DOI:

Kwon, E., Yun, J., & Kang, J. (2023). The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on gendered research productivity and its correlates. Journal of Informetrics, 17(1), 101380. DOI:

Liu, W., Huangfu, X., & Wang, H. (2023). Citation advantage of COVID-19-related publications. Journal of Information Science, 01655515231174385. DOI:

Lobera, J., & Torres, C. (2021). Communicating techno science in times of pandemic (pp. 39-50).

López, A., & Ollé, C. (2019). Content curation as a response to fake news and science. ThinkEPI Yearbook, 13.

López, A., & Ollé, C. (2020). Curation of scientific content in times of fake science and Covid-19: An approach between information and communication sciences. International Congress of the Spanish Association for Communication Research, 281-289.

Martin, J., Trillo, M., & Olvera, M. (2022). Science communication after the COVID-19 crisis: TikTok publishing strategies in the transmedia dashboard. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 81, 109-132.

Martinez, F. (2021). Publications and open data as elements of open science in the context of the covid-19 pandemic. In La pandemia por covid-19 Un acercamiento desde la bibliotecología y los estudios de la información (pp. 1-33). Institute for Library and Information Research.

Mejía, E. (2005). Methodology of Scientific Research [Postgraduate, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos].

Meri-Yilan, S. (2023). The impact of Covid-19 on the academic publishing practices of Turkish female and male academics. In Women in academic publishing (1st ed., p. 14). DOI:

Mheidly, N., & Fares, J. (2020). Leveraging media and health communication strategies to overcome the COVID-19 infodemic. Journal of Public Health Policy, 41(4), 410-420. DOI:

Montoya, P. (2021). Infodemic and pandemic: The crossroads of science in the face of real viruses, misleading information and fake news. Revista de Extensión Cultural, 138-149.

Muselli, M., Cofini, V., Desideri, G., & Necozione, S. (2021). Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic: How may communication strategies influence our behaviours? International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 53, 101982. DOI:

Nane, G., Robinson, N., van Schalkwyk, F., & Torres, D. (2023). COVID-19 and the scientific publishing system: Growth, open access and scientific fields. Scientometrics, 128(1), 345-362. DOI:

WHO. (2020). Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19). World Health Organization. Available at

Párraga, I. (2021). Urgency in communicating research results during a pandemic. Clinical Journal of Family Medicine, 14(1), 1-3. Available at

Pershad, Y., Hangge, P. T., Albadawi, H., & Oklu, R. (2018). Social Medicine: Twitter in Healthcare. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 7(6), Article 6. DOI:

Pollett, S., & Rivers, C. (2020). Social Media and the New World of Scientific Communication During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 71(16), 2184-2186. DOI:

Quian, A. (2023). (Dis)infodemia: Lessons from the covid-19 crisis. Journal of Communication and Information Sciences, 28, 1-23. DOI:

Reddy, B., & Gupta, A. (2020). Importance of effective communication during COVID-19 infodemic. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 9(8), 3793. DOI:

Rediger, P., & Beer, A. (2024). Booster for partizipative Wissenschaftskommunikation? Effekte der Corona-Pandemie auf die Kommunikation wissenschaftlichen Wissens im Informationsdienst Wissenschaft und in Regionalzeitungen. M&K Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft, 72(1), 21-48. DOI:

Rivas, M. del M., & Calero, M. (2020). Pandemic and post-truth: The impact of COVID-19 on WhatsApp communication. Prisma Social: journal of social research, 31, 110-154.

Rivera, J., & Palomino, C. (2024). Global bibliometric characteristics of research on Covid-19 infection and cerebrovascular disease [Pregrado, Universidad Científica del Sur]. Available at

Robinson, N., & Jiménez, E. (2023). Open Access: Utopias, realities and pending accounts. Anuario ThinkEPI, 17.

Rousseau, R., García, C., & Sanz, E. (2023). Publications during COVID-19 times: An unexpected overall increase. Journal of Informetrics, 17(4), 101461. DOI:

Sakai, K. (2024). Advice as a Form of Structural Coupling: Intersystem Organizations and Scientific Communication in the Japanese Response to COVID-19. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 37(3), 269-281. DOI:

Health without Hoaxes (2020). IV Study of Health Hoaxes: Special COVID-19 (pp. 1-31). Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians.

Santos, A. dos, Almeida, D. dos R., & Crepaldi, T. da S. (2020). Comunicação pública e divulgação científica em tempos de Covid-19: Ações desenvolvidas na Universidade Federal de Uberlândia - Brasil. Revista Española de Comunicación en Salud, 279-292. DOI:

Sequera, G. (2020). Researchers in times of pandemic. Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud, 18(3), 3-4. DOI:

Wegwarth, O., Wagner, G., Spies, C., & Hertwig, R. (2020). Assessment of German Public Attitudes Toward Health Communications With Varying Degrees of Scientific Uncertainty Regarding COVID-19. JAMA Network Open, 3(12), e2032335. DOI:

WHO (2020b). A coordinated global research roadmap: 2019 novel coronavirus. Available at

WHO (2020a). Advice for the public on COVID-19 - World Health Organization. Available at

Wu, H., & Mackenzie, J. (2021). Dual-Gendered Leadership: Gender-Inclusive Scientific-Political Public Health Communication Supporting Government COVID-19 Responses in Atlantic Canada. Healthcare, 9(10), Article 10. DOI:

Xie, Q., Xue, Y., & Zhao, Z. (2022). Understanding the Scientific Topics in the Chinese Government's Communication about COVID-19: An LDA Approach. Sustainability, 14(15), Article 15. DOI:




How to Cite

Sanchez Soto, J. M., Lopez Gomez, H. E., Aguado Riveros, U. I., & Silva Infantes, M. (2024). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on scientific communication: A review. Iberoamerican Journal of Science Measurement and Communication, 4(2), 1–16.



Review article