Covid-19 database now available

Popular searches: The top cited Covid-19 keywords map as shown on the database.

SCIENTISTS from Malaysia and the United Kingdom have developed an online resource for new and emerging Covid-19 research publications.

The initiative was in response to an urgent need to enable access to research publications on the virus so that a way to stop the spread of the pandemic can be found.

The web-based resource was created by a multi-disciplinary led by Universiti Malaya (UM) Faculty of Medicine Department of Biomedical Imaging medical physicist Prof Dr Ng Kwan Hoong.

The team includes information scientists Assoc Prof Dr Noorhidawati Abdullah, Dr Kiran Kaur and Dr Yanti Idayu Aspura, and infectious disease specialist Dr Anjanna Kukreja from UM; medical physicist Assoc Prof Yeong Chai Hong from Taylor’s University; and Dr Ray Kemp – an external associate from Cambridge UK.

As the team could not meet due to social distancing measures, they had to rely on Whatsapp, phone calls and emails.

“We started this project one and a half months ago. It’s been hard work but now, we are able to update the portal weekly, ” Prof Ng said, adding that the portal enables users to interrogate the Scopus database for Covid-19 related keywords.

Documents are then categorised according to subject matter, research fields, institutions, country of origin, source of funding and so on, using bibliometric measures.

New database: Prof Ng leads a team of researchers from public and private institutions to create a Covid-19 online resource.New database: Prof Ng leads a team of researchers from public and private institutions to create a Covid-19 online resource.

There is also a weekly update showcasing the growth of scientific publications, emerging research areas and collaborating entities.

The portal’s objective is to support the international research community and policy makers with timely and reliable overview of the status of international research into Covid-19 based on evidences from published works.

“Our researchers and policymakers need to keep abreast with research findings.

“Decisions must be based on science and facts, not rumours and all the noise and speculation from social media, speculations, ” he told StarEdu.

Abstracts from research papers are reviewed briefly for findings, trends, key insights, including emerging topics and possible gaps in the knowledge base.

There are also up-to-date graphic visualisations created using keyword co-occurrence network analysis.

Keyword co-occurrence networks are generally used to provide a graphic visualisation of potential relationships between keywords represented within written material.

The portal, which can be accessed at, benefits researchers as they can use it to identify topics that need further investigation, find collaborators and sponsors or funding agencies, identify key journals to publish in and use this platform to disseminate their own research output.

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