Menu Close

Scientists to use ‘crowd filtering’ for rapid assessments of new pandemic research

PRESS RELEASE — 27 October 2020 (pdf)

A group of Dutch scientists today launched PandemicScience.org, a new international website that will highlight the latest high-quality research that may be important in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Besides advances in biomedical research, the multidisciplinary website will also cover newly emerging research from the social sciences, the natural sciences and the humanities.

‘Crowd filtering’

With the help of many volunteer scientists who will jointly flag, review and discuss emerging research on an online scientific ‘crowd filtering’ forum*, the new website will be able to quickly filter out good and important research papers from an ongoing tsunami of scientific research, most of which has not yet been peer-reviewed.

The key papers will be checked for their scientific rigour and integrated into summary reports that reflect the evolving state of knowledge including the unknowns and uncertainties that remain.

Science, not policy

At present, reliable sources of information about the current state of scientific knowledge are not widely available. In this absence, scientific discussions are getting caught up in heated public debates over pandemic policy measures. That creates needless confusion and undermines public trust in science itself, just when such trust is essential.

Importantly, the new site will only present the state of science. It will not give policy recommendations. That said, the reports will aim to be very useful for governments and their advisors.

Call to join

The researchers call on colleagues from the Netherlands and elsewhere to support and join the new project. A brief application form can be found on their website.

***

For more information, please further explore this website or e-mail the Pandemic Science media office at: communications@pandemicscience.org

* About the crowd filtering forum:
The new project plugs into a successful scientific forum called ‘RAMP’ that was convened by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society last April. Originally focusing on modelling research and operating under the radar, the forum’s 450 members since fed a steady stream of important papers to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) in the U.K.
As of today, the forum widens its focus to include all relevant disciplines and explicitly welcomes members from other countries, including the Netherlands.