Post-publication reviews on COVID-19 papers

We are in the midst of a viral pandemic with huge effects on human health, social interactions, and the economy. Suddenly, lots of people have opinions or claim to have solutions to solve the COVID-19 situation. Not surprisingly, the Coronavirus epidemic has led to an enormous input of scientific papers, editorials, letters, reviews, trials, and what have you not. Most of these have been written hastily, without the rigor and thoughtfulness and editing that are normally essential to scientific publishing. Some of these papers are great, many of them not so much. Social media is exploding with all kinds of post-publication reviews of heavily discussed scientific papers. This post is an attempt to collect critical reviews of some of these COVID-19 related scientific papers.

This post will be heavily focused on PubPeer threads and scientific peer reviews, not on news articles. I will try to update regularly. Last update: March 27, 2020.

The Didier Raoult 36-patients HC + AZ trial

Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open- label non-randomized clinical trial – Philippe Gautret et al. – International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents (2020) – DOI: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105949

SARS-CoV-2: fear versus data

SARS-CoV-2: fear versus data – Yanis Roussel et al. – International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents (2020) – DOI: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105947

PubPeer comments

Other papers

Clinical characteristics and therapeutic procedure for four cases with 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia receiving combined Chinese and Western medicine treatment – Zhenwei Wang et al. – BioScience Trends (2020) – DOI: 10.5582/bst.2020.01030 – [PubPeer comments for showing patient names in CT scan photos]

Traditional Chinese medicine for COVID-19 treatment – Jun-ling Ren et al – Pharmacological Research (2020) – DOI: 10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104743 – [PubPeer comments for reusing photos and text from another paper]

Potential biochemical markers to identify severe cases among COVID-19 patients – Jialin Xiang et al. – bioRxiv – DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.19.20034447 – [PubPeer comments for duplicated figure panel]

Transplantation of ACE2- Mesenchymal Stem Cells Improves the Outcome of Patients with COVID-19 Pneumonia – Zikuan Leng et al. – Aging and Disease (2020) – DOI: 10.14336/ad.2020.0228 – [PubPeer comments for study setup concerns and large authorship]

Development of a Laboratory-safe and Low-cost Detection Protocol for SARS-CoV-2 of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Joungha Won et al. – Experimental Neurobiology (2020) – [PubPeer comments about misinterpreted data from other paper]

Early in the epidemic: impact of preprints on global discourse about COVID-19 transmissibility – Maimuna S Majumder et al. – The Lancet Global Health (2020) [PubPeer comments]

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