Top 10: July 19

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By Christian Hoffmann &
Bernd S. Kamps

19 July

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Kind request to authors of scientific papers

A kind request to all authors of scientific papers: to everyone in the scientific community currently working on a scientific paper on COVID-19, brooding over introductions. It is no longer necessary to emphasize that the “COVID-19 pandemic has to date caused > 7 million infections resulting in over 400,000 deaths” and that “following infection with SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 patients can experience mild or even asymptomatic disease, or can present with severe disease requiring hospitalization and mechanical ventilation” (Science, July 15). And please, don’t start your paper or your abstract with the COVID-19 pandemic as “a major threat to global health for which there are limited medical countermeasures” (Nature, July 15). Other hot-off-the-press findings you don’t need to repeat? “The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 emerged in late 2019 and spread globally, prompting an international effort to accelerate development of a vaccine” (NEJM, July 15).

Are you kidding? We know it. We all know it! We know it all! On July 16th, listed more than 31,000 COVID-19 papers. Almost every paper is (fortunately) freely accessible. We are faced with dozens of important scientific papers every day and our time is limited. So get down to business, folks. Straight to the point, no elaborations. Save yourself cumbersome or scrambled introductions.

Be brief. We all thank you!

Rob Camp, Christian Hoffmann, Bernd Sebastian Kamps