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Our Process

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium (NCRC) is a centralized, publicly available resource that rapidly curates and reviews the emerging scientific evidence about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Our goal is to provide accurate, relevant information for global public health action by clinicians, public health practitioners, and policy makers. Read more here.

Our Method at a Glance

  • Who:
    The NCRC is an effort by more than 50 faculty, fellows, alumni, and students from the Johns Hopkins Schools of Public Health, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and other institutions globally.
  • What:
    We prioritize original, high-quality research for public health action and papers receiving significant press, regardless of quality.
  • How:
    Experts work in eight teams to summarize the papers selected into the compendium, describe its value added based on what is already known about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, and write a summary of the key findings relevant for action or practice. When we decide to include an article that was authored by someone within the NCRC, we assign it to a reviewer without current or past professional collaborations with that author.
  • Why:
    As the pandemic unfolds, there has been a rapid proliferation of literature on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Reliable and rapidly curated evidence is needed to inform the public, programs, policy, and research.


Our Process

Working alongside informationists at the Johns Hopkins Welch Library, we developed and maintain a list of key search terms for our eight focus areas. Using these, we scour PubMed and preprint servers (MedXriv, BioXriv, and SSRN) for papers. Papers are divided among eight teams, led by topical experts in ecology & spillover, mathematical modeling, clinical presentation & prognostic risk factors, epidemiology, diagnostics, vaccines, non-pharmaceutical interventions, and pharmaceutical interventions.

Teams sort incoming abstracts and decide whether they believe the paper will bring new and key information to inform clinicians, public health practitioners, and policy makers. In addition to selecting key articles from our search results, we keep our eyes on the press and social media to see what papers are trending.

For each paper selected into the compendium, our teams summarize the setting, population, results, strengths, limitations of the paper, and value added. At the end, we write our short take of the paper’s key finding(s), significance, and reliability.


How to Request a Paper for Review

If you are interested in requesting our review of a paper, please send an email to with “Request for Paper Review” in the subject line for our consideration.


NCRC in the News

Our endeavors have been covered by ScienceWiredSTAT NewsCNNBuzzfeed, and the JHSPH Magazine. We also hosted a panel on Reddit to answer questions from the public.