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Covid-19 research database aims to boost collaboration

Researchers can use Covid Corpus database to search for projects, resources and funding

Academics at the University of Birmingham have developed a database of Covid-19 research that allows researchers around the world to search for partners, resources and funding.

Launched on 14 October, the open-access Covid Corpus database aims to reduce duplication and encourage collaboration among researchers across all academic disciplines working on Covid-19 research.

Users can search for projects, resources and funding calls in a specific discipline or topic, or by using keywords. They can also read about projects and contact the lead investigators, as well as register their own research projects, resources and funding calls.

The portal links to existing databases including those provided by the Academy of Medical Sciences and the UK Collaborative on Development Research, meaning it already has more than 2,500 projects registered, the university said.

“Fighting Covid-19 requires the academic community to share ideas early in the research process and avoid duplication,” said Tim Softley, pro vice-chancellor for research and knowledge transfer at the university.

“If there was ever a time to embrace openness in research culture, it is surely now. Covid Corpus will play a vital role in reducing duplication of effort and allow researchers from around the world to create new partnerships and better understand the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic.”

Hisham Mehanna, director of the institute for global innovation and the institute for advanced studies at the university, added: “This is the only online database to capture all research projects related to Covid-19, regardless of academic discipline, funding or location. It will also map the evidence—identifying and publishing gaps in research activity to help direct future research and research funding.”