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Covid-19: Finding reliable information

Advice for finding reliable information on Covid-19 (disease) and SARS-CoV-2 (virus causing Covid-19)

Reliable information on Covid-19 and SARS-CoV-2

Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.  This has now become a
worldwide pandemic.  

This guide is designed to assist you with making sense of things by locating reliable research about Covid-19 and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing Covid-19).

You can either browse through our curated list of Covid-19 research or you can find your own current research by using search sets provided.

You might find the “How To Spot Fake News, COVID-19 Edition” info graphic by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) useful to consider when reviewing material on Covid-19 for its credibility.

Retraction Watch has been tracking retractions of papers about COVID-19, which is updated as needed. Context and analysis is provided about each item that has been retracted.



Be aware that this guide does not replace the University's advice on Covid-19.

Another source for staying informed is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) collection of information sheets and other resources for the general public and compiled by the Australian Government Department of Health.

Victorian updates from the Department of Health and Human Services

National updates from the Australian Department of Health, which includes the latest case numbers, official medical advice and information on treatment.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and there is a lot of information being produced that changes frequently. This guide provides some reliable resources of health information, however the resources contained here are not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

Suggested starting points:

Coronavirus is in the air — there’s too much focus on surfaces - (Editorial). Nature 590, 7 (2021), doi:

Feng, H., Deng, Y., & Li, W. (2020) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‐19): What we know?  Journal of Medical Virology, Advance Online Publication.

Habibzadeh, P., & Stoneman, E.K. (2020)  The Novel Coronavirus: A Bird's Eye ViewThe International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 11(2)65-71. doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2020.1921

Wu, Z. & McGoogan, J.M. (2020) Characteristics of and Important Lessons from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in China: Summary of a Report of 72314 Cases From the Chinese Center for Disease Control and PreventionJAMA, Advance Online Publication. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.2648

Diagnosis and preventative measures

Travel‐related control measures to contain the COVID‐19 pandemic: a rapid review, Version published: 16 September 2020,

Put to the test: use of rapid testing technologies for covid-19,  BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 03 February 2021)

Wei, J., Guo, S., Long, E., Zhang, L., Shu, B. and Guo, L., 2021. Why does the spread of COVID-19 vary greatly in different countries? Revealing the efficacy of face masks in epidemic prevention. Epidemiology & Infection, 149. doi:10.1017/S0950268821000108

Covid-19: Pfizer vaccine efficacy was 52% after first dose and 95% after second dose, paper showsBMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 11 December 2020)

Wood, Nicholas and Macartney, Kristine. COVID vaccines have been developed in record time. But how will we know they’re safe?, from The Conversation

NEJM Covid-19 Vaccine Resource Center is a collection of resources on Covid-19 vaccines, including frequently asked questions, published research, and commentary.

Research resources

Disaster Lit is a database of links to disaster medicine and public health resources available on the Internet at no cost, including guidelines, research reports, conference proceedings, training classes, fact sheets, websites, databases, and similar materials for a professional audience.

NIH - iSearch COVID-19 portfolio is a curated source of COVID-19 publications and preprints, which includes articles from PubMed and pre-prints from arXiv, medRxiv, bioRxiv, and ChemRxiv. It is updated daily with the latest available data.

WHO COVID-19 Database is an international multilingual scientific source of current literature on COVID-19. Updated Monday through Friday, from searches of bibliographic databases, hand searching, and the addition of other expert-referred scientific articles.