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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)

Where to start searching for Covid-19 information?

Pubmed is an excellent biomedical database for this topic. You could start with a search which includes terms for the virus (COVID-19 OR 2019 -nCoV) combined with your aspect of interest. 


Tip: Truncation and PubMed

PubMed automates some of the search, so truncation for alternative endings to terms is not required.

Covid-19: Ready to use PubMed search sets 

To explore different aspects of the disease, we have prepared some set searches for you below in PubMed.  You can get current research results just by clicking on the "Run this search in PubMed" link in each section.  You can then edit the search further in the search box or using the PubMed filters (for example, English language).

Diagnosis search 

The basic search for Covid-19 diagnosis looks like this:

(COVID-19 OR 2019-nCoV) AND diagnosis 

Run this search in PubMed

Treatment search

The basic search for treatment and Covid-19 looks like this:

(COVID-19 OR 2019-nCoV) AND (therapy OR intervention OR treatment)

Run this search in PubMed

Infection search

The basic search for infection and Covid-19 looks like this:

(COVID-19 OR 2019-nCoV) AND (infection OR transmission)

Run this search in PubMed

Prevention search

The basic search for prevention and Covid-19 looks like this:

(COVID-19 OR 2019-nCoV) AND prevention

Run the search in PubMed

What type of article should I search for?

There are many reviews and studies that have already been published in this fast moving area.  Reviews are great for a quick overview. Editorials and opinion pieces written by experts can also be useful to get a broad perspective of what's happening in Covid-19 research space. 

At this emerging stage of the disease, case studies and case series are likely to be more common than other types of studies.


Many of these articles are e-pub ahead of print, meaning that they may not have their full citation information available yet.

What to look for?

Look for articles published in reputable journals.  Pubmed has an editorial process which means that results in this database are usually reputable, but you'll still need to assess them for quality. 

Check for:

  • peer reviewed articles
  • appropriate study design - our study design guides can assist with this
  • authors with a track record in this type of research
  • authors associated with reputable organisations (e.g. a university or research institute)

How to access the full text?

Accessing Pubmed via Deakin will provide 'Find it at Deakin' links, leading you to full text where Deakin has access.  Pubmed also provides access to articles where they are made available open access.

During this health crisis, many publishers have also made articles on Covid-19 available open access where they would otherwise have been subscription access.

Tip: Simplify access to Covid-19 article links you come across

Whether it's a twitter post or an email from a colleague, you may come across Covid-19 article links that still require subscription access. You can use this Library bookmarklet tool to quickly check if you have access to the journal and get the information you need quickly.