New peer reviews of COVID-19 research highlight promising, warn of misleading studies

October 08, 2020

CAMBRIDGE, MA - October 8 2020--The preprints selected for review in Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 (RR:C19), an open-access overlay journal published by the MIT Press, cover a wide range of subjects, with peer reviewers finding a study that higher levels of cytokines IL-6 and IL-10 are associated with increased severity of COVID-19 is particularly noteworthy and could be useful in clinical care.

And in the first published scholarly peer reviews of pre-print research from Li-Meng Yan, Shu Kang, Jie Guan, and Shanchang Hu--the so-called "Yan Report"--that claims to show that unusual features of the SARS-CoV-2 genome suggest sophisticated laboratory modification rather than natural evolution, reviewers Robert Gallo, Takahiko Koyama, Adam Lauring, and Marvin Reitz rate the study as misleading and write that the "manuscript does not demonstrate sufficient scientific evidence to support its claims."

Peer reviewers similarly flag as misleading new research that non-COVID-19 vaccinations are linked to decreased SARS-CoV-2 rates.

New peer reviews from RR:C19, in order of the evidence scale rating (strong, reliable, potentially informative, not informative, or misleading) as provided by each of the two reviewers:

RR:C19 is published by the MIT Press and the editorial offices are located at UC Berkeley, headed by editor-in-chief Stefano M. Bertozzi, Professor of Health Policy and Management and Dean Emeritus of the School of Public Health at University of California Berkeley. The journal is funded by a grant from the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and hosted on PubPub, an open-source publishing platform from the Knowledge Futures Group.

To learn more about this project and its editorial board, or to sign up for future news and alerts, visit rapidreviewscovid19.mitpress.mit.edu.
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Media Contacts Jessica Pellien
Associate Director of Publicity
Fortier Public Relations
jessica@fortierpr.com

Kate Silverman Wilson
Community and Resource Development Associate
The MIT Press
kswilson@mit.edu

About the MIT Press

Established in 1962, the MIT Press is one of the largest and most distinguished university presses in the world and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design. MIT Press books and journals are known for their intellectual daring, scholarly standards, interdisciplinary focus, and distinctive design.

About the UC Berkeley School of Public Health

For 75 years and counting, the UC Berkeley SPH has been dedicated to making a transformative impact on the health of populations through its values of health as a right, strength through diversity, think forward, and impact first. To eliminate inequity and injustice that affects the health and dignity of all people, SPH is committed to radical public health collaborations that challenge conventional thinking, leverage technology, and build bridges between research, public policy, education, and action.

About the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation

The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation is dedicated to improving lives globally with technology, data and AI. The Foundation is the legacy of IDG founder Patrick J. McGovern, who believed in the potential for technology to democratize information, improve the human condition and advance social good.

About the Knowledge Futures Group

The Knowledge Futures Group, a nonprofit originally founded as a partnership between the MIT Press and MIT Media Lab, builds and sustains technology for the production, curation, and preservation of knowledge in service of the public good.

The MIT Press

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