Regional variation in the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on data collection

Study finds when human behavior changes, so do the data
Cornell University
15-Feb-2021 1:50 PM EST, by Cornell University

Newswise — Ithaca, NY—The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it all around the world. It’s changed human behavior, and that has major consequences for data-gathering citizen-science projects such as eBird, run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This worldwide database now contains more than a billion observations and is a mainstay of many scientific studies of bird populations. Newly published research in the journal Biological Conservation finds that when human behaviors change, so do the data.

“We examined eBird data submitted during April 2020 and compared them to data from April  of prior years,” explains lead author Wesley Hochachka, a researcher at the Cornell Lab. “The outbreak of COVID-19 followed by stay-at-home orders have definitely affected the quantity and quality of data collected by participants. We concluded that any future analyses of eBird data from the pandemic period will have to take into account the region-specific impact on the data collection process.” 

Researchers focused on eBird reports from New York State, California, Spain, and Portugal. One of the biggest changes they noted was in the type of habitat the reports were coming from. With more people at home, there were more reports clustered in urban areas. With urbanized areas represented more frequently, birds species that live near humans may also be disproportionately represented. Less common habitats, such as wetlands, may then be under-sampled because restrictions on human travel make it less likely that birdwatchers will go there.

“We also found subtler changes in quantity of data collected, as well as in the amount of time spent birdwatching,” Hochachka says. “That has an impact on how we will need to analyze these data in order to be confident in our findings. The other crucial point is that changes in human behavior differed in each region, depending upon political and policy responses to the pandemic as well as the different environments in which eBird participants live.”

Though the focus was on four specific regions, the researchers expect that similar changes in the data have occurred on a global scale. The impact could be especially great for programs using eBird data to monitor for changes in distribution and abundance of bird species, such as looking for the impacts of COVID-19 on the bird species themselves.

“Our results indicate that it is impossible to create a universal prescription for dealing with the impacts of the changed behavior of birdwatchers,” Hochachka says. “Instead, any use of the data from 2020 will require analysts to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their data and apply the necessary corrections.”

Reference:

Wesley M. Hochachka, Hany Alonso, Carlos Gutiérrez-Expósito, Eliot Miller, Alison Johnston, Regional variation in the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quantity and quality of data collected by the project eBird, Biological Conservation, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2021.108974

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY



Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5862
Released: 23-Jun-2021 3:55 PM EDT
Cooperative Extension grant aims to vaccinate NYS’ vulnerable
Cornell University

A two-year, $200,000 grant from the USDA and the Extension Foundation to Cornell University researchers aims to help promote vaccine confidence and uptake in vulnerable communities in eight New York counties, both upstate and downstate.

Released: 23-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT
Phone swabs can accurately detect COVID-19
University College London

An accurate, non-invasive, and low-cost method of testing for COVID-19 using samples taken from the screens of mobile phones has been developed by a team led by UCL researchers at Diagnosis Biotech.

Newswise: NIH study suggests COVID-19 prevalence far exceeded early pandemic cases
Released: 23-Jun-2021 11:35 AM EDT
NIH study suggests COVID-19 prevalence far exceeded early pandemic cases
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

In a new study, NIH researchers report that the prevalence of COVID-19 in the United States during spring and summer of 2020 far exceeded the known number of cases and that infection affected the country unevenly.

Released: 23-Jun-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Half of young adults with covid-19 have persistent symptoms 6 months after
University of Bergen

A paper published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine on long-COVID, describes persistent symptoms six months after acute COVID-19, even in young home isolated people.

Newswise:Video Embedded covid-19-vaccine-hesitancy-dr-vin-gupta-narrates-new-american-thoracic-society-video
VIDEO
Released: 23-Jun-2021 9:40 AM EDT
COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: Dr. Vin Gupta Narrates New American Thoracic Society Video
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

The American Thoracic Society rolls out a new video to address vaccine hesitancy and answer common questions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

18-Jun-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Had COVID-19? One Vaccine Dose Enough; Boosters For All, Study Says
American Chemical Society (ACS)

A new study in ACS Nano supports increasing evidence that people who had COVID-19 need only one vaccine dose, and that boosters could be necessary for everyone in the future.

Released: 22-Jun-2021 5:10 PM EDT
Tecnología de inteligencia artificial y ECG puede rápidamente descartar infección por COVID-19
Mayo Clinic

La inteligencia artificial puede ofrecer un manera de determinar con exactitud que una persona no está infectada con la COVID-19. Un estudio internacional y retrospectivo descubrió que la infección por SARS-CoV-2, el virus que causa la COVID-19, provoca sutiles cambios eléctricos en el corazón. Un electrocardiograma (ECG) mediado por inteligencia artificial detecta estos cambios y puede servir como una prueba rápida y confiable para descartar la infección por COVID-19.

Released: 22-Jun-2021 4:45 PM EDT
Penn Medicine to Use $1M from City of Philadelphia for Additional Community Vaccination Clinics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Medicine will continue its collaboration with the West and Southwest Philadelphia communities to operate a series of COVID-19 vaccine clinics in partnership with community organizations, faith-based institutions, restaurants, barbershops, and even professional sports teams thanks to $1 million in funding from the City of Philadelphia, in partnership with PMHCC.

Released: 22-Jun-2021 12:30 PM EDT
Political Variables Carried More Weight Than Healthcare in Government Response to COVID-19
Binghamton University, State University of New York

Political institutions such as the timing of elections and presidentialism had a larger influence on COVID-19 strategies than the institutions organizing national healthcare, according to a research team led by a professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

22-Jun-2021 12:00 PM EDT
Study Testing How Well COVID-19 Vaccine Prevents Infection and Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Among University Students Now Expands to Include Young Adults Beyond the University Setting
Covid-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN)

The Prevent COVID U study, which launched in late March 2021 to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission among university students vaccinated with the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, has expanded beyond the university setting to enroll young adults ages 18 through 29 years and will now also include people in this age group who choose not to receive a vaccine.


Showing results

110 of 5862

close
1.00634