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Succinct information on COVID-19 for decision-makers

Published on 17.9.2020
Tampere University
Tens of thousands of research findings on the coronavirus have been published globally..Already more than 80,000 research findings on corona virus have been published globally. The research review helps decision-makers to find relevant information from the wide supply.
The COVID-19 pandemic is shaking up societies and challenging decision-making. How can decision-makers stay informed about the latest research findings on the disease? Researchers from Tampere University are involved in the Finnish Government’s multidisciplinary research group that is screening studies on COVID-19 in order to help decision-makers find relevant information. Anyone interested in the disease may also subscribe to the research reviews via the portal.

In the Government’s model, researchers contribute their expertise to help society. A multidisciplinary group of researchers is choosing new research results that are suitable for the Finnish conditions and compiling concise reviews about them.

In the group, Tampere University is responsible for the choice of studies in two fields; professor of engineering materials science Saku Mäkinen compiles research related to technology and innovation, and assistant professor Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen is responsible for research on education and learning.

Tools to manage corona pandemic

The World Health Organization’s global Covid-19 research database alone already contains more than 80,000 studies on the coronavirus. It can be difficult to filter the most relevant information for decision-making from the huge body of information. Based on timeliness, suitability, and scientific validity, the selected studies help policymakers stay up to date on the latest coronavirus data.

According to Vainikainen, the idea of ​​the research review is to offer decision-makers tools to manage the pandemic.

“We are producing information in an accessible format about scientifically valid COVID-19 research, which is interesting from the Finnish perspective. The review is not comprehensive, but I think it contributes positively to the public debate by keeping the facts together,” Vainikainen says.

Mäkinen hopes that the review will find its way to all those who are thirsting for information. He wants to highlight views on how technology and innovation can be harnessed at different levels for the benefit of people.

“Hopefully, the research review will also produce aha experiences for other people. It allows you to quickly expand your knowledge about the coronavirus,” Mäkinen notes.

Information on the coronavirus for current and future needs

Experts have a responsible role as the authors of the research review. The choices are guided by both topicality and future scenarios.

“Naturally, the choices in each area are tied to time and place, but at the same time, we are all trying to assess what could be important in multiple ways in the longer term,” says Mäkinen.

“Keeping one’s role neutral and thinking about scientific knowledge from many perspectives is important in this task,” Vainikainen sums up.

“Global crises provide an opportunity to target human resources. The coronavirus has united the international research community in collaboration to find solutions to contain the disease and reduce its harmful effects. Thanks to the innovations being developed, it is possible to be better prepared for similar threats in the future,” Mäkinen reflects.

The COVID-19 research reviews are published every two weeks in August, September and October. The research group produces compilations from ten fields, from which five significant new studies and research results are highlighted in each review. The designated researchers are independently responsible for monitoring and reporting research in their field.

Click for further information and the published COVID-19 research reviews (in Finnish).


Saku Mäkinen
tel. +358 40 544 1088
saku.makinen [at]

Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen
tel. +358 50 437 7303
mari-pauliina.vainikainen [at]

Text: Anna Aatinen
Image: Jonne Renvall