COVID Lab Impact Factor: Half of all Science Labs in World are Currently Closed

At a time when the life science community is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, a recent survey of scientists shows that nearly half of all life science labs around the world are currently closed.

BioInformatics, part of Science and Medicine Group, is the leading research and advisory firm supporting the manufacturers of instruments and consumables used in life science research and drug discovery. In a flash survey conducted between March 27th and March 29th, 2020, a total of 1,137 life scientists from around the world answered questions regarding the impact of Covid-19 on their research. The respondents are members of The Science Advisory Board, an online community created by BioInformatics to better understand the needs and experiences of professionals engaged in life science research.

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed report that their lab is currently closed with another 13% running at reduced capacity. Closed labs were far more common at academic institutions (56%) than at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies where only 27% have been shut down. Labs in Asia report 43% are closed which is somewhat lower than in North America (48%) and Europe (50%). As of late last week, these scientists were expecting their labs to remain closed, on average, for the next seven months. BioInformatics will continue to track these expectations weekly and publish the BioInformatics COVID Lab Impact Factor.

Understandably, 52% of scientists surveyed also believe the coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on their research, with just 17% saying the crisis is having little to no impact on their work. Academic researchers are more likely to feel their research has been significantly impacted (57%) than their counterparts working in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies (39%). Covid-19’s impact on research has been felt around the world but most significantly among North American (56%) and European (53%) scientists than their Asian colleagues (45%).

“Scientists are using their time outside of the lab to catch up on other important tasks – writing, publishing and planning new experiments,” said Craig Overpeck, CEO of Science and Medicine Group. “When the current restrictions are lifted we expect there to be a rapid resumption of their research activities along with a renewed appreciation of the importance of science by policy makers and the general public.”

The scientists also answered questions related to their operating budgets, spending plans for the remainder of the year. Those surveyed who are also engaged in infectious disease research also indicated where suppliers can best help them detect, prevent and treat infectious diseases.

An interactive report showing the locations of closed laboratories is available online at Additional data and updates will be made available in the coming weeks for our Knowledge Center subscribers.