Reproducibility of COVID-era infectious disease models

Epidemics. 2024 Mar:46:100743. doi: 10.1016/j.epidem.2024.100743. Epub 2024 Jan 23.


Infectious disease modelling has been prominent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to understand the virus' transmission dynamics and inform response policies. Given their potential importance and translational impact, we evaluated the computational reproducibility of infectious disease modelling articles from the COVID era. We found that four out of 100 randomly sampled studies released between January 2020 and August 2022 could be completely computationally reproduced using the resources provided (e.g., code, data, instructions) whilst a further eight were partially reproducible. For the 100 most highly cited articles from the same period we found that 11 were completely reproducible with a further 22 partially reproducible. Reflecting on our experience, we discuss common issues affecting computational reproducibility and how these might be addressed.

Keywords: COVID-19; Infectious disease modelling; Open science; Reproducibility.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Reproducibility of Results