How to get published in the Covid era

Why let scientific rigour stand in your way?

The last three years has seen a huge number of publications on all aspects of Covid-19 but has also seen many respected authors suddenly struggling to get work published that does not support the official narrative.

So by way of some light relief for August, here are some writing tips for hopeful researchers.


  • try and find a member of indieSAGE to join as a co-author.
  • at all costs, drop any authors connected to the HART ‘misinformation’ group.


  • Pick a title that reflects the most narrative-friendly wording you can get away with. 


  • this is the most important part after the title as it is the only bit most people read;
  • carefully select the result most helpful to the narrative and omit anything contrary.


  • open by quoting the millions of deaths across the world caused by Covid-19;
  • for vaccine studies, remind readers of how many billions of doses have been given world-wide, 
  • state that many millions of lives have been saved and don’t worry whether or not there is any good evidence for this claim.


  • omit any mention of analysis by intention-to-treat (see results for further help);
  • omit all-cause mortality, only covid wins the day;
  • only count as ‘vaccinated’ after 2 (or maybe 3) weeks (see Professors Martin Neil and  Norman Fenton’s listing of the many studies employing this very best of cheap tricks, whereby even a placebo can be made to look effective);
  • consider doing the same for adverse events, especially if serious – i.e. class these as unvaccinated if they occur within a few weeks of dosing;
  • avoid saline placebo controls eg use another drug with known side-effects. 


  • try to stop your analysis early before any inconvenient side-effects come to light;
  • exclude any awkward results and put them in an appendix (ie forget about ‘intention-to-treat’);
  • try to express results as relative rather than absolute risk reduction. 


  • talk away any awkward findings;
  • always end by pointing out that vaccines are the best way to reduce death and disease regardless of any other unpleasant findings.

Some real life examples:

Mask studies:

The DANMASK study is one of the very few randomised controlled trials of community mask-wearing, carried out urgently in April and May 2020 at a time when masks were not yet being advised. It opens well with the mandatory scary sentence, Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has infected more than 54 million persons’. Despite a highly motivated group of almost 5000 participants and with surgical masks provided, they only found a between-group difference of −0.3 percentage point in SARSCoV-2 infections (95% CI, −1.2 to 0.4 percentage point; P = 0.38). Their conclusion stated: ‘The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection’. In the discussion they added, ‘The findings, however, should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of SARS-CoV-2 infection.’ This paper could have been published as a pre-print but instead it did not see the light of day until November 2020, by which time most countries had introduced widespread mask mandates ahead of any trial evidence of benefit. 

Another large cluster randomised trial of cloth and surgical masks in Bangladesh  again started with the required, ‘As of July 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the lives of more than 4.2 million people’. And their results were summarised thus: ‘the intervention tripled mask usage and reduced symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections, demonstrating that promoting community mask-wearing can improve public health.’  This despite the results actually showing no significant reduction in proven SARS-CoV-2 infection with cloth masks, and no reduction with surgical masks in the under 50s.  So the summary suggesting masks could improve public health was based on use of surgical masks by the over 50s. Clearly a good study for promoting mask usage for school children. 

Vaccine efficacy studies:

This excellent study from Qatar, using nationally collected data, showed unambiguous results on the superiority of natural immunity, perversely summarised as: ‘Previous natural infection was associated with lower incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of the variant, than mRNA primary-series vaccination. Vaccination remains the safest and most optimal tool for protecting against infection and COVID-19-related hospitalisation and death, irrespective of previous infection.’

A paper demonstrating that the vaccine was only effective for a limited time, declared, “The results strengthen the evidence-based rationale for administration of a third vaccine dose as a booster.” 

Another paper, which also showed waning, used almost the exact same wording “This strengthens the evidence-based rationale for administration of a third booster dose.” 

A third paper also showing limited duration of effectiveness said, “In light of the exponential rise in Omicron cases, these findings highlight the need for massive rollout of vaccinations and booster vaccinations.”

A New England Journal of Medicine paper showed a similar or lower proportion of unspiked care home residents caught covid compared to the spiked. The authors concluded, “Our observation of a reduced incidence of infection among unvaccinated residents suggests that robust vaccine coverage among residents and staff, together with the continued use of face masks and other infection-control measures, is likely to afford protection for small numbers of unvaccinated residents in congregate settings. Still, the continued observation of incident cases after vaccination highlights the critical need for ongoing vaccination programs and surveillance testing in nursing homes to mitigate future outbreaks.” 

A study from Queensland was much vaunted ahead of publication as showing that vaccination could reduce long covid, when in fact the actual paper showed no such thing.  A further study from Western Australia found long covid in 20% of their highly vaccinated (94%) population following omicron infection. ‘Implications: GP clinics play a significant role in managing the burden of Long COVID in Australia’ 


Myocarditis studies:

Oxford myocarditis study: A large study based on government data for England comparing myocarditis and pericarditis after SARS-CoV-2 infection and after vaccination has been widely misquoted as showing myocarditis to be far worse after infection than vaccination. Those misquoting it would have to admit they had only read the first sentence of the summary ‘Overall, the risk of myocarditis is greater after SARS-CoV-2 infection than after COVID-19 vaccination and remains modest after sequential doses including a booster dose of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine’. If they had bothered to read the second rather vague sentence: ‘However, the risk of myocarditis after vaccination is higher in younger men, particularly after a second dose of the mRNA-1273 vaccine’, they might have thought it worth reading the actual results. They would have found that in ‘men younger than 40 years, we estimate an additional 4 (95% CI, 2–6) and 14 (95% CI, 5–17) myocarditis events per million in the 1 to 28 days after a first dose of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273, respectively; and an additional 14 (95% CI, 8–17), 11 (95% CI, 9–13) and 97 (95% CI, 91–99) myocarditis events after a second dose of ChAdOx1, BNT162b2, and mRNA-1273, respectively. These estimates compare with an additional 16 (95% CI, 12–18) myocarditis events per million men younger than 40 years in the 1 to 28 days after a SARS-CoV-2–positive test before vaccination’. You might think that the authors would have been calling for the withdrawal of the Moderna vaccine given that the risk of myocarditis for men under 40 was 6x higher following vaccination than following infection, but instead they have allowed the opening sentence of their summary to be repeatedly quoted as evidence of the benefits of the vaccines to the whole population. (see Daily Sceptic article from September 2022)

Jessica Rose and Peter McCullough had their paper based on US VAERS data pulled, but it is archived here. As can be seen the last sentence of their conclusion was total heresy: ‘it supports a conclusion that the COVID-19 biological products are deterministic for the myocarditis cases observed after injection.’ However, another paper reporting the exact same findings was not pulled because the latter quoted the covid scriptures, saying of the risk they had reported to adolescent males, “this risk should be considered in the context of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination.” 

Thailand myocarditis study: Of all the reports of myocarditis following vaccination, one of the most concerning was a prospective study amongst secondary school pupils who completed diary cards and had blood tests following their second dose of Pfizer. They found an extremely worrying 1 in 43 with either clinical or subclinical myo- or peri-carditis. But did they call for the vaccination of children to stop? No, they merely suggested that, ‘adolescents receiving mRNA vaccines should be monitored for cardiovascular side effects.’ (see previous HART article from August 2022 citing this)

Other adverse events:

Israeli sperm donors: This paper brilliantly uses all the above tips. Even the title ‘Covid-19 vaccination BNT162b2 temporarily impairs semen concentration and total motile count among semen donors’ is economical with the truth, but no matter. The brilliant opening paragraph sets the scene: ‘In December 2019, an initial local pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan City of China quickly developed into the worst global health crisis over a century as humanity faced a dramatic challenge, which affects daily lives worldwide.… On September 7th, 2021, over 221 million people have been diagnosed and more than 4.5million died from Covid-19 pandemic’. The authors then remind us of the huge vaccine achievement and throw in a compliment to their own government: ‘The rapid and successful development of the BNT162b2 vaccine, providing 95% protection 7 days after second dose, is a notable scientific achievement. Israel was the first country to establish nationwide vaccination campaign.’

Results, however, reported a 22% fall in motile sperm count at 75–125 days post vaccination, with ‘recovery’ at 145 days, where the level showed only a 19% reduction – definitely a recovery on 22%!  The 22% reduction had a p value of <0.05 but the 19% reduction after 145 days did not reach statistical significance mainly because there were less sperm donors in the later group. This lack of power conveniently excused using the word ‘recovery’ or indeed the ‘temporarily’ in the title.  No need to obtain any further samples there then. 

The discussion ended with, ‘While on first look, these results may seem concerning, from a clinical perspective they confirm previous reports regarding vaccines’ overall safety and reliability despite minor short-term side effects. Since misinformation about health-related subjects represents a public health threat, our findings should support vaccinations programs. Further studies concentrating on different vaccines and populations (eg subfertile patients) are urgently required.’ (see previous HART article)

A UK study of 52 Leprosy sufferers found 2 with acute leprous reactions following covid vaccination. Their conclusions: The development of BT leprosy and a Type 1 reaction in another individual shortly after a dose of BNT162b2 vaccine may be associated with vaccine mediated T cell responses. The benefits of vaccination to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 outweigh these unwanted events but data from leprosy endemic countries may provide further information about potential adverse effects of augmented T cell responses in individuals with leprosy or latent M. leprae infection.” If in doubt, always recommend another study.

A recent BMJ study on childhood hospital admissions was critiqued by HART here and concluded rather lamely, These results should inform future public health initiatives and research.One of the authors was busy tweeting that the JCVI had allowed children to suffer from a vaccine-preventable disease, so it was pretty clear what public health initiative she would have favoured. But the results of their own study didn’t support such a conclusion, leaving her to post on Twitter instead. 

Perhaps the most egregious of all deceptions comes from the 6 month follow-up report of the original Pfizer trial. Here is where the murky matter of all-cause mortality raises its ugly head but only if you dive into the appendix to find that there were more deaths overall in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated, additional cardiovascular deaths more than offsetting any lives saved from Covid. 

The HART bulletin team wishes our readers good luck in getting their work published!

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