The Our World in Data COVID-19 Testing dataset has been published in the academic journal, Nature

The Our World in Data dataset which has tracked COVID-19 testing across the world since the start of the pandemic has been peer-reviewed and published in the academic journal, Nature.

Testing for COVID-19 is our window onto the pandemic and how it is spreading. Without data on who is infected by the virus, and how many people are dying from the infection, we have no way of understanding the pandemic. Without testing there is no data.

Because of this, counts of confirmed cases and deaths depend on how much a country actually tests. A country that tests very little will miss most of the cases, and may also fail to attribute to coronavirus all the deaths caused by the disease.

So to understand the data that tells us about the pandemic – the data on confirmed cases and deaths – we also need data on testing.

Without this data we can not know which countries are actually doing well, and which are just underreporting cases and deaths.

Publication of the Our World in Data COVID-19 Testing dataset

For this reason, since March we have focused our efforts on building a global dataset of COVID-19 testing. Over this time, this dataset has been used widely: by the UN, the OECD, the White House, by many news outlets and by epidemiologists trying to understand the pandemic and what lies ahead.

This week our testing dataset was published in NatureScientific Data, a peer-reviewed journal for scientific datasets.

As part of this process, we submitted a manuscript that describes the dataset and how it is compiled in detail. You can find the manuscript here:

A cross-country database of COVID-19 testing

The latest data on COVID-19 testing around the world

Our dataset has grown to include testing data for over 100 countries, covering more than 70% of the world’s population.

Our latest testing data is always available at at our Coronavirus Testing page. As with all of our work, this data is open-access, free and available for everyone to use.

Coronavirus Testing

Please cite the dataset as: Hasell, J., Mathieu, E., Beltekian, D. et al. A cross-country database of COVID-19 testing. Sci Data 7, 345 (2020).

You can also find it, along with all our coronavirus data, in our complete COVID-19 dataset on GitHub.

Cite this work

Our articles and data visualizations rely on work from many different people and organizations. When citing this article, please also cite the underlying data sources. This article can be cited as:

Joe Hasell (2020) - “The Our World in Data COVID-19 Testing dataset has been published in the academic journal, Nature” Published online at Retrieved from: '' [Online Resource]

BibTeX citation

    author = {Joe Hasell},
    title = {The Our World in Data COVID-19 Testing dataset has been published in the academic journal, Nature},
    journal = {Our World in Data},
    year = {2020},
    note = {}
Our World in Data logo

Reuse this work freely

All visualizations, data, and code produced by Our World in Data are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license. You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited.

The data produced by third parties and made available by Our World in Data is subject to the license terms from the original third-party authors. We will always indicate the original source of the data in our documentation, so you should always check the license of any such third-party data before use and redistribution.

All of our charts can be embedded in any site.