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Why use ripe-tomato as a Covid in pregnancy source?

July 30, 2021

People often ask us “What’s different about ripe-tomato? Why not use WHO (click here), Cochrane (click here), or PubMed (click here) Covid-19 databases instead?”

Serious systematic reviewers, or guideline authors, should indeed use all those. But it will be a lot of work, searching, accessing, reading and deduplicating.

Ripe-tomato has done it for you, for primary sources in pregnancy. It isn’t perfect, but we’ve not missed much. Friends and colleagues soon tell us if we have!

But haven’t the WHO/Cochrane Living Systematic Review (LSR) team and Johns Hopkins each done the work too? Yes and no.

Shakila Thangiratinam and her WHO/Cochrane LSR team (click here) have a more complete, and better indexed, database. Dozens of people update it full time – and check ripe-tomato. But it’s not publicly accessible. The reference lists and appendices of their publications reveal the sources they used, but they keep the master database to themselves.

Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health has two related repositories. COVID-19, Maternal and Child Health, and Nutrition (click here) and COVID-19, Breastfeeding, Infant Feeding, and Breast Milk (click here). Both broader in topic than ripe-tomato and not limited to primary sources. Update 1 May 2021. The two John Hopkins repositories ceased updates from 30 April. They remain publicly available but are no longer updated.

Ripe-tomato’s unique features

Primary sources only. Anyone whose ever studied Covid-19 realises that secondary sources, reviews, editorials, comments and opinion pieces outnumber the primary sources many times. Not on

Duplicate publications noted. Another major problem for all Covid evidence synthesisers. If you’re writing a review, creating a reference list for an article, or refereeing a paper on Covid-19 in pregnancy, ripe-tomato is your friend. We’ve caught and recorded most of the obvious duplicates. Use us.

Easy access. Some sources are behind paywalls, and some difficult to access. Don’t ask how we do it. But where possible, beside a link to the source website, we also provide a direct link to our own uploaded copy.

Newspaper reports (click here). A deduplicated list of primary newspaper stories about people with Covid-19 in pregnancy. From Italy’s “patient one”, the partner of Juventus footballer, Daniele Rugani, and the wife of the British Prime Minster, to a transgender man who caught Covid during his pregnancy. The list of nearly 700 heartbeaking and heartwarming stories is unique. It’s not complete – English language reports are over represented – but there’s nothing else like it in the world.

Click here for’s Covid-19 in pregnancy navigation page.

Jim Thornton

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2021 3:15 pm

    Amazing! I just found your BMJ review on haemostatic and thrombo-embolic complications in pregnancy and then this site by extension. Brilliant and so helpful for those of us working with fertility clients! 🙂 Thank you!

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