The 10 most popular academic papers of 2014

Alternative metrics reveal the papers receiving the most online attention

December 9, 2014

Source: Bloomua/Shutterstock.com

When Facebook teamed up with researchers from two US universities to conduct a psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 unknowing users, it was bound to attract attention.

Perhaps, then, it is no surprise that the resulting paper, “Experimental Evidence Of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion Through Social Networks”, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, has been declared the most popular online paper of the year.

This is according to Altmetric LLP, a London start-up that tracks and analyses the online activity around scholarly literature (the term “altmetrics” describes the practice of rating papers using “alternative metrics”, such as mentions on social media networking sites, rather than, for example, citations in other journals).

Other articles making the top 10 include an investigation into whether James Bond’s drinks were shaken because of alcohol-induced tremor, and the revelation that dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth’s magnetic field.

“We continue to see a significant increase in the volume of research being shared and discussed online, and in the audiences engaging in those conversations,” said Euan Adie, founder of Altmetric.

“It’s no surprise to see that the most shared articles of the year heavily mirror the media agenda, but interesting to note that on occasion online communities are drawing attention to studies that have not received a significant amount of mainstream coverage.”

The top 10 most popular academic papers of 2014

  1. Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks
  2. Variation in Melanism and Female Preference in Proximate but Ecologically Distinct Environments
  3. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota
  4. Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency
  5. Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth’s magnetic field
  6. Christmas 2013: Research: The survival time of chocolates on hospital wards: covert observational study
  7. Epidemiological modeling of online social network dynamics
  8. Searching the Internet for evidence of time travelers
  9. Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies
  10. Were James Bond’s drinks shaken because of alcohol-induced tremor?

The full top 100 list, along with more information about the methodology, is available at Altmetric.com.

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Research Assistant LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE
Lecturer in University Study Skills UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN
Lecturer in English Language UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest