An article debunking the myths of low-fat dieting is the most popular scientific research paper of 2017.
This article, suggesting that it is in fact too much sugar and too many carbohydrates that will make you gain weight, has topped the annual Altmetric Top 100 papers of 2017, which names the most popular scientific studies of the year based on online activity.
The list is compiled by London company Altmetric, which analyses the online performance of scholarly literature. The term “alt-metrics” is short for “alternative metrics”, and refers to the practice of rating papers on things like social media mentions and online citations, rather than simply looking at citations in other journals.
To compile the list, Altmetric looked at a range of measures including mainstream news media references, Wikipedia citations, social media mentions and performance in scholarly spaces such as post-publication peer-review forums and patient advocacy groups. This image shows how the top-rating article performed on this range of alternative measures.
Other popular papers this year include studies looking at a new genome editing procedure, and how being treated by a female physician may save your life. Of the top 100, 53 were in the field of medical science. Biological science (17), earth and environmental science (nine), and studies in human society (eight) were the next most popular.
“While the top 100 is intended for a broader audience, the data behind it has a serious purpose – to make viewing and analysing the online conversation surrounding research outputs easy for researchers, institutions, publishers and funders alike,” said Euan Adie, founder of Altmetric.
“In so doing, we aim to enable discussions around the full impacts of research, beyond traditional impact scores.”
The top 10 most popular scientific research papers of 2017
Access the full top 100 here.