Altmetric Blog

Altmetric Top 100 2014

Cat Williams, 9th December 2014

It’s starting to feel Christmassy at Altmetric HQ, and we’ve been busy pulling together our annual list of which published research has been attracting the most attention online in 2014.

Based on data we’ve collated over the year, the list takes into account all mentions and shares of articles published from November 2013 onwards in mainstream and social media, blogs, post-publication peer-review forums, bookmarking sites and platforms such as Reddit and YouTube.

Access the full Top 100 list

We’ve excluded editorial, comment and review content, as we wanted to focus specifically on original research. The data can be filtered by discipline, journal, institution, country, and access type – and you can click through to view the Altmetric details page will all of the original mentions and shares for each article.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 14.54.13

The 2014 Top 100 in summary

  • The top scoring article (at the point of data collection on the 14th of November 2014), published in PNAS in June 2014, was “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks”.
  • 51 of the articles in the list have been published since the beginning of May this year (the others were published between November 2013 and the end of April 2014)
  • 37 of the articles in the top 100 were published as open access (63 were published under the paywall/subscription model, although some have now been made free)
  • 16 of the Top 100 were published in Nature, 11 in Science, 9 in PloS ONE, 8 in PNAS, and 4 in JAMA
  • 68 of the Top 100 had authors from the United States, 19 had authors from the UK, 10 from Canada, 11 from Germany (the most in Europe), 4 from China, and 9 from South or Central America
  • Top performing institutions include Harvard, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health – whose authors featured on 15 articles in total. Authors from institutions that are part of the University of California System featured on 10 articles. In the UK 3 articles featured authors from the University of Cambridge, and 3 from the University of Oxford.

A closer look
As we’d expect to see, a large proportion of the list reflects research that dominated the mainstream media agenda throughout the year – for example studies on Ebola, a new black hole theory from Stephen Hawking, and research which resulted in the manipulation of Facebook users timelines all rank highly.

It’s often the studies which have relevance or can be made easily accessible to a wide audience that receive a lot of coverage, and therefore is no surprise that studies which fall under medical and health sciences make up 44 of the 100 articles featured.

Geographically, authors from the US, Europe or UK are present on over 45% of articles which made the list (this is partly due to some of our coverage – there is a bias). Over 80% of articles which named a UK author were the result of an international collaboration, whilst in contrast just 46% of articles authored by US researchers featured input from overseas researchers.

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Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 14.55.43

Many people have questioned whether or not Open Access articles are more likely to get shared and discussed than those that are published behind a paywall – indeed we recently undertook a small scale study of our own to look at this. At the time the results we got proved positive, however we do not see the same trend reflected in this list; just 37 of the 100 articles featured were published under an Open Access license.

(An addendum here – in a comment on a recent Scholarly Kitchen post, it was rightly pointed out that due to the much smaller proportion of papers published open access overall, a 37% share in our list actually does represent a higher proportion of OA articles being shared – tying in with what we identified in our original study.)

This may suggest that those sharing these articles do not stop to consider whether or not their peers will be able to read the material, or it may be that the mainstream news agenda is driven to some extent by what journal publishers or institutions choose to highlight in through their press efforts.

It’s worth mentioning again that this list is of course in no way a measure of quality of the research, or of the researcher. Studies of the life span of chocolate on hospital wards, and an effort to search the internet for evidence of time travellers both feature high in the list this year – entertaining content which provides a bit of light relief and is quickly distributed. Similarly, a case of unfortunate author error (which we discussed in more detail here) is still generating new attention online now, months after publication and weeks after the error was spotted and rectified.

Nonetheless we hope that this breakdown and the Altmetric data available for each article will offer some insight into which research has captured the public imagination this year, and why that might have been.

57 Responses to “Altmetric Top 100 2014”

FredBordignon (@freddie2310)
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 2014 -> Méthodo et analyse ici http://t.co/Z0ger3E0On

Scott Matthewman (@scottm)
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

About the @altmetric Top 100 2014 http://t.co/cnVCcSxA6b - The full Top 100 is at http://t.co/69oN5BE8gP

Altmetric (@altmetric)
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

Highlights of the most shared and discussed academic research of 2014: http://t.co/BIVGfoSzHw #altmetrics #scicomm #oa

IS News Blog
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

[…] Further detail on the methodology used and a summary of key points is at: http://www.altmetric.com/blog/altmetric-top-100-2014/. […]

@paulbrichardson
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

“Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks” got most online attention 2014 http://t.co/a6YOnsDQyd

@EnferEvidente
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

MT @altmetric El top100 de la investigación en 2014 para #altmetrics http://t.co/1aZwHbka3P

@SocialMediaQUB
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

Which published research has been attracting the most attention online in 2014? Find out in the @altmetric Top 100 http://t.co/Ey8YLSrHs2

Ernesto Priego (@ernestopriego)
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

"...those sharing these articles don't stop to consider whether or not their peers will be able to read the material" http://t.co/ty5YuvmE0v

@Jisc
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

Find out what the most discussed and shared #research article of 2014 was in @altmetric's annual countdown http://t.co/eyhEfylhdX #edtech

@BarnabySmithUK
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

via @altmetric Top 100 most shared/discussed academic research of 2014: http://t.co/HmHUKfArZJ >> @drnickisaac in at #82 !

Altmetric Top 100 – 2014 | ∫InCEC Blog
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

[…] información en el blog de […]

@ywsanchez
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

The most shared and discussed #academic #research of 2014 | http://t.co/KHDwxiX7oM (RT @altmetric) | #openaccess #highered

@Warren_Raye
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 2014 http://t.co/RDisApZeif

@timbuckteeth
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

BT @Jisc: Find out the most discussed/shared #research article of 2014 in @altmetric's annual countdown http://t.co/Zhw7ylV7iZ #edtech

@buahsaludcien
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 2014: Artículos científicos publicados en los principales medios de comunicación, blogs, YouTube... http://t.co/8TJaaKhZ8b

@DrJamesRedfern
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 articles of 2014: 19 have authors from UK, with 63 papers behind a paywall #publishing http://t.co/N1xQYV4xyy

@Bib_Avila_USAL
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

Los cien documentos de más impacto del 2014 según e blog Altmetric. http://t.co/TrqDKU2XDK

@verabaceta
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 2014 | http://t.co/ciRr4EkG9T http://t.co/NklLGWzqo0

Fabrice Leclerc (@leclercfl)
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

Top #openedu story: Altmetric Top 100 2014 | http://t.co/uJaoIyQXSu http://t.co/VlS36cXMS1, see more http://t.co/BLfazjgzZZ

@KMH_nowinVA
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 2014 http://t.co/3JUHJZETgB

@LIBREAS
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

#Altmetric Top 100 2014

http://t.co/dIcfrHHo2q

#altmetrics

@yoko_the_ocean
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 2014 http://t.co/lz5OCAGdHK

@Mammals_Suck
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

Representing the intersection of @Harvard @PLOSONE w/ #Safe13 on the @Altmetric 100 Most Discussed articles of 2014: http://t.co/ZuXzINXhE1

@UTTurfWeeds
December 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

#Agriculture made this list at #86 @Altmetric 100 Most Discussed articles of 2014: http://t.co/HNlQmz9Z7T”

@Lisamooneysmith
December 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 2014 http://t.co/dssB8hk68a a great spread of sources but why still little to fully depict the humanities? @ahrcpress

@domhnallmaca
December 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

Interesting to see the altmetrics top 100 for 2014. No great medical science so difficult to know how to interpret http://t.co/3Xrtt17p6n

@fernando__lopez
December 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

@altmetric publica su listado de los artículos con más impacto del 2014 #Altmetric #Top100 2014 http://t.co/Q9XMPrWC0G

@bibliotecaaxarq
December 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 2014 http://t.co/0PwkLzzC3w #investigacion #asema

@OikosOffice_Dir
December 12, 2014 at 12:00 am

Interesting Altmetrics data; top 100 scores. http://t.co/nGW8w9z7oO

Links vom 12.12.2014 | Offene Wissenschaft
December 12, 2014 at 12:00 am

[…] Altmetric Top 100 2014 – Altmetrics hat wie jedes Jahr eine Top 100 Rangliste der Artikel veröffentlicht die die meiste Aufmerksamkeit online erzeugt haben. Immer mal wieder spannend darin zu stöbern und abzugleichen wie sich der Eindruck im Vergleich zur "klassischen Bewertung" nach Impact Factor und z.B. Hirsch-Index darstellt. […]

@kmvnarayan14
December 12, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric picks NEJM paper on childhood obesity as "Top 100" in 2014(http://t.co/QjIEnRX4V7) (http://t.co/Pmwai044km)

@KNConsultants
December 12, 2014 at 12:00 am

Interesting analysis by @catherinelucy of @Altmetric’s Top 100 articles for 2014 http://t.co/fa9DFbFnDr

@zofia_TUDL
December 15, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 2014 http://t.co/UwKGru1xIC

@teecellc
December 15, 2014 at 12:00 am

#Altmetric Top 100 2014 http://t.co/5o1I9KEFZh #R&D #research #academia #pharma #biologics #data #outcomes

[…] interesting stuff, ripe for speculation as to how this reflects modern society. Also of interest, according to Altmetric there’s no evidence in this list that open access publishing makes an article more likely to […]

[…]   […]

[…] los cien estudios que más repercusión lograron en 2014 según Altimetric, la institución más reconocida es Harvard, con 15 artículos, y las disciplinas que mayor […]

[…] los cien estudios que más repercusión lograron en 2014 según Altimetric, la institución más reconocida es Harvard, con 15 artículos, y las disciplinas que mayor […]

Leibniz-Science2.0 (@lfvscience20)
December 26, 2014 at 12:00 am

Annual list of which published #research has been attracting the most attention online in 2014. via @altmetric http://t.co/M22JdE5xV1

[…] los cien estudios que más repercusión lograron en 2014 según Altimetric, la institución más reconocida es Harvard, con 15 artículos, y las disciplinas que mayor […]

[…] los cien estudios que más repercusión lograron en 2014 según Altimetric, la institución más reconocida es Harvard, con 15 artículos, y las disciplinas que mayor […]

@ramos_casals
December 26, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 Scientific Articles 2014 | http://t.co/5hc1vniQkG http://t.co/UKqw1oDZSO

@rosariorogel
December 26, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 2014 | http://t.co/vESDyvqekJ http://t.co/Oh5oQbZRtE

[…] los cien estudios que más repercusión lograron en 2014 según Altimetric, la institución más reconocida es Harvard, con 15 artículos, y las disciplinas que mayor […]

[…] los cien estudios que más repercusión lograron en 2014 según Altimetric, la institución más reconocida es Harvard, con 15 artículos, y las disciplinas que mayor […]

@dparmuchi
December 27, 2014 at 12:00 am

The top scoring article :Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks http://t.co/ZiWTqyAcUQ

[…] los cien estudios que más repercusión lograron en 2014 según Altimetric, la institución más reconocida es Harvard, con 15 artículos, y las disciplinas que mayor […]

2014: a year in review | Altmetric.com
December 30, 2014 at 12:00 am

[…] Science, has received over 15,000 unique visits since its launch in mid-December. The accompanying blog post has been viewed nearly 2,000 times, and we saw some great press coverage in major outlets including […]

[…] los cien estudios que más repercusión lograron en 2014 según Altimetric, la institución más reconocida es Harvard, con 15 artículos, y las disciplinas que mayor […]

@DrMarkTaubert
January 7, 2015 at 12:00 am

Altmetric's Top 100 articles of 2014 http://t.co/5Qwz7L1Kph

@uppsalauni
January 12, 2015 at 12:00 am

UU-forskarnas studie om mjölk, benskörhet, dödlighet 23:e i @altmetric’s topplista 2014: http://t.co/YwaOlf7hrB http://t.co/Prmt57I5Ez

[…] were the most popular articles of 2014? Altmetric.com let us know with their year-end roundup, which detailed the 100 most shared and discussed scholarly articles of 2014. At the top of the […]

@dfflanders
January 13, 2015 at 12:00 am

What research is really getting talked about online (not just citation count) http://t.co/Z8xi0a0rIU @ResPlat

@CampusMDelibes
January 19, 2015 at 12:00 am

Altmetric Top 100 2014 http://t.co/k9NmvPgQwO

David F. Flanders (@dfflanders)
February 2, 2015 at 12:00 am

Is 2015 the year researchers have more than just "impact factor" for their rep? http://t.co/Z8xi0a0rIU #ResBaz @DrStevenManos 2of2

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