Altmetric Blog

Category: Interactions

Pinterest is a social bookmarking platform that is used for sharing (“pinning”) images, media, and webpages that feature virtually any topic, from vegan cooking to modern art. With over 48.7 million users as of February 2013 (according to comScore), Pinterest has become a massive social media platform that can deliver instant, community-curated inspiration. (I’ve joined the fun as well, and have been pinning my Interactions cartoons from this blog.) Pinterest’s science and nature category appears to be quite active, but the images and links found here are generally unrelated to peer-reviewed research. However, people do pin figures … Read More
What kinds of research did people talk about in February? Here’s a hint: they didn’t talk much about love, but they did speak about food, the heart, intellectual property, and some angry scientists. In no particular order, here is another Interactions monthly wrap-up post featuring a selection of 5 new and popular articles in the Altmetric database.   1. “Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity”Published on 31 January in the New England Journal of Medicine Amidst the outpouring of love (and grumpiness) elicited by Valentine’s Day, medical articles relating to obesity and cardiovascular disease were major topics … Read More
Field research… in the mosh pit With the help of soul-crushing power chords, a driving bass line, frenetic drumming, and perhaps a few otherworldly screams, certain groups of humans might find themselves behaving like random gas particles. After observing moshing from distance at a metal concert, metalhead and Cornell University graduate student Jesse Silverberg began to study the physics of extreme group movements in mosh pits. Silverberg and colleagues collected data from YouTube videos of moshers and created a computer simulation, observing that the energetic movements of the concertgoers could be predicted using 2D mathematical models of gaseous particle … Read More
James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, a prosthetic hand, and models of Neanderthal skulls have something interesting in common: they’ve all been created through a process called “additive manufacturing”, which is more commonly known as 3D printing. With a seemingly endless number of applications and growing retail potential, the topic of 3D printing pops up frequently within mainstream news media. Currently, a PubMed search for 3D printing and additive manufacturing returns over 800 articles, which span a plethora of research disciplines, from materials science to tissue engineering. While you might expect the media hype about 3D printing to … Read More
Sharing science with LOLcats Last week, a Nature News & Comment article with the headline “Mice have massage neurons” introduced the subject of a new Nature study in an unusual way: with a video of LOLcats. The study in question was featured on the cover of the 31 January issue of Nature and found that a particular subset of sensory neurons innervating the hairy skin of mice was only responsive to gentle stroking motions. The fascinating neuroscience in the study garnered much online attention (see Altmetric score details), and an approximately equal proportion of … Read More
Following in the style of my 2012 “The Year in Conversations” post, I’ll be writing a special Interactions monthly wrap-up post about 5 new and popular articles in the Altmetric database. What were people talking about in January? Despite the fact that the month is pseudoscientifically famous because of “Blue Monday”, there was talk about how it could actually be good to be down in the “dumps” (literally – and I’m not talking about mood). And with the prophesised Mayan doomsday behind us, people shared the work of scientists who … Read More
A loaded conversation For this week’s Interactions, I took a peek at a particularly expansive island of conversation connected to a recent perspective piece in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B by Stanford University population biologists Paul R. Ehrlich (see his faculty webpage) and Anne H. Ehrlich. Grimly titled “Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?”, this perspective paper described the authors’ views on the potential causes of human decline. The authors also provided their recommendations on how to prevent what … Read More
Up close and personal with the scientists We know about the scientific work – but what about the people behind it? Unless the researchers are personal acquaintances or famous figures, we usually know very little about who was working behind the scenes. Occasionally, a scientist steals the spotlight away from his or her own research. In this week’s Interactions, we take a look at a few extraordinary scientists (who also happen to be unusually popular on social media) in order to show how being connected to the scientists brings us closer to them and their work.   … Read More
The art of research The ease of electronic access, combined with the lack of print versions of online open access journals, means that flipping through a paper copy of a journal isn’t as common as it once was. Although retrieving scholarly articles electronically may have become the norm, many would agree that there remains something oddly satisfying about holding the physical copy of a journal issue. One tradition that continues to be upheld by print journals (but is diminishing in importance for electronic journals) is the cover image. The cover is the first thing that you see when you pick up … Read More
How do people interact with science? And how does the influence of science change as a result of these interactions? Since the “Interactions” series of blog posts began back in September, we’ve tried to interpret the overarching themes that come from the plethora of online scholarly conversations. From these conversations, we’ve been able to tell stories that extend beyond the original research work. For the last “Interactions” post of 2012, we thought we’d showcase 10 of the top articles in the Altmetric database that received the most online attention in the past year. Note that this is the … Read More