Altmetric Blog

Digital Science’s Search For Data On Love

Guest Author, 14th February 2017

This post was written by Laura Wheeler, Community Manager at Digital Science and originally published on the Digital Science blog on the 14th February 2017. 

Today it’s Valentine’s Day, the festive day focused on love. Here at Digital Science, love to us means all things science. So now it’s time to get to the heart of the matter…

To celebrate, we thought we’d look at some of the data we have on “love” from across our family of companies and investments; from Altmetric data looking at the most-discussed research articles on falling in love, to a mathematician’s dream and online discussions around the day itself!

Can you smell the love?

First up, check out this patent for an aroma-generating greeting card using IFI CLAIMS data – (wonder if card companies could smell that one coming!)

Next, the most discussed papers on love from Altmetric:

Gene switches make prairie voles fall in love

A study published in Nature Neuroscience has shown  that the act of mating in voles induces permanent chemical modifications in the chromosomes, encouraging  monogamous behaviour. So love really does change your brain (well, in voles anyway)!

A Fine Line between Love and Drunk

Oxytocin, commonly referred to as the “love hormone,” has a very dark side indeed, and it looks a lot like alcohol intoxication. Published in Scientific American Mind, the study carried out at the University of Birmingham in England,  revealed that both oxytocin and alcohol reduce fear, anxiety and stress while increasing trust, generosity and altruism.

From “I love you babe” to “leave me alone” – Romantic Relationship Breakups on Twitter

Researchers from Finland, Qatar, and Michigan used public data from Twitter to study the romantic relationships of hundreds of couples. They found that their tweeting activity changed significantly before and after a split. Who knew that 140 characters could be used to predict a relationship breakup!

She phubbs me, she phubbs me not: Smartphones could be ruining your love life

The Conversation reported that there is a new relationship buster, the smartphone. Something as seemingly innocent as using a smartphone in the presence of a romantic partner undermined the quality of the relationship.

Your Brain in Love

A study from Stony Brook University revealed the secrets of long-term love, suggesting that a large percentage of couples stay intensely in love even after a decade of marriage.


Looking and loving: The effects of mutual gaze on feelings of romantic love.

A study about love and lust, recently published in Psychological Science, discovered how to tell if a person is feeling the romantic, long-term will-you-marry-me kind of love or the more common I-just-want-to-have-sex-with-you sexual lust.

Ugly Critters Get No Love

As it turns out scientists prefer to study cute critters. It’s true – ugly creatures really do get less love!


Love in the lab: close collaborators

Romance often sparks between colleagues, and scientists are no different. Nature profiled four super-couples who combined love and the lab.

Do you talk about Valentine’s Day online?

Does the existence of Valentine’s day itself make us focus on love? According to data on Figshare from a PLOS article there are more estimated postings before the Big Day than those after the event (you can see that the slope just before the date of the event is steeper than after the event). Is it sad that our interest in the topic of love dwindles as soon as Valentine’s day is over?

How to show your love

If you’re a mathematician searching for the perfect gift of love, take a look at this Valentine Heart compiled in Overleaf! Love couldn’t get any geekier!

And finally, did you know that the titles or abstracts for over 1,320 research projects contain the word “love”, according to our Dimensions global funding database!

If you haven’t been lucky enough to find the ideal romantic partner, we hope at least that you have loved our collection of data!

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