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July High Five – Tweet yourself to some research

Josh Clark, 3rd August 2018

Welcome to the July High Five! On a monthly basis, the High Five post highlights the papers that have received the most attention from a particular attention source type – whether it’s blogs, policy documents, Twitter, Wikipedia, or something else!

This month we’ll be focusing on the papers published in July that have been tweeted about the most.

#1 Is there life on Mars?

Image credit: NASA

Our first paper is “There’s water on Mars! Signs of buried lake tantalize scientists” published in Nature. The paper looks at the possibility of whether the recent discovery of a body of water on Mars could indicate whether life exists on the planet:

“A large saltwater lake seems to lurk under ice near Mars’s south pole. If confirmed, it would be the first body of liquid water ever detected on the red planet and a significant milestone in the quest to determine whether life exists there.”

Alexandra Witze “There’s water on Mars! Signs of buried lake tantalize scientists” Nature (2018)

The paper has received a whopping 10,629 tweets from 10,357 users so far. Many of the tweets focus on the excitement around the possibility of life on the red planet:

#2 Openly ignoring one another

Image credit: Ethan S. Bernstein, Stephen Turban

The second most tweeted paper is “The impact if the ‘open’ workspace in human collaboration” which was published by The Royal Society. In this article, the authors explain the results of two intervention based field studies which investigated the effect of more open workspaces on collaboration. The studies used advanced wearable devices to collect data on employees face-to-face, email, and instant messaging patterns.

“Contrary to common belief, the volume of face-to-face interaction decreased significantly (approx. 70%) in both cases, with an associated increase in electronic interaction”

Ethan S. Bernstein and Stephen Turban “The impact of the ‘open’ workspace on human collaboration” The Royal Society (2018)

The post received 7,324 tweets from 6877 users:   

#3 Looking under the surface

Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU BERLIN/CC BY-SA

Paper number three is “Liquid water spied deep below polar ice cap on Mars” published in Science. This article describes in-detail the lake found deep under an ice cap at Mars’s south pole:

“The lake is probably frigid and full of salts—an unlikely habitat for life”

Daniel Clery “Liquid water spied deep below polar ice cap on Mars” Science ( 2018)

The article received 6,429 tweets from 6,270 users many of whom were very excited about the findings:

 

#4 Don’t be a pest  

Image credit: PollyDot under CC0

In at number four is “Rapid rise in toxic load for bees revealed by analysis of pesticide use in Great Britain” published in PeerJ. For this article the authors analyzed the effect of changing patterns of pesticide use on arable and horticultural crops in Great Britain between 1990 and 2015:

“The total potential kill of honeybees (the total number of LD50 doses applied to the 4.6 million hectares of arable farmland in Great Britain each year) increased six-fold to approximately 3 × 1016 bees, the result of the increasing use of neonicotinoids from 1994 onwards which more than offset the effect of declining organophosphate use”

Dave Goulson, Jack Thompson and Amy Croombs “Rapid rise in toxic load for bees revealed by analysis of pesticide use in Great Britain” (2018) PeerJ

The article received an amazing 4,832 tweets from 4,305 users!

#5 No measurable difference in mathematical ability between girls and boys

Image credit: Geralt under CC0

Our fifth most tweeted about article from July is “No intrinsic gender difference in children’s earliest numerical abilities” published by npj Science. The authors of this paper examined the cross-sectional gender differences in mathematical cognition for over 500 children:

“Across all stages of numerical development, analyses consistently revealed that boys and girls do not differ in early quantitative and mathematical ability. These findings indicate that boys and girls are equally equipped to reason about mathematics during early childhood.”

Alyssa J. Kersey et al. “No intrinsic gender differences in children’s earliest numerical abilities” (2018) npj Science 

This paper received 4,707 tweets from 4,474 users, many of whom were not surprised by the findings:

References

  1. There’s water on Mars! Signs of buried lake tantalize scientists
  2. The impact if the ‘open’ workspace in human collaboration
  3. Liquid water spied deep below polar ice cap on Mars
  4. Rapid rise in toxic load for bees revealed by analysis of pesticide use in Great Britain
  5. No intrinsic gender difference in children’s earliest numerical abilities 

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