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September High Five – Top of the blogs

Josh Clark, 12th October 2018

Welcome to the September High Five! On a monthly basis, the High Five post highlights the articles 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 pieces published in September that have been mentioned in posts on academic and non-academic blogs.

#1 Bring your umbrella

Image credit: ChristopherPluta under CC0

Number one on our list this month is ‘Climate model shows large-scale wind and solar farms in the Sahara increase rain and vegetation’, published in Science. This paper looks at the effect that installing large-scale wind farms has on the local climate of the Sahara:

“ In this study, we used a climate model with dynamic vegetation to show that large-scale installations of wind and solar farms covering the Sahara lead to a local temperature increase and more than a twofold precipitation increase, especially in the Sahel, through increased surface friction and reduced albedo” Yan Li et al “Climate model shows large-scale wind and solar farms in the Sahara increase rain and vegetation” (2018) Science 

The paper has been mentioned in 23 blog posts from 22 blogs since publication last month, many of which were excited to share the news of the unintended consequences of wind and solar farms.

#2. Horror story

Image credit: Renno_new under CC0

Number two on our list this month is a book entitled Fear: Trump in the White House, written by Bob Woodward and published by publishing company Simon and Schuster. The book offers a look behind the curtain of the Trump administration using hours of interviews, observations and official accounts from those working in the White House:

“Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence.” (From the inside flap) Bob Woodward “Fear: Trump in the White House” (2018) Simon and Schuster  

The book has already been mentioned on 22 posts from 10 blogs many of which reference Bob Woodward’s work in relation to current news stories.

#3. The very first abstract art exhibition

Image credit: 12019 / 10266 under CC0

Coming in at number three is “An abstract drawing from the 73,000-year-old levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa”, published in Nature, which gives an account of a recently discovered abstract drawing made with red Ochre pigment that predates the earliest previously known abstract drawings by 30,000 years:

“Our microscopic and chemical analyses of the pattern confirm that red ochre pigment was intentionally applied to the flake with an ochre crayon.” Christopher S. Henshilwood et.al, “An abstract drawing from the 73,000-year-old levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa” (2018) Nature

The paper has received 21 posts from 21 blogs spreading the news of the discovery.

#4 Making science more open

Image credit: Creative Commons

At number four is “Radical open-access plan could spell end to journal subscriptions” published in Nature. This article reports on the unveiling of a new open-access initiative by eleven research funders in Europe (Plan S) that could mean all scientific work is free to read immediately after publication:

“The 11 agencies, who together spend €7.6 billion (US$8.8 billion) in research grants annually, say they will mandate that, from 2020, the scientists they fund must make resulting papers free to read immediately on publication” Holly Else, “Radical open-access plan could spell end to journal subscriptions” (2018) Nature

The article has received citations in 19 blog posts from 18 blogs so far.

#5 How to make a great first impression

Image credit: Free-photos under CC0

Our final paper this month is “Linking the gap in conversations: Do people like us more than we think?”, published in Psychological Science, in which the authors report on the findings of a study looking into whether people underestimate how well they’re liked by a conversation partner:

“We found that following interactions, people systematically underestimated how much their conversation partners liked them and enjoyed their company, an illusion we call the liking gap” Erica J. Boothby et al, “Linking the gap in conversations: Do people like us more than we think?” (2018) Psychological Science

The study was mentioned in 15 posts from 10 blogs reassuring their readers that people probably like them more than they think.

References:

1. Climate model shows large-scale wind and solar farms in the Sahara increase rain and vegetation 

2. Fear: Trump in the White House

3. An abstract drawing from the 73,000-year-old levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa

4.  Radical open-access plan could spell end to journal subscriptions

5. Linking the gap in conversations: Do people like us more than we think? 

 

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