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Most read academic papers of 2017

11 January 2018
What Sydney research caught the public imagination in 2017?
Coral bleaching, DNA and neanderthals, the health benefits of being a "weekend warrior" and which sports will help you live longer all made the Top 100 most read academic papers in 2017.

The Altmetric top 100 articles of 2017 list tracks 18.5 million mentions of 2.2 million scholarly articles on social media, in the news, on blogs, Wikipedia and many other sources between November 2016 and November 2017. Each article is given a score, with the top 100 ranked.

The four Sydney articles to make the top 100 list span coral bleaching, the benefits of being a ‘weekend warrior’ when it comes to exercise, which sports are mostly likely to help you live longer (spoiler: swimming, tennis and cycling) and what ancient DNA tells us about Neanderthal behavior, diet and disease.

Global warming and recurrent mass bleaching of corals

This paper, published in Nature in March 2017, examines how recent record temperatures have caused mass bleaching of coral reefs and highlights the importance of curbing future global warming to prevent further damage. Professor Maria Byrne, from the Sydney Medical School, and Associate Professor Will Figueira, from the Faculty of Science, contributed to the study.

Could being a "weekend warrior" be better for you?

Could exercising only once or twice a week be better for you? This study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine in January 2017, puts forward the benefits of being a ‘weekend warrior’. Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, from the Sydney Medical School and Charles Perkins Centre, was senior author for this research. 

Which exercises will help you live longer?

An in-depth examination of the long-term health effects of specific sports disciplines associated with early death and cardiovascular disease. Senior Author, Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, and Professor Adrian Bauman, from the Sydney Medical School and Charles Perkins Centre, contributed to this study, which was published in British Journal of Sports Medicine in November 2016.

DNA found in teeth residue reveals unknown details about Neanderthals

Microbacterial teeth residue has shown Neanderthals had a much more varied diet than previously thought. Some communities were omnivorous, whereas some had diets that involved large quantities of meat consumption. Dr Sebastián Duchêne and Professor Edward Holmes, from the Faculty of Science, Charles Perkins Centre and Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, contributed to this research, which was published in Nature in March 2017.

Elliott Richardson

Assistant Media Advisor (Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy)