Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 08:45
James Watson's research on declining wilderness features at number 59 on the Altmetric Top 100 'most discussed' journal articles of 2016.
James Watson's research on declining wilderness features at number 59 on the Altmetric Top 100 'most discussed' journal articles of 2016.

A list of the world’s top-100 ‘most-discussed’ journal articles of 2016 features research from The University of Queensland in 16th and 59th spots.

The Altmetric Top 100 2016 lists academic papers that have received the most international attention through mainstream media, social networks and blogs, Wikipedia, public policy documents, and comments on post-publication peer review forums.

This year UQ research on sedentary behaviour features at number 16 and research on declining wilderness features at number 59.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the double appearance in the top-100 demonstrated broad international mainstream interest in research from UQ.

“While traditional measures of research output such as citations and publication in high impact factor journals remain key indicators of quality, researchers must increasingly engage with the wider community that will benefit from the research they are doing.

“This double hit on the Altmetric Top 100 demonstrates that research from UQ is capturing the attention and imagination of the wider public who aren’t necessarily scientists or academics.”

“Not only are we conducting world-class research, the world is talking about it, building momentum and funding opportunities to bring game-changing innovations to market.”

In the past year, Altmetric has tracked more than 17 million mentions of 2.7 million different research outputs.

Sitting in 16th place is a UQ School of Human Movement and Nutrition Studies study published in The Lancet, which found the increased risk of death associated with sitting for eight hours a day could be offset by one hour of physical activity a day.

Professor Wendy Brown said the study found the greatest risk of death was for people who both sat for long periods of time and were inactive.

“The risk of death associated with sitting for eight hours a day was eliminated for people who did a minimum of one hour of physical activity per day,” she said.

The article, which received the third highest ever Altmetric score for The Lancet, was mentioned in 349 news stories from 268 news outlets, in 11 blogs, 603 Twitter feeds and on 74 Facebook pages.

UQ also features at number 59 with a study published in Current Biology from the UQ School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management (GPEM), which found that urgent action was needed to curb ‘catastrophic’ loss of worldwide wilderness.

Associate Professor James Watson, from GPEM and the Wildlife Conservation Society, said the findings demonstrated alarming losses comprising a 10th of global wilderness since the 1990s, with the Amazon and Central Africa the hardest hit.

Inactivity can be offset by 1 hour of exercise“International policy mechanisms must recognise the actions needed to maintain wilderness areas before it is too late,” Associate Professor Watson said.

“We probably have one to two decades to turn this around.”

The article was mentioned in 207 news stories from 168 news outlets, in 10 blogs, 613 Twitter feeds and on 18 Facebook pages.

In 2015, UQ research using ultrasound technology to treat Alzheimer’s disease and restore memory was among the most talked about, at number 37.

Photo: Congo rainforest by Liana Joseph

Media: UQ Communications; 07 3346 0561, communications@uq.edu.au; Professor Wendy Brown, wbrown@uq.edu.au, +61 0401 718 287; James Watson, james.watson@uq.edu.au or jwatson@wcs.org, +61 409 185 592.