The Hottest Research of 2010

March 2011
Featured Analyses, March/April 2011

The time has rolled around yet again for Science Watch to take its annual look back at the hottest of recent research. The tab below are the researchers who, according to citations recorded during 2010, fielded the highest number of Hot Papers published over the preceding two years. Also found in a tab below are the papers published during 2010 (excluding reviews) that were most cited by year’s end.

 Andre K. Geim, Eric S. Lander, Konstantin Novoselov, Kari StefanssonThe list of 2010’s most-cited papers, while carrying the usual caveat that papers published early in the year have an obvious time advantage in accruing citations, does provide a snapshot of the research reports that were particularly quick out of the gate.

view tableTopping the list of authors with multiple Hot Papers during 2010 is a researcher who returns from last year’s roundup. In fact In fact, Eric S. Lander, president and director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, now makes his seventh such appearance, including 1998 and a continuous run between 2001 and 2004. Ten reports to which Lander contributed—general treatments of genetic mapping and human disease along with examinations of lung cancer and other conditions—registered as "hot" during 2010. One of these, an examination of somatic copy-number alteration and cancer, appears at #17 on the list of 2010’s most-cited reports.

Three researchers from deCODE genetics in Iceland also make the list: Augustine Kong, deCODE founder Kari Stefansson, and Unnur Thorsteinsdottir. [Note: the sequence of names within each tier is determined by average citations per Hot Paper.] The three were among the coauthors on studies devoted to genome-wide analysis of schizophrenia, obesity, and, in paper #12 for the year, type 2 diabetes.

Paper #12’s authors include another scientist featured here—one who hardly needs an introduction: Francis S. Collins, now director of the National Institutes of Health. In addition to papers on diabetes, Collins contributed to general studies involving genome-wide analysis and the genetics of common disease.

Richard Durbin of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute weighs in with nine Hot Papers on genome sequencing and analysis, including the paper ranked at #1 (Bentley, et al.) in the current Biology Top Ten.

Epidemiologist Rory Collins of the University of Oxford’s Clinical Trial Service Unit, last seen in the 2005 edition, returns to the list thanks to nine reports—among them paper #31 for the year, an examination of C-reactive protein concentration and cardiovascular risk.

Andre K. Geim of the University of Manchester makes his third consecutive year-end appearance—and his first as a Nobel laureate, after sharing the Physics prize last October with Manchester colleague Konstantin Novoselov (who, although not on this year’s list, is among Geim’s coauthors on five of his eight Hot Papers on graphene). Another materials scientist, Yang Yang of UCLA, makes the list with eight reports on polymer solar cells.

Mark J. Daly of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute returns to the list from last year (and a 2007 appearance) by virtue of eight Hot Papers reporting genomic studies of diabetes, Crohn’s disease, bipolar disorder, and other afflictions.

view tableMeanwhile, the eight Hot Papers from Richard K. Wilson of Washington University in St. Louis include sequencing-based examinations of lung cancer, glioblastoma, and leukemia. Douglas G. Altman, of Oxford’s Centre for Statistics in Medicine, contributed to studies of bias and other problems in the reporting of randomized controlled trials.

Rounding out the list, mathematician Juan J. Nieto, of the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, registers with eight reports on fractional differential equations and on models for pest-management strategy.

The data and citation records included in this report are from Thomson Reuters Web of ScienceTM. Web of ScienceTM is a registered trademark of Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.