Two academic papers by researchers from the University of Glasgow have featured in Altmetric’s Top 100.
Altmetric’s Top 100 highlights the scientific papers that have received the most attention over the past year.
Using a combination of public policy announcements, mainstream media coverage, citations on Wikipedia and a host of other metrics, papers are ranked by their coverage and impact.
The paper announcing the detection of gravitational waves was the third most talked about paper this year. The University of Glasgow researchers, led by Professor Sheila Rowan, played an important role in both the design and construction of the mirrors used to reflect the lasers at the heart of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detector.
This key discovery confirms the idea put forth by Oliver Heaviside in 1893 and subsequently predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916 on the basis of General Relativity. Gravitational waves are the result of the universe’s most energetic and powerful events, such as the merging of black holes.
The paper that proposed a link between the Zika virus outbreak earlier this year with Guillain-Barré Syndrome was listed as the 37th most talked about paper. Glasgow’s Professor Hugh J Willison and Dr Susan Halstead from the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation both contributed to the research.
Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a progressive illness where the immune system attacks the body’s nerves. This causes weakness and tingling in the lower extremities and can lead to paralysis.
Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal of the University of Glasgow responded to the news, saying: “The fact that gravitational waves and the Zika virus and Guillain-Barré have been so important this year, yet are so different from each other, is a testament to the depth and quality of the University of Glasgow’s research base.”