NUS co-authored paper in top 100 most discussed

The social science paper was among the world’s top 100 most discussed scholarly articles in 2018, outof 2.8 million articles tracked

A paper published in Nature Human Behaviour in August on the replicability of social science experiments by a team from NUS in collaboration with researchers from five other universities has made it to The Altmetric Top 100 list this year.

The Altmetric Top 100 is an annual list of the world’s top 100 most discussed scholarly articles published in the past year — those that have most captured the public’s imagination. Data science company Altmetric tracks, analyses and collates online activity around published research outputs in sources such as mainstream media, policy documents, social networks, blogs, and other scholarly and non-scholarly forums. In doing so, the data provides a bigger picture of the influence and reach of scholarly work and its impact in a specific field.  

In 2018, Altmetric tracked over 25 million mentions of 2.8 million research outputs, and articles from eight different subject areas originating from 46 countries and regions were ultimately represented in The Altmetric Top 100. The paper co-authored by NUS — the only one from the University to make the list this year — has been mentioned by 71 news outlets including The Economist, The Guardian and Science News, 19 blogs, 3,705 tweeters and 12 Facebook pages thus far.

Researchers involved in the study, including an NUS team led by Senior Deputy President and Provost Professor Ho Teck Hua, attempted to replicate one main finding from 21 experimental social science papers published in Science and Nature journals between 2010 and 2015. They found that only 62 per cent showed significant evidence consistent with the original hypothesis and that the effect sizes obtained were about 50 per cent smaller than the original studies. The results suggest that reproducibility is imperfect even among studies published in prestigious scientific journals and that findings need to be carefully interpreted.

“It is an honour to be featured in The Altmetric Top 100 list of the most influential scholarly articles this year. As one of 10 social science articles in the list, I am heartened to learn of the incredible impact this piece of research has had within the wider academic community. It is indicative of the importance of the replicability of experiments in the social sciences. NUS will continue to engage in novel and transformative research with the potential for widespread societal impact,” said Prof Ho.