Jan 1, 2011

The Best of the Best

As we look forward to what 2011 will bring us (International Year of Chemistry!), the end of the year is always a time for reflection. As we say goodbye to 2010 it’s probably best to note some highlights this year had to offer (scientifically speaking, of course). In no particular order:

The excellent Faculty of 1000 - a post-publication review journal - finishes off the year with its top 5 papers in medicine, coming hot on the heals of its list of top 5 papers published in biology this year. They rightly point out the interesting fact that none of its selected articles were among those that made the front pages of newspapers this year. A silent victory for the way science used to be done and discussed - not via press release.

Linda B. Buck

We would not be doing our job properly here at the All Results Journals if we didn’t point out their list of top retractions this year. This year’s retractions range from unreliable data, to falsified data with the threat of the researchers being blacklisted from the scientific community, and unreproducible data from a nobel laureate. In all, the bulk of retractions this year came from many high impact factor journals.

Newscientist is running down its best of 2010. A highlight of which is one for all you cancer researchers out there; the superb “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” written by Rebecca Skloot (probably a bit too late to make it on to Christmas wish lists but worth a look nonetheless).

Finally, ScienceWatch brings you the Top 20 Countries as indexed by scientific output. Unsurprisingly, the USA leads the list in total amount of papers published as well as total number of citations. However, the USA loses out to Switzerland on citations per paper. Make of that what you will.

2010 ends on a high note - a celebration. This year marks the 10th anniversary of continuous human presence in space. Ten years ago, astronauts Bill Shepherd, Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev launched into space to live on the International Space Station. The station is now the longest continuously inhabited spacecraft. There have been people living and working on it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, for the last decade. And during the last week of December, we are all encouraged to shoot it a wave, as the space station passes by overhead, in a grand gesture to the feats of human accomplishment (it orbits the earth no less than 15 times a day and it can be seen from earth when it reflects the sun’s rays).

So that’s it for 2010! See you all in the new year and Happy 2011!

Written by Charles Ebikeme for The All Results Journals

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