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Dinosaur research among the most influential of 2016

Influential research 2016

A research article by Reading academics Dr Manabu Sakamoto and Dr Chris Venditti has become one of 2016’s most talked about science stories.

Together with Professor Mike Benton from the University of Bristol, Dr Manabu Sakamoto and Dr Chris Venditti proposed that dinosaurs were already in evolutionary decline millions of years before the earth was struck by the asteroid widely believed to have caused their extinction. 

The paper was listed as the 50th most influential research study published in 2016, according to publishing data analysts Altmetric.

The article, ‘Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction’ was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this April and can be accessed freely online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1521478113

Lead author Dr Sakamoto said: “I am thrilled to see our work highlighted as one of the most talked about pieces of research in 2016. I never knew there was so much interest in the finer points of Bayesian statistical analysis. Or perhaps it was the dinosaur angle.

“Having such a great deal of public and media attention on our work has been a real eye-opener. It led to an exhausting few days of media interviews, but the result has opened up new research opportunities and potential collaborations with scientists who had probably never heard of me previously.

“My highlights were having our research story turned into an animated cartoon by BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, and being usefully introduced to Twitter and Reddit for the first time.”

The annual Altmetric Top 100 highlights published research papers in 2016 that have generated significant international online attention and discussion - from mainstream news media, blogs, Wikipedia, social media platforms including Twitter, Reddit & Facebook, and in other academic forums.

The Reading dinosaur paper led to huge news media and social media coverage around the world, with coverage in almost 200 media titles including BBC News, the Washington Post and Vice News, along with hundreds of mentions on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere.

The huge level of interest made the research paper not only one of the most talked-about science stories of 2016, but the 170th most talked-about online stories ever, from more than 6 million stories tracked by Altmetric.

See the full Altmetric Top 100 of 2016 here: https://www.altmetric.com/top100

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