by Gian Luigi Lenzi
The first year, NEUROPENEWS, published every month the abstract of one of the scientific publications from the year 2009 that received the largest number of quotations during 2011. This interval of at least a year between the publication and the scoring was chosen in order to allow sufficient time for reaching significant numbers. A comment by a scientist from that particular field of neurology accompanied the paper.
However, many friends underlined that a publication from 2009 could be already outdated three years after. Science is moving very fast.
Furthermore, to obtain a comment on the paper was very often difficult, time-consuming, stressful, often depending on personal friendships, sometimes on physical threats (once I promised a bottle of my wine to a Colleague, in exchange for a Comment, proposing it be drunk together if the Comment reached Neuropenews before a certain date, or to be broken on his head if … later).
Consequently, since January 2013, we changed the presentation to the TOP 10 papers from 2010 and 2011, with the position month by month, and only with the titles. A comment was made for those papers receiving a very high score and leading the list for several months.
After the first semester of 2013, what could be learned from the comparison of the two years TOP10 patterns and of the monthly changes?
From our analysis it appears that:
a) after a few months from publication (six months) the positions are well established, and the best papers (the TOP10) have already been chosen by the neurological audience. Only 20% changes have been recorded between the January position compared to the June position.
b) The “hot” topic may change from one year to the next one: for 2010, the hot topic was the cognitive impairment-dementia domain, represented by 57% of the papers. In 2011, the hot topic was MS, with 33% of the papers.
c) Comparing the absolute numbers of quotations for January to those received in the June evaluation, and with only one exception, the mean six months increase is 22%+-2%, for all the TOP10 papers, both for 2010 and 2011.
d) Diagnostic Criteria, Guidelines, Task Force Reports are highly popular.
Gian Luigi Lenzi is Professor of Neurology at University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy, EFNS Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Neuropnews.