Dental Hypotheses

: 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 25--28

Dental Articles Receiving the Most Online Attention in 2018

Jafar Kolahi1, David G Dunning2, Edward F Rossomando3,  
1 Independent Research Scientist, Associate Editor of Dental Hypotheses, Isfahan, Iran
2 College of Dentistry, Department of Oral Biology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Lincoln, NE, United States
3 Department of Craniofacial Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, University of Connecticut, United States; Founder and Director of the Biodontics® Program and the Center for Research and Education in Technology Evaluation (CRETE) at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, United States

Correspondence Address:
Jafar Kolahi
No. 24, Faree 15, Pardis, Shahin Shahr, Isfahan 83179-18981

How to cite this article:
Kolahi J, Dunning DG, Rossomando EF. Dental Articles Receiving the Most Online Attention in 2018.Dent Hypotheses 2019;10:25-28

How to cite this URL:
Kolahi J, Dunning DG, Rossomando EF. Dental Articles Receiving the Most Online Attention in 2018. Dent Hypotheses [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Jul 5 ];10:25-28
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Full Text

Newly emerging internet-based tools for scholars such as social media offer a fresh perspective to measure research impact.[1] Altmetric analysis of dental literature is an emerging field of research.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6] In this study, we aimed to analyze dental articles that received the most online attention in 2018.

On July 24, 2019, the Altmetric database (Altmetric LLP, London, UK) was searched with the field of research code “1105 DENTISTRY” with a publication date limited to 2018. Consequently, 1087 research outputs were identified and there were 7427 total online mentions. An article published in the Nature Communication, “Topical ferumoxytol nanoparticles disrupt biofilms and prevent tooth decay in vivo via intrinsic catalytic activity,” had the highest Altmetric score among 2018 dental articles [Table 1]. Other article published in the European Heart Journal, “Improved oral hygiene care attenuates the cardiovascular risk of oral health disease: a population-based study from Korea,” was the most popular dental article in Twittersphere that had 307 Twitter mentions from 291 users (96% members of public, 17% scientists, 12% practitioners, and 2% science communicators) with an upper bound of 609,954 followers [Table 1]. Three of the top 10 dental articles focused on periodontal disease.{Table 1}

Eighty-nine percent of the mentions were from social media; 9.6% from News and Blogs; 1% from Wikipedia and videos; 0.17% from policy documents and patents; and only 0.05% were from peer-reviewed resources. Tweets, Facebook posts, and news stories were mainly from the US and UK.

The most active Altmetric sources were @biofilmPapers (57 Twitter mentions), Microbiome Digest − Bik’s Picks (52 blog posts), and @Microbiome_Art (50 total Twitter mentions).

At the institutional level, the highest online attention was realized by the University of Toronto with 13 outputs and a total of 437 mentions; the University College London with 16 outputs and a total of 375 mentions; and the University of Pennsylvania with 11 outputs and a total of 351 mentions.

The highest total mentions were garnered by Scientific Reports (441), European Heart Journal (309), and PLOS ONE (304). Considering the number of mentioned articles, Journal of Clinical Periodontology (31), the British Dental Journal (30), and the BMC Oral Health (28) had the most mentioned articles.

To identify the most vital topics and influential authors, the top 10% of dental articles with the highest Altmetric score were first selected. The analysis ultimately included 153 dental articles with Altmetric scores ≥10. Subsequently, keyword co-occurrence and coauthorship network analysis were employed using VOSviewer software (, Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University). Bibliometric data from 139 articles extracted from PubMed were to identify the most vital topics and influential authors [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. Periodontitis and periodontal disease were the most vital topics [Figure 1]. Steven Offenbacher, a periodontist from UNC School of Dentistry with four popular dental articles and 52 total link strength, was the most influential author [Figure 2]. Sadly, he passed away unexpectedly on August 9, 2018, at the young age of 67, while on vacation in Norway.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}

Remarkably, some top 10% popular articles had been published by non-PubMed indexed resources. For example, a preprint, “Metagenomic analysis uncovers strong relationship between periodontal pathogens and vascular dysfunction in American Indian population,”[7] was tweeted by 22 users (59% scientists and 41% members of public), with an upper bound of 86,319 followers, revealing the importance of preprint servers to bring dental research into the information age.[8]

Disappointingly, we found only four pre/post-publication peer reviews published in Publons. This academic tool can make reviewers’ work visible and improve the quality of peer review. Other emerging academic tools, for example, F1000prime (identifies and recommends important articles) or PubPeer (online journal club and post-publication peer review tool) were rarely used by dental research community.[9]

A critique on Altmetrics, as a tool to measure the research impact, is attraction of members of the public to buzzwords in the title of articles. Interestingly, no buzzwords appeared in the top 10 dental articles [Table 1].

This investigation showed that several popular dental articles were not published in well-known core dental journals, whereas others were published by mega-journals such as Scientific Reports, PLOS ONE, and Nature Communications. This finding might suggest an intentional or unintentional conservative bias among core dental journal editors and peer reviewers that restricts innovative and ground-breaking ideas.


The authors would like to thank Mrs. Stacy Konkiel from Altmetric LLP (London, UK) for her valuable assistance.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

All of the authors have editorial involvement with Dental Hypotheses.


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