2008: The Year in Research

For the 2008 Year in Research, the Foundation did things a bit differently. David C. Colby, PhD, RWJF vice president for Research and Evaluation, chose his list of the 10 most influential RWJF-funded research articles of the year, as usual. However, this year we also asked for your votes, and we're happy that so many of you participated.

Over 1,400 people cast votes in the selection of the most influential articles. Voters came from 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The largest percentage of voters was from California (14%); followed by Massachusetts (6.4%); and New York (6.3%). Thirty-eight percent of voters were academics. Many thanks to everyone. 

The articles chosen by readers differed a bit from those chosen by Colby. 

The popular picks for top 10 articles were (ordered by the number of votes):

  1. School Food Environments and Policies in U.S. Public Schools
  2. Racial/Ethnic Disparities and Consumer Activation in Health
  3. Comparison of Change in Quality of Care Between Safety-Net and Non-Safety Net Hospitals
  4. On The Road To Universal Coverage: Impacts Of Reform In Massachusetts At One Year
  5. Neighborhood Influences on the Association Between Maternal Age and Birthweight
  6. Increasing Caloric Contribution From Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and 100% Fruit Juices Among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 1988–2004
  7. Active for Life: Final Results from the Translation of Two Physical Activity Programs
  8. No Change in Weight-Based Teasing When School Based Obesity Policies are Implemented
  9. The Relationship of Underage Drinking Laws to Reductions in Drinking Drivers in Fatal Crashes in the United States
  10. Massachusetts Health Reform Implementation


Nationally, there was an emphasis on obesity. Given the projections of the impact of this problem on the health of Americans and the cost of health care, these articles are not surprising choices. Interestingly, our audience in Washington emphasized more heavily health and public health reform publications. Check back later this month for more materials on health reform.

Now, here are Colby’s choices for the top 10 (in chronological order). 

  • School Food Environments and Policies in US Public Schools
  • Using Quality Improvement Methods to Improve Public Health Emergency Preparedness: PREPARE for Pandemic Influenza

To learn more about why we chose each of these articles, please refer to each article presented below.