Cast Your Vote: Most Influential Research Articles of 2011

Jan 17, 2012, 3:50 PM, Posted by


**UPDATE: The results are in!

The top five most influential RWJF research articles of 2011 (including one of NewPublicHealth's picks!) have been announced:

#1 The Use of Twitter to Track Levels of Disease Activity and Public Concern in the U.S. During the Influenza A H1N1 Pandemic

#2 Outcomes of Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection by Primary Care Providers

#3 Evidence Links Increases In Public Health Spending To Declines In Preventable Deaths

#4 Nurses' Widespread Job Dissatisfaction, Burnout, And Frustration With Health Benefits Signal Problems For Patient Care

Tied for #5

Measuring the Health of Communities: How and Why? and

The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment: Evidence from the First Year

Read the original post below.**

Your vote counts—and not just when it comes to American Idol. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has released its list of top 20 most influential research articles of 2011, and it's up to the voting public to determine the "Final 5." RWJF-funded articles covering topics that range across the Foundation’s program areas were chosen based on the significance and strength of their research findings and popularity as measured by online views.

Public voting to select the "Final 5" most influential articles of the year opened last week, and will end December 23 at midnight. The final tally will be released in early 2012.

As you throw your vote in the virtual hat, keep a few key criteria in mind:

  • whether the research articles guided the field of policy and practice;
  • whether the research influenced how the public thinks about health and health care issues; and
  • whether the research changed long-held perceptions of the health field.

We at NewPublicHealth have a few public health favorites among the top 20—but we leave it to you to judge their merit for yourself! Here are our top public health research picks:

  • Measuring the Health of Communities (article #7): The authors of this article, published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice in September, note that the health of each person is inextricably linked to the health of their community, and in this article they examine the complexities of trying to measure community health. The authors look at how measurement of community health has changed over time, including newer frameworks like the County Health Rankings, developed by the University of Wisconsin and RWJF. The authors argue that a priority on measuring community health will help us to better allocate scarce resources.
  • Health Impact Assessments are Needed in Decision Making About Environmental and Land-Use Policy (article #15): Urban land use, transportation and environmental decisions can have important consequences for the public's health. This article looks at the emerging practice of health impact assessment and its critical role in assessing the health effects of decisions across sectors, such as the potential impact of highway air pollution on proposed housing for seniors. The article was published in Health Affairs last May.

Other articles in the top 20 include a look at the role of social factors like stress and exposure to lead in racial disparities in hypertension (article #4), the use of Twitter to track flu outbreaks (article #5) and the effect of school policy on student consumption of sugary drinks (article #16).

Use the hashtag #Final_5 on Twitter to talk about the vote. Take a look at the full list of the top 20 RWJF research articles of 2011, and cast your vote here!

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.