Scholarly Olympics: How the games have shaped research

Authors have published a graphical guide to the impact of the Olympics on science in the journal Nature. Whether it’s drug scandals, pollution problems or sheer curiosity at the incredible capabilities of the athletes, the Olympic Games have long fascinated researchers as well as the general public. In their article, Skibba et al., review  the surge in science, papers per games, how disciplines compete, the mastery of Greece and citations by host city. This highly topical article is truely thought provoking. One interesting observation made is that the Olympics don’t typically inspire researchers to start new fields — instead, they tend to feed into ongoing studies. Data for the article was sourced using the Scopus database and searches for articles that have “Olympics” or “Olympic Games” in the title or “Olympic Games” in the abstract. The article also provides a link to an exellent infographic displaying their data.