Thursday, 4 February 2016

The network of H5N8 publications.

Before I became obsessed with influenza phylogenetics I was interested in networks. I observed something interesting in the citations of flu papers.

My paper with Munir about H5N8 having a single origin has 5 cites. Verhagen et al. Science paper - How a virus travels the world has 17 cites but amazingly the paper with the riveting title Novel Eurasian highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5 viruses in wild birds Washington USA 2014 has 24 cites.

Looking at Google Scholar for all of the H5N8 citations you have:

Novel reassortant influenza A (H5N8) viruses, South Korea, 2014 EID 69.

So my new research questions are:
How can there be this amount of publication on 120 viral sequences?
How can there be these amounts of citations in less than 18 months?
How can peer review not reject so many papers which cover virtually identical ground?
Why does my paper languish behind all of the others?

This to me looks like classic clique behaviour and also the rich get richer. It will be interesting to construct the network of citations and return citations.

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