The year is almost over and here on the PLOS ONE team we’ve been reflecting on the tremendous impact our authors’ work has had in the community. Each year, nearly 100,000 researchers (our own 9,000 Editorial Board members as well as thousands of authors reviewers) contribute to shaping and sharing science through PLOS ONE. Their efforts and dedication to publishing all excellent research have a tremendous influence on the landscape of scholarly communication.
Because of the strength of our community, and the power of Open Access, each PLOS ONE article has the opportunity to make a huge impact – not only in scholarly circles, but across policy, professional practice, and society more broadly. To celebrate their broad reach, we’ve put together a collections of our most impactful work from 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 in disciplines ranging from biotechnology to virology that has engaged readers through citations, views, and downloads over the past few years.
However, these metrics can only show a fraction of the important influence these papers have had, and we wanted to highlight our authors’ own stories about why this research matters to them.
Dengue virus in Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in urban areas in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, featured in 2018 Most Impactful Collection for Tropical Medicine research
Assessing sustainability in North America’s ecosystems using criticality and information theory, featured in 2018 Most Impactful Collection for Physics, Multidisciplinary research
What is your area of research and why is it important?
JA: I have dedicated my life to studying viral diseases. Some of these diseases are challenging such as Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya. Virus and vector biology studies provide data for controlling these diseases that are important to the scientific community and population.
OL: I’m working in a general framework using criticality as a unifying concept for understanding Health for different systems and across scales, focusing on ecosystem health using data from the Biodiversity National Monitoring System (SNMB) at National Council for Understand and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO). In there we are launching this year a new national experiment (SIPECAM) covering all ecosystem types including camera trap, bioacoustic monitoring, and Sherman traps. In particular, CONABIO together with National Institute of Ecology (INECOL) wants to use ecosystem health indices for making sense of a plethora of data acquired by SNMB and as the main way to communicate with decision makers.
What person or story has had the most impact on your career in science?
JA: When I was 20 years old, my city had a severe Dengue epidemic, and my sister and my friend developed dengue hemorrhagic fever. Unfortunately my friend did not survive. These facts motivated me to study diseases caused by arboviruses.
OL: In 1999 a very important student movement led my University (UNAM) into an almost 1-year student strike to preserve the gratuity of the institution. In that time I get engaged in a very active mountaineering and exploration group with which I climbed for the first time the northeast face of La Encantada a 1000m high wall in San Pedro Martir. So I get in loved with nature and when you love something you want to do whatever you can to protect it. Coincidentally I also fell in love with an ecologist so I started to get very much interested in ecology, so I change my major from Engineering to Physics working in the complex system department at the physics institute.
Has your (and your peers’) work expanded discussion in the scientific community or the broader public?
OL: I have the fortune of working in an ABC (Applied Basic Combined) group that interact continuously with decisions makers in different government institutions in one hand and on the other hand in the SIPECAM context we are working with the national community of camera trap and bioacoustic experts.
For you, what are the indicators that your work is making a difference? What do you find most rewarding about your work?
JA: Knowing that my studies contribute to controlling arboviruses is what motivates me
OL: For one part is the spirit of adventure, the challenge, and joy of the discovery, of the creative process. But it is also a profound sense of responsibility with nature when hiking in Iztaccihuatl National Park with my kids and I realized that as much as I can, I’m making a difference to preserve those places on earth. Not only for my kids to enjoy them but also, to give them the chance to recognize in other life forms that something inside them that is universal to all us.
Personally, I love that PLOS ONE is a home for all science, supporting researchers everywhere and across disciplines and our team is proud of the many success stories that have emerged from this PLOS ONE community.
Thanks again to all of the researchers who have contributed their expertise to help shape the excellence of this work and enabled us to share it with the broadest community of researchers. And congratulations to our authors on their successes!