Sports scientists the cream of the publishing crop

16 January 2008 | Story by Megan Morris

Good as their word: Prof Vicki Lambert, Dr Julia Goedecke and Assoc Prof Malcolm Collins are among the authors of the suite of UCT articles that proved so popular in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Who do you go to for trailblazing research in sports science and sports medicine?

The UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine (ESSM), if the (renowned) British Journal of Sports Medicine is anything to go by. ESSM researchers penned eight of the 20 most-cited articles that appeared in the journal in 2004 and 2005, director Professor Timothy Noakes heard in December.

The articles cover everything from the central-neural regulation of fatigue to water intoxication and the performance of Ironman athletes.

Noakes puts the achievement down to, firstly, the researchers' ever-sceptical minds. "We analyse everything and do not simply accept 'the facts'," he says.

The unit also studies multiple rather than single areas of the body to understand how the whole fits together. And finally researchers are encouraged to write, write and write some more.

"It is no good having work unpublished," says Noakes. "You might as well not have done it in the first place."

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