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The advantage of short paper titles.

Letchford A, Moat HS, Preis T - R Soc Open Sci (2015)

Bottom Line: Vast numbers of scientific articles are published each year, some of which attract considerable attention, and some of which go almost unnoticed.Our analysis provides evidence that journals which publish papers with shorter titles receive more citations per paper.These results are consistent with the intriguing hypothesis that papers with shorter titles may be easier to understand, and hence attract more citations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Data Science Lab, Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School , University of Warwick , Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.

ABSTRACT
Vast numbers of scientific articles are published each year, some of which attract considerable attention, and some of which go almost unnoticed. Here, we investigate whether any of this variance can be explained by a simple metric of one aspect of the paper's presentation: the length of its title. Our analysis provides evidence that journals which publish papers with shorter titles receive more citations per paper. These results are consistent with the intriguing hypothesis that papers with shorter titles may be easier to understand, and hence attract more citations.

No MeSH data available.


Paper title length and citations received, analysed at journal level. (a) For each journal in 2010, we plot the median citations for a paper against the median title length. We find that journals which publish papers with shorter titles receive more citations per paper (Kendall's τ=−0.19, p<0.001, N=361). (b) Parallel analyses of the data for each year between 2007 and 2013 confirm that this relationship holds across all 7 years of data (2012: τ=−0.1, N=320, p<0.05; 2013: τ=−0.11, N=352, p<0.01; all other years: all τs≤−0.14, all ps <0.001, α=0.05; Kendall's τ correlation with FDR correction).
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RSOS150266F2: Paper title length and citations received, analysed at journal level. (a) For each journal in 2010, we plot the median citations for a paper against the median title length. We find that journals which publish papers with shorter titles receive more citations per paper (Kendall's τ=−0.19, p<0.001, N=361). (b) Parallel analyses of the data for each year between 2007 and 2013 confirm that this relationship holds across all 7 years of data (2012: τ=−0.1, N=320, p<0.05; 2013: τ=−0.11, N=352, p<0.01; all other years: all τs≤−0.14, all ps <0.001, α=0.05; Kendall's τ correlation with FDR correction).

Mentions: To investigate this hypothesis further, we group papers by their journal. Again, using 2010 as an example, we calculate the median number of citations and median title length for each journal. We find that journals which published papers with shorter titles also tend to receive more citations per paper (figure 2a; Kendall's τ=−0.19, N=361, p<0.001). Parallel analyses for papers published in each year between 2007 and 2013 show that this relationship holds for papers published in all 7 years in our sample (figure 2b; 2012: τ=−0.1, N=320, p<0.05; 2013: τ=−0.11, N=352, p<0.01; all other years: all τs≤−0.14, all ps <0.001, α=0.05; Kendall's τ correlation with FDR correction). Finally, we carry out a complementary aggregated analysis across all years of data in our sample. We rank all papers published in a given year by citations received and by title length, and transform these ranks into percentiles for that year. Again, we find that journals which publish papers with shorter titles also tend to receive more citations per paper (figure 3; τ=−0.19, N=625, p<0.001, Kendall's τ correlation).Figure 2.


The advantage of short paper titles.

Letchford A, Moat HS, Preis T - R Soc Open Sci (2015)

Paper title length and citations received, analysed at journal level. (a) For each journal in 2010, we plot the median citations for a paper against the median title length. We find that journals which publish papers with shorter titles receive more citations per paper (Kendall's τ=−0.19, p<0.001, N=361). (b) Parallel analyses of the data for each year between 2007 and 2013 confirm that this relationship holds across all 7 years of data (2012: τ=−0.1, N=320, p<0.05; 2013: τ=−0.11, N=352, p<0.01; all other years: all τs≤−0.14, all ps <0.001, α=0.05; Kendall's τ correlation with FDR correction).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4555861&req=5

RSOS150266F2: Paper title length and citations received, analysed at journal level. (a) For each journal in 2010, we plot the median citations for a paper against the median title length. We find that journals which publish papers with shorter titles receive more citations per paper (Kendall's τ=−0.19, p<0.001, N=361). (b) Parallel analyses of the data for each year between 2007 and 2013 confirm that this relationship holds across all 7 years of data (2012: τ=−0.1, N=320, p<0.05; 2013: τ=−0.11, N=352, p<0.01; all other years: all τs≤−0.14, all ps <0.001, α=0.05; Kendall's τ correlation with FDR correction).
Mentions: To investigate this hypothesis further, we group papers by their journal. Again, using 2010 as an example, we calculate the median number of citations and median title length for each journal. We find that journals which published papers with shorter titles also tend to receive more citations per paper (figure 2a; Kendall's τ=−0.19, N=361, p<0.001). Parallel analyses for papers published in each year between 2007 and 2013 show that this relationship holds for papers published in all 7 years in our sample (figure 2b; 2012: τ=−0.1, N=320, p<0.05; 2013: τ=−0.11, N=352, p<0.01; all other years: all τs≤−0.14, all ps <0.001, α=0.05; Kendall's τ correlation with FDR correction). Finally, we carry out a complementary aggregated analysis across all years of data in our sample. We rank all papers published in a given year by citations received and by title length, and transform these ranks into percentiles for that year. Again, we find that journals which publish papers with shorter titles also tend to receive more citations per paper (figure 3; τ=−0.19, N=625, p<0.001, Kendall's τ correlation).Figure 2.

Bottom Line: Vast numbers of scientific articles are published each year, some of which attract considerable attention, and some of which go almost unnoticed.Our analysis provides evidence that journals which publish papers with shorter titles receive more citations per paper.These results are consistent with the intriguing hypothesis that papers with shorter titles may be easier to understand, and hence attract more citations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Data Science Lab, Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School , University of Warwick , Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.

ABSTRACT
Vast numbers of scientific articles are published each year, some of which attract considerable attention, and some of which go almost unnoticed. Here, we investigate whether any of this variance can be explained by a simple metric of one aspect of the paper's presentation: the length of its title. Our analysis provides evidence that journals which publish papers with shorter titles receive more citations per paper. These results are consistent with the intriguing hypothesis that papers with shorter titles may be easier to understand, and hence attract more citations.

No MeSH data available.