How to Think Out a Good Title for a Scientific Article?

Scientific Article Title

Once the problem and topic are finally chosen, it is time to title it. Most researchers do not pay the required caution to this point of their writing. But a general title is that hook that lets you get the right reader and not give fake hopes to the uninterested one. In case if you need to make them notice and read your text, follow some simple rules, as writers form do.

Say No to Parasites

It is enough to simply look at any scientific articles’ catalog in order to notice how often researchers start titles from words: “The topic of…”, “Problems…”, “Some Questions…” “Research of the…”, “Materials for…” and more pseudo-scientific phrases. Will the point change if we exclude phrases like those?

Compare two titles:

“The Problem of Stuff Motivation in The Modern Company”

“Stuff Motivation in The Modern Company”

They have the same meaning, but the second one has certain advantages. First, it is shorter, and helps to find out the article topic at once, without looking to its extended content. Second, keywords are in the beginning, and readers do not have to overcome the bushes of unnecessary words to get to the point.

Find Optimal Length

According to the Royal Society Open Science magazine, shortening the title is the guarantee for the text to be cited more often in future. By analyzing 140 000 papers stored in Scorpus database (2007-2013), researchers conclude articles with short titles are cited more often than those with long titles. Not only articles, but magazines with shorter names have a higher citation index (pay attention to this fact when deciding what magazine will be trusted to publish your text).

But avoid turning the title shortening into an absurd. Keeping up to the principle of “good enough” is better: make the title long enough to disclose its main idea, and short enough to make throwing away any word without a loss in sense impossible.

From this viewpoint, the title “Values” will not be good. This title makes to look deeper into the article text in order to find out what exactly it is about, or even to read some chosen paragraphs in order to just understand the topic. If the reader finds out there is nothing useful for them in the article, they doubtfully will feel thankful to its author. Respect your colleagues. The title called “Values of Modern Youth” will be longer, but more precise and informative.

All in all, the recommended length of a scientific article title is between 3 and 15 words (and if to mention indexation, there should not be more than 10-12 words). If you can’t fit in this limit, then remember that in addition to title, the text has the annotation where you can describe ideas of your article with more details. 

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