Friday, February 24, 2012

Questionable paper titles

There is an interesting article by Ben Goldacre in the Guardian newspaper which nicely summarises research on the following questions:

Will asking a question in the title get your paper cited more?
No. But it will be downloaded more!

What is the evidence that having your paper mentioned in the New York Times will increase  its citation rate?

1 comment:

  1. I think that a paper title should be able to give any scientist the basic idea of what the paper is about. I think a question can be a good way of achieving this, particularly since I don't particularly like declarative verbs in paper titles (to me they feel like the authors are excluding the possibility that the paper could be incorrect, which is unscientific). I think stating the aim of the work as a question can help clarify what really matters to a more general audience, which is more about "what and so what" than the "how" that the authors and their closest colleagues might care about.