Monday, November 21, 2011

Its all in the title?

An earlier post, Entitled to a reading, pointed out the value of carefully choosing engaging titles for your papers. Contrast the titles of the following two papers. The subject and conclusions of the papers are similar.
Benzene forms hydrogen bonds with water published in Science.
Low-J rotational spectra, internal rotation, and structures of several benzene-water dimers published in Journal of Chemical Physics.

Arunan brought this contrast to my attention.

1 comment:

  1. I just read A PhD is Not Enough, which was a very interesting and valuable few hours.

    However, at risk of misquoting the book, he warns that titles should avoid being 'cute', he may even say 'at all costs'.

    Looking through the sample list of titles by Hoffman, several of them sound cutesy to me. That being said, I like them. Feibelman never says why one should avoid being cute, so I don't quite know what his concern is, exactly. I can only guess.

    Anyway, the former title here, which got into science, sounds fairly headline-y to me. Again, I don't know if this is something I should worry about, or something I should aspire to.

    Actually, I can imagine that everyone has a different idea on what's best. Maybe my litmus test should be getting published in Science!