Short Paper Titles Tend to Have a Longer Reach

A study with a six-word-long title tells about the effects of study title lengths:

The Advantage of Short Paper Titles,” Adrian Letchford, Helen Susannah Moat, Tobias Preis, Royal Society Open Science, epub August 26, 2015. The authors, at the University of Warwick, UK, report:

“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.”

Karen Hopkin talks about this, tersely, in this video for Scientific American:

BONUS: The Ig Nobel Prize-winning (literature prize, 2006) paper “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly.”