On this page, we provide a list of all papers we've reviewed thus far. Beside the page numbers, we include what each study found. As always, if you see articles we are missing or notice any issues, please let us know.EMAIL US.
Adrian Letchford, Helen Susannah Moat, and Tobias Preis
20,000 most cited papers in Scopus database each year between 2007 and 2013
Large sample size of 140,000 total papers across a range of disciplines.
“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.”
Hamid R. Jamali & Mahsa Nikzad
657-658 (longer titles; )
Life and Medical Sciences
2172 articles included in the study. Found that articles with longer titles tend to get fewer downloads but did not find a significant correlation between title length and number of citations. Using a question (interrogative) for the title received more downloads, but fewer citations. A declarative title (describes the conclusion) received fewer downloads and citations than a descriptive title (describe content but don't include conclusion).
Camille Roth, Jiang Wu, Sergi Lozano
115 (more internal citations)
computer science, economics, engineering, physics
This study’s findings related to new internal references and references within the same discipline that the article focused on. It found that more of either of these types of references led to more citations to the studied article.
Shi Young Lee, Sanghack Lee, Sung Hee Jun
1698-1699 (write long articles, have more co-authors, have more UK and US authors, and co-authors from the same institution)
234 (write long articles)
George A. Antoniou, Stavros A. Antoniou, Efstratios I. Georgakarakos, George S. Sfyroeras, George S. Georgiadis
289-290 (more internal citations & write long articles)
major vascular and general surgical journals
Pamela Royle, Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala, Katharine Barnard, and Norman Waugh
1 (abstract - publish in a top journal), 8 (article length has no impact)
life and health sciences
Clyde W. Holsapple and Wenhong Luo
359-360 (publish in a top journal)
Included nearly 20,000 articles in the study.
Jeffrey L. Harrison and Amy R. Mashburn
65 (publish in a top journal)
9-12 (more internal citations), 10-12 (publish in a top journal)
biology, biochemistry, chemistry, mathematics, and physics
Ian Ayres, Fredrick E. Vars
440 (reduce internal citations, write long articles, use shorter titles, write on Constitutional Law and the Legal Profession for More Citations)
53 pages is optimal length according to this study. It looked at articles published between 1980 to 1995, in three top law journals.
Christiana E. Hilmer, Jayson L. Lusk
688-689 (write long articles)
Found that advantage of long articles disappeared when conference / proceedings papers were excluded.
Fereshteh Didegah, Mike Thelwall
1060-1061 (publish in a top journal), 1061 (citations to well-known works), 1061-1062 (more internal citations), 1062 (more institutions represented & impact from number of authors unclear) , 1062-1063 (impact of authors from multiple countries unclear)
nanoscience and nanotechnology
This article found that articles with more references are cited more often and that articles with references to “high impact” works get even more citations.
Anupama Annalingam, Hasitha Damayanthi, Ranil Jayawardena, and Priyanga Ranasinghe
5-6 (publish in a top journal; publish with co-authors; increase regional or international collaboration)
Sri Lankan medical research
Fatemeh Rostami, Asghar Mohammadpoorasl, and Mohammad Hajizadeh
2010 (use a colon or hyphen in title; title length = no impact; use different keywords in title & body)
Small sample size: only looks at a single volume of 1 journal. Colon or hyphen in title received more citations. Title length had no impact. Using different keywords in the title and body led to more citations.
Minho So, Jiyoung Kim, Sangki Choi, Han Woo Park
1529 (more internal citations & don't write long articles)
science and technology, including natural sciences, life sciences, and engineering
This was the largest study we looked at. It included over 45,000 papers.
Natsuo Onodera, Fuyuki Yoshikane
757 (more internal citations), 760 (article length has no impact)
condensed matter physics, inorganic and nuclear chemistry, electric and electronic engineering, biochemistry and molecular biology, physiology, and gastroenterology
Found that in addition to more references leading to more citations, citation chances could be increased further if a higher percentage of those references were to articles published 5 years of less from the date of the studied article.
Tian Yu and Guang Yu
43 (more internal citations), 46 (publish in a top journal)
information science & library science
José A.N.F. Gomes and Elizabeth S. Vieira
38 (publish in a top journal)
physics & chemistry
Matthew E. Falagas, Angeliki Zarkali ,Drosos E. Karageorgopoulos, Vangelis Bardakas, and Michael N. Mavros
4 (write long articles), 7 (publish in a top journal)
general medicine journals
Thomas S. Jacques & Neil J. Sebire
2 (create long titles)
Generalist & Specialist Medicine
Small sample size: Looked at 25 most cited and 25 least cited articles in Lancet, BMJ and Journal of Clinical Pathology.
More cited articles tend to have longer titles and more often contain subtitles in Astronomy and Ecology. No impact from aggressive / assertive titles vs ones that just state conclusion or ask question. More topics led to fewer citations.
9 (longer titles and subtitles in Astronomy and Ecology; fewer topics)
Astronomy, Mathematics, Robotics, Ecology, and Economics
Barbara J. Robson, Aurélie Mousquès
1392 (more internal citations & write long articles)
Nick Haslam, Peter Koval
898 (more internal citations & publish in a top journal & write long articles)
social, personality psychology
447 (more internal citations & don't write long articles)
terrorism, mass extinction, complex network analysis, and knowledge domain visualization
Yassine Gargouri, Chawki Hajjem, Vincent Larivière, Yves Gingras, Les Carr, Tim Brody, Stevan Harnad
5 (more internal citations & publish in a top journal & write long articles)
General / interdisciplinary
Sinisa Subotic & Bhaskar Mukherjee
“The partial least squares model revealed that shorter titles were associated with more citations, but the effect was fully mediated by the journal impact, suggesting that the observed citational benefits of the shorter titles might be an artefact of some higher journal impact related attribute (perhaps editorial or peer review process).”
Maarten van Wesel, Sally Wyatt, Jeroen ten Haaf
1606 (write long articles; use short titles for Sociology & Applied Physics; longer titles for General & Internal Medicine; longer abstracts for General & Internal Medicine and Applied Physics)
sociology, general & internal medicine, applied physics
Lutz Bornmann, Hermann Schier, Werner Marx, Hans-Dieter Daniel
16 (more internal citations)
Nick Haslam, Lauren Ban, Leah Kaufmann, Stephen Loughnan, Kim Peters, Jennifer Whelan, Sam Wilson
179 (more internal citations & publish in a top journal & write long articles)
Looked at articles from 1998.
Tai‐Quan Peng, Jonathan J.H. Zhu
1794 (more internal citations & publish in a top journal & write long articles)
Fereshteh Didegah & Mike Thelwall
Abstract (top journal; more internal references; internal references with higher citations counts; more co-authors (Biology, Biochemistry & Chemistry); write longer abstracts)
Biology and Biochemistry, Chemistry & Social Sciences
Publishing in a better journal, including more internal references, and writing longer abstracts both led to more citations in all studied subjects. More coauthors from outside the institution led to more citations in all subjects, except Social science. Co-authors from the same institution had no impact, nor did number of keywords, title length, or paper length.
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