How Long Should a Research Title Be? Data from 104,161 Examples
I analyzed a random sample of 104,161 full-text research papers, uploaded to PubMed Central between the years 2016 and 2021, to learn more about title length.
I used the BioC API to download the data (see the References section below).
Here’s a summary of the key findings
1. The median title was 14 words long (equivalent to 103 characters), and 90% of titles in the sample were between 6 and 25 words.
2. The 10-year trend shows an increase in title length from an average of 103 characters in 2012 to 111 characters in 2021.
3. Since Google shows only the first 60 characters of titles in its results page, 89.2% of titles in our sample will be truncated when they appear in Google search. And the median title loses 41.7% of its words in this process .
4. On average, review articles (systematic reviews and meta-analyses) had longer titles (16 words) compared to original research articles (14 words) .
5. L onger articles are not associated with longer titles .
6. Articles published in high impact journals tend to have shorter titles than average .
1. Overall title length
In our sample of 104,161 articles, the mean title length was 14.7 words, and the distribution of title word count had an expected right skew:
Here’s a table that describes the title word and character counts in the sample:
From these data, we can conclude that most titles were between 11 and 18 words long (80 to 129 characters).
The shortest title was:
“Cellular Inheritance” Link to the article on PubMed
Length: 2 words (21characters)
And the longest title was:
“Safety and efficacy of alpha‐amylase from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens DSM 9553, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens NCIMB 30251, Aspergillus oryzae CBS 585.94 and Aspergillus oryzae ATTC SD‐5374, endo‐1,4‐beta‐glucanase from Trichoderma reesei ATCC PTA‐10001, Trichoderma reesei ATCC SD‐6331 and Aspergillus niger CBS 120604, endo‐1,4‐beta‐xylanase from Trichoderma koningii MUCL 39203 and Trichoderma citrinoviride CBS 614.94 and endo‐1,3(4)‐beta‐glucanase from Aspergillus tubingensis MUCL 39199 as silage additives for all animal species” Link to the article on PubMed
Length: 148 words (1,097 characters)
2. Title length 10-year trend
The following is a plot of the average title character count each year, for the past 10 years:
The 10-year trend shows an increase in title length from an average of 103 characters in 2012 to 111 characters in 2021.
3. Titles as they appear in Google search
The results page of Google shows only the first 60 characters of titles and the rest is truncated. So, the first 60 characters constitute the part of a research title that is visible to users.
As an example, let’s try to search on Google for the article that had the longest title in our sample (1,097 characters).
In Google’s search field, I typed: “safety and efficacy of alpha-amylase” pubmed.
Here’s the response:
What happened is that Google chose a part of the title (specifically, 57 characters from the title) and displayed it in its results page.
We can all agree that this is horrible!
All these people who are searching online for the safety and efficacy for alpha-amylase are seeing a title that has nothing to do with their search, and will probably end up not clicking on that title.
So how many research titles get truncated by Google search? and what percentage of these title is invisible to users?
Based on our sample data, 89.2% of titles were longer than 60 characters and therefore will be truncated when they appear on the results page of Google. And the median title has 41.7% of its words invisible to online users.
When writing a research title, make sure:
- To keep it as short as possible
- That the visible part in an online search (the first 60 characters) is meaningful. Journalists call this: front loading–i.e. important words should be put close to the beginning.
4. Title length for different article types
In our sample of 104,161 articles, review articles (systematic reviews and meta-analyses) had longer titles (median: 16 words; n=2,851 articles) compared to original research articles (median: 14 words; n=101,310 articles).
5. Influence of article length on title length
To study the influence of article length on title length, I ran a Poisson regression model that predicts the title character count given the whole article word count.
According to the output of that model:
A research article that has 1000 more words, has a title that is 1% longer.
Although this result is statistically significant, it is practically negligible, since an article that has 1000 words more than the median is associated with a title that is only 1 character longer.
In practice, longer research articles are not associated with longer titles.
6. Length of titles in different journals
The following table shows the maximum title length allowed in 10 famous scientific journals according to their “instructions for authors” available from their websites:
According to this table, famous journals recommend keeping titles below 126.6 characters on average. But 27% of the titles in our sample exceed this limit.
So where are these 27% of articles published?
More generally, do higher-quality journals prefer publishing shorter titles?
In order to answer this question, I ran a Poisson regression that models the title word count given the journal impact factor. Here’s the model’s output:
The model shows that a higher journal impact factor is associated with shorter titles. Specifically, a 1 unit increase in the journal impact factor is associated with a decrease of 1.1% in the title word count. For the median article, this means that a 1 unit increase in the journal impact factor is associated with a decrease of 0.15 words (or approximately 1 character) in the title.
On average, higher-quality journals tend to publish slightly shorter titles.
- Comeau DC, Wei CH, Islamaj Doğan R, and Lu Z. PMC text mining subset in BioC: about 3 million full text articles and growing, Bioinformatics , btz070, 2019.
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6 Important Tips on Writing a Research Paper Title
When you are searching for a research study on a particular topic, you probably notice that articles with interesting, descriptive research titles draw you in. By contrast, research paper titles that are not descriptive are usually passed over, even though you may write a good research paper with interesting contents. This shows the importance of coming up with a good title for your research paper when drafting your own manuscript.
Why do Research Titles Matter?
Before we look at how to title a research paper, let’s look at a research title example that illustrates why a good research paper should have a strong title.
Imagine that you are researching meditation and nursing, and you want to find out if any studies have shown that meditation makes nurses better communicators. You conduct a keyword search using the keywords “nursing”, “communication”, and “meditation.” You come up with results that have the following titles:
- Benefits of Meditation for the Nursing Profession: A Quantitative Investigation
- Why Mindful Nurses Make the Best Communicators
- Meditation Gurus
- Nurses on the Move: A Quantitative Report on How Meditation Can Improve Nurse Performance
All four of these titles may describe very similar studies—they could even be titles for the same study! As you can see, they give very different impressions.
- Title 1 describes the topic and the method of the study but is not particularly catchy.
- Title 2 partly describes the topic, but does not give any information about the method of the study—it could simply be a theoretical or opinion piece.
- Title 3 is somewhat catchier but gives almost no information at all about the article.
- Title 4 begins with a catchy main title and is followed by a subtitle that gives information about the content and method of the study.
As we will see, Title 4 has all the characteristics of a good research title.
Characteristics of a Good Research Title
According to rhetoric scholars Hairston and Keene, making a good title for a paper involves ensuring that the title of the research accomplishes four goals as mentioned below:
- It should predict the content of the research paper .
- It should be interesting to the reader .
- It should reflect the tone of the writing .
- It should contain important keywords that will make it easier to be located during a keyword search.
Let’s return to the examples in the previous section to see if they meet these four criteria.
As you can see in the table above, only one of the four example titles fulfills all of the criteria of a suitable research paper title.
Related: You’ve chosen your study topic, but having trouble deciding where to publish it? Here’s a comprehensive course to help you identify the right journal .
Tips for Writing an Effective Research Paper Title
When writing a research title , you can use the four criteria listed above as a guide. Here are a few other tips you can use to make sure your title will be part of the recipe for an effective research paper :
- Make sure your research title describes (a) the topic, (b) the method, (c) the sample, and (d) the results of your study. You can use the following formula:
[ Result ]: A [ method ] study of [ topic ] among [ sample ] Example : Meditation makes nurses perform better: a qualitative study of mindfulness meditation among German nursing students
- Avoid unnecessary words and jargons. Keep the title statement as concise as possible. You want a title that will be comprehensible even to people who are not experts in your field. Check our article for a detailed list of things to avoid when writing an effective research title .
- Make sure your title is between 5 and 15 words in length.
- If you are writing a title for a university assignment or for a particular academic journal, verify that your title conforms to the standards and requirements for that outlet. For example, many journals require that titles fall under a character limit, including spaces. Many universities require that titles take a very specific form, limiting your creativity.
- Use a descriptive phrase to convey the purpose of your research efficiently.
- Most importantly, use critical keywords in the title to increase the discoverability of your article.
Resources for Further Reading
In addition to the tips above, there are many resources online that you can use to help write your research title. Here is a list of links that you may find useful as you work on creating an excellent research title:
- The University of Southern California has a guide specific to social science research papers: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/title
- The Journal of European Psychology Students has a blog article focusing on APA-compliant research paper titles: http://blog.efpsa.org/2012/09/01/how-to-write-a-good-title-for-journal-articles/
- This article by Kristen Hamlin contains a step-by-step approach to writing titles: http://classroom.synonym.com/choose-title-research-paper-4332.html
Are there any tips or tricks you find useful in crafting research titles? Which tip did you find most useful in this article? Leave a comment to let us know!
- Hairston, M., & Keene, M. 2003. Successful writing . 5th ed. New York: Norton.
- University of Southern California. 2017. Organizing your social sciences research paper: choosing a title . [Online] Available at: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/title
Thank you so much:) Have a nice day!
Thank you so much, it helped me.. God bless..
Thank you for the excellent article and tips for creating a research work, because I always forget about such an essential element as the keywords when forming topics. In particular, I have found a rapid help with the formation of informative and sound titles that also conforms to the standards and requirements.
I am doing a research work on sales girls or shop girls using qualititative method. Basicly I am from Pakistan and writing on the scenario of mycountry. I am really confused about my research title can you kindly give some suggestions and give me an approperaite tilte
Hi Zubair, Thank you for your question. However, the information you have provided is insufficient for drafting an appropriate title. Information on what exactly you intend to study would be needed in order to draft a meaningful title. Meanwhile, you can try drafting your own title after going through the following articles our website: https://www.enago.com/academy/top-10-tips-on-choosing-an-attractive-research-title/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/writing-a-good-research-title-things-to-avoid/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/write-irresistible-research-paper-title/ We would be happy to give you feedback and suggest changes if required. Did you get a chance to install our free Mobile App? https://www.enago.com/academy/mobile-app/ . Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter https://www.enago.com/academy/subscribe-now/ .
thanks for helping me like this!!
Thank you for this. It helped me improve my research title. I just want to verify to you the title I have just made. “Ensuring the safety: A Quantitative Study of Radio Frequency Identification system among the selected students of ( school’s name ).
(I need your reply asap coz we will be doing the chap. 1 tomorrow. Thank u in advance. 🙂 )
I am actually doing a research paper title. I want to know more further in doing research title. Can you give me some tips on doing a research paper?
Hi Joan, Thank you for your question. We are glad to know that you found our resources useful. Your feedback is very valuable to us. You can try drafting your own title after going through the following articles on our website: https://www.enago.com/academy/top-10-tips-on-choosing-an-attractive-research-title/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/writing-a-good-research-title-things-to-avoid/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/write-irresistible-research-paper-title/
We would be happy to give you feedback and suggest changes if required. Did you get a chance to install our free Mobile App? https://www.enago.com/academy/mobile-app/ . Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter https://www.enago.com/academy/subscribe-now/ .
That really helpful. Thanks alot
Thank you so much. It’s really help me.
Thanks for sharing this tips. Title matters a lot for any article because it contents Keywords of article. It should be eye-catchy. Your article is helpful to select title of any article.
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This blog is very informative for me. Thanks for sharing.
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i’m found in selecting my ma thesis title ,so i’m going to do my final research after the proposal approved. Your post help me find good title.
I need help. I need a research title for my study about early mobilization of the mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.
Thank you for posting your query on the website. When writing manuscripts, too many scholars neglect the research title. This phrase, along with the abstract, is what people will mostly see and read online. Title research of publications shows that the research paper title does matter a lot. Both bibliometrics and altmetrics tracking of citations are now, for better or worse, used to gauge a paper’s “success” for its author(s) and the journal publishing it. Interesting research topics coupled with good or clever yet accurate research titles can draw more attention to your work from peers and the public alike. You can check through the following search results for titles on similar topics: https://www.google.com/search?q=early+mobilization+of+the+mechanically+ventilated+patients+in+the+icu&rlz=1C1GCEU_enIN907IN907&oq=&aqs=chrome.0.69i59.4920093j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 .
We hope this would be helpful in drafting an attractive title for your research paper.
Please let us know in case of any other queries.
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Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic blog!
In case the topic is new research before you’re writing. And then to stand out, you end up being different.and be inclined to highlight yourself.
There are many free directories, and more paid lists.
To be honest your article is informative. I search many site to know about writing but I didn’t get the information I needed. I saw your site and I read it. I got some new information from here. I think some of your tips can be applied to those too! Thank you so very much for such informative and useful content.
Nice and well written content you have shared with us. thanks a lot!
Thanks for sharing these tips… Rockwide
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How to Make a Research Paper Title with Examples
What is a research paper title and why does it matter?
A research paper title summarizes the aim and purpose of your research study. Making a title for your research is one of the most important decisions when writing an article to publish in journals. The research title is the first thing that journal editors and reviewers see when they look at your paper and the only piece of information that fellow researchers will see in a database or search engine query. Good titles that are concise and contain all the relevant terms have been shown to increase citation counts and Altmetric scores .
Therefore, when you title research work, make sure it captures all of the relevant aspects of your study, including the specific topic and problem being investigated. It also should present these elements in a way that is accessible and will captivate readers. Follow these steps to learn how to make a good research title for your work.
How to Make a Research Paper Title in 5 Steps
You might wonder how you are supposed to pick a title from all the content that your manuscript contains—how are you supposed to choose? What will make your research paper title come up in search engines and what will make the people in your field read it?
In a nutshell, your research title should accurately capture what you have done, it should sound interesting to the people who work on the same or a similar topic, and it should contain the important title keywords that other researchers use when looking for literature in databases. To make the title writing process as simple as possible, we have broken it down into 5 simple steps.
Step 1: Answer some key questions about your research paper
What does your paper seek to answer and what does it accomplish? Try to answer these questions as briefly as possible. You can create these questions by going through each section of your paper and finding the MOST relevant information to make a research title.
Step 2: Identify research study keywords
Now that you have answers to your research questions, find the most important parts of these responses and make these your study keywords. Note that you should only choose the most important terms for your keywords–journals usually request anywhere from 3 to 8 keywords maximum.
Step 3: Research title writing: use these keywords
“We employed a case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years to assess how waiting list volume affects the outcomes of liver transplantation in patients; results indicate a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and negative prognosis after the transplant procedure.”
The sentence above is clearly much too long for a research paper title. This is why you will trim and polish your title in the next two steps.
Step 4: Create a working research paper title
To create a working title, remove elements that make it a complete “sentence” but keep everything that is important to what the study is about. Delete all unnecessary and redundant words that are not central to the study or that researchers would most likely not use in a database search.
“ We employed a case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years to assess how the waiting list volume affects the outcome of liver transplantation in patients ; results indicate a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis after transplant procedure ”
Now shift some words around for proper syntax and rephrase it a bit to shorten the length and make it leaner and more natural. What you are left with is:
“A case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcome of transplantation and showing a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis” (Word Count: 38)
This text is getting closer to what we want in a research title, which is just the most important information. But note that the word count for this working title is still 38 words, whereas the average length of published journal article titles is 16 words or fewer. Therefore, we should eliminate some words and phrases that are not essential to this title.
Step 5: Remove any nonessential words and phrases from your title
Because the number of patients studied and the exact outcome are not the most essential parts of this paper, remove these elements first:
“A case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcomes of transplantation and showing a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis” (Word Count: 19)
In addition, the methods used in a study are not usually the most searched-for keywords in databases and represent additional details that you may want to remove to make your title leaner. So what is left is:
“Assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcome and prognosis in liver transplantation patients” (Word Count: 15)
In this final version of the title, one can immediately recognize the subject and what objectives the study aims to achieve. Note that the most important terms appear at the beginning and end of the title: “Assessing,” which is the main action of the study, is placed at the beginning; and “liver transplantation patients,” the specific subject of the study, is placed at the end.
This will aid significantly in your research paper title being found in search engines and database queries, which means that a lot more researchers will be able to locate your article once it is published. In fact, a 2014 review of more than 150,000 papers submitted to the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) database found the style of a paper’s title impacted the number of citations it would typically receive. In most disciplines, articles with shorter, more concise titles yielded more citations.
Adding a Research Paper Subtitle
If your title might require a subtitle to provide more immediate details about your methodology or sample, you can do this by adding this information after a colon:
“ : a case study of US adult patients ages 20-25”
If we abide strictly by our word count rule this may not be necessary or recommended. But every journal has its own standard formatting and style guidelines for research paper titles, so it is a good idea to be aware of the specific journal author instructions , not just when you write the manuscript but also to decide how to create a good title for it.
Research Paper Title Examples
The title examples in the following table illustrate how a title can be interesting but incomplete, complete by uninteresting, complete and interesting but too informal in tone, or some other combination of these. A good research paper title should meet all the requirements in the four columns below.
Tips on Formulating a Good Research Paper Title
In addition to the steps given above, there are a few other important things you want to keep in mind when it comes to how to write a research paper title, regarding formatting, word count, and content:
- Write the title after you’ve written your paper and abstract
- Include all of the essential terms in your paper
- Keep it short and to the point (~16 words or fewer)
- Avoid unnecessary jargon and abbreviations
- Use keywords that capture the content of your paper
- Never include a period at the end—your title is NOT a sentence
Research Paper Writing Resources
We hope this article has been helpful in teaching you how to craft your research paper title. But you might still want to dig deeper into different journal title formats and categories that might be more suitable for specific article types or need help with writing a cover letter for your manuscript submission.
In addition to getting English proofreading services , including paper editing services , before submission to journals, be sure to visit our academic resources papers. Here you can find dozens of articles on manuscript writing, from drafting an outline to finding a target journal to submit to.
How to write a research article title?
Writing a research article title which is attractive to readers as well as optimal for search engines (e.g., Google) is a challenging task.
According to a survey , on average, scientific readers read 1142 titles, 204 abstracts, and 97 research articles each year. Notice the more than 5-times reduction in the number of abstracts as compared to the number of titles! The reduction reflects the intense scrutiny readers put on the titles to decide whether to read the articles or not. Article title also influences how efficiently search engines (e.g., Google) will recommend an article based on user search query.
So, let’s dive into the crucial points for writing an effective title for your next research paper.
Optimise title length
Though some journals may allow 30 words , title-length of 8-15 words is most common . It is not unusual as word-count of a good English sentence ranges from 11-25 . Moreover, for a web page title, Search Engine Optimisation strategy (SEO) recommends a title of 60-65 characters , representing approximately 13 words ( average word size is 4.7 characters ).
Include keywords in the title
While being concise, the title needs to be long enough to inform the target audience accurately about the contents of the article. Inclusion of keywords specific to the article topics and specific aspects of the topics serves the purpose. User routinely searches for articles using keywords in their fields and journals uses keywords to index articles. Therefore, including well-known keywords in the title will increase the probability of the title/article being found and accessed.
For example, “ Dynamic cell contacts between periportal mesenchyme and ductal epithelium act as a rheostat for liver cell proliferation ” is better than a succinct alternative “Tuneable cell-to-cell contacts control liver regeneration” for following reason.
First title contains specific topics (cell contacts and liver cell proliferation) and specific aspects of the topics (periportal mesenchyme, ductal epithelium). The later title loses some keywords e.g., periportal mesenchyme or ductal epithelium and provides less information about the content. Therefore, some users who are searching with “ductal epithelium liver regeneration” may not find the article in their search. Note that search engines can semantically connect “liver regeneration” with “liver cell proliferation”.
Include study-specific information in the title
Besides terms related to topics, a title may contain hints of methods, dataset, study design (e.g., Polymerase Chain Reaction Testing of Dogs for the H1N1 Virus vs. Animal testing for flu viruses, source: here ). Though inclusion of results and conclusion are not recommended, implicit and qualitative inclusion of results in some cases might be better options.
For example, the title “Dynamic cell contacts between periportal mesenchyme and ductal epithelium act as a rheostat for liver cell proliferation” is more descriptive and interesting than “Role of cell contacts between periportal mesenchyme and ductal epithelium in liver cell proliferation”. Words “dynamic” and “rheostat” in the first title qualitatively expresses results of the article, making it more interesting to the readers.
Make the title attractive
Without going overboard or raising confusion, the title needs to be attractive to the readers. It should not contain abbreviations/jargons. Titles generally don’t contain numerical values of parameters. Title needs to be sound safe to the readers (e.g., the title “Laser Treatment for Pediatric Melanoma” sound safer than “Treatment of Pediatric Melanoma Patients with Lasers”). More examples here .
If the title claims too much and is confusing, it may attract criticism or readers may ignore it. For example, the title “ Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes ” sounds very attractive and interesting. However, the terms in the title are very confusing as there are no female or male hurricanes. In addition, the study investigates the effect of femineity or masculinity in hurricane names has on their perceived (but not the real risk) in the population. Indeed, this article drew a lot of criticism.
Overall, the title of an article influences the first impression of your work by a reader, reviewer, or editor. So, give your best shot at it. For the best shot, additional resources (resource 1 , 2 , 3 ) and some funny scientific paper titles to cheer you up:
- Die hard: are cancer stem cells the Bruce Willises of tumor biology.
- Medical Marijuana: Can’t we all just get a bong?
- miR miR on the wall, who’s the most malignant medulloblastoma miR of them all?
- The effect of having Christmas dinner with in-laws on gut microbiota composition.
- Snakes on a spaceship – an overview of Python in Heliophysics.
- Pressures produced when penguins pooh – calculations on avian defaecation.
Want to read more funny titles? More here .
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What to Consider When Writing & Developing a Dissertation Topic!
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How Many Words Should a Dissertation Topic have | Expert Advice
Factors that influence the length of a dissertation topic;
The length of a dissertation topic may vary depending on several factors, including the field of study, the research objectives, and the research design. However, in general, a dissertation topic should be brief and to the point. It should be a summary of the research question or hypothesis not exceeding 15 words.
Ensure the topic is concise so as to be more effective : A concise dissertation topic is more effective in communicating the research question and focus of the study. It is easier for the reader to understand and provides a clear and direct indication of the research aims and objectives.
Avoid lengthy dissertation topics : Long and wordy dissertation topics are often confusing and may not provide a clear indication of the research objectives. They can be difficult to read and may cause the reader to lose interest in the study. Therefore, it is essential to keep the dissertation topic concise and to the point.
Tips for writing a concise dissertation topic
To write a concise dissertation topic, it is essential to focus on the research question or hypothesis. This can guide you whenever you are wondering how many words should your dissertation topic have. The topic should be a summary of the research question or hypothesis and should provide a clear indication of the research aims and objectives. The following tips can help to write a concise dissertation topic :
- Keep it brief and to the point.
- Focus on the research question or hypothesis.
- Avoid technical jargon or language that may be difficult to understand.
- Use simple and direct language.
In brief, a well-defined and concise dissertation topic is crucial to the success of a research project. Most students, scholars, and researchers seek to know the best length that a dissertation topic sentence should be and indeed we are here to guide from a point of understanding. The length of the topic may vary depending on several factors, but in general, it should be brief and to the point. A concise dissertation topic is more effective in communicating the research question and focus of the study. Therefore, it is essential to keep the dissertation topic simple, clear, and easy to understand. By following these tips, a researcher can ensure that their dissertation topic is well-defined and focused, which will help to ensure the success of the research project.
Number of Words in a Research Title – Topic Writing Guidance
✔ Keep it Short and Eye-Catching: One of the most crucial pieces of advice for creating a research title is to keep it short and sweet. The ideal number of words in a research title is around 10 to 15 words. This length ensures that the title is concise and easy to read, while also providing enough information to give the reader a general idea of what the research is about.
✔ Use Keywords: Another important factor to consider when creating a research title is the use of keywords. Including relevant keywords in the title can help to increase the visibility of the research paper in search results, making it easier for readers to find. However, it is essential to use keywords that accurately reflect the research topic and avoid overusing them to the point of being spammy.
✔ Be Descriptive: A research title should also be descriptive, providing readers with a clear idea of what the research is about. A descriptive title can help to attract readers who are interested in the specific topic of the research, increasing the chances of the paper being read and cited. Avoid using vague or overly general titles that do not provide enough information about the research.
✔ Use Action Words: Action words can help to make a research title more engaging and dynamic. Action words, such as "exploring," "analyzing," "evaluating," or "investigating," can convey a sense of purpose and direction, making the research title more appealing to readers. However, it is important to ensure that the action words used in the title accurately reflect the research methodology and objectives while ensuring the ideal length is maintained. If you feel pressured, you can seek our help so that you do not exceed the maximum words for a research title .
✔ Avoid Vocabulary: While it may be tempting to use specialized terminology or jargon in a research title, it is generally best to avoid it. Using technical language that is not easily understood by the general audience can limit the accessibility and readability of the research paper. A research title should be written in clear and straightforward language that is easily comprehensible by anyone interested in the research topic.
✔ Be Accurate: Lastly, a research title should be accurate and reflect the content of the paper. It should not be misleading or sensationalist, but rather provide a concise summary of the research's key findings, methodology, and implications. Avoid making claims or promises that are not supported by the research, as this can damage the credibility of the paper.
The ideal average length of a research title in terms of words is around 10 to 15. A research title should be short, descriptive, and accurate, using keywords and action words to make it engaging and visible in search results. Avoid using jargon or vague titles and make sure that the title accurately reflects the content of the research paper. Following these expert tips can help researchers create effective and compelling research titles that capture the essence of their work and attract readers' attention. You need to ensure that you do not develop a title that exceeds the allowed maximum number of words by knowing exactly on average how many words are supposed to be in the research title.
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What is the Ideal Length of a Research Title? Ask an Expert!
Why it is important for a research title to be of ideal length;
- Attract readers' attention: The title of a research paper is the first thing that readers see. It is essential to create a title that captures the reader's attention and piques their interest in the research topic. A concise and informative title is more likely to attract readers' attention than a long and complex one.
- Communicate the research topic effectively: If the project title is too short may not provide enough information, while a title that is too long may be difficult to understand. Your title should ensure that it effectively communicates the research topic and the main focus of the study.
- Easy to remember and repeat: The best length of a research title should be in such a way that it is easily remembered and repeated. This is important because it makes it easier for readers to find the paper again in the future. What you need to understand is that, if a title is too long or complicated, readers may forget it or have difficulty remembering it accurately.
- Increase the visibility of the research paper: A title that is too long or complicated may be difficult to find in search engines, whereas a concise and informative title is more likely to show up in search results. A well-crafted research title can make the paper more accessible and increase its impact.
- Helps editors and reviewers understand your project: A research title that is too long or complex can make it difficult for them to understand the study's main focus. An informative and concise title can help editors and reviewers quickly assess the relevance of the study and whether it is appropriate for their publication.
Help to Determine the Ideal Length for a Dissertation Topic
Students should note that the dissertation topics that they select should meet the standards set by their specific academic institutions. Supervisors will also not accept their topics before they have been satisfied that the topics satisfy the minimum requirements. Students do not have to worry when they are in a dilemma about the required number of words for a dissertation topic. Experts will come in to assist you when you ask “ what is the right length for a dissertation topic ?” Be quick to consult them when you need help with the average length of a dissertation topic and they will assist you professionally.
- Experts will help you to create a manageable research topic . We understand what an ideal research topic looks like, and most importantly, the number of words involved. We will ensure that your research topic is of the standard length.
- You will be able to come up with a topic for your research project on time . Your instructor may run out of patience waiting for your response, the reason why you should liaise with us for quality services.
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Need to Know the Best Word Count for a Research Topic?
One of the things to consider before starting to write a dissertation project is the right dissertation topic word count. This matters a lot because it shows that you are ready to start writing your dissertation. At Research Topic Help, we can help you if you do not know the number of words needed as you write a dissertation topic. Our team is well-equipped and skilled to ensure that we provide you with the best help possible. We have been helping clients for many years and all of them were happy and satisfied with our assistance. This is a clear indication that we know very well the number of words required in a dissertation topic . You need to identify the ideal number of words that your topic should have because the instructor will not accept your topic until it meets all the requirements. Research shows that calculating the right number of words for a dissertation topic is difficult for many students, something that has made it compulsory to seek expert help. As a student who is writing a dissertation, it is essential to note that the topic you choose should be able to meet all the set standards. One of the criteria that your instructor will look into is the length of your topic. Many times students fail to adjust to this, assuming that all there is to creating a good topic is relevance and suitability. We offer the best help thanks to our team who work tirelessly to make sure that clients get quality service. You can be assured of a dissertation topic that: is free from grammatical errors, is free from punctuation errors, customized and non-plagiarized, and delivered within the set deadlines. We will also not frustrate you when you ask us “how many words should be included in a dissertation topic?” Whenever need expert help, we will act immediately and offer you professional services that will satisfy your demands.
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Oxford University Press's Academic Insights for the Thinking World
Long, short, and efficient titles for research articles
A Concise Guide to Communication in Science and Engineering
- By David H. Foster
- September 4 th 2018
The title of a research article has an almost impossible remit. As the freely available representative of the work, it needs to accurately capture what was achieved, differentiate it from other works, and, of course, attract the attention of the reader, who might be searching a journal’s contents list or the return from a database query. The title needs also, in passing, to signal the author’s competence and authority. Getting it right is vital. Success or otherwise is likely to decide whether the article is retrieved, read, and potentially cited by other researchers—crucial for recognition in science.
Is a long title or a short one better? A long title has obvious advantages in communicating content, but if it is too long, it may be difficult to digest, inducing the reader—with little time and commitment—to move on to the next article in his or her search. Conversely, a short title may be easy to digest, but too short to inform, leaving the reader again to move on. These considerations suggest there is an optimum number of words: enough to reflect content, yet not enough to bore.
The traditional recommendation from manuals on scientific writing and from academic publishers is that 10–12 words is about right, certainly no more, although the evidential basis is uncertain. Do authors follow this guidance? I took a sample of 4,000 article titles from the Web of Science database, published by Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters). The articles were from eight research areas: physics, chemistry, mathematics, cell biology, computer science, engineering, psychology, and general and internal medicine. The average or mean title length was 12.3 words, surprisingly close to the 10–12-word recommendation.
This estimate is necessarily subject to sampling error. Furthermore, it depends on the publication year from which the articles are taken. The mean title length of 12.3 words just quoted was for 2012. It was somewhat smaller at 10.9 words in 2002 and smaller still at 10.1 words in 1982. Mean title length also depends on the choice of subject area, the definition of journal article, and the coverage of the database (whose evolution may have contributed to the growth in mean title length). Nevertheless, reassuringly similar values emerged from an analysis of a larger sample of titles taken from the Scopus database, published by Elsevier.
On average, then, title lengths comply with expectations, possibly reflecting the wisdom of crowds, or of editors. Individually, however, title lengths vary enormously, with around 10% having either fewer than five words or more than 20. So, do articles with extreme titles—those whose lengths fall very far from the mean—succeed in attracting the attention of readers?
Here are two very short titles. The first is from a review article published in 2012 in the Annual Review of Psychology :
This article has had more than 180 citations, placing it in the top 1% in its subject area and publication year (citations and centiles for subject areas taken from Scopus for the period 2012–18). As a review article in the social sciences, though, it might be expected to be highly cited. The second title is from an original experimental research article published in 2012 in Physical Review Letters , which in spite of its name is not a review journal:
The topic addressed is less generally accessible, yet this article has had more than 40 citations and is in the top 7% for its area and year.
Importantly, adding more words to these titles to make them more specific does not seem to deliver a proportional gain in information. Consider expanding “Intelligence” to “An Overview of Contributions to Intelligence Research” or changing “Orthorhombic BiFeO3” to “Creation of a new orthorhombic phase of the multiferroic BiFeO3.” The additions, drawn from the article abstracts, just make explicit what is already largely implied.
So, do articles with extreme titles—those whose lengths fall very far from the mean—succeed in attracting the attention of readers?
By contrast with these very short titles, here are two very long ones. The first has 33 words—with hyphens treated as separators—and was published in 2012 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology :
“Cost-effectiveness of transcatheter aortic valve replacement compared with surgical aortic valve replacement in high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis: Results of the PARTNER (Placement of Aortic Transcatheter Valves) trial (Cohort A)”
With more than 120 citations, this article is in the top 1% for its area and year. This performance is not peculiar to general and internal medicine. Articles with very long titles from engineering disciplines can also do well. The second title is from an article published in 2012 in Optics Letters and has about 25 words, depending on definitions:
“Fiber-wireless transmission system of 108 Gb/s data over 80 km fiber and 2×2 multiple-input multiple-output wireless links at 100 GHz W-band frequency”
This article has had more than 110 citations and is in the top 1% for its area and year.
Despite the exceptional lengths of these titles, removing words or phrases, for example, from the first, “Results of the PARTNER . . . (Cohort A)” or, from the second, “at 100 GHz W-band frequency,” seems to result in a disproportionate loss in information and could actually mislead the reader.
Evidently, short titles need not fail to inform and long titles need not promote disengagement. Each can be as effective as the other and lead to high levels of recognition. The implication is that length, on its own, is a poor proxy for something more relevant and fundamental, namely how much the title tells the reader about the work given the number of words it expends.
What is being described here is a kind of efficiency. To paraphrase the statistician and artist Edward Tufte, albeit speaking in a different context, an efficient title is one that maximizes the ratio of the information communicated to its length. Accordingly, the number of words should be immaterial, or almost so. After all, it is what they communicate that really counts.
Featured image credit: Straying Thoughts by Edmund Blair Leighton. Public Domain via Flickr .
David H. Foster is Professor of Vision Systems at the University of Manchester and formerly Director of Research in the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering. He has served as journal editor or editor in chief for over 30 years and has taught communication in science and engineering at undergraduate, postgraduate, and postdoctoral levels in the UK and elsewhere. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Physiological Society, and the Optical Society of America. David is the author of A Concise Guide to Communication in Science and Engineering (OUP, 2017).
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This describes the key points to decide an attractive journal title very clearly. The discussion is based on the thorough survey of recent publication and the presentation is very convincing with quantified statistical figures. I highly recommend this to anybody including the well-established academics.
Creating a good title is an art in itself – but it can be learned. The key techniques are summarized here very nicely: “Make it clear and remove the fluff” (my words). For more advice, go to David Foster’s excellent book, “A concise guide …” (see bottom of page). Good reading! One thing I would like to add: In my feeling, a short title implies that the paper is more fundamental, more general in its scope, and more accessible (my favourite title is “On Seeing Sidelong” by Gerry Lettvin, which is on peripheral vision). When, instead, the paper is rather narrow, I will be disappointed and think of it lowly. Conversely, I go to the longer titles when I search for something more specific. Of course that comes down – algorithmically so to say – to “an efficient title is one that maximizes the ratio of the information communicated to its length”. But it suggests that the optimum number of words is not independent of content and, rather, correlates with the content’s generality.
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