B – Are shorter article titles more attractive to citations?

Habibzadeh F., Yadollahie M. Are shorter article titles more attractive for citations? Cross-sectional study of 22 scientific journals. Croatian Medical Journal 2010 April;51(2):165-70
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2010.51.165)

In the instructions to authors, journal scientific editors usually give advice that the titles of articles should be concise for a better clarity of the message and a greater attractiveness for the readers. This study aims at investigating the correlation between the length of the title of a scientific article and the number of citations it receives. Title and the number of citations to all articles published in 2005 in 22 English-language journals were retrieved from citation database Scopus. Results show that longer titles are more likely associated with higher citation rates and this association is more pronounced for journals with high impact factors. An hypothesis to be tested is that longer titles are mainly those which include the study methodology and/or results in more details and could attract more attention and citations.