Author(s): Jacques TS, Sebire NJ
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: Most published articles are not cited and citation rates depend on many variables. We hypothesized that specific features of journal titles may be related to citation rates. DESIGN: We reviewed the title characteristics of the 25 most cited articles and the 25 least cited articles published in 2005 in general and specialist medical journals including the Lancet, BMJ and Journal of Clinical Pathology. The title length and construction were correlated to the number of times the papers have been cited to May 2009. SETTING: Retrospective review of a scientific database. PARTICIPANTS: None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Citation rate. RESULTS: The number of citations was positively correlated with the length of the title, the presence of a colon in the title and the presence of an acronym. Factors that predicted poor citation included reference to a specific country in the title. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that the construction of an article title has a significant impact on frequently the paper is cited. We hypothesize that this may be related to the way electronic searches of the literature are undertaken.
This article was published in JRSM Short Rep
and referenced in Journal of Biometrics & Biostatistics