titles abstracts academic papers

Titles and abstracts: how to attract interest

This time, the focus is on writing journal articles and some tips for how to get them accepted and cited. While there is no magic formula, you might find the following ideas useful, or at least food for thought and, hopefully, some inspiration.

What works well for a title?

Ideally you would like your research to be read by many other scholars and hopefully cited as well, right?  London School of Economics has produced a free handbook entitled Maximizing the Impacts of your Research. Here is Chapter 4 on getting cited. While it is aimed at social scientists there are some broader messages. I particularly like the first example in Box 4a, some of the other comments about titles in this box might seem rather culturally bound.

What helps you to write a good abstract?

Most of you already know this because you have produced numerous abstracts, introductions and summaries over the years. Box 4b in the same link (please scroll down) has some useful tips, the first few are fairly obvious, though you can also use the past as well as the present tense in an abstract (Tip 4). Tips 6 and 7 ask you to look at your abstract and title from the point of view of other researchers, which is more challenging. Google can help out here.

Did anyone spot the typo at the bottom of Box 4b?  For NOT fore.

When should you submit your article?

Some research has shown that sending it in on a weekend may not be as successful as sending it through the week. Though the evidence base is limited, James Hartley’s article outlines some research details for three enquiries involving six journals in all.

Overwhelmingly the results indicated that submitting on a Saturday or Sunday rendered less successful results than sending it in through on the usual business days.