Papers on titles

James Hartley j.hartley at PSY.KEELE.AC.UK
Mon Jun 13 04:06:26 EDT 2005

Colleagues may be interested to know that I have been involved in three papers on the titles of scientific articles.  The first of these contains examples of attractive titles that do not inform the reader what the paper is about.  The second, by Grant Lewison and myself, reports the results form a huge computer-based study that looks at the effects on titles of features like the number of authors and the use of colons in different disciplines.  The third one is a brief summary of the first two and suggests that if you want to improve the title of an academic article you can attract and inform the reader by using a two-part title, divided by a colon.

These papers are:

1).  Hartley, J. (2005).  To attract or to inform: What are titles for?  Journal of Technical Writing & Communication, 35, 3,  203-213.

2). Lewison, G. & Hartley, J.  (2005). What's in a title?  Numbers of words and the presence of colons.  Scientometrics, 63, 2, 341-356.

3).  Hartley, J.  (2005).  Improving that title: The effect of colons.  European Science Editing, 31, 2, 45-47.  

Copies of any or all of these papers are available from me but I can only send No. 2 by post.

James Hartley
School of Psychology
Keele University

j.hartley at
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