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Abstract

Author self-citations are another factor that affects the impact factor of a journal. Typically these self-citations are just counted as such. But to be more meaningful I suggest that when examining the contribution of authors’ self-citations to impact factors one should first count the number of citations in the text rather than in the reference list, and then discriminate between different kinds of author self-citations—from those that are informative to those that are self-enhancing—if these data are to be more credible.

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Summary Much has been written about titles in scientific journal articles but little research has been carried out. We aimed to assess in two studies how factors like the length of a title and its structure might vary in different scientific fields, and whether or not these features have changed over time. Statistical analyses were made of 216,500 UK papers from science journals, and of 133,200 international oncology papers. Factors examined included title length, the use of colons in the titles, and the number of authors. All of these factors increased over time for both sets of papers, although there were some disciplinary differences in the findings. In both studies, titles with colons occurred more frequently with single than with multiple authors except when the numbers of co-authors were large. Certain features of titles can be related to different disciplines, different journals, the numbers of authors and their nationalities.

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Abstract  

Two computer-based style programs were used to analyse the Abstracts, Introductions and Discussions of 80 educational psychology journal articles. Measures were made of the overall readability of the texts as well as of sentence lengths, difficult and unique words, articles, prepositions and pronouns. The results showed that the Abstracts scored worst on most of these measures of readability, the Introductions came next, and the Discussions did best of all. However, although the mean scores between the sections differed, the authors wrote in stylistically consistent ways across the sections. Thus readability was variable across the sections but consistent within the authors.

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