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  • 1 Department of Information Science, City University London, EC1V 0HB, UK
  • | 2 Department of Psychology, Keele University Staffordshire, (UK)
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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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Language English
Size B5
Year of
per Year
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Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
CH-6330 Cham, Switzerland Gewerbestrasse 11.
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0138-9130 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2861 (Online)