From a Nature Article:
Adrian Letchford and his colleagues at the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK, analysed the titles of 140,000 of the most highly cited peer-reviewed papers published between 2007 and 2013 as listed on Scopus, a research-paper database. They compared the lengths of the papers’ titles with the number of times each paper was cited by other peer-reviewed papers— a statistic sometimes used as a crude measure of importance.
As they report in Royal Society Open Science1, “journals which publish papers with shorter titles receive more citations per paper”.
Previous research has come to conflicting conclusions on the link between title length and citations. And Letchford admits that their paper is merely a ‘proof of concept’ that does not show that shorter titles lead to more citations.
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Royal Society Open Science
Vast numbers of scientific articles are published each year, some of which attract considerable attention, and some of which go almost unnoticed. Here, we investigate whether any of this variance can be explained by a simple metric of one aspect of the paper’s presentation: the length of its title. Our analysis provides evidence that journals which publish papers with shorter titles receive more citations per paper. These results are consistent with the intriguing hypothesis that papers with shorter titles may be easier to understand, and hence attract more citations.