An analysis of the titles of papers submitted to the UK REF in 2014: authors, disciplines, and stylistic details

John Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In 2014 over 52,000 academics submitted >155,500 journal articles in 36 different disciplines for assessment in the UK’s four-year Research Evaluation Framework (the REF). In this paper the characteristics of the titles of these papers are assessed. Although these varied considerably between the disciplines, the main findings were that: (i) the lengths of the titles increased with the number of authors in almost all disciplines, (ii) the use of colons and question marks tended to decline with increasing author numbers—although there were a few disciplines, such as economics, where the reverse was evident, (iii) papers published later on in the 4-year period tended to have more authors than those published earlier, and (iv), in some disciplines, the numbers of subsequent citations to papers were higher when the titles were shorter and when they employed colons but lower when they used question marks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-889
Number of pages19
JournalScientometrics
Volume109
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Keywords

  • Citations
  • Colon
  • Journal title length
  • Multiple authors
  • Question marks
  • REF

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