Can I Change My Research Paper Title Before or After Publication in a Research Journal?

Change Research Paper Title

Research paper titles hold immense importance in the world of academia, serving as the first point of contact between the author’s work and the academic community. In this section, we will delve into why research paper titles are so significant and how they impact various aspects of scholarly communication.

Research paper titles are much more than mere labels; they encapsulate the essence of the study and its key contributions. They act as the initial gateway to a research paper, influencing readers, researchers, and the academic community in several ways:

In the digital age, where an overwhelming amount of research is readily available online, discoverability is paramount. A well-crafted title can significantly enhance a research paper’s visibility, making it more accessible to readers and researchers. Additionally, titles play a crucial role in the indexing process of academic databases and search engines, allowing relevant studies to be retrieved efficiently.

The title is the first impression readers have of a research paper, and it can significantly influence their decision to read further. An engaging and descriptive title can evoke curiosity and set the tone for what readers can expect from the research. On the other hand, a vague or uninspiring title might deter potential readers from exploring the study’s findings.

In the following sections, we will explore the possibilities and challenges surrounding title changes in research papers. From pre-publication revisions to post-publication considerations, we will provide valuable insights to empower authors in making informed decisions about their research paper titles. So, join us as we navigate through the intricacies of title changes in the academic publishing realm.

I have also written articles on the possible corrections an author may want to do to a research paper that is already published. Please visit the articles listed below for further details.

Title Changes Before Publication

Before a research paper reaches the final stage of publication, authors have the opportunity to fine-tune their titles to ensure they accurately represent their work and resonate with the intended audience. In this section, we will explore the pre-publication phase and the possibilities of making title changes during the submission and peer review process.

Submission Process for Research Papers to Academic Journals:

The journey of a research paper typically begins with authors submitting their manuscripts to academic journals for consideration. During this stage, authors provide essential information, including the research paper’s title, abstract, keywords, and the full manuscript.

Example: An author submits their groundbreaking research on artificial intelligence in medicine to a renowned medical journal. The title of the manuscript is “Machine Learning Applications in Healthcare.”

Minor Title Revisions During the Peer Review Process:

Once a research paper is submitted, it undergoes a rigorous peer review process, where experts in the field evaluate its quality, validity, and contribution to knowledge. During this stage, minor title revisions are often allowed, particularly if they improve the accuracy, clarity, or relevance of the title without altering the core focus of the study.

Example: During the peer review process, the reviewers suggest that the original title “Machine Learning Applications in Healthcare” could be enhanced to provide a clearer focus on the use of machine learning in diagnosing rare diseases. The revised title becomes “Leveraging Machine Learning for Early Diagnosis of Rare Diseases in Healthcare.”

Proposing Title Changes Based on Reviewer Feedback or Improved Clarity:

Authors have the opportunity to propose title changes in response to feedback received from reviewers. Reviewer comments may point out areas where the original title could be strengthened, or they may suggest a more precise and descriptive title that aligns better with the study’s findings.

Example: In response to reviewer feedback, the authors of a study investigating climate change effects on agriculture propose a new title that emphasizes the specific region studied. The revised title becomes “Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Crop Yields in Southeast Asia.”

Potential Limitations or Restrictions Imposed by Journals:

While minor title revisions are generally allowed during the peer review process, some journals may have specific policies or guidelines that limit the extent of title changes. Journals might require that the core focus and contribution of the research remain consistent with the original submission to maintain the integrity of the peer review and publication process.

Example: A journal with strict title change policies may allow minor adjustments to improve clarity or accuracy but restrict significant changes that might alter the study’s core focus. This ensures that the published version aligns closely with the work evaluated by reviewers.

Title Changes After Publication

While the possibility of changing a research paper title after publication exists, it is a more complex process compared to pre-publication revisions. In this section, we will explore the intricacies involved in post-publication title changes, the steps authors can take to request such changes, and the importance of providing valid justifications for doing so.

Complexities of Making Title Changes After Publication:

Once a research paper is published, it becomes a part of the scholarly record and is accessible to readers and researchers worldwide. As such, any modifications to the title should be approached with caution to ensure accuracy, consistency, and ethical considerations. Title changes after publication are relatively rare and are typically reserved for situations where it is essential to rectify significant errors or inaccuracies.

Example: An author realizes that an error was made in the title of their published paper, mistakenly omitting a critical keyword that impacts the paper’s visibility in relevant search results. In such cases, a title change may be warranted to correct the oversight.

Process of Contacting the Journal’s Editorial Team for Title Change Requests:

Authors seeking to change the title of their research paper after publication should initiate communication with the journal’s editorial team. The process for making such requests varies among journals, and authors may need to follow specific guidelines provided by the journal.

Example: An author contacts the editorial office of the journal in which their paper was published and submits a formal request to change the title. The request includes the current title, the proposed new title, and a justification for the change.

Importance of Providing Valid Justifications for Title Changes:

To ensure that post-publication title changes are appropriately considered, authors must provide valid justifications for the requested modifications. Valid reasons may include significant errors, inaccuracies, or omissions in the original title that may impact the paper’s clarity or its relevance to the field.

Example: An author provides a strong justification for changing the title of their published paper by explaining that the original title inaccurately represented the study’s primary findings, potentially leading to misinterpretations by readers.

Concept of “Corrigenda” or “Errata” for Correcting Errors in Published Papers:

In the context of published papers, “corrigenda” or “errata” refer to official notices that acknowledge and correct significant errors or mistakes identified in the paper after publication. These notices are published by the journal and linked to the original paper to ensure readers are aware of the corrections.

Example: If an author discovers a material error in the title of their published paper, a corrigendum can be issued to correct the mistake. The corrigendum will include the correct title and an explanation of the error.

Journal Policies and Copyright Considerations

Understanding the policies of the journal where a research paper is published is of utmost importance for authors seeking to make title changes. In this section, we will explore the significance of being familiar with journal policies, the implications of copyright and licensing agreements on title changes, and the importance of reviewing journal guidelines before submission.

Significance of Understanding Journal Policies:

Every academic journal has its own set of policies and guidelines that govern the publication process, including rules related to title changes. Authors must familiarize themselves with these policies to determine the feasibility and requirements for making title adjustments.

Example: Journal A might have a lenient policy allowing minor title revisions during the peer review process, while Journal B might have more stringent rules, permitting post-publication title changes only for correcting significant errors.

When authors submit their research papers to journals, they often sign copyright or licensing agreements that outline the rights and restrictions related to their work. These agreements can impact the extent to which authors can make changes to their paper, including the title, after publication.

Example: If an author signs a copyright transfer agreement with a journal, they may need to seek permission from the journal’s editorial team before making any post-publication title changes. Alternatively, if the author retains copyright under an open-access license, they may have more flexibility in modifying the title.

Encouraging Authors to Review Journal Guidelines Before Submission:

To avoid complications and ensure compliance with journal policies, authors should carefully review the submission guidelines provided by the journal before submitting their research papers. Familiarity with these guidelines can help authors make informed decisions about title changes, even during the pre-publication phase.

Example: Before submitting their research paper to a journal, authors review the journal’s guidelines and notice that the journal allows minor title revisions during the peer review process. Armed with this knowledge, authors can propose appropriate title changes when submitting their manuscript.

Update Personal Profiles After Title Change

Once the title change for your research paper has been approved and published in the journal, it is vital to update your personal profiles to reflect the new research paper title. Keeping your profiles up-to-date ensures consistency across various platforms and accurately represents your work in the academic community.

Advice on Updating Personal Profiles:

  1. Researcher Profile Websites: Access platforms like ResearchGate,, Google Scholar, or ORCID, and log in to your account to update your new title.

Example: Dr. Smith, who recently changed the title of her research paper, visits her ResearchGate profile and updates her new title.

  1. University/Institution Websites: If your new title impacts your institutional affiliation, update the relevant sections on your university or institution’s website to reflect the recent changes accurately.

Example: Dr. Johnson, whose paper’s title underwent a revision, visits her faculty profile on the prestigious research institute’s website and updates the revised information.

  1. Social and Professional Networking Sites: Platforms like LinkedIn are widely used for professional networking. Update your LinkedIn profile to include the revised title.
  1. Publication Records: Ensure that your published paper’s title is consistent across all platforms, such as your personal website or other academic databases where you maintain a list of your publications.

Example: Dr. Smith manages her personal website, where she showcases her published works. She updates the title of the paper to match the revised version and provides a link to the corrected paper on the journal’s website.

By updating your personal profiles to reflect the title change, you maintain an accurate academic identity across different platforms. Additionally, providing links to the corrected version of the paper allows readers and colleagues to access the most recent and accurate information about your research. As you stay proactive in updating your profiles, you contribute to a reliable and consistent representation of your work, further solidifying your presence and impact within the academic community.

Tips for Authors

Selecting an accurate and compelling title for a research paper is a crucial task that can significantly impact its visibility and reception within the academic community. In this section, we will provide practical tips for authors to craft effective titles during the submission process, seek valuable feedback, and emphasize the importance of a well-crafted title to minimize the need for post-publication changes.

Practical Tips for Selecting an Accurate and Compelling Title:

a. Be Clear and Specific: Aim for a title that precisely conveys the main focus of the research. Avoid vague or ambiguous language that might confuse readers about the study’s subject matter.

Example: Instead of “The Impact of Technology on Education,” consider “Integrating E-Learning Platforms to Enhance Student Engagement.”

b. Highlight Key Findings: If the research yields significant or novel findings, incorporate them into the title to capture readers’ attention and showcase the paper’s contribution.

Example: Instead of “A Study of Antibiotic Resistance,” consider “Unraveling New Mechanisms of Antibiotic Resistance in Drug-Resistant Bacteria.”

c. Use Keywords Wisely: Include relevant keywords in the title to improve discoverability and indexing in academic databases and search engines.

Example: Instead of “Sustainable Agriculture Practices,” consider “Enhancing Soil Health: The Role of Sustainable Agricultural Practices.”

Seek Feedback from Colleagues or Mentors to Refine the Title:

Before submitting the research paper to a journal, seek feedback from colleagues, mentors, or subject matter experts to evaluate the clarity, effectiveness, and impact of the title. Constructive feedback can help refine the title and ensure that it aligns with the study’s significance.

Example: After crafting a title for their research on renewable energy, an author shares it with a fellow researcher who provides valuable input to enhance its relevance and appeal.

Emphasize the Value of a Well-Crafted Title to Minimize Post-Publication Changes:

A well-crafted title not only attracts readers but also helps prevent the need for post-publication title changes. By investing time and effort in creating an accurate and compelling title during the submission process, authors can reduce the likelihood of significant title revisions after publication.

Example: Authors who carefully consider the wording and focus of their title before submitting their research paper to a journal are less likely to encounter challenges in post-publication title changes, as the title accurately reflects the study’s content and contributions.

Email Template Requesting for Title Change After Publication in a Research Journal

Subject: Request for Title Change – [Your Research Paper Title] – [Journal Name]

Dear [Editor-in-Chief / Editorial Team],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to request a title change for my recently published research paper titled “[Your Current Research Paper Title]” in [Journal Name], [Volume Number], [Issue Number], published on [Publication Date].

After careful consideration and feedback from colleagues and readers, I believe that a more accurate and compelling title would better reflect the essence of the research and enhance its discoverability and relevance within the academic community.

Proposed New Title: “[Your Proposed New Title]”

Justification for Title Change: [Provide a concise and persuasive explanation of why the proposed new title better represents the primary focus and key findings of the research. Emphasize how the new title improves the clarity, accuracy, and impact of the paper.]

I understand that title changes after publication are uncommon and require careful consideration. However, I believe that the revised title will better resonate with readers, increasing the paper’s visibility and potential impact on the field.

I have reviewed the journal’s policies and copyright agreements and am committed to complying with any requirements or processes necessary for making this title change. I am willing to provide any additional information or documentation to support this request.

Please find the original publication details below for your reference:

Title: [Your Current Research Paper Title] Author(s): [Your Name(s)] Journal: [Journal Name] Volume: [Volume Number] Issue: [Issue Number] Publication Date: [Publication Date]

I would greatly appreciate your consideration of this title change request. Should you require any further information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at [Your Email Address] or [Your Phone Number].

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. I look forward to your response.


[Your Name] [Your Affiliation] [Your Email Address] [Your Phone Number]

Download the Template for Change My Research Paper Title

You can download the template here by entering your details here.


Title changes after publication require careful consideration due to their impact on the scholarly record and the potential implications for readers and researchers. While the process of making such changes involves contacting the journal’s editorial team and providing valid justifications, it is essential to recognize that post-publication title changes are generally reserved for rectifying significant errors or inaccuracies. Additionally, the concept of “corrigenda” or “errata” provides a formal mechanism for acknowledging and rectifying mistakes in published papers, including titles.

Navigating the world of title changes in academic publishing requires a thorough understanding of journal policies and copyright considerations. By being well-informed and proactive in adhering to guidelines, authors can optimize the impact of their research paper titles and contribute meaningfully to the scholarly community.

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Dr. Vijay Rajpurohit
Author: Dr. Vijay Rajpurohit
Dr. Vijay Rajpurohit is a researcher in Computer Science. He loves to educate researchers and research scholars on Research Paper Writing, Thesis Writing, Research Grants, Patenting Research Work and the latest Research-related issues. You can reach him @ [email protected]