Research Paper Title: 03 Simple Steps to Make it Easily Discoverable

Introduction

Research Paper Title

Every researcher has the ambition of getting the highest citation counts for his research paper. There are several ways one can achieve this using authentic means. The research paper title can play a crucial role in achieving this goal.

Research paper titles remain in the mind of a researcher even after he finishes reading your research paper. If the researcher feels the paper is interesting then the title enters the bibliography or on Mendeley’s account of the researcher.  The researcher cites the same paper in his journals and thesis and indirectly helps the author to increase his paper citation counts.

The point is, whether your paper finds a place in his literature survey when the same researcher writes a paper and submits it to a reputed journal. For this to happen,  remembering your name and something about the research paper title will both be crucial. Without these signals, your work will be untouched in other scholars’ bibliography or remains untouched among other papers on the Web.

But the sad part is, most of the researchers choose research paper titles for their research papers, journal articles, and chapters in books that are totally ambiguous and difficult to remember for a naïve researcher. In fact, many researchers believe that giving simple, easy-to-understand research paper titles is belittling themselves in the eyes of other reputed researchers. The hard truth is, the simpler your title, the easier it finds a place in the citation list and possibly increases your h-index value.

In fact, as an author, you will assign  Title to the research paper two times. These titles can be broadly categorized as

  1. Working  Research Paper Title

    The working research paper title is identified in the early part of the research and gives direction for the researcher and his supervisor to focus on a specific goal till complete results are obtained.  This title will help the supervisor to keep track of the work carried out by the researcher and stop him from drifting away from the goal.

  2. Final Research Paper Title

    The final research paper title or article title will be assigned at the time of submission of the paper to the specific conference or journal depending on the requirement of the conference or journal. The final title will be more focused and it accurately captures what has been done.

Before assigning the title to the article, the following three key areas, which the researcher usually neglects need to be focused on. They are:

  1. Research Paper Title Format
  2. SEO-based Research Paper Title
  3. Domain-specific Research Paper Title

1. Research Paper Title Format

 “Sorry to inform you, due to poor quality  in the language of the manuscript, it could not be assessed completely  hence, your paper is rejected”

This is the common one-liner, few researchers receive when they send their research articles to reputed journals. Even though a researcher has some important outcomes in the research it may be rejected either by editors or reviewers because of poor language used for writing the title and abstract.

Poor title writing skills hide the clarity of a researcher’s work.  English is considered the lingua franca for publishing your work and getting publicity worldwide. Linguistic errors and plagiarized text are the major hindrances in getting the paper published on international platforms.

Poor research paper title write-up includes faulty construction of sentences,  spelling errors, grammar, missing punctuation and unidiomatic expressions, which may take away the reviewer’s attention from the core work carried out by the researcher. In the worst-case scenario, poor english may force the reviewer to reject the paper at the outset without completely reading the content.  If at all your paper somehow gets through publication, still it is less likely to be cited by the top researchers in view of its poor language.

 The following points should be considered from a language point of view while assigning the research paper title.
  1. As a general guideline, try to keep your research paper title between 50-150 characters so that it can be easily remembered.

  2. Avoid redundant phrasing, such as, “A Study of,”, “An Analysis of”, “A Study to Investigate the…,” or “A Review of the….” or similar constructions.

  3. Capitalize all nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that appear between the first and last words of the Title.[e.g.” Tips to Increase Your Research Paper Citations Through Effective Title Writing”].

  4. Do not use an exclamation mark at the end of the title.

  5. You can begin a title with a coordinating conjunction[i.e., and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet] if it is required. [e.g., “Yet Another Look at  Addressing Pathological Issues Through Image Processing Lens”].
  6. Rarely use abbreviations or acronyms unless they are commonly known. [e.g. “Addressing HIV Issues Through Community Counselling” can be one of the Titles as HIV is an abbreviation well known. Whereas “Application of NN in  Solving Pathological Issues in Pomegranate Plant” Here NN (Neural Network) is not known to many, which may lead to ambiguity]

  7. The title can take the form of a question or declarative statement.[ eg. “How Best  Neural Networks  are Suitable  for Leaf Spot Disease Identification?”].

2. SEO-Based Research Paper Title

As a researcher, it is not only important to publish your work but you should also get good visibility of your paper on the heavily crowded web. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of trying to improve a web page’s search engine rankings. Google, Bing and other search engines prioritize content that it sees as valuable, good quality, and relevant – and display such content higher up on search rankings.

Search engines use page ranking algorithms for ranking content, including research articles. Web spiders are sent by search engines to crawl all accessible content online, trying to identify what the piece is about. The reputation of the site where your article is posted and the reputation of the sites which link to your article matters a lot. How it actually matters to a researcher? Let me elaborate on that in the next paragraph.

Well, the higher the ranking of your article, the more researchers will find it easily on the web, comprehend and finally cite your research paper. Remember, your research work will be found in the title and abstract only, with the title carrying more weight. Moreover, Title and Abstract are the only visible indicators to the researchers about your work.

There are several simple ways you can optimize your article Title for search engine rankings – here are just a few…

  1. Before writing your Title you should select the keywords for your article.

  2. For Google and many other search engines, the Title is the most important part of your article. Therefore, it is vital to include your most important keywords in your Title.

  3. Place your keywords within the first 65 characters of your Title.

  4. Usually, the search engines will display only the first few words of the title during the search. Front-load your most important keywords so that the readers who are searching related articles will see those keywords even if they don’t see the full Title.

  5. When creating your research title, ensure that the words frequently searched upon by the general public are in the Title.

  6. Think about the search terms that the readers are likely to use when looking for articles on the same topic as yours and help them by constructing your Title to include those terms.

 3. Domain-Specific Research Paper Title

A researcher begins his research voyage by selecting the research domain –  the area in which he intends to carry out his research.  The research domain can be

i) simply  the core technology domain such as cloud computing, big data analytics or image processing where the researcher intends to  add or improve framework or  algorithms for the domain itself

or

ii) Multi-disciplinary domains such as cloud computing in agriculture; image processing in health care or data analytics for E-Commerce etc.

The researcher may work in specific subdomains such as pathology in agriculture, PAAS architecture in the cloud, liver cancer in health care etc. While selecting the title of the research paper, the domains and subdomains of the research paper should be clearly part of the title as it makes things more clear for a researcher about the topic of a research paper.  It also increases the visibility of the paper across multi-disciplinary domains. This can also increase the citations of the paper.

The following points should be considered from the research domain point of view while assigning the research paper title

  1. Titles should describe what the research is about – they should give the reader a clear idea as to what the paper is about.

  2. The initial aim of a title is to capture the reader’s attention and to highlight the research problem under investigation.

  3. Use your thesis or hypothesis as the basis for your Title. Turn your conclusions into a definitive statement that captures the main idea of your paper and use that as your Title.

  4. Ensure that your Title includes keywords and terms which are commonly used within your research discipline.[e.g. “Neural Network-based Grape Leaf Image Analysis”]

  5. Make a list of the questions that your paper answers. If your topic is well-defined, it may be a short list, but the list may help you narrow down a Title for your paper by focusing your efforts.

  6. Include a quotation from the work that supports your thesis, if you are writing a literature or literary analysis paper.

  7. If your paper is not on a literary topic, add research quotations that relate to the subject and create a Title using the quotation followed by a subtitle that details the subject of your paper. [e.g. “Connecting the Dots”:  Distributed Computing to Cloud Computing”]

  8. Define the tone of your paper with your Title. If your paper is a serious and conventional academic study, do not write a casual or fun Title containing flowery language or a play on words.

Final Thought on Research Paper Title

While assigning the research paper title, please check to which conference or journal you are submitting the paper. As per the theme of the conference or the title of the journal modify the research paper title accordingly.

As I have seen many journals or conference reviewers will be asked to check how best the research paper matches the theme or the title of the conference or journal. As the research paper title will remain in the mind of the reviewer for the longest time than any other section, the author should consider this point also and tweak the title as per the theme.

For example, The author is working on the identification of bacterial disease on a leaf and its stage using Fuzzy logic,  Evolutionary programming, and machine learning algorithms and comparing their results.

If the  theme is on soft computing then the Title can be

“Leaf image analysis for pathological issues using  Soft Computing techniques”

If the conference theme is on  Advances in Computation techniques then  the Title can be

“Advances in computing techniques for identification  and  analysis of bacterial blight disease in pomegranate plant”

If the theme is on image processing then

“Application of soft computing techniques for  diseased  leaf spot  identification and analysis using image processing”

If the theme is on plant pathology  and  computer science then

“Identification and analysis of bacterial blight disease in pomegranate plants using soft computing techniques”

Vijay Rajpurohit
Author: Vijay Rajpurohit