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

Every researcher has the ambition of getting highest citation counts for his research paper. There are several ways one can achieve this using several authentic means . Research Paper title can play crucial rule 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 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.

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

But the sad part is, most of the researchers choose Paper Titles for their research papers, journal articles, 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 Title is belittling  themselves in the eyes of other reputed researchers. The  hard truth is, the  more simpler your Title, the more easier it finds place in citation list and possibly increase 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 Title

    The working 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 Title

    Final paper 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 needs to be focused. 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, 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 of the researchers receive when they send their research articles to reputed journals. Even though a researcher who has some important outcomes in the research it may be rejected  either  by editors or reviewers because of poor language used for writing Title and Abstract. Poor Title writing skills hide the clarity of a researcher’s work.  English is considered as the  lingua franca for publishing your work and getting publicity world wide. Linguistic errors and plagiarized text are the major hindrances in getting the paper published in international platforms.

Poor  Research Paper Title write up includes faulty construction of sentences,  spelling errors, grammar, missing punctuation and unidiomatic expressions, which may takeaway 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.  .

 Following  points should be considered  from language point of view, while assigning the Title for a research paper.
  1. As a general guideline, try to keep your Research Paper Title between 50 and 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 abbreviation well known . Where as “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. 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 by the heavily crowded web. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  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 contents  higher up on search rankings. Search engines use  page ranking algorithm for ranking content, including research articles. Web spiders are sent by the search engines to crawl all accessible content online, trying to identify what the piece is about. 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? Well, the higher the ranking of your article, 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 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 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 key words 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 carryout 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


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

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

The following points should be considered from research domain point of view while assigning the Research 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 to 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

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

For example: The author is working on identification of bacterial disease on a leaf and its stage using Fuzzy logic,  Evolutionary programming , 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”

6 thoughts on “Research Paper Title: 03 Simple Steps to Make it Easily Discoverable”

  1. Hello sir,
    Article is insightful, provides the profound idea of how the title and abstract play a pivotal role in a research paper.
    Looking forward for more and also about how to format the content?
    Thank you.

  2. Raviraj Kulkarni

    A very well written, informative and interesting article. I appreciate your effort to guide people to write research papers.

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