The importance of titles

The title of your manuscript is usually the first introduction readers have to your published work. Therefore, you must select a title that grabs attention, accurately describes the contents of your manuscript, and makes people want to read further.

An effective title should:

  • Convey the main topics of the study
  • Highlight the importance of the research
  • Be concise
  • Attract readers

Writing a good title for your manuscript can be challenging. First, list the topics covered by the manuscript. Try to put all of the topics together in the title using as few words as possible. A title that is too long will seem clumsy, annoy readers, and probably not meet journal requirements.

Example:

Does Vaccinating Children and Adolescents with Inactivated Influenza Virus Inhibit the Spread of Influenza in Unimmunized Residents of Rural Communities?

This title has too many unnecessary words.

Influenza Vaccination of Children: A Randomized Trial

This title doesn’t give enough information about what makes the manuscript interesting.

Effect of Child Influenza Vaccination on Infection Rates in Rural Communities: A Randomized Trial

This is an effective title. It is short, easy to understand, and conveys the important aspects of the research.

Think about why your research will be of interest to other scientists. This should be related to the reason you decided to study the topic. If your title makes this clear, it will likely attract more readers to your manuscript.

Identifying hot topics for research

TIP!

Write down a few possible titles, and then select the best to refine further. Ask your colleagues their opinion. Spending the time needed to do this will result in a better title.

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