Interesting Esoterica

Scholarly communication in transition: The use of question marks in the titles of scientific articles in medicine, life sciences and physics 1966–2005

Article by Ball, Rafael
  • Published in 2009
  • Added on
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The titles of scientific articles have a special significance. We examined nearly 20 million scientific articles and recorded the development of articles with a question mark at the end of their titles over the last 40 years. Our study was confined to the disciplines of physics, life sciences and medicine, where we found a significant increase from 50% to more than 200% in the number of articles with question-mark titles. We looked at the principle functions and structure of the titles of scientific papers, and we assume that marketing aspects are one of the decisive factors behind the growing usage of question-mark titles in scientific articles.

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Other information

issn
0138-9130
journal
Scientometrics
keywords
Computer Science
number
3
pages
667--679
publisher
Akadémiai Kiadó, co-published with Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Formerly Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V.
volume
79

BibTeX entry

@article{Ball2009,
	abstract = {The titles of scientific articles have a special significance. We examined nearly 20 million scientific articles and recorded the development of articles with a question mark at the end of their titles over the last 40 years. Our study was confined to the disciplines of physics, life sciences and medicine, where we found a significant increase from 50{\%} to more than 200{\%} in the number of articles with question-mark titles. We looked at the principle functions and structure of the titles of scientific papers, and we assume that marketing aspects are one of the decisive factors behind the growing usage of question-mark titles in scientific articles.},
	author = {Ball, Rafael},
	issn = {0138-9130},
	journal = {Scientometrics},
	keywords = {Computer Science},
	month = {jan},
	number = 3,
	pages = {667--679},
	publisher = {Akad{\'{e}}miai Kiad{\'{o}}, co-published with Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Formerly Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V.},
	title = {Scholarly communication in transition: The use of question marks in the titles of scientific articles in medicine, life sciences and physics 1966–2005},
	url = {http://www.springerlink.com/content/uh466q5p3722n37l/},
	volume = 79,
	year = 2009,
	urldate = {2011-10-14},
	collections = {History,The act of doing maths}
}