Humor and citations

The data are taken from ecology and evolution papers:

Self-citation data suggest that authors give funnier titles to papers they consider less important. After correction for this confound, papers with funny titles have significantly higher citation rates, suggesting that humour recruits readers. We also examined associations between citation rates and several other features of titles. Inclusion of acronyms and taxonomic names was associated with lower citation rates, while assertive-statement phrasing and presence of colons, question marks, and political regions were associated with somewhat higher citation rates. Title length had no effect on citation. Our results suggest that scientists can use creativity with titles without having their work condemned to obscurity.

The authors of this paper are Stephen B. HeardChloe A. CullEaston R. White.  Via Michelle Dawson.  p.s. The paper has a (modestly) funny title — “If this title is funny, will you cite me?”


Comments for this post are closed