Brevity is the soul of wit — and of citation indices

The Journal of Economic Bahavior & Organization has an interesting article by Yann Bramoulléa and Lorenzo Ductor entitled “Title Length”. The Abstract reads:

We document strong and robust negative correlations between the length of the title of an economics article and different measures of scientific quality. Analyzing all articles published between 1970 and 2011 and referenced in EconLit, we find that articles with shorter titles tend to be published in better journals, to be more cited and to be more innovative. These correlations hold controlling for unobserved time-invariant and observed time-varying characteristics of teams of authors.

Highlights include:

• Strong and robust negative relation between the length of the title of an article and its scientific quality.

• Articles with shorter titles are published in better journals.

• Articles with shorter titles tend to receive more citations, controlling for journal quality and team characteristics.

• Title length is negatively associated with the novelty of the article.

• The association between title length and citations is stronger in better journals.

Wow! Who knew?