Monday, November 14, 2005

an avuncular moment regarding article titles

I received received a paper to review. In the interests of discretion, I am not going to say what its title is here. But it's something analogous to "Forty Dependent Variables." Please, please, please, PLEASE, anyone who reads this blog and submits research articles for publication, do NOT do this. Your article can be titled "Forty Dependent Variables: [something indicating what the paper is about]." You can put anything you want in front of the colon--I'm probably more a fan of precious stuff in front of the colon than I should be--so long as the part of the title after the colon gives some idea what the paper is about. But don't give your manuscript a title that provides absolutely no indication as to its substantive content.

3 comments:

Tom Volscho said...

along similar lines, my personal favorite is:

"I Just Ran Four Million Regressions"
http://www.nber.org/papers/w6252

A+ said...

As a space filler in a draft I once wrote "Something Clever Here: Check Out How Much I Totally Get Sh*t." I got so used to seeing it there that it started to blend in with the paper, I forgot about it, and handed it in like that as my final seminar paper.

Plus the paper sucked, which didn't help.

brady said...

I'd like to say I'll never title a chapter or article drawn from my current ethnographic study of community groups (among them, charitable crafters), done partly in response to the Robert Putnam-spurred civic engagement debate, "Knitting Together".

I'd like to. But I'd be lying.