, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 2331–2351 | Cite as

Titles in English-medium Astrophysics research articles

  • David I. MéndezEmail author
  • M. Ángeles Alcaraz
  • Françoise Salager-Meyer


In this study we analyse a corpus of 300 randomly selected research paper titles written in English and published between 1998 and 2012 in the most prestigious journals in the field of Astrophysics, an under-researched discipline from a linguistic standpoint. We specifically address issues related to the evolution of titles, their length, their lexical density, their type distribution and their semantic content. Our findings reveal a trend towards relatively long titles with a high lexical density, a preference for nominal and simple titles over verbal and compound ones, a very low occurrence of question constructions, and a prevalence of purpose and results over methods as key research concepts expressed in titles. We compare our findings with the results of previous studies on titles in other scientific disciplines and provide explanations for the differences and similarities observed.


Astrophysics Titles Research articles English Diachronic 



The authors wish to thank the suggestions provided by the anonymous reviewers that greatly improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David I. Méndez
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Ángeles Alcaraz
    • 2
  • Françoise Salager-Meyer
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Física, Ingeniería de Sistemas y Teoría de la Señal, Escuela Politécnica SuperiorUniversidad de AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Estudios Ingleses, Facultad de Filosofía y LetrasUniversidad de AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  3. 3.Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad de los AndesMéridaVenezuela

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