, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp 1331–1359 | Cite as

What makes a ‘good’ title and (how) does it matter for citations? A review and general model of article title attributes in management science

  • Lakshmi Balachandran NairEmail author
  • Michael Gibbert


What makes a “good” title for an article, i.e. one which might attract citations in the academic community? Answers to this question are manifold, though inconclusive across disciplines. In an attempt to provide cohesion, we integrate significant title characteristics from previous studies across disciplines into a comprehensive model and link it with citation count. Keeping the application context constant, we focus on management science and find that only non-alpha numeric characters and a balanced title structure have small, but significant effects on citation count. Surprisingly, attributes which tended to show significant effects in other disciplines (though often in opposite directions), such as length, context, and linguistic attributes exhibited no relationship with citation count.


Article title Citation count Scholarly impact Title attributes Management 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Matthias Weiss (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), and Mr. Simon Pek (Simon Fraser University) for their helpful comments. We would also like to thank both anonymous reviewers, as well as the Scientometrics editor Wolfgang Glaenzel for the excellent—challenging, yet always constructive feedback which they generously provided.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facoltà di scienze della comunicazioneUniversità della Svizzera italianaLuganoSwitzerland

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