, Volume 109, Issue 3, pp 1895–1909 | Cite as

The effect of a country’s name in the title of a publication on its visibility and citability

  • Giovanni Abramo
  • Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo
  • Flavia Di Costa


The objective of this research is to determine if the reference to a country in the title, keywords or abstract of a publication can influence its visibility (measured by the impact factor of the publishing journal) and citability (measured by the citations received). The study is based on Italian scientific production indexed in the Web of Science over the period 2004–2011. The analysis is conducted by comparing the values of four impact indicators for two subsets: (1) the indexed publications with a country’s name in the title, keywords or abstract; (2) the remainder of the population, with no country’ name. The results obtained both at the general level and by subject category show that publications with a country name systematically receive lower impact values, with the exception of a limited number of subject categories, Also, the incidence of highly-cited articles is lower for the first subset.


Bibliometrics Impact Research evaluation 


  1. Abramo, G., Cicero, T., & D’Angelo, C. A. (2012). Revisiting the scaling of citations for research assessment. Journal of Informetrics, 6(4), 470–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bavdekar Sandeep, B. (2016). Formulating the right title for a research article. Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, 64, 53–56.Google Scholar
  3. Bornmann, L., & Daniel, H. D. (2008). What do citation counts measure? A review of studies on citing behavior. Journal of Documentation, 64(1), 45–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cheng, S. W., Kuo, C. W., & Kuo, C. H. (2012). Research article titles in applied linguistics. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 6(1), A1–A14.Google Scholar
  5. Demner-Fushman, D., Hauser, S., & Thoma, G. (2005). The role of title, metadata and abstract in identifying clinically relevant journal articles. American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium Proceedings (pp. 191–195).Google Scholar
  6. Falahati Qadimi Fumani, M. R., Goltaji, M., & Parto, P. (2015). The impact of title length and punctuation marks on article citations. Annals of Library and Information Studies (ALIS), 62(3), 126–132.Google Scholar
  7. Habibzadeh, F., & Yadollahie, M. (2010). Are shorter article titles more attractive for citations? Cross sectional study of 22 scientific journals. Croatian Medical Journal, 51(2), 165–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Haggan, M. (2004). Research paper titles in literature, linguistics and science: Dimensions of attraction. Journal of Pragmatics, 36(2), 293–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hartley (2012). Titles are the hardest thing: How can we make them more effective?. Retrieved May 24, 2012 from
  10. Jacques, T. S., & Sebire, N. J. (2010). The impact of article titles on citation hits: An analysis of general and specialist medical journals. JRSM Short Reports, 1(1), 2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jamali, H. R., Nicholas, D., Watkinson, A., Herman, E., Tenopir, C., Levine, K., et al. (2014). How scholars implement trust in their reading, citing and publishing activities: Geographical differences. Library and Information Science Research, 36(3), 192–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jamali, H. R., & Nikzad, M. (2011). Article title type and its relation with the number of downloads and citations. Scientometrics, 88(2), 653–661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Morrison, D. S., & Batty, G. D. (2009). The advantages of being called NICE: A systematic review of journal article titles using the acronym for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Journal of Public Health, 31(1), 127–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nair, L. B., & Gibbert, M. (2016). What makes a ‘good’ title and (how) does it matter for citations? A review and general model of article title attributes in management science. Scientometrics, 107(3), 1331–1359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Paiva, C. E., Lima, J. P. D. S. N., & Paiva, B. S. R. (2012). Articles with short titles describing the results are cited more often. Clinics, 67(5), 509–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rostami, F., Mohammadpoorasl, A., & Hajizadeh, M. (2014). The effect of characteristics of title on citation rates of articles. Scientometrics, 98(3), 2007–2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Salager-Meyer, F., & Alcaraz Ariza, M. Á. (2013). Titles are “serious stuff”: A historical study of academic titles. JAHR-European Journal of Bioethics, 4(7), 257–271.Google Scholar
  18. Subotic, S., & Mukherjee, B. (2014). Short and amusing: The relationship between title characteristics, downloads, and citations in psychology articles. Journal of Information Science, 40(1), 115–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. van Wesel, M., Wyatt, S., & ten Haaf, J. (2014). What a difference a colon makes: How superficial factors influence subsequent citation. Scientometrics, 98(3), 1601–1615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Wang, Y., & Bai, Y. (2007). A corpus-based syntactic study of medical research article titles. System, 35(3), 388–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wang, X., Wang, Z., Mao, W., & Liu, C. (2014). How far does scientific community look back? Journal of Informetrics, 8(3), 562–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Abramo
    • 1
  • Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Flavia Di Costa
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Studies of Research and Technology Transfer, Institute for System Analysis and Computer Science (IASI-CNR)National Research Council of ItalyRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Engineering and ManagementUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly

Personalised recommendations