Selecting Appropriate Titles for Research Papers

Selecting Appropriate Titles for Research Papers

homeopathy

ABSTRACT : The title of a scientific article is most important element which is expected to trigger interest among the readers. In the first instance, the title captures the attention of the readers and if eye-catching, interesting and meaningful, they decide to go through the whole article. Otherwise, they feel, it is waste of time and energy to read the entire article. There are usually three types of title: indicative (descriptive), informative (declarative), and interrogative titles and it is up to the author to decide which one to adopt. It is always safer to frame the title of a scientific paper, following guidelines of the target journal. In this article, the importance of a title is highlighted, features of a good title, what to avoid in title, categories of titles, with special reference to various titles available in homoeopathic literature.

INTRODUCTION

First impressions are strong impressions; a title ought therefore to be well-studied, and to give, so far as its limits permit, a definite and concise indication of what is to come”. [1] This statement of T. Olliford Allbutt is very relevant in the context of writing a suitable title for a research paper. It is a fact that large number of readers usually go through the titles of article in a journal, but a few go through entire text of the articles. So, the title of an article is like navigation for the ship which leads the ship or the readers to further delve into the entire body of the article. The title, written appropriately, attracts attention of the readers, and introduces the research work in condensed form. That’s why, title is also called as the “Window of the article”. In most of the articles, the titles contribute towards “Keywords”, which help to retrieve the particular article or related articles from electronic databases.

IMPORTANCE OF THE TITLE

1. The titles are used extensively by indexing and abstracting services.

2. The articles with inaccurate and improper titles may never reach the intended readers.

3. Users after reading the title, decide if it is relevant to their need, and if yes, they go through the whole contents of the article.

4. Purpose of writing an article will be defeated if it is not widely read. To accomplish this, the title should be interesting, attractive and easily comprehensible.

5. Title of each article has a major contribution for deciding the keywords of the article.

6. In a scientific publication in medical science, it usually indicates the clinical conditions, intervention, samples, study design, methodology, the variable used and the outcome etc.

FEATURES OF A GOOD TITLE

1. It should contain important keywords, which will be helpful to retrieve the article from electronic databases.[2]

2. It should reflect the contents of the article.[2]

3.  The title needs to be interesting so that the readers will be tempted to read the entire article. [2]

4. An ideal title should be concise and precise, informative and focussed.[3]A lengthy title invites boredom and distracts the attention of the readers.

5. A good title should be brief, but at the same time, should convey important features of the contents of the article.[4]

6. It should be clear, simple, brief and attractive.[5]

7. It should be informative and meaningful.[6]

8. It should convey the crux of the research work.

9. Ideally, a title contains all aspects of the research question studied, i.e. participant, intervention, comparator or control and outcome (PICO). [7]

10. It should convey the objective of the study. Example- A prospective clinical trial to ascertain    

   the role of Baryta mur. 3x in dyslipidemia.

  1. It should include study population. Example- Homeopathic intervention along with psychotherapy in the treatment of mild and moderate cases of depressive disorder in adults- A single blind, randomized placebo- controlled trial.

12. A title should be limited to 10-12 words.[7]

13. Briefly speaking, the most ideal title should be written in clear, simple and unambiguous   terms, containing at least clinical condition, participants, intervention and study design.

TO AVOID IN A TITLE

  1. Using abbreviations, unless they are very popular like WHO, UNICEF, HIV, AIDS, etc.
  2. Including formulas and chemical symbols.
  3. Using jargons which make the title boring for the readers.
  4. Making it too lengthy.[7]
  5. Making the title too short to convey any meaning.
  6. Including sensational terms (like, a novel way of treating hypertension; a magic marker for diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, etc.)
  7. Making the title amusing or humorous.[7]
  8. Using too many technical terms.

TYPES OF TITLES

  1. Relating to general literature:
    1. Descriptive (Indicative) Title [8]

Such types of titles indicate the subject matter of an article but doesn’t include results.

Example: Effectiveness of Belladonna in preventing Japanese Encephalitis virus infection in chorioallantoic membrane.

  1. Declarative(Informative) title [8]

These types of titles give an indication of subject matter of the article as well as results.

Example: Belladonna prevents Japanese Encephalitis virus infection in chorio- allantoic membrane.

  1. Interrogative (Question) title [8]

Interrogative titles are written in the forms of questions.

Example: Can Belladonna prevent Japanese Encephalitis virus infection in chorio- allantoic membrane.

     2. Relating to homoeopathic research:

          2.1 According to study design:

                  Examples-

  • Clinical trials of homeopathy in urological disorders: a systematic review.[9]
  • Efficacy of Dioscorea villosa 6CH in treatment of dyslipidemia: A double- blind, randomized, placebo- controlled, clinical trial.[10]
  •  A prospective observational study to ascertain the role of homeopathic therapy in the management of diabetic foot ulcer.[11]
  • A retrospective study of homeopathic treatment in patients with heel pain with or without calcaneal spur.[12]
  • Effects of homoeopathic treatment in women with premenstrual syndrome: a pilot study.[13]
  • Homeopathy and health related Quality of Life: A survey in six European countries.[14]

2.2 According to types of research

2.2.1 Drug Standardisation

2.2.1.1.Physico-chemical studies

  • Physico-chemical studies of extremely diluted solutions (homeopathic formulations) of Sulphur in ethanol by using volumetric, acoustic, viscometric and refractive index measurements at different temperature.[15]
  • Importance of higher performance thin layer chromatography and UV spectroscopy in Analysis of Homoeopathic drug Datura ferox.[16]

2.2.1.2. Pharmacognostic studies

  • Pharmacognostic studies of Polygala senega L.Root: A homoeopathic drug.[17]
  • Pharmacognostic and physico-chemical standardization of homoeopathic drug Rumex crispus.[18]

2.2.1.3. Pharmacological studies

  • Chamomilla homeopathic dilution effect on central nervous system- An experimental pharmacological study.[19]
  • Pre-clinical pharmacology: An important aspect in homoeopathic research.[20]

2.2.2  Drug Proving/Homoeopathic Pathogenetic Trial(HPT)

  • A double-blind,placebo- controlled homeopathic pathogenetic trial of Nanocurcumin 6X.[21]
  • A multicentric double blind homoeopathic pathogenetic trial of Hygrophila spinosa.[22]

3.1.2  Clinical Verification

  • Formic acid: A multicentric observational homoeopathic clinical verification trial.[23]
  • Damiana-A Clinical Verification Study (A multicentric study conducted by CCRH).[24]

3.1.3  Clinical Research (Disease related)

  • Efficacy of homoeopathic therapy in the pain management of cervical spondylosis patients- A randomized, single blind, placebo- controlled clinical trial.
  • A Clinical Study to see the Effect of Homoeopathic medicines in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome of Reproductive Age Group between 12-45 Years.[26]

3.1.4 C            linical Research (Drug related)

  • Lycopodium clavatum for the management of urolithiasis: A randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial.[27]
  • A Case Report Of Ureteric Calculus Treated With Homoeopathic Medicine Hydrangea arborescens 30.[28]

3.1.5  Fundamental Research 

  • Extreme homoeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective.[29]
  • Decreased Intensity of Japanese Encephalitis Virus Infection in Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane Under Influence of Ultra diluted Belladonna Extract.[30]

3.1. 6  Literary Research

  • Connecting teaching and research in homoeopathy: Why and How ?[31]
  • Scientific Publications.[32]

WHILE FINALIZING THE TITLE

  1. If single digit numbers are used, those should be written in words, whereas more than single digit numbers should be written figures.
  2. If scientific name of bacterium or animal is used, the first letter of its genus should in capital, not the specy and the whole name in italics, e.g. Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  3. A short title of three to four words may be given, along with the main title, generally required by the journal.[33]
  4. Be careful about the grammatical and spelling errors.
  5. Do not be hurry to finalise the title. Rather, opinion of peers or seniors should be taken, who can give independent and judicious opinion about the title.

CONCLUSION

       The title is the gateway to the text of a scientific paper, which although written in a few words, attracts attention of the readers. Titles have a significant role in the marketing of the article since large numbers of articles are published every year in each scientific stream. [34] In this article, care has been taken to highlight various factors which help to decide a good title for a research paper. However, each standard journal publishes guidelines how to write a title, which should be meticulously followed by the author. By rigidly following the journal requirements, it will minimise delay in processing the article and facilitate early publication.

CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST: Authors declare no conflict-of-interest.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Authors are grateful to the scientists of Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, and PG/PhD scholars of homoeopathy university, Jaipur, for their support in providing source materials for this article.

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  • Naskar Kisor Kumar, Mishra Ompriya, Chattopadhyay Abhijit,Kumar Ashutosha, Banerjee Anirudhha, Nahar Laijun et al. Efficacy of Dioscorea villosa 6CH in Treatment of Dyslipidemia: A Double- Blind,Randomized,Placebo- Controlled, Clinical Trial.Journal of Pharmaceutical Negative Results;11(1):59-64.
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  • Jayakumar N.R., Nayak Chaturbhuja. Efficacy of homoeopathic therapy in the pain management of cervical spondylosis patients- A randomized, single blind, placebo- controlledclinical trial. JHU.2018;3:9-15.
  • Priti Ashok.Malvekar, Nadguada Sameer S., Jadhav Arun Bhargav. A Clinical Study to see the Effect of Homoeopathic medicines in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome of Reproductive Age Group between 12-45 Years. International Journal of Health Science and Research.2020;10(3):43-46.
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  • Nayak Chintamani, Sahoo Amulya Ratan, Nayak Chatarbhuja, Prusty Umakanta,Hati Akshay Kumar,Paital Biswaranjan. A Case Report Of Ureteric Calculus Treated With Homoeopathic Medicine Hydrangea arborescens 30.IAJPS.2018;05(01):627-633.
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About Author:

 Chaturbhuja Nayak

Former Director General, Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy & former President,    

Aman Deep Kaushal

   Homoeopathy University, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.2 Assistant Professor, Dr MPK Homoeopathic Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre, Homoeopathy University, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

Homeopathy360 Team
Posted By: Homeopathy360 Team