Part 1: Choosing the right title

The title is the first thing that potential reviewers will see not only when reviewing your article but actually when deciding whether to review your article. Since the associate editor knows who the reviewers are, he or she is likely to give more weight to the comments of well established scientists in your field, so you need to get their attention. These are busy people who are likely to be receiving dozens of review requests a month. An effective title that piques their interest will get them to read your abstract.

Chose a title that succinctly and accurately describes the major finding(s) of the paper. It’s all too common that, as an expert reviewer, I have received a manuscript that claims one thing in the title, but shows something altogether different in the text. I’ve also seen drafts of manuscripts whose titles don’t really say much at all. Here’s an example of one on which I was co-author.

Draft: Nramp1 affects iron trafficking in iron-loaded macrophages

This earlier version connects Nramp1 with iron trafficking, but does not indicate the nature of Nramp1’s role in macrophages. My suggestion, which ended up in the final version, is slightly shorter but contains considerably more information:

Nramp1 equips macrophages for efficient iron recycling

Here it is clear that Nramp1 has a positive role in the recycling of iron from macrophages. In this title, we also used something slightly different than the very common, “…is required for…”. A Pubmed search of “is required for” yields nearly 650,000 hits, whereas only 154 hits come up with “equips”. Using less common, interesting diction appropriately shows reviewers that your manuscript will be an enjoyable reading experience. Furthermore, the title’s succinctness forecasts a less cumbersome manuscript that may not take extra effort to understand.

>Part 2: The Abstract->