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Articles with short titles were found to be read and cited more than those with long ones. This includes those titles with question marks (which many frown against because the articles often don't answer the question) being cited more. However, long titles with colons that expanded on the subject were found to be downloaded and cited less.

Method: "We investigate the impact of the type of article titles on the number of citations and downloads articles receive. Number of downloads and citations for all articles published in six of PLoS (Public Library of Science) journals (2,172 articles) were obtained from PLoS and type of each article’s title (including descriptive, indicative and question) was determined as well as the number of substantive words in title (title length).

Conclusion: "The findings showed that differences exist between articles with different types of titles in terms of downloads and citations, especially articles with question titles tended to be downloaded more but cited less than the others."

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