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Cite Me! Cite Me!

You may think that scientific papers are cited based on the quality of their content, but there are other factors involved as well, says the Guardian's Ben Goldacre. For example, he says, the title can be very important. One recent study showed that titles of scientific papers are likely to fall into one of three categories — subject posed as a question, titles that describe the method, and declarative titles that state the conclusion. "If you're feeling cute, these title styles reflect the three stages of science: the question, method and result," Goldacre says. "The descriptive titles are the most common, as you'd hope, because methods are the most important thing in science. But earlier research has shown that question marks in titles are becoming more common." Other studies have also shown that papers with longer titles get more citations, and papers with titles rated as "highly amusing" get fewer citations, Goldacre says. Even the punctuation can matter — titles with question marks tend to be downloaded more, and titles with colons downloaded less, he adds.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.