Q: How to create keywords for a research paper
I have finished writing my paper and plan to submit it next week. However, I'm totally confused about creating keywords. Which keywords will be most effective for my paper? Are there any fixed rules to be followed for creating these? Also, how many keywords are required for an original research article?
Keywords are words that capture the essence of your paper. Keywords make your paper searchable and ensure that you get more citations. Therefore, it is important to include the most relevant keywords that will help other authors find your paper.
Here are a few tips that will help you create relevant and effective keywords for your paper:
1. Think from the point of view of the reader. What keywords would the reader search for that would help retrieve your article?
2. Keywords should ideally be phrases of 2-4 words; single word keywords are acceptable, but they may lead to many false matches.
3. Keywords should contain words and phrases that suggest what the topic is about. Also include words and phrases that are closely related to your topic. (For example, if the paper is about heart diseases, use words like stroke, circulatory system, blood, etc.
4. Also use variants terms or phrases that readers are likely to use (For example, if the paper is about spine disorders, use words like spinal cord, vertebral column, backbone, etc.)
5. The full forms of shortened words or acronyms and abbreviations should be included as well.
Journals ask for anywhere between 3-8 keywords. However, I would say it is good to have 4-5 keywords ready, and add more depending on the journal requirement.
You might also find the following articles interesting:
- Why do journals ask for keywords?
- How to write an effective title and abstract and choose appropriate keywords
- The complete guide to writing a brilliant research paper
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