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Easy to read, easy to cite?


  • Dowling, Michael
  • Hammami, Helmi
  • Zreik, Ousayna


Ease of readability of Economics Letters abstracts, and number of works cited in an article, is positively related to future citations. Readability appears to particularly matter for mathematical and quantitative methods and macroeconomics papers, while number of works cited is generally important across all articles.

Suggested Citation

  • Dowling, Michael & Hammami, Helmi & Zreik, Ousayna, 2018. "Easy to read, easy to cite?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 100-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:173:y:2018:i:c:p:100-103
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2018.09.023

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna, 2017. "What do Editors Maximize? Evidence from Four Leading Economics Journals," NBER Working Papers 23282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Diamond, Arthur M, Jr & Levy, David M, 1994. "The Metrics of Style: Adam Smith Teaches Efficient Rhetoric," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 138-145, January.
    3. Laband, David N & Taylor, Christopher N, 1992. "The Impact of Bad Writing in Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(4), pages 673-688, October.
    4. James Hartley & James W. Pennebaker & Claire Fox, 2003. "Abstracts, introductions and discussions: How far do they differ in style?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 57(3), pages 389-398, July.
    5. Lei Lei & Sheng Yan, 2016. "Readability and citations in information science: evidence from abstracts and articles of four journals (2003–2012)," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 108(3), pages 1155-1169, September.
    6. Hengel, E., 2017. "Publishing while Female. Are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1753, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    7. Jansen, David-Jan, 2011. "Mumbling with great incoherence: Was it really so difficult to understand Alan Greenspan?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 70-72, October.
    8. Dolnicar, Sara & Chapple, Alexander, 2015. "The readability of articles in tourism journals," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 161-166.
    9. High, Jack C, 1987. "The Costs of Economical Writing," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 543-545, July.
    10. J. Scott Armstrong, 1980. "Unintelligible Management Research and Academic Prestige," Interfaces, INFORMS, vol. 10(2), pages 80-86, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Burke, Matt & Fry, John, 2019. "How easy is it to understand consumer finance?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 1-4.
    2. McCannon, Bryan C., 2019. "Readability and research impact," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 76-79.
    3. Diego Marino Fages, 2020. "Write better, publish better," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 122(3), pages 1671-1681, March.

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    More about this item


    Readability; Research impact; Bibliometrics; Economics letters;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology


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