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Write better, publish better


  • Diego Marino Fages

    (University of Nottingham)


There is evidence that having more readable abstracts and introductions help authors get cited. I show that, in economics, there is also an effect of readability on the probability of publishing in a Top 5 journal (and in a higher-ranked journal in general). I compute readability measures for a set of working papers and examine the journals in which they get published. My results suggest that previous estimates of the effect on citations are downward biased, as higher-ranked journals are more widely read and cited.

Suggested Citation

  • Diego Marino Fages, 2020. "Write better, publish better," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 122(3), pages 1671-1681, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:122:y:2020:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-019-03332-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-019-03332-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McCannon, Bryan C., 2019. "Readability and research impact," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 76-79.
    2. James J. Heckman & Sidharth Moktan, 2020. "Publishing and promotion in economics - The tyranny of the Top Five," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 23-32, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    3. 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.
    4. Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, 2013. "Cluttered writing: adjectives and adverbs in academia," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 96(3), pages 679-681, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Lu, Chao & Bu, Yi & Dong, Xianlei & Wang, Jie & Ding, Ying & Larivière, Vincent & Sugimoto, Cassidy R. & Paul, Logan & Zhang, Chengzhi, 2019. "Analyzing linguistic complexity and scientific impact," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 817-829.
    7. Dowling, Michael & Hammami, Helmi & Zreik, Ousayna, 2018. "Easy to read, easy to cite?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 100-103.
    8. Hollis, Aidan, 2001. "Co-authorship and the output of academic economists," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 503-530, September.
    9. Michael Dowling & Helmi Hammami & Ousayna Zreik, 2018. "Easy to read, easy to cite?," Post-Print hal-01958017, HAL.
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    More about this item


    Readability; Journals; Ranking; Top 5; NBER;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics


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