12 Tips on how to formulate keywords for a research article

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Keywords are one of the ways to streamline the whole array of scientific information that exists at the moment, as well as find and group the necessary research materials.

Every article in a particular subject area of research has keywords and phrases with the help of which other authors find it. Often they become the reason for more active reading the papers of other scientists and journals and are additional information that can briefly outline the essence of a paper, as well as collect and find materials of one topic. These words are written under the abstract, before the main text in the electronic version of an article and published in the journal.

To understand what kind of text labels should be, imagine the words a reader types into a search engine when trying to find information on your topic. Also, choose the basic terms which repeat themselves in a paper and check with the help of online services if they will search for information based on them. After all, competently chosen keywords will attract much more scientists to the research and increase the indexing of a paper.

Semantic core, expressed in keywords, may not be found in the whole text of an article, which a scientist is preparing for publication, but the labels should reveal the answers to the following questions:

- what a research paper is about?

- what words and word combinations best characterize the object and subject of the experiment?

- what is the main objectives of a research paper?

When choosing keywords, a scientist should think about the specialization of the research to even more accurately choose keywords.

Every database has its own search system. This makes it easier for a scientist to choose the necessary information and allows to learn the breadth of terminology and topics which are in the periodical. Keywords should express the terminological scope of a research paper: what terms were used in an article, and how they can be related to a paper? And make a mandatory assessment of their effectiveness.

Here are some tips on how to choose keywords

► Always ask yourself, what are the main words I would type in the search system on this topic? Remember what you wrote when you were looking for the information on this research paper. They may coincide with the search of other scientists who write in the same field of science. Think, perhaps, the search word can be shortened or there is a common abbreviation, take into account this fact as well. But make sure lest the shortening should lead to the search for some other information.

►  Also, one can use not only words but also word combinations. This will narrow down the meaning of what a search word, and clearly find what you need. But remove a definition if it is too large, two or three words will be enough.

►  Do not write an article's title in keywords because it will be visible in the search, especially if it concerns the submission of the article to Scopus database.

► Do not put quotation marks because they are different and indexing may not be displayed in the search. Words in this combination will break away from the second part in quotation marks and it will reduce the effectiveness of these words. Also, there should not be any commas in one word combination and a full stop at the end of the list of words.

►  If possible, use words in the nominative case of singular or in the most common form, for example: "Roman law", "legal system", "jurisprudence", "periodization", etc.

► Keywords should not contain any prepositions: between, in, after, from, in, for and others. Search systems filter them anyway.

►  Do not capitalize the first word in keywords. Database will think that it is one more word.

► Type keywords in the search system. If there will be no results after that, most likely text labels are chosen very narrowly, so one should supplement the concept. And vice versa, when too much information is given, keywords should be specified. Remember that a keyword can consist of no more than 3 words.

► One can use the services on search of keywords. Such programs help in compiling the necessary words, for example: Yandex, Google AdWords, Keyword Tool and the others.

► It is best to take keywords from the abstract, introduction and conclusion of a paper.

Keywords, as well as an article itself with an abstract, should be translated into the academic English language. This will open the access to a research paper for the scientists from around the world and this, in turn, can contribute to the increase of citation index and indexing, and therefore increase an author's rating.

If a scientist needs any help with revision, formatting or translation of scientific material, he can turn to Scientific Publications–Publ.Science Company. This organisation does its best that every scientist should successfully publish his research papers in the best journals included in Scopus and Web of Science scientometric databases. A team of specialists provides support at all stages from the beginning to the publication. In addition, the company helps increase the citation index and indexing and it has a beneficial impact on the authority of a researcher.

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