How can you best make sure your article is found when people use online browers to search for information? Increasingly, colleagues and students use search engines like Google and Yahoo to find research material, rather than the MLA International Bibliography, or scanning library shelves. Some recommendations for online discovery include:
- Google values the beginnings of titles more than the end, so it is important to have your searchable terms first in the title.
- Use no more than 40 characters, including spaces.
- Consider how readers will search, and use terminology that is frequently searched while also being specific to your study: eg, “Che Guevara in Bolivia” rather than “Hasta siempre comandante: Building upon the legacy of Che Guevara in Contemporary Bolivia.” The first is searchable because it is clear and includes likely search terms. The latter title is less discoverable because it is too long and not framed in likely search phrases.
- Make sure to think carefully about your key words (which help with discovery of your article) and abstract (the first thing researchers will see about your article).