Keys to Successful Publishing: Keywords

By Jared Peterman on Aug 8, 2019
eContent Pro

Researchers compile their academic life’s work into scholarly publications, but many may not fully understand each of the components needed to create a viable reference book project. eContent Pro presents a blog series, “Understanding the Inner Workings of a Reference Book” to explain the importance of each part of a reference book and some tips on how to effectively secure them. The blog series will include pieces on Titles, Front Matter, Keywords, Abstracts, Citations, Figures, Indexes, and Back Cover Text. To discover the importance of including keywords in your scholarly journal, read the following article.

Authors understand the process of researching journals to possibly reference in their own work and they rely on databases and search engines to conduct relevant results. The one thing authors, researchers, databases, and search engines all depend on is keywords. Besides the research presented in scholarly journals, keywords are arguably the most important factor in the publishing process. So, what exactly are keywords and what do they do? And how can authors utilize them? eContent Pro’s article describes everything an author needs to know about keywords.

What are Keywords?

Keywords are a single word or phrase that complements the information and research in the title and manuscript as a whole. Words used in a title of the manuscript or chapter are automatically indexed and shouldn’t be included in the keywords. Keywords are specific to the content in the manuscript or chapter and highlights the key findings. Authors can also use variances of the keywords to gather a wider audience as well as terms that are close to the keyword.

An example of this would be if an author uses “iPad” as a keyword. A variance of iPad that an author could use as a keyword would be “Tablet”.

The Impact of Keywords

Keywords are essential for researchers and authors to find relevant information. Keywords are used as a filter to find relevant information in journals by search engines, databases, and indexers. Utilizing accurate and specific keywords can help other readers find your chapter or manuscript when searching for key terms and that increases readership. A journal can be cited dozens of times or thousands of times, depending on the keywords.

Keyword Guidelines

An author lists their keywords under the abstract of the manuscript and for each chapter. The number of keywords an author can use varies depending on the publisher. For example, Elsevier allows up to six keywords, Taylor & Francis allows up

to eight keywords, and Emerald allows up to 12 keywords.

Keywords can play a great role in the traction and shelf life of a scholarly journal. Authors should carefully pick the best keywords for their work to benefit their journal’s research in the long run.

Authors looking to ensure that they have selected the right keywords can utilize eContent Pro's scientific and scholarly editing that will have an expert in the manuscript’s research area evaluate the overall significance and relevance of the manuscript as well as the keywords.

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