Keywords are a tool to help indexers and search engines find relevant papers. If database search engines can find your journal manuscript, readers will be able to find it too. This will increase the number of people reading your manuscript, and likely lead to more citations.

 However, to be effective, keywords must be chosen carefully. They should:

– Represent the content of your manuscript.

– Be specific to your field or sub-field.


  1. Manuscript title: Direct observation of nonlinear optics in an isolated carbon nanotube

Poor keywords: molecule, optics, lasers, energy lifetime.

Better keywords: single-molecule interaction, Kerr effect, carbon nanotubes, energy level structure.

  1. Manuscript title: Region-specific neuronal degeneration after okadaic acid administration

Poor keywords: neuron, brain, OA (an abbreviation), regional-specific neuronal degeneration, signalling.

Better keywords: neurodegenerative diseases, okadaic acid, neurotoxins, MAP kinase signaling system, cell death.

  1. Manuscript title: Increases in levels of sediment transport at former glacial-interglacial transitions

Poor keywords: climate change, erosion, plant effects.

Better keywords: quaternary climate change, soil erosion, bioturbation.


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