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The Humorous Side of Academic Research: 10 Funniest Research Paper Titles

By gianne | ListLabX | 9 Feb 2023

Writing a research paper is no joke, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be funny! From clever titles to humorous topics, there are plenty of ways to make a research paper more lighthearted.

Whether you’re writing an academic paper or just looking for some clever ideas, I’ve got you covered. Here are some hilarious examples of humorous research titles that made me laugh. So get ready to laugh your way through this article!

Top 10 Funniest Research Paper Titles That Made Me Laugh











Does a funny title influence how well a paper is received? According to a study published in 2008 by Sagi and Yecham, those with extremely amusing titles received fewer citations. However, a study on the relationship between humor and citations by Heard et al. on 2022 discovered that authors give funnier titles to publications they value less. This prompts Heard's team to revise the papers' significance (indicated by self-citations). After controlling the self-citations, they discovered that articles with humorous titles have higher citation rates, indicating that humor attracts readers. According to their findings, researchers should not be concerned about their research being obscured if they use creative titles.

19b201e323c5c9fb8a29b085c76325be2974f7dfa9458188fc0fb8553bf654cf.jpgHumor and Citation rates

Some authors claimed that science is not something to be laughed at, and providing articles with amusing titles only implies that even the authors don't take the subject seriously. The study by Heard et al. mentioned in this article, on the other hand, demonstrated the opposite. While there may be other reasons to avoid using humor in a title, being creative will not doom a paper to obscurity.



Asness C, Frazzini A, Israel R, Moskowitz TJ, Pedersen LH. Size matters, if you control your junk. Journal of Financial Economics. 2018;129(3):479-509. doi:10.1016/j.jfineco.2018.05.006

Carlson EN, Vazire S, Oltmanns TF. You probably think this paper’s about you: Narcissists’ perceptions of their personality and reputation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2011;101(1):185-201. doi:10.1037/a0023781

Chaneton B, Gottlieb E. PGAMgnam Style: A Glycolytic Switch Controls Biosynthesis. Cancer Cell. 2012;22(5):565-566. doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2012.10.014

Heard SB, Cull CA, White ER. If this title is funny, will you cite me? Citation impacts of humour and other features of article titles in ecology and evolution. Published online March 19, 2022. doi:10.1101/2022.03.18.484880

Hejnol A, Martindale MQ. The mouth, the anus, and the blastopore - open questions about questionable openings. ResearchGate. Published August 19, 2009. 

Oppenheimer DM. Consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity: problems with using long words needlessly. Applied Cognitive Psychology. 2006;20(2):139-156. doi:10.1002/acp.1178

Sagi, I. Amusing titles in scientific journals and article citation - Itay Sagi, Eldad Yechiam, 2008. Journal of Information Science. Published 2013. 

Steele E, Laidre ME. Leaf me alone: visual constraints on the ecology of social group formation. ResearchGate. Published March 29, 2019

Upper D. The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of “writer’s block”1. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. 1974;7(3):497-497. doi:10.1901/jaba.1974.7-497a

Van Dyke MCC, Teixeira MM, Barker BM. Fantastic yeasts and where to find them: the hidden diversity of dimorphic fungal pathogens. Current Opinion in Microbiology. 2019;52:55-63. doi:10.1016/j.mib.2019.05.002

Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow, József Gál. Pressures produced when penguins pooh - Calculations on avian defaecation. ResearchGate. Published December 2003.

Wang X, Holgado BL, Ramaswamy V, et al. miR miR on the wall, who’s the most malignant medulloblastoma miR of them all? Neuro-Oncology. 2017;20(3):313-323. doi:10.1093/neuonc/nox106

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I am passionate about science and hopes to make a career out of it. I also love reading and writing fiction stories during my spare time. Hope you'll enjoy reading my articles. Thank you!


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