[rfc-i] a random crazy-talk idea about keywords

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Thu Oct 2 10:00:06 PDT 2014


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Hi all,

A side conversation about titles and keywords started me thinking
about the how challenging the creation of a good set of keywords and a
good abstract tends to be.  These things are important if we want an
RFC easily and correctly indexed by search engines.

SAGE provides some useful information when it comes to guiding authors
into creating keywords for articles published in SAGE journals.  See
<http://www.uk.sagepub.com/journalgateway/findArticle.htm>

SAGE points out that an article will show up higher in search rankings if:

    [It contains] Clear and descriptive title including main key terms
or phrases.

    Abstract repeats key phrases in a contextually natural way.

    Key terms or phrases [are] repeated in keywords field.


So for fun, I started taking samples of my own drafts and running them
through a word cloud tool (I like wordle.com) to see if any particular
terms show up as being repeated frequently, guessing that something
that shows up often in the abstract should qualify as a good keyword,
and if nothing jumps out, then the abstract probably needs work to
become more searchable.

I don't think this playing around will result in formal guidance from
the RFC Editor, but I'm finding it useful and thought I'd share.

Comments welcome,
Heather
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