New open access research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B
a significant negative relationship between the proportion of jargon words in the title and abstract and the number of citations a paper receives.
The researchers examined the jargon in titles and abstracts, and the resulting citations of 21,486 articles from the multidisciplinary field of cave research. They conclude that as researchers use titles and abstracts to filter which ones they will read fully, using off-putting jargon makes it more likely for a paper to join the "didn't read" pile. They also note that the shift to using internet search engines to find papers means that using specialised terms over straightforward ones limits their visibility,
A high frequency of specialized terms in the abstract and title of a given paper may further reduce its retrievability, insofar as it will less frequently appear in online searches. This is problematic because the better visibility a paper has in engine optimization search results, the more likely it is to attract readers and garner citations. This, in turn, makes the case for favouring accessible and widely searched words in the abstract, title and keywords.
I see a lot of sci-comms discussing the need to put things simply for "lay audiences" but rarely see the need to be accessible to peers, particularly in multidisciplinary fields (which is an increasing number of them).