Keywords 1 Use simple, specific noun clauses. For example, use variance estimation, not estimate of variance. 2 Avoid terms that are too common. Otherwise the number of ‘hits’ will be too large to manage. 3 Do not repeat key words from the title. These will be picked up anyway. 4 Avoid unnecessary prepositions, especially in and of. For example, use data quality rather than quality of data. 5 Avoid acronyms. Acronyms can fall out of favour and be puzzling to beginners and/or overseas readers. 6 Spell out Greek letters and avoid mathematical symbols. These are impractical for computer-based searches. 7 Include only the names of people if they are part of an established terminology, for example Skinner box, Poisson distribution. 8 Include, where applicable, mathematical or computer techniques, such as generating function, used to derive results, and a statistical philosophy or approach such as maximum likelihood or Bayes’ theory. 9 Include alternative or inclusive terminology. If a concept is, or has been, known by different terminologies, use a key word that might help a user conducting a search across a time-span, or from outside your speciality. For example, the statistician’s characteristic function is the mathematician’s Fourier transform, and in some countries educational administration is educational management. 10 Note areas of applications where appropriate.
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