I was innocently browsing my emailed Journal contents this morning and clearly had not consumed enough coffee. I opened the latest email from Journal of Evolutionary Biology and was smacked with the following title:
Differential investment in pre- vs. post-copulatory sexual selection reinforces a cross-continental reversal of sexual size dimorphism in Sepsis punctum (Diptera: Sepsidae) [link]
I'm sure the article is very interesting if you happen to work on that particular process in that particular organism. The study may even have wide ranging consequences for numerous other systems. But all I could think was, "say wut?" So I went to my own publication list to see how often I am guilty of equal specificity.
Of course I have similarly obscure article titles in my stable, but it's a trend I've been getting away from to a certain degree. With people tight for time to catch up on the literature, a title may be your only chance to pique the interest of a reader.
So how about you, reader? Do you make attempts to generalize your title at all? Does the venue dictate to what degree you worry about the reach of your title?