I recently read a paper which had a really interesting section with a very interesting title. I google'd it and it seems that they just made it up and it's not a common term.

Can I title my paper that? I will mention in the introduction that x et al. calls this practice such and such and that's what we'll explore and expand in this paper.

I'm asking if it is allowed, but also if it is not frowned upon etc. It's sort of an homage & it's a catchy title.

Thank you.

  • 1
    Hard to say without knowing what the title is. I would suspect that the title of a paper can be more precise, or have some kind of addition? You could then put the copied title in quotation marks and add a bit of your own, like <<In depth investigation of John's "Superfancy mechanisms">>
    – Mark
    Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 15:51
  • oh actually this is exactly how the working title is structured. phase from other paper: generic explanation Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


General advice is hard here, not knowing the specifics. If the title actually represents an intellectual contribution, then probably not. But if it is just language cleverness there is likely no harm, but a note on the origin would be appropriate.

For example "Differentiation, As She Is Played" is probably just a tricky pop culture reference and has no intellectual content, so safe enough. With apologies to Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics fame and who plays that game occasionally

  • it is definitely an example of clever wording. Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 17:14

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