I noticed that many academic papers that I cited in my thesis have sentence-cased titles, for example, this one "Comparative analysis using K-mer and K-flank patterns provides evidence for CpG island sequence evolution in mammalian genomes."

I was just wondering why and if this is correct?

I was about to manually fix all of them so that they will appear with the proper title-cased titles on the Bibliography.

  • 4
    Your last paragraph (and the implicit question) is addressed here and your first question is not really answerable, as it is just a matter of style or personal preferences. There is no rule saying that you have to use title case for every title.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jun 11, 2015 at 11:03
  • 5
    The title of the linked paper is formatted correctly, at least, per APA style. In general, whether a title is formatted correctly or not, is a matter of its adherence to a publication style, which should be used consistently throughout a document. Jun 11, 2015 at 11:08
  • Also somewhat related (concerning words like "correct", "fix", and "proper"), on User Experience SE: Is it default that an English version is always Title Case, while other languages like Dutch don't use Title Case? Jun 11, 2015 at 11:13
  • 1
    Because title case is a (horrible) custom used (only?) in the United States of America. This tradition is redundant now that technology allows for titles to be set in bold or in larger typefaces.
    – gerrit
    Jun 11, 2015 at 13:20

1 Answer 1


Many journals prefer sentence-case to title-case - in this case, a quick glance at the contents list for that particular journal shows they use sentence case for all titles. Neither is "proper" or "correct" in all circumstances.

If you are trying to conform to a particular style, check if it has guidelines on preferred capitalisation for citations. For example, the ACS style guide recommends:

In [articles from] ACS journals, capitalization follows that of the original publication; in other publications, the main words are capitalized

If there is no firm guidance in your particular style, then you can either leave them in the original capitalisation, or standardise them all in whichever form you prefer. (Personally, I default to sentence case...)

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