Use of ‘hype words” in medical research papers is increasing

An analysis of medical journal paper abstracts from research found that the use of hype words such as “novel”, “important”, and “key” increased between 1985 and 2020. The researchers looked specifically at studies funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) because the same team had previously found an increase in the use of hype words in NIH grant applications and funding announcements.  They found that levels of promotional language in research paper abstracts was increasing and that this mimicked what they had previously seen with NIH funding applications, suggesting that the grant application process may nudge investigators to justify their research in overtly promotional terms. 

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