A new study funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and published in the Journal of Infometrics has found that science papers with simple abstracts have a citation advantage.
The study, conducted by Adrian Letchford, Tobias Preis, and Helen Susannah Moat found that abstracts that used the same words more frequently, used more frequently used words, were shorter, and used shorter words (under 5 letters) received more citations.
The authors’ conclusion? “Overall, our results suggest that the style in which a paper’s abstract is written may relate to the number of times the paper is cited.”
Retraction Watch provides a useful summary of the open-source paper (linked above.