This is a short post about naming proposals/projects. I like to have a short, pronounceable title that hints at the project in some manner. I have mostly succeeded at this, and here are the tools I use:
1. OneLook search: If you have part of an acronym figured out, and need to fill in the rest, you can do a wildcard search with "*." For instance, if you were looking for a word that included the existing set of letters "CAR" you could search "*car" and "car*" https://www.onelook.com/
2. RhymeZone search: Look for words that rhyme with a word you plan to use as part of the title. This is the one I turn to when a bit stuck, when I have a set of letters that I am having trouble turning into a word. https://www.rhymezone.com/www.rhymezone.com/
3. Anagram maker: If you have a set of words you want to incorporate, then you also have a set of letters. If you include at least one vowel, and you think you can phase your title in several ways, the anagram maker is a good option. https://wordsmith.org/anagram/ If you need to buy a vowel, consider using a thesaurus with your key terms https://www.thesaurus.com/
4. Some people use the backronym approach. For instance, our FACETS project, we named a conference room CRISTAL then came up with what it stands for (Center for Research Into the Scholarship of Teaching And Learning). Sadly, I have not found a good, configurable online generator.
5. When possible, avoid lowercase letters and weird misspellings. This is not always easy (like in our CRISTAL example above), but know that people will struggle to write it—and even pronounce it correctly.
6. When inventing a word, because it is pronounceable, make sure to do a search and see what else comes up. You don't want your research project on empathy and peace studies to also be a reference to a white supremacist group! Likewise, when inventing words, see if people are willing to say them. Some words just sound weird.
I like these titles because it gives a quick shorthand for referring to specific projects, makes it easy to use in file naming protocols, and provides some sense of identity. When I have been on new teams, and we are doing what should be a simple task like scheduling a next meeting, sometimes deciding what to name the meeting takes longer than it should. This suggests that you don't have a pithy-and-sticky way to refer to your work together, and that you don't know what the project is really about (which is perfectly fine for early stage work).
Vanessa Svihla, PhD
Associate Professor, Organization, Information & Learning Sciences
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EEC 1751369. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.