Sign up ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is it possible to use the abbreviation "w.r.t." in academic papers?

share|improve this question

closed as primarily opinion-based by Hellion, sumelic, tchrist, choster, TimLymington Nov 14 at 0:25

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

No, it is not advisable. – JLG Jun 27 '12 at 17:06
Your title says technical papers and your question body says academic papers. Which is it? – chaos Jun 27 '12 at 17:07
Academic, so technical. – user278064 Jun 27 '12 at 17:14
@user278064: They aren't synonyms or even overlapping, really. Academic writing and technical writing are vastly different styles. – chaos Jun 27 '12 at 17:18
"Possible"? Yes. In fact, in a mathematics paper one would write "w.r.t." meaning "with respect to" and no one would think twice about it. – GEdgar Jun 27 '12 at 20:15

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's possible, but it's a bad idea. It's not part of the conventions of academic writing, so will typically be read as clashing in style with it.

share|improve this answer
Academic writing conventions vary between fields. Justaskin_ is correct to say that it would be fine in a maths paper. – Rupe Nov 10 at 13:59


With Regard To (or) with reference to

I think is supposed to be written in papers or letters in order to direct attention towards or to refer to something that was being discussed immediately before these words... OK?

Now, I think in technical or academic papers using "w.r.t" abbreviation for "With Regard To" may not be incorrect, but it may be misleading or ambiguous. As "w.r.t" may stand for something else as well. For Example it may stand for "Windowed Radon Transform" and if something like this is a part of the discussion, then use of such abbreviation is uncalled for.

share|improve this answer
When I see w.r.t. I interpret it as with respect to. Per ngrams for with respect to,with regard to,with reference to,With respect to,With regard to,With reference to, phrase with respect to occurs more often than either phrase you mentioned. – jwpat7 Jun 27 '12 at 18:05

In mathematics "w.r.t." is part of the standard jargon. It is not unusual to see it used (sparingly) in peer-reviewed journal articles.

share|improve this answer

David Foster Wallace uses this abbreviation all the time. It's awesome. Depends on the tone you are going for; DFW uses it to evidence his desire for efficient language is on balance with his sprawling analysis of 'ineffable' artistic topics.

I agree with it's use in a mathematician's paper, as efficiency is prized in that study. History, humanities, etc - it's a no go.

Oh yeah, I'm a mere BA holder, so account for that in your advice acceptance criteria.

share|improve this answer
You might want to back this up with some sources and further explanation. In its current form, this is not a strong answer. Thank you! – Mahnax Jun 10 '14 at 4:31

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.