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

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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

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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

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