The use of English in science.

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Present Perfect Progressive in scientific writing?

Scientific writing is generally supposed to be written in present tense (focus on proof of the existence of the result, not how the author arrived at it). However, I have a case where this results in ...
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1answer
50 views

Periodical change of quantities from zero to a specific value

I need to find a word which will describe the periodic change of a quantity from zero to a positive value. I explicitly need to differentiate this word or expression from the periodic change of the ...
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17 views

Intricate example of usage of word “respectively”

I am uncertain about the most appropriate location of the word "respectively" in the following example. Please note that models M2 and M3 are referring to the two models in which condition A was ...
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1answer
18 views

“will be …” vs. “are presented in section …” (tenses in scientific writing)

I'm writing my bachelor thesis in English in a German language environment so I was unable to get help from my supervisor on language related questions (neither of the languages is my first language). ...
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3answers
29 views

Plural of “Mechanism of Action”

I'm trying to determine the plural form of the scientific term "Mechanism of Action". I'm pretty sure the answer is, "Mechanisms of Action", but the term "Mechanisms of Actions" is disturbingly ...
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32 views

Is there a way to track the growth of “atypical” sounds in the English language? [closed]

This website has a list of common English sounds grouped by what seems to be a phonetic symbol I often see in dictionaries... or foreign languages (ignore my ignorance or enlighten me) I'm interested ...
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104 views

General technical term that uncontroversially encompasses both bacteria and viruses

We can speak of "microbes" or "micro-organisms," and I used to think that these terms clearly included viruses. And they are used this way by at least some other people; here's a website that refers ...
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45 views

Transmit Power vs. Transmission Power, is there a difference [closed]

I was reading a scientific paper, and the authors sometimes use the term "transmit power" and sometimes "transmission power". Is there a difference in terms of correct English usage? Examples: ...
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137 views

How do you explain cubic growth of a function

When reading scientific papers I have seen people explain the growth of a variable linearly, exponentially. However how would one say for a variable which grows in quadratic fashion, or cubic? I ...
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45 views

Referring to figures other than with “as depicted in” [closed]

I’m currently writing my first English scientific paper and am repeatedly using as depicted in when referring to a figure or table in the text. Can you tell me some alternatives to that phrase?
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88 views

A word for evidence used to tell if someone has been in your room

I know there's an actual word for this. I used to know the word, but I've lost it. The word describes a category of methods that someone uses to detect if someone has been in a room, or opened a ...
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32 views

What is the scientific name to humour that is based on surprise [duplicate]

I remember browsing through Wikipedia one day, and coming across an article defining surprise-based humour. The article had a very specific scientific name, which doesn't have the actual word ...
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1answer
54 views

Difference between Paper and Article for scientific writings

As I know, in most of situations (in scientific context) these two terms are used to point to same thing and even they are used interchangeably. For example, Theory of value with public goods: A ...
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1answer
66 views

What do “source” and “sink” mean? [closed]

I do not understand "source" and "sink" in the following passage. I tried to look up a dictionary and google translate but it is not clear. Could anyone explain it for me? the passage: This ...
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1answer
77 views

Words for ordinal 5-point scale from normal to severe

What are good words for a five-point ordinal scale? The scale should represent increasing severity of disease, where 1 is normal and 5 is severe. I thought of the following words (with their value in ...
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3answers
238 views

Grammar - Scientific English (Physics) [duplicate]

I have a question about scientific English. I wonder when to use the article "the" when you refer to a physical quantity or to a formula. I promise that I have looked into so many manuals, but I am ...
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2answers
35 views

Instantiate a Video Player?

I am writing a technical report where a number of video players are being loaded on a webpage. Is it correct to say, "Instantiate a video player on the web page," or just, "Load a video player on the ...
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6answers
120 views

In science writing, what to call the body in relation to the brain?

The word "body" is problematic when writing about the brain. Look at these two sentences: "The brain sends signals to the body." "The brain is an organ in the body." The first sentence considers ...
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1answer
38 views

Correct use of expressing unit

Which one is correct to use: mmHg or mm Hg? Should it be closed up, spaced out or both are acceptable? The AMA manual has both instances. For example, "The trial compared outcomes associated with ...
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2answers
74 views

Which words define the broad meaning of the following (scientific research-related) sentences?

Background: I'm writing my master's degree dissertation on electrical engineering, related do electroporation, and I'm trying to define broad meanings for some possible approaches to the ...
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2answers
45 views

Use of “just” in technical writing as an adverb for location

I am editing a friend's scientific manuscript, which will ultimately be submitted to a biological journal. He uses "just" as an adverb to describe a location (emphasis added by me), e.g., The ...
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27 views

What a figure and an equation can (and cannot) make

A while back I had a list of things that a figure can and cannot make in a scientific paper. I got it from somewhere (maybe a book) and eventually lost it. I would ask for the community's help to ...
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2answers
54 views

Infiltration & Neoplasia

I'm working on/reading a scientific article about the use and effects of Corticosteroid or Ketorolac on rabbit tendons and I got stuck at infiltration in the following excerpts: "Despite the ...
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2answers
48 views

Best way to describe a decrease in time taken?

I have written an algorithm that greatly improves the computation time for a particular problem, but I am divided on how to best describe this in writing. As a rough guide, a process that previously ...
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1answer
117 views

How to describe a confusion matrix correctly

In computer science, we a use a thing called confusion matrix for reporting results from supervised machine learning algorithms. It looks like this The image was taken from here. I would like to ...
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1answer
107 views

Using the word “guess” in a scientific paper [closed]

I wonder if one can use the word guess in a scientific paper in the following context: "... to provide the best guess on answer response time ..." Would the usage of prediction or estimate be more ...
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2answers
112 views

What are the capitalization rules for in-document references in scientific papers? [closed]

In scientific writing, should I capitalize in-document references? Which of the following is correct or more widely used? For more detail, see Section 4.1. For more detail, see section 4.1. Are ...
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1answer
59 views

Parse a sentence (from Ratcliff 1990 paper)

A little background: this paper concerns forgetting in neural networks (a computer science concept). The word "activation" might mean the activation (=output) of neuron(s), but since I cannot parse ...
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2answers
42 views

Should a definite article be used when referring to a line of an algorithm

In scientific articles an article is usually omitted when referring to figures, tables, etc. and a capital letter is used. For example I would state: "The data are shown in Figure 1." I have an ...
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1answer
91 views

Referring to something: choosing between “this + {noun}” versus “such + {noun}” [closed]

Recently, I've had a discussion with someone regarding how to know how to choose among the words "this" and "such" in written text, but could not find any usage style guidelines on this topic. ...
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2answers
87 views

What is a suitable substitute for 'approach', as used in 'research approach'?

When currently writing a proposal, I find myself often using 'research approach' and 'approach to research', but I cannot come up with a suitable alternative to avoid tedious repetitions. I'm trying ...
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1answer
50 views

Why do we have “Coulombic” but not “Coulombian”?

In physics, we have Coulombic interaction. Why do we have "Coulombic" but not "Coulombian"? At first, I think that because the letter b from Coulomb decides which suffix comes after it, but when I ...
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117 views

Is asking for the “proper” use of the word “chemical” a case of linguistic prescriptivism?

Another Skeptics.SE user and I are discussing the meaning of the word "prescriptivism". (Yes, we are aware of the recursion involved.) In particular, I have cited a couple of examples of scientists ...
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181 views

Word for the inability to do simple things when you don't look at it

Well, the title says it all. I'll add an example: You try to put a plug into a socket which is under the table and you're too lazy to stoop down. To my mind this sounds like a very simple task and ...
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3answers
117 views

Respective: Lines connect a circle and two respective squares

Lines connect a circle and two respective squares. This use of “respective” strikes me as odd. The writer says he uses “respective” so that the sentence entails Case 1 below and precludes Case 2. ...
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3answers
168 views

Hypernym for “scientist” and “engineer”

I'm writing a paper about the practice of programming by scientists and engineers, but I find it increasingly tedious to always refer to my subject as "scientists and engineers". Is there a single ...
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1answer
30 views

When do I capitalize? [duplicate]

Do I capitalize the c and s in Cognitive science when referring to the career? What about the n in Neuroscience, or Neurobiolgy. And the P in Psychology?
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1answer
61 views

plural changes in velocity .

Is the plural for changes in velocity delta velocity's or deltas velocity? Basis for confusion:attorneys general. Each stage in a rocket has a set amount of delta velocity, or the amount the velocity ...
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8answers
1k views

What to call a patient's close relatives, friends and family members in one or two words?

It's connected to a scientific paper for a public health topic. I need to name a patient's surrounding of caregivers which can include family members, friends, close relatives. I came up with a ...
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4answers
204 views

A “scientific” word for probably

Given a particular idea, is there any scientific word, or an elegant way to describe in once sentence, that I am pretty sure there is no method not based on this particular idea? For example, when ...
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2answers
1k views

Fin vs flipper?

What is the difference between fins and flippers? While my own intuition says that a fin would be fixed (like, a shark's dorsal fin), and a flipper could be moved about way more (like a turtle's ...
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2answers
98 views

What tense to use for research results/statistics

My question is similar to this one and this one. However, I think I need further elaboration to understand at what points I am supposed to use present tense, and where to use past tense. Now, my ...
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1answer
85 views

Would you write “an error was fixed” in scientific work?

I am not sure if Error ABC was fixed by preprocessing algorithm XYZ. is "slang". Can it be written in scientific work? Is there a better way to say it? The context is in machine learning, where a ...
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1answer
209 views

When should I include “note that”?

When writing scientific articles, I often feel that, for example, Note that the model can be solved exactly. and The model can be solved exactly. are equivalent. Other, similar phrases ...
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3answers
543 views

Difference between “abbreviation” and “symbol” in scientific contexts

I've noticed that the shorthand notations for chemical elements, such as C for carbon, are called symbols, not abbreviations. This also seems to be the case in several other scientific contexts, such ...
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1answer
150 views

Why do we write “Fourier's law” but “Soret effect”?

Can you explain why do we write e.g. Fourier's law, Ohm's law, Newton's law of cooling, etc. but Soret effect, Dufour effect instead of Soret's effect, Dufour's effect? What is the principle?
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4answers
1k views

Why is it a “gene pool”?

Isn't it a bit odd to say that genes belong to or are a part of a "pool"? A pool is normally a body of water, e.g. a swimming pool Wikipedia explains The gene pool is the set of all genes, or ...
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3answers
146 views

“Ten and several minutes”: Any more natural expression?

Heat the mixture for ten and several minutes. What is a more natural way to express this “ten and several” wording, which is literally translated from Japanese? A. for between ten and 20 ...
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3answers
88 views

Should small numbers with a unit after them be spelt out or written in digits?

I heard it is better to write out numbers less than ten then to represent them using digits. Is this still true if there's a unit of measurement after the number? For example, in a research paper ...
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1answer
73 views

The practice of identifying authors from their writings

Is there an English word for the practice of analysing texts to determine their authors? For example, comparing three texts A, B and C and realising that the choice of words, grammar and style of ...