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I'm curious what tense is typically used in a scientific paper for analysis of one's own work/scientific observations.

Specifically, I'm wondering what is commonly used in a situation such as this:

The current varied between 2 m/s and 5 m/s. The current speed is/was significantly related to the weather conditions at the time of measurement, and the coefficient is/was 0.5 (Fig. 5).

The tense for the first verb should clearly be past, but the second and third verbs are unclear. I'm leaning toward present tense based on this article: http://www.uri.edu/artsci/com/Logan/teaching/html/wrt333/notes/S&R/2_verb_tense.htm

Thank you!

  • That article says that you should describe your activities in the past tense. Why are you leaning towards the present tense? – Barmar Feb 13 '15 at 8:24
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To be consistent you should use the past tense, i.e.The current varied between 2 m/s and 5 m/s. The current speed was significantly related to the weather conditions at the time of measurement, and the coefficient was 0.5 (Fig. 5).

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