A coauthor of mine used the expression "what's more" in a scientific paper. My gut feeling was that this is not a commonly used expression in formal writing, but I could not find clear evidence for this so far.

  • There's nothing wrong with colloquial language in scientific literature. Science can be boring, but it welcomes good writing. It's legal and government literature that disregards colloquial language, as an ingroup move to keep outsiders from participating. Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 18:45

2 Answers 2


The formal academic equivalent is moreover:

in addition to what has already been said; furthermore

Or, indeed, furthermore

in addition; moreover

In general, I would avoid contractions in formal writing and "what is more" might come across as conversational. I haven’t seen "What is more" in many academic papers, but "moreover" and "furthermore" are pretty well used. Google ngrams plots show this applies to other literature, too.


In general it is better to avoid contractions (like "what's more") in formal writing. But the uncontracted "what is more" is perfectly good English.

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