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I am a non-native speaker trying to find the right expression for my sentence. There is a study that reports a 55% decline in the number of trades, however, I cannot examine the data or the study itself. I would like to express that I only quote the number without any kind of double-check by myself. To express this, 'apparently' and 'allegedly' come into my mind. My sentence with these two options:

Apparently: "In fact, the number of trades apparently declined by about 55 % after its introduction (citation)."

Allegedly: "In fact, the number of trades allegedly declined by about 55 % after its introduction (citation)."

At first, I was going for 'allegedly', but then I felt that allegedly somehow transports that I do not believe that this information is true or that I have at least serious doubts. I do not doubt this fact but I also do not have any evidence that it is true.

To be more precise, what I want to say is that there is a study that reports a 55% decline, but I do not have much information of the study and only quote the number. I would like to express that I did not examine the study but simply reproduce what others have stated.

Further clarification as to why I wish to add something beyond the citation: Usually, a citation alone should be enough. However, in this case, the citation refers to a report that cites this number as the result of a study by the authors without specifying data or details of the study (something like "We compared A with B and found a 55% decline"). The citation alone might suggest that I have examined this study, which is not the case.

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    As to writing advice, you don't need either. The fact that you've given the citation after the value lets the reader decide about veracity. (I'll leave the connotations to a real answer). – Mitch Dec 1 '18 at 13:42
  • Mitch, thank you for your comment. I agree, a citation alone should be enough. However, in this case, the citation refers to a report that cites this number as the result of a study by the authors without specifying data or details of the study (something like "We compared A with B and found a 55% decline"). The citation alone might suggest that I have examined this study, which is not the case. – 00schneider Dec 1 '18 at 13:56
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Neither are really appropriate here.

Use "reportedly," or "According to the Smith Report, the number of trades..."

I'd take out "In fact," as well.

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Alleged/allegedly has a connotation of an accusation or other statement without proof (see below) and often implies doubt as to the veracity of the statement. Since you do not doubt that trades have declined by 55% after the law's* introduction, allegedly wouldn't be the right word to use in your current sentence.

Apparent/apparently has a connotation of an obvious conclusion based on evidence and logic. Maybe you've heard that "correlation doesn't imply causation"? While it might be a fact that someone is a soldier, it might not be apparent if they're off base and not in uniform. Based on the present wording of your sentence, apparent/apparently wouldn't be correct either. {{Ha! Apparently, apparently isn't the right word! I crack myself up...}} Again, it's simply a fact--as worded, there's no conclusion present.

If you rephrase your sentence, either allegedly or apparently could work. A few possible alternative phrasings:

  • If you have evidence supporting a connection: "It is apparent that the introduction of the law* has caused a 55% decline in the number of trades (citation)." [present supporting evidence before or after this sentence]
  • If you did doubt the fact: "A study completed in [year] alleges that the number of trades has declined 55% since the introduction of the law* (citation)."
  • If you doubt the connection but not the fact: "A study completed in [year] alleges that the law* has caused a 55% decline in trades since its introduction (citation). However, I have not been able to verify the study's claim. / However, this claim has not been independently verified. / However, no outside evidence was found to support this claim." [depends on whether or not your style guide allows you to write in 1st person]

apparently

it seems apparent —used to describe something that appears to be true based on what is known

  • an apparently happy marriage
  • The window had apparently been forced open.
  • Apparently, we're supposed to wait here.

allegedly

1 : accused but not proven or convicted

  • an alleged burglar

2 : asserted to be true or to exist

  • an alleged miracle
  • an alleged conspiracy

3 : questionably true or of a specified kind

  • He bought an alleged antique vase.
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Both words indicate some .. questioning of the statement, but then the nuances diverge.

'Allegedly' has a legalistic connotation, as though the subject has been accused but the fact has not been proven. It indicates a lack of trust in the situation or the reference (the citation).

'Apparently' has a more attitudinal nuance. It indicates a vague informal sense of the speaker literally means 'it seems this is the case' but implies that it is new, a little surprising, contrary to the speakers expectations. It's not saying 'seems', as in expecting a different result (like 'ostensibly' would). It's not really calling the object that much into question. It's more of an understatement, that is saying 'this is sort of the case' when really, it is totally the case.

For example:

Biff is allegedly the father of Harriet's baby.

means someone has said that Biff is the father, but people aren't sure and no proof has been given (Biff denies it or no DNA test has ben done).

Biff is apparently the father of Harriet's baby.

means that Harriet wasn't sure or wasn't saying but Biff admitted it or the someone reported the DNA results.

In both cases, it was a it of a surprise or unknown beforehand. Also, they are both insinuations, not direct statements but implications.

In your example, only 'allegedly' implies some lack of trustworthiness in the citation source, 'Apparently' doesn't really cast doubt but more likely implies a bit of off-handed attitude by the writer.

I suggest neither is appropriate. For 'allegedly', you should add an appropriate sentence about doubts. For 'apparently', you just want to leave out any breezy, catty judgement of the situation.

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