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I have seen both options used interchangeably, is there a reason why?

What would then be the correct use in this case:

  1. Lecture notes on predictive control
  2. Lecture notes in predictive control
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WDsgn is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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    "Theories on something" and "theories in something" mean different things (albeit the difference is often subtle). "English arose from Proto-Germanic" is a theory on the origin of English, and a theory in linguistics.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 23 at 13:17

2 Answers 2

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"On" to me is a shorthand for "on the topic of," e.g. "Lecture Notes on (the topic of) Data Engineering and Communications Technologies," while "in" is a shorthand for "in the field of," e.g. "Lecture Notes in (the field of) Electrical Engineering."

You would not say * "the field of data engineering and communications technologies," nor * "the topic of Electrical Engineering" (except in certain unusual contexts), thus the reversed titles seem wrong to me:

* "Lecture notes in Data Engineering and Communications Technologies"
* "Lecture notes on Electrical Engineering"

Likewise, * "Lecture notes in predictive control" doesn't sound right to me, so I would use "on" in that context:

"Lecture notes on Predictive Control"

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Ngrams shows both in use with comparable frequency

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