Writing in Science: Practical Tips Academic Writing Science Communication
Practical Tips: Numbers, Dates, Units
agreement

and/or

apostrophes

article use

British vs American

capitalisation

compare to/with

conjunctions

dates & numbers

dangling participle

eponymic terms

hyphens

-ic vs –ical

italics

jargon

like vs such as

nominalisation

numbers

faulty parallelism

passive voice
prepositions

punctuation

sentence structure

showed

spell check
split infinitives

tense

that vs which

unusual plurals

verbiage

word confusion

 

Dates

  • ISO recommends YYYY-MM-DD *using zeros
  • In text the full date should always be spelled out to avoid ambiguity: 17 May, 1814 (if only year YYYY) (days of week and month names are capitalised)
  • Years are expressed in numerals unless they stand at the beginning of a sentence, in which case rewording may be a better option: During 2011 …
  • Particular centuries are spelled out and lowercased: eighteenth century
  • Decades are either (a) spelled out (as long as the century is clear) and written lowercased, or (b) expressed in numerals. Chicago (2010) AND CSE (2006) Style Manuals call for no apostrophe to appear between the year and the s. 2000-2009, 1890s ...

Units

  • SI units are identical for singular and plural
  • Spell out name of unit when used in text without an accompanying number

Numbers

Difference between Chicago and CSE Style Manuals:

Chicago: In nontechnical contexts, Chicago advises spelling out whole numbers from zero through one hundred. However, many publications, follow the simple rule of spelling out only single-digit numbers and using numerals for all others.

CSE: The revised or modern scientific number style treats numbers more consistently by extending the use of numerals to most single-digit whole numbers. *”0 and 1”

 

 
 
Questions? Suggestions? contact: elinor.bartle<at>uib.no