A glossary for research reports

Not the first of its kind, but I liked it. Link.

Scientific term (Actual meaning)

It has long been known that … (I haven’t bothered to look up the original reference)

…of great theoretical and practical importance (…interesting to me)

While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to these questions … (The experiments didn’t work out, but I figured I could at least get a publication out of it)

The W-Pb system was chosen as especially suitable to show the predicted behaviour. … (The fellow in the next lab had some already made up)

High-purity || Very high purity || Extremely high purity || Super-purity || Spectroscopically pure … (Composition unknown except for the exaggerated claims of the supplier)

A fiducial reference line … (A scratch)

Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study … (The results on the others didn’t make sense and were ignored)

…accidentally strained during mounting (…dropped on the floor)

…handled with extreme care throughout the experiments (…not dropped on the floor)

…Typical results are shown … (The best results are shown)

Although some detail has been lost in reproduction, it is clear from the original micrograph that … (It is impossible to tell from the micrograph)

Presumably at longer times … (I didn’t take time to find out)

The agreement with the predicted curve is excellent (fair) || good (poor) || satisfactory (doubtful) || fair (imaginary) || . . as good as could be expected (non-existent)

These results will be reported at a later date … (I might possibly get around to this sometime)

The most reliable values are those of Jones (He was a student of mine)

It is suggested that || It is believed that || It may be that … (I think)

It is generally believed that … (A couple of other guys think so too)

It might be argued that … (I have such a good answer to this objection that I shall now raise it)

It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding … (I don’t understand it)

Unfortunately, a quantitative theory to account for these effects has not been formulated … (Neither does anybody else)

Correct within an order of magnitude … (Wrong)

It is to be hoped that this work will stimulate further work in the field … (This paper isn’t very good, but neither are any of the others in this miserable subject)

Thanks are due to Joe Glotz for assistance with the experiments and to John Doe for valuable discussions … (Glotz did the work and Doe explained what it meant)

C. D. Graham, Jr., Metal. Progress 71, 75 (1957) (actual source)


June 29, 2011 - Posted by | fun, Science

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