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Use of Numerals 

Use of Numerals
Numbers and Percentages

Stephen J. Lurie

and Margaret A. Winker

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Subscriber: null; date: 23 October 2017

Use of Numerals

In scientific writing, numerals are used to express numbers in most circumstances. Exceptions are the following:

  • Numbers that begin a sentence, title, subtitle, or heading

  • Common fractions

  • Accepted usage such as idiomatic expressions and numbers used as pronouns

  • Other uses of “one” in running text

  • Ordinals first through ninth

  • Numbers spelled out in quotes or published titles. (See 19.2, Spelling Out Numbers.)

Note the following examples of numerals in text:

The relative risk of exposed individuals was nearly 3 times that of the controls.

In the second phase of the study, 3 of the investigators administered the 5 tests to the 7 remaining subjects. The test scores showed a 2- to 2.4-fold improvement over those of the first phase.

In 2 of the 17 patients in whom both ears were tested, we were unable to obtain responses from either ear. While testing patient 3, we experienced technical problems consisting of unmanageable electrical artifacts.

Groups 1 and 2 were similar in terms of demographic and clinical characteristics (Table 1). Table 2 lists the 4 tests that were performed.

A 3-member committee from the Food and Drug Administration visited the researchers.

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