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Decimal Format

Chapter:
Units of Measure
Author(s):

Phil B. Fontanarosa

and Stacy Christiansen

Decimal Format

The decimal format is recommended for numbers used with units of measure. Numerical values less than 1 require placement of 0 before the decimal marker.

Preferred:

0.123

Avoid:

.123

However, certain statistical values, such as α levels and P values, should be reported without the use of 0 before the decimal marker. (See 19.7.1, Numbers and Percentages, Forms of Numbers, Decimals; and 20.9, Study Design and Statistics, Glossary of Statistical Terms.)

The sample size was based on detecting a 10% difference in the primary outcome measure, using a 2-sided α level of .05.

Statistical significance was defined as P < .01.

Fractions should not be used with SI units.

Preferred:

2.5 kg

Avoid:

2½ kg

Mixed fractions occasionally are used in text to indicate less precise measurements and most commonly involve units of measure representing time.

After more than 7½ years of investigation, the effort to develop a new vaccine was abandoned.

The decimal format also could be used:

After more than 7.5 years of investigation, the effort to develop a new vaccine was abandoned.

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