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A Dictionary of Useful Research Phrases

This table may help in reading some of the research papers that we come across. I am not certain of the origin of the table, but some report that it originally appeared in a scientific journal article:
C. D. Graham, Jr.
Metal Progress
Volume 71, Number 5
May, 1957

Research Phrase Translation
It has long been known... I didn't look up the original reference.
A definite trend is evident... These data are are practically meaningless.
Of great theoretical and practical importance... Interesting to me.
While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to these questions... An unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published.
Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study... The results of the others didn't make any sense.
Typical results are shown... The best results are shown.
These results will be shown in a subsequent report... I might get around to this sometime if I'm pushed.
The most reliable results are those obtained by Jones... He was my graduate assistant.
It is believed that... I think.
It is generally believed that... A couple of other people think so too.
It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding of the phenomenon occurs... I don't understand it.
Correct within an order of magnitude... Wrong.
It is hoped that this study will stimulate further investigation in this field... This is a lousy paper, but so are all the others on this miserable topic.
Thanks are due to Joe Blotz for assistance with the experiment and to George Frink for valuable discussions... Blotz did the work and Frink explained to me what it meant.
A careful analysis of obtainable data... Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass of beer.
A statistically oriented projection of the findings... Wild guess.
A highly significant area for exploratory study... A totally useless topic suggested by my committee.


Last updated Wednesday February 27, 2008