Q: How should I mention an interquartile range in a manuscript when a negative number is included in the interquartile range?

Detailed Question -

An interquartile range should be mentioned as 12.5(8.5-10). However, if a negative number is included, it would need to be as -12.5(-8.5- -10). But this makes it difficult to see the numbers within the brackets. How can I improve this?

1 Answer to this question

Firstly, there seems to be something wrong with the calculation. The interquartile range (IQR) is the difference between the upper and lower quartiles, and 8.5-10 does not result in 12.5. So, you may wish to check your calculation again. :-)

For your query, here’s what you need to do. Where the presence of two negative signs makes the notation difficult to read, you may write the second negative sign and the number after it within parentheses, for example: (-8.5 - (-21)). Several authors do this, and this should be fine.

Hope that helps. For greater help with editing, you may of course wish to look at any of our editing services here. All the best for the rest of your manuscript!