Q: How to write large numbers in a research paper?

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I have a question how to write the actual costs in the body text or table of a paper about cost-effectiveness. When the amount is big like US$1111111111.11, should I write it down as is, or should I use “million” or “x1000”? Is there any rule or good idea to write it?

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Answer:

While writing numbers in a research paper, it is best practice to write small numbers from one to ten in words and bigger numbers in figures, for the ease of reading. Moreover, it also depends on the style guide you are using. For example, the APA style guide recommends writing small numbers from one to nine in figures and then writing the further numbers in words. On the other hand, the Chicago Manual recommends writing numbers from one to hundred in figures and using words for numbers beyond that. Whichever style you prefer, you must make sure you follow it throughout your paper consistently.

You can check style guides as well as your target journal’s guidelines for authors to decide which style to use. If you do not find enough help with that then you can also check published articles in the previous issues of the journal to find out what convention is followed by the journal.

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