WTF, when will scientists learn to use fewer acronyms?

Read the full story from the University of South Australia.

Have you heard of DNA? It stands for Do Not Abbreviate apparently. Jokes aside, it’s the most widely used acronym in scientific literature in the past 70 years, appearing more than 2.4 million times.

The short form of deoxyribonucleic acid is widely understood, but there are millions more acronyms (like WTF: water-soluble thiourea-formaldehyde) that are making science less useful and more complex for society, according to a new paper released by Australian researchers.

Associated journal article: Barnett, A and Doubleday, Z (2020). “Meta-Research: The growth of acronyms in the scientific literature.” eLife 9, e60080. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.60080

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