Unaligated Number Meaning: Dos and Don’ts.

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What is unaligated number mean?

Unaligated number meaning is the concept of including a numerical digit without decimals, sometimes called “rounding off” the number.

Do:

• Round up numbers to the nearest 100 when you are writing. For example, 300 becomes 400, 500 becomes 600, and 838 becomes 900.

• If you must use a number with decimals (for instance if studying population), round to five decimal places for practical purposes. For example, 4.4 becomes 4.0 instead of 4.4001; .0003 becomes .0002 instead of .0003.

Don’t:

• Round off numbers that are not at the end of a sentence or at the end of a paragraph—unless you are rounding to the nearest 100.

• Round off numbers in a column if they don’t already have leading zeros before the decimal point (for example, “876” becomes “900”). If you do round off in a table, put zeros before (for example, “876” becomes “008760”).

• Round off numbers in technical or scientific tables.

“Unaligated number” is sometimes called a “rounding up,” but it isn’t the same thing at all because when you round up to the nearest hundred, you miss more of the decimal point than if you round down to the nearest hundred. Also, rounding up can cause you to lose a digit (and yes, if you must use a number with decimals, this happens).

Here are some examples: 500 becomes 600 or 800; 876 becomes 900 or 008760; 8529 becomes 9583 and 65536 becomes 658984328. But remember, if you must use a number with decimals (for instance if studying population), round to five decimal places for practical purposes. For example, 4.4 becomes 4.0 instead of 4.4001; .0003 becomes .0002 instead of .0003.

What is the use?

When you present data with numbers such as 300, 837, or 876 the numerical aspect is not immediately clear. To the eye it looks like a string of digits on their own (providing readers don’t know that it is supposed to be 300). This can lead to uncertainty about the meaning and accuracy of your data; people might even think you are presenting incorrect values.

Another potential problem is that your work may be cited by other authors in their work. They may present your work in a way which makes it difficult to interpret (for example, by omitting the exact number of measurements or trials). A third potential problem is that your work may be cited by other authors in their work. They may present your work in a way which makes it difficult to interpret (for example, by omitting the exact number of measurements or trials).

What is the solution?

To eliminate confusion, you should always include your numbers in rounded form. For example: 300 becomes 400; 837 becomes 850; 876 becomes 900. If you can’t round the number to five places (because there aren’t enough digits after the decimal point) use only two digits before and after the decimal. For example: 486 becomes 460; 8529 becomes 8923.377 etc.

When you present a scientific or technical thesis, your work is paraded to the public in detail. An unaligated number can easily lead to misinterpretation of your data, so it is important to make improvements. For example: 300 becomes 400; 837 becomes 850; 876 becomes 900. If you cannot round it up to five places (because there aren’t enough digits after the decimal point), use only two digits before and after the decimal point. For example: 486 becomes 460; 8529 becomes 8923.377 etc. Do not forget that any statistical research is based on random samples in order to ensure the validity and reliability of data.

What are the benefits?

You will avoid confusing readers and ensure the clarity of your research. It will also make your work more attractive, which will make it more likely to be cited in other works. By the way, use of unaligation is a long-established technique, as you can see from the example above. It was used among various ancient civilizations for various purposes, as known from archeological findings. The oldest known written representation of the word  “algorithm” appeared circa 300 BC. This writings are still preserved in the mathematical libraries and archives of Greece (Kircher’s “Oedipus Aegyptiacus”, 1744).

What are some other considerations?

This is part of a general trend to eliminate confusion in your writing. Another good example is the use of words such as “fewer” when discussing quantitative units, or “a few” when referring to numbers of items. Instead, you should use phrases such as “less than six,” or “more than one.” You should also avoid using words such as “some,” which could be interpreted as meaning either “more than none” or “fewer than all”—the latter meaning being more confusing (and less accurate). We have proven that unaligated number is a widely used concept. It is an effective tool which has been widely used by academia and industry under different names.

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