in my inbox

i’m back from the easterns, at which i had a very good time (i know! i was surprised too!) , saw great sessions, met interesting people, and brought home some free copies of journals. i had been feeling a tinge of guilty for leaving saturday night, because i know how it sucks to be scheduled on the last day, but the book vendors had no such qualms.

anyway, i’m on the listserv at my university that handles IRB and external grants, and they sent out this little gem while i was away:

· Principle Investigator or Principal Investigator?

A Principal Investigator (PI) is the primary investigator on an award. It is commonly misspelled as “principle investigator” (which is someone who investigates principles). According to Google, the phrase “principle investigator” is used on NSF’s web site 1850 times while the correct version is used 13,100 times for an error rate of 12.4%. NIH fares much better with an error rate of 1.9%. Military web sites have an error rate of 5.8%. ONR’s Guidance for Preparing White Papers and Proposals contains the advice “… a well prepared document reflects well upon the principle investigator and his organization.”

The [University] web site contains 159 instances of “principle investigator” for an error rate up to 5.1%. Before sending me an e-mail quoting one of my numerous typos and grammar errors, please keep in mind I type with two fingers and rarely can find my reading glasses.

more on the easterns in the next few days.

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