“In this paper” vs “In this study”—Is there any difference?

Most of us interchange the phrases in this paper and in this study quite liberally. Both phrases help the author to set the context and are usually used within the premises of academia and research.

But, what if I tell you that these seemingly similar phrases have a subtle difference in their meanings, which often goes unnoticed?

Wondering how these two phrases differ?

Let us have a closer look at these phrases to clear the confusion.

In this study

Study means investigating or examining a specific subject. It could be compared with the word research. When we use research in a sentence such as ‘recent research suggests that drug A is more effective than drug B’, we imply the work conducted in a particular discipline.

Similarly, the phrase in this study indicates the investigation which is being discussed.

For instance,

In this study, we analyzed the genome-wide changes in gene expression.

Here, we can understand that the genome-wide changes were analyzed in the study, i.e., the actual investigation.

In this paper

The state or findings of a study are reported through a paper. A paper is an essay or article which states the purpose of a study, methods used, results observed, and the inferences drawn.

For instance,

In this paper, we reported the true form of the DNA.

In this case, we understand that the paper is the medium of scientific communication in which the finding about the true form of DNA has been reported.

Quite baffling, eh? Well, don’t get worked up. Once you catch on to the meanings of these two phrases, using them in your writing, would come naturally!

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