It has become fashionable to use the word “however” in scientific articles. Are writers using it correctly?
The answer is that authors occasionally use the word correctly, although when they do, it is often by accident. There are several better, more precise words that authors could be using, but we’ll get to those a little later on.
Here’s what Strunk and White have to say.
Avoid starting a sentence with “however” when the meaning is “nevertheless.” The word usually serves better when not in first position.
–The roads were almost impassable. The roads were almost impassable. At last, however, we at last succeeded in reaching however, we succeeded in reaching camp. camp.
–When however comes first, it means “in whatever way” or “to whatever extent.” However you advise him, he will probably do as he thinks best. However discouraging the prospect, they never lost heart.
“Nevertheless” is a great adverb that means “in spite of that; notwithstanding; all the same.”
“However” means simply “in whatever way; regardless of how”, or “to whatever extent.” Most scientific authors use the word to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been said previously. That’s a fine thing to do unless you start a sentence with “however”!
Nevertheless, if you are having trouble getting your article’s published, I can help you.