John Dixon, independent medical writer and trainer in scientific writing skills, provides a useful tip for medical writers who work in MedComms.

John’s Linkedin page is at https://www.linkedin.com/in/johndixonlmm/

John’s web page is at https://librasciencecomms.co.uk

Note these “bites” are recorded online using the zoom.us platform and hence quality may be affected by variability in internet connectivity and quality of webcams. The tips, however, are always first class!

Recorded 28 May 2019. Produced by NetworkPharma.tv

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Transcript

Hi, I’m John Dixon, a trainer in scientific writing, and here’s a bite that I hope may help you with your writing.

‘Compared to’ or ‘compared with’ [NEXT SLIDE]

Compared to is better used when you wish to note similarities between two things, for instance using a simile:
For example: A computer can be compared to a filing cabinet. [NEXT]

Compared with is usually used when the difference between two things is more important than the similarities. In biomedical science, we’re often comparing two items to note any differences between them – drugs, enzymes, equipment …

So: Compared with drug X, drug Y is more effective in improving 5-year survival in patients with disease Z. [NEXT SLIDE]

However, the difference can be quite subtle…

Take the statement: Compared with drug X, drug Y is associated with a greater increase in serum creatinine.
i.e. there is a difference between the two. [NEXT]

But compare this with the statement: Compared to drug X, drug Y is also associated with raised serum creatinine.
In this case, these drugs have something in common and ‘compared ‘to’ is more appropriate. [NEXT]

Well, I hope that’s helpful. For more bites, visit NetworkPharma.tv

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