In an article I am writing for the Journal of Chemical Physics we are comparing/contrasting the behavior of methane (i.e CH4) scattering from a bare and oxidized Ni(111) surface.
Often for the purpose of brevity I am tempted to write in a shorthand I find sloppy. I am so far resisting this temptation but I am worried that I may be prioritizing clarity at the cost of efficiency.
To give an example: we present in a single figure angular distributions of methane scattering from the bare Ni(111) surface (marked by red in the plot), which we can refer to without ambiguity as "Ni(111)", and the oxidized nickel surface (marked by blue), which we term "NiO/Ni". I would like to refer to, for brevity, "the NiO/Ni angular distribution", but, read literally, the term is meaningless. The surface alone has no associated distribution, it is only for a scattering system composed of a surface and a scattering molecule that we have defined an associated notion of an angular distribution.
Of course, in a group meeting or informal conversation such language would be acceptable and perhaps preferable. It is also quite likely the average reader of this journal would understand without too much trouble what is meant by term "NiO/Ni angular distribution". However the language still strikes me as sloppy/amateurish, and I find myself opting for wordier phrasing like, "the data measured with the surface oxided".
So it is permissible to include what might be considered "shop-talk"-type language in a journal article for the sake of brevity?