I am looking for statistics for the acceptance of email endings in the academic community. I was informed that "Best regards" and "regards" are among the best ones. Is this true?

For example, this is a good source for the appropriateness of email salutation: https://thermaltoy.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/dr-who-or-professor-who-on-academic-email-etiquette/

From this source, about half of US professors prefer "Dr.", while the other half prefer "Prof.". How about "Prof. Dr." so we won't miss anything?

I also notice that a lot of members here recommend the email-writers to mention the connection between the writer and the professor. Is this always very important? Is it cost-efficient to go to conferences to meet with potential PhD advisors (I meant time-cost. $ is out of considerations.)?

Some related good stuffs How much detail to include in first email to potential PhD supervisor?

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    Are you just asking out of curiosity, or do you think such statistics are important information for writing emails to professors? Because it really isn't important - even if someone happens to prefer one over the other, they aren't going to think less of you or your request if you use the other one. This is not something that is worth spending any time worrying about. Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 3:46
  • The question about conferences should be in a separate post, I think. Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 3:46
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    What do you mean by "statistics for the acceptance" here? You are looking for a research in which they asked professors if they were offended or not by a certain ending? Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 8:25
  • As an Italian, I frequently use "Ciao" with many foreigner colleagues too. Otherwise I mostly use "Cheers" or "Best wishes". Instead, "Regards", "Best regards" and "Kind regards" are the most frequently used by my European colleagues, regardless of the level of familiarity with the recipient. See also this question of mine on ELL.SE. Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 8:34
  • @FedericoPoloni Yes. Something like how the professors rate the "formalness" of a certain ending from 1-5.
    – High GPA
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


I don't have statistical data on this (and I doubt any exist). Personally I find "Best regards" and "regards" to be very formal, but it depends on who you're speaking to.

I prefer to use "Best wishes", "All the best", "Best" (if the email is brief or we're in a hurry) or "Ciao" (my supervisor is Italian).

As for salutations, I don't think Prof. Dr. is used anywhere outside of Germany, because usually only the most recent or senior title is used. In other words, use Dr if they're a PhD and Professor if they're a professor. If you don't know which they are, find out.

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    As an Italian, I frequently use "Ciao" with many foreigner colleagues too ;-) Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 8:32
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    Actually, in Poland "prof. dr hab." is used as well (the dr hab. part has to do with the process of habilitation - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habilitation).
    – lukeg
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 9:27
  • @lukeg interesting, I didn't know this :) Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 14:47
  • Thanks. Could you please comment on attending the Prof's seminar/conferences? What is the most popular way to get a PhD position? Cold call/email, taking course, attending seminar, or directly apply?
    – High GPA
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 22:35
  • @HighGPA as Nate suggested, it's probably best to ask a new, separate question for that. The PhD application process is highly country and culture dependent and there isn't sufficient space in the comments to write a good answer. As for attending their conferences, I've never heard of anyone doing that but I don't think it would actively harm your application. (Again, I encourage you to ask this as another separate question.) Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 22:44

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