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I am writing a literature survey for papers from 2000 to 2017. Should I use a present tense or past tense when I am describing methods that were used in those papers?

marked as duplicate by Bob Brown, Coder, Buzz, Alexandros, Fábio Dias Sep 18 '17 at 21:34

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Either past or present tense is reasonable for a literature survey. You could argue for the past tense since the work was already completed, or use the present tense because the papers currently exist and describe something that can be found now.

The main issue is to be consistent in your usage throughout the review.

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