Discussing usage of the mathematical inequality symbols; <, >, ≥, ≤ , within NIH application text fields.
- In early 2015 NIH released a notice informing the grant seeking community of the support for the full Unicode Character Set, in the free-text form fields. http://unicode.org/charts/
- The NIH’s “Rules for Text Fields” also provides guidance regarding text data entry fields. https://grants.nih.gov/grants/how-to-apply-application-guide/format-and-write/rules-for-text-fields.htm#allow
According to the above notice and guidelines the mathematical inequality symbols are included within the acceptable/supported Unicode Character Set. However, it has come to our attention that usage of these particular symbols may delay if not prevent the successful submission of an NIH application. While the use of these symbols will not result in error notices within the University’s Cayuse system, the problem is encountered when the application is routed from Grants.gov to eRA Commons.
So, when entering text where these symbols may be used it is suggested that their meaning be written in longhand, i.e.
< ( Less than), ≤ (Less than or equal to), etc.