From Hull AWE
The authorial 'we' is a way of avoiding using 'I' in academic writing. Similar phenomena are also called the editorial 'we' and the royal 'we'. See also first person for an account of a related problem in academic writing.
- The use of the authorial 'we' was widespread in the nineteenth century, and was a standard convention in academic writing and journalism. Its use declined through the twentieth century, and now, in the twenty-first,it is widely regarded as quaint and old-fashioned. AWE advises against it. Even in the nineteenth century, the writer Mark Twain said "Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial 'we.'"