Style manuals for writers & editors

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Contents

Last Update

  • Updated.jpg 22 June 2015

Introduction

See also Citation management | Information needs of users | Scientific writing | Scholarly publishing and communication | Users of health libraries

Style manuals for writers and editors are used by researchers to format citations and academic papers. Further, they explain how to format references, tables, charts and other information for academic papers doing so "according to a prescribed style". Style manuals are used by a range of researchers, students and editors to format papers and to cite other papers. Across academic disciplines, there are hundreds of style sheets and many are hybrid in-house styles such as those as specific publishers. Style manuals provide a range of advice about grammar, punctuation, conducting research and formatting papers. The distinction between a style manual and writing guide is subtle, and there are detailed manuals and guides for writing papers, and manuscript preparation.

Two popular style manuals in medicine are the Vancouver style which dates back to a 1978 meeting in Vancouver British Columbia, and the US National Library of Medicine PubMed style. The Vancouver style is also referred to as the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals but the latter is really a set of guidelines beyond citation format. The Uniform Requirements of the ICMJE are similar to other medical stylesheets such as the American Medical Association style but may differ in matters of punctuation. Health librarians should be aware of other style sheets such as MLA Manual, the APA Style (American Psychological Association) and the CBE style.

Canadian context

In terms of writing styles, there seems to be little consensus that a Canadian style actually exists. However, many of the spelling conventions in Canadian English are a hybrid of British and American spellings, particularly as practiced by Canadian journalists. The Globe and Mail, for example, can be said to set the national standards for Canadian English and, as such, publishes its own style manual. There are other style manuals developed at medical journals such as the Canadian Medical Association Journal and the Canadian Pharmacy Journal. The Oxford University Press also publishes a Canadian dictionary. This wiki HLWIKI Canada uses the Vancouver style almost exclusively.

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