Style Sheets

Download the style sheets


  • Use full words rather than abbreviations in the body of the text.
    • ‘for example’ rather than ‘e.g.’
    • ‘that is’ instead of ‘i.e.’
    • ‘and so on’ instead of ‘etc.’
  • If you are using abbreviations, use full stops where appropriate.
    • For example: i.e., etc., et al.
  • Contractions ending with the same letter as the original word do not take a full stop.
    • For example: Mrs, Dr
  • No full stops should be used in upper-case abbreviations.
    • For example: US, UK
  • Abbreviated units of measurement should be SI standard. These do not have full stops and do not take a plural ‘s’.
    • For example: 1km, 2kg, 3L

Accents, diacritics and special characters

  • When you are typing your manuscript, use Unicode for all special characters, including letters with accents or diacritics.
  • To select a Unicode character in MS Word, go to the ‘Insert’ tab and click on ‘Symbol’, and choose it from there.
  • Do not copy and paste special characters from the internet or a pdf document: this introduces hidden code gremlins that cause problems during typesetting and might delay publication of your book.
  • Highlight in yellow the first occurrence of letters with accents and diacritics and any foreign, special or IPA characters.
  • List these on your Book Form.

Ayn (ʿ) and hamza (ʾ)

  • You can use either the Unicode special characters or curly apostrophes for ayn and hamza.
  • Whichever option you decide on, be consistent.
  • The hamza Unicode character is 02BE.
  • The ayn Unicode character is 02BF.

See also: Transliteration for non-Roman alphabets

Acts of Parliament

  • The title of the Act should have no comma between it and the year.
  • Use a lower-case ‘t’ for ‘the’ before the name of the Act.
    • For example: the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Bibliography and citation style

  • You may use any recognised bibliography or citation style.
  • The most important thing is to use one style consistently throughout your book.
  • If in doubt, your institution or department will have a preferred style and will provide guidance on how to use it.
  • Let us know which style you are using on your Book Form when you submit your manuscript.

See also: Notes


  • Keep capitals to a minimum.

When to use capitals

  • Full caps for acronyms, e.g. NATO, USA, TV.
  • Small caps are only used for eras: BC, AD, H, AH, CE and BCE.
  • Capitalise ‘Chapter’ for internal cross references.
  • Capitalise to distinguish specific from general
    • For example:
      ‘She is a professor at the University of Edinburgh.’
      ‘She is Professor of Literature at the University of Edinburgh.’


  • Write dates as: day of the week, comma, dates as Arabic numeral, full name of the month, full year in numerals.
    • For example: Monday, 11 November 2019
  • Decades do not take an apostrophe before the ‘s’.
    • For example: the 1930s
  • For date ranges, use an en rule with no spaces.
    • For example: 1999–2001, 2005–18, 9–15 August 1984.

See also: En and em rules; Numbers


  • For the Christian era, you can use either BC and AD or CE and BCEas long as you are consistent.
    • BC, CE and BCE follow the year.
    • AD comes before the year.
    • Do not use AD or CEfrom the year 500 onwards (unless it is important in the context of the book).
      • For example: 43 BC, AD 499, 1984
  • For the Islamic dating system, use H or AH and BH.
    • H, AH and BHfollow the year.
      • For example: 123 H, 1440 AH, 16 BH
  • If the date is approximate, indicate this with ‘c.’
    • For example: ‘c. AD 350’

Definite article – using ‘the’

  • Use a lower-case ‘t’ before names of associations, companies, institutions and other bodies.
    • For example: Edinburgh University Press is a fully owned subsidiary of the University of Edinburgh.
  • For newspapers and periodicals, follow the use of ‘the’ in the title.
    • For example: the Daily Mail, The Guardian


  • Use a space before an ellipsis
  • Use either a space or the appropriate closing punctuation (for example, a closing quotation mark or bracket) after an ellipsis.
  • Avoid following ellipses with a full stop or a comma.

See also: Quotations


  • Do not use italics for emphasis. You should use your wording and grammar to emphasise words and phrases.

En and em rules

  • We prefer en rules, with a space either side, over em rules. Em rules (spaced or closed up) should only be used when working on a revision of a text where em rules are already in place.
  • Use en rules with a space either side in text.
  • Use unspaced en rules wherever the dash can be interpreted as ‘to’. This includes date ranges.


En rule as parenthetical dash

Burns refers to one such collection – generally believed to be Joseph Ritson’s Select Collection of English Songs – in his letter to Moore as being his ‘vade mecum’.

En rule for ranges

  • Dates: 1900–1, 1900–10, 1910–18, 1923–4
  • Pages: pp. 368–71
  • Note: do not write ‘from’ before a range joined with an en rule.

See also: Numbers


  • Mark as ‘EXT’ all quotations of more than 40 words; numbered lists; verse extracts of one or more lines; small tables in the text.
    See also: Tables
  • All extracted quotations should begin full out left within the indented block.

Fonts and typography

  • The designer will decide upon these when the typescript has been copy-edited.
  • Attach a separate note if you want particular attention to be paid to the design of a specific section.
  • Ensure that bold and italic have been correctly marked in normal text.
  • Do not introduce hard returns in the course of a paragraph unless you want a full line space to appear.

Headings and sub-headings

  • Use as simple a hierarchy as possible.
  • Mark titles in the prelims (pages before the body of the book) and back matter (pages after the main body of the book) as <MH>.
    • For example: Contents, Acknowledgements, Glossary, Index
  • Where books are split into parts (sections containing multiple chapters), mark the part titles <PT>.
  • Mark chapter titles <CH>.
  • Subheadings within a chapter are indicated with letters.
    • Mark first-level subheadings <A>
    • Mark subheadings within <A> as <B>
    • Mark subheadings within <B> as <C>
    • Use a maximum of 3 levels of heading – don‘t go beyond <C>


  • Keep hyphenation to a minimum.
  • Use hyphens used for compound adjectives.
    • For example: A nineteenth-century building (but, a building of the nineteenth century)
  • Hyphens are not used for adverbs.
    • For example: An early century building


  • Only italicise what is necessary.
  • Use italics for foreign words, except when part of a foreign-language quotation or when the word has been assimilated into the English language.
  • Italicise titles of newspapers, journals, plays, books, films, works of art and names of ships.
  • Do not italicise the names of institutions or associations.
  • Do not italicise for emphasis.
    • See also: Emphasis
  • Only italicise ‘see’ and ‘see also’ in the index.
  • Do not italicise surrounding punctuation.

Legal cases

  • When citing legal cases, set the parties’ names in italics and use ‘v.’ in roman between them.
    • For example: Roe v. Wade.

Legal issues

  • If there is any danger of text being interpreted as libellous, err on the side of caution.
  • Do not make personal criticism of living individuals without very careful consideration of the possible legal consequences.


  • All notes should appear as chapter endnotes, unless there is a specific directive to use footnotes (for example: series style).
  • Indicate notes with superscript numerals, without parentheses, outside any punctuation.
  • Do not set sequential in-text notes in tables or figures as their position may change during typesetting.
    • Label notes to tables and figures a, b, c and so on, and present them with the table or figure.
  • Avoid notes to headings.
  • Where endnotes are used, insert the heading ‘Notes’ before the endnotes.
  • Please avoid ‘op. cit.’, ‘loc. cit.’, ‘idem’ and ‘eadem’.
  • ‘Ibid.’ (note: full point, not in italics) can be used to refer to the immediately preceding reference, or part of it, indicated by the page number.
  • Do not use ‘ibid.’ if there are two references in the preceding note as this is too confusing.
  • For clarity, give a page number each time you use ‘ibid.’
    • For example:
      1. Smith, The Book, p. 19.
      2. Ibid. p. 19.
      3. Ibid. p. 23.
      4. Ibid. p. 24.

See also: Bibliography and citation style

Numbered lists

  • All numbered lists should be numbered ‘1.’, ‘2.’ and so on.
  • Do not use letters or roman numerals.
  • Parentheses around numbers can be used in running text
    • For example: I saw (1) an elephant and (2) a mouse]
  • Parentheses should not be used for note indicators or in numbered lists.
    • For example:
      I saw:
      1. an elephant
      2. a mouse

Numbering system


  • Ranges of numbers: omit any digits that are not necessary to understanding.
  • Any number in the teens should show both digits.
    • For example: 3–6, 15–17, 23–4, 37–43, 44–101, 100–9, 115–17, 123–4, 137–43, 144–244
  • Spell out numbers up to but not including 10 for technical books.
  • Spell out words up to but not including 100 for more literary texts.
  • Use commas, not spaces or full points, for large numbers.
    • For example: 6,000, 10,000

Oxford comma

  • We prefer not to use the Oxford comma unless absolutely essential for clarity.
    • For example: ‘I bought apples, bananas and pears.’ – No Oxford comma required.
    • For example: ‘They sent gifts to Jane’s sons, Giorgio Agamben, and Jia Zhangke.’ – Oxford comma required for clarity.
      (‘They sent gifts to her sons, Giorgio Agamben and Jia Zhangke’ could conceivably be read as saying Jane is the mother of Giorgio Agamben and Jia Zhangke.)


  • Separate paragraphs using one line break (press ‘return’ on your keyboard).
  • Do not use lines of asterisks or other symbols to separate text.
  • Do not indent your paragraphs.


  • We favour ’s for words ending in ‘s’, unless the name ends with an ‘iz’ sound.
    • For example: Fawkes’s, Woods’s, James’s, Dickens’s, Descartes’s, but Lis’
  • Certain historical names are conventionally excluded from this rule.
    • For example: Moses’, Rabelais’, Socrates’

Quotation marks

  • Be consistent in the use of curly or straight quotation marks.
  • Use single quotation marks throughout, with double quotes for a quote within a quote.
    • For example: ‘Newman attempts to salvage the “ultimate horizon for radical politics” offered by anarchism.’
  • Displayed quotations have no quotation marks. Any quotes within a displayed quote will have single quotation marks.
  • A few philosophical and linguistics texts use quotation marks for different, specialist purposes.
  • If the author you are quoting has used a mixture of straight and curly quotation marks, there is probably a reason for it (other than poor typesetting). If this is the case, follow the original author’s usage.


  • Quotations of more than 40 words should be displayed.
  • Don’t use an introductory ellipsis.
  • It is acceptable to use a concluding ellipsis.
  • Use original spellings. Add [sic] if necessary.
  • Capitalise quotations according to the standard rules of capitalisation.
  • Include the source of the quote, following the guidelines set out by your chosen citation style. See also: Bibliography and citation style


See: Bibliography and citation style

Sexist usage

  • Try not to overuse ‘he and she’. Reword to avoid using pronouns in some instances.
  • Consider using the plural ‘they’ if it seems appropriate.
  • If rewording is not possible, it is preferable to use ‘he or she’, not ‘s/he’ or ‘he/she’.
  • Avoid using the word ‘Man’ to refer to the species and in stereotyped clichés.
    • For example, do not say: ‘they decided he was the right man for the job’.


  • Use one character space between sentences (after the full stop), not two.
  • Close up figures and abbreviated measurements.
    • For example: 20km, not 20 km.


  • Use British spellings. Use -ise, -yse -our endings.
  • We favour the following: benefited, focused, connection, premise, medieval.
  • We favour ‘judgement’ except when meaning a legal pronouncement, when ‘judgment’ is correct.


  • Tables should not contain anything that a typesetter cannot set using a keyboard.
  • Present tables one per page.
  • Number your tables decimally by chapter.
  • Indicate the ideal location on the page of a table, but please note that the typesetter may not be able to place it exactly where indicated. If this is likely to cause a problem, please indicate what would and would not be acceptable.
  • If the table has any notes, they should be indicated in the table by superscript a, b, c and so on. Do not use asterisks, daggers or other symbols. Supply the notes under the table together with source information.
    • See also: Notes
  • Please check carefully that the tables tally exactly with the text in the use of abbreviations, units of measurement and content, and check that any totals are correct.

Transliteration for non-Roman alphabets

House style

  • Our house style follows IJMES guidelines but with no diacritics in the main text.
  • Some series have specific transliteration guidelines. If your book is being published in one of these series, we will send you the guidelines with your contract. 
  • If you like, you can include each word or term with its full transliteration (including diacritics) in the index. You may wish to add a note on transliteration to your prelims, along the following lines:

Following house style, [language] names and terms have not been transliterated in the main text. You can find the transliterated forms of these words in the index.

General transliteration notes

  • Consistency is key: whichever transliteration method you choose, make sure you use it throughout.
  • You are responsible for the consistency and accuracy of the transliteration in your submitted manuscript.
  • Corrections at proof stage are costly and will likely delay the publication date.
  • Reviewers will notice and pick you up on any mistakes, which may damage your book’s reputation.

See also: Accents, diacritics and special characters

Web addresses

  • Do not underline web addresses.
  • Do not include terminal punctuation, as this could confuse someone typing the address into their computer.
    • For example: