Annual Meeting Report

How to Maintain and Update Outdated House Style

Moderator: Jennifer Fricker Copyediting Services Coordinator J&J Editorial Cary, North Carolina Speakers: Peter J. Olson Senior Copyediting Coordinator Sheridan Journal Services Waterbury, Vermont Carrie Wright Senior Content Production Editor Public Library of Science (PLOS) San Francisco, California Reporter: Resa Roth Freelance Editor University of Washington Yeast Resource Center Seattle, Washington This session offered a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to updating an outdated house style guide. Peter J. Olson first underscored a house style guide will always need to be updated: it must evolve alongside changing style manuals and expectations. There are three main manuals of style for writers in the sciences: The Chicago Manual of Style, Scientific Style and Format, and the AMA Manual of Style. He discussed the practical reasons for having a house style guide: to cover items not already included in the “big three” style manuals; to tailor the guide to meet the needs of a particular journal; to provide guidance when editing different types of articles, each with their own style rules; to have a standard format to use for author queries; and to be different from a style manual, out of preference or necessity. Olson then presented specific examples of the above-mentioned reasons to maintain a house style guide. An effective style guide includes three important components: categorization, cross-references, and examples. Categorization is the process of filing the item under the most logical heading for the user. Use of cross-references throughout the style guide will help with navigation, reduce discrepancies, and allow for flexibility in organization. […]

The full article is for members only

Log In to View Full Article