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These notes are designed to help in the preparation and presentation of typescripts and to establish general stylistic conventions. They also provide advice on permissions, indexes, production schedules, and other aspects of the process by which an author's typescript is transformed into a book. While the notes contain recommendations for particular systems of reference, etc., an author's first priorities should be clarity and consistency. Individual typescripts will often have features not dealt with in the present document, and in such cases authors are urged to consult their Press editor at the earliest possible stage.

Authors of books on Law should also consult notes for law authors.


Please choose a title that is factual and informative. An erudite or allusive phrase may sometimes be admissible as a subtitle, but it is essential that the main title should be straightforwardly descriptive so that it represents the content of your book clearly to booksellers, librarians and users of computerised catalogues.

Word limit

It is vital that you observe the word limit agreed with your Press editor at the time of signing your contract. The length of the book and its eventual retail price are closely linked. The limit covers everything in the typescript, including notes, quoted material, bibliography and index. Over-length typescripts are liable to be returned the author for trimming.

Spelling, punctuation and capitalisation

  • Authors should consistently adopt either British or American spelling conventions throughout their typescripts (except in quotations from other sources, where the spelling convention of the original should be retained). In British style either -ise or -ize may be used, but one form should be used throughout. In American style -ize and -yze should be used.
  • Punctuation systems should consistently follow either British or American conventions (except in quotations from other sources, where the punctuation convention of the original should be retained). British style uses single inverted commas, except for quotations within quotations (which have double inverted commas). Punctuation should follow closing inverted commas except for grammatically complete sentences beginning with a capital. American style uses double inverted commas, except for quotations within quotations (which have single inverted commas). Punctuation should precede closing quotation marks (except for dashes, colons and semicolons, unless these are part of the quoted matter).
  • In multi-author volumes, all contributors should follow the same system of spelling and punctuation, as agreed with the volume editor or Press editor.
  • The use of capitals should be kept to a sensible minimum. We prefer lower-case 'm' for 'medieval' and lower-case 'w' in 'western Europe'.

Contractions, abbreviations and acronyms

  • In British style contractions will have no full points (e.g. Mr, St, edn), though abbreviated words, which do not end with their final letter, and their plural forms, will (e.g. vol., vols., ed., eds.)
  • In American style contractions should have a period (Mr., St.), as should abbreviations in both singular and plural forms (vol., vols., ed., eds.).
  • Acronyms and abbreviations in capitals should have no stops in either British or American style: NATO, USA, EU, BC.

Numbers and dates

  • Numbers should be written out up to 100, except in a discussion that includes a mixture of numbers above and below this, in which case all of them should be in figures (e.g. 356 walkers overtook 72 others, as 6 fell back, exhausted). Numbers with units should always be given in figures, with a space between the number and the unit (e.g. 4 cm).
  • Dates should be written in the form: 20 December 1148; 20 December; AD 245-50. December 20, 1148 is acceptable in American style.
  • Centuries should be written out (twenty-first century) and 1920s etc. should be written without an apostrophe.

Notes and reference systems

  • Generally notes should be kept brief. Source references should be given with as little additional matter as possible.
  • Notes should be numbered throughout each chapter in an unbroken sequence (3a, as an afterthought, is not acceptable).
  • Op. cit., loc. cit. and idem should not be used as forms of reference, but ibid. may be used.
  • Authors are reminded that notes are included within their contractual word-limit. If the contract says 100,000 words, this includes the allowance for notes (e.g. 92,000 words of text plus 8,000 words of notes).
  • The form of reference used in your notes should be applied consistently
    throughout the typescript. The short-title system and the author-date system described below provide good models. As a general rule, books in humanities subjects (which refer regularly to historical sources and documents) are best served by the short-title system, whereas books in more technical social science subjects tend to use the author-date system.
The short-title system

A source should be given a full reference the first time it is cited in your notes. If your book has no bibliography, it is advisable to give the full reference at the first mention in each chapter. The full reference should include the following information, in this order:

Full references to books
author's or editor's first name(s) or initials
author's or editor's surname
complete title (including subtitle, if any)
compiler or translator, if any
series title, if any
edition, if not the original
number of volumes, if applicable
place of publication
publisher's name
date of publication
volume number (preferably in roman numbers), if applicable
page number(s)

e.g. A. T. Runnock, Medieval fortress building, new edition, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), vol. I, pp. 135-7.

e.g. G. S. Rousseau and Pat Rogers (eds.), The enduring legacy: Alexander Pope, tercentenary essays (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 44.

Full references to journal articles
author's first name(s) or initials
author's surname
title of the article (in inverted commas)
title of the journal
volume number (in arabic numbers)
date of volume
page number(s), if available (without p. or pp.)

e.g. Elizabeth Salter, 'Piers Plowman and the pilgrimage to truth', Essays and Studies 11 (1958), 34-5.

e.g. Arthur Jerrold Tieje, 'A peculiar phase of the theory of realism in pre-Richardsonian fiction', PMLA 28 (1913), 237.

References to manuscript material (including unpublished theses or dissertations)
author's first name(s) or initials
author's surname
title of document (in inverted commas)
volume or batch number, where applicable
name of collection, if known
folio number, or call number, if known
depositary and where located (or academic institution with date for PhD theses and dissertations)

e.g. H. R. Southall, 'Regional unemployment patterns in Britain, 1851 to 1914', unpublished PhD thesis, University of Cambridge (1984), p. 72.

e.g. Richardson to Lady Bradshaigh, 15 December 1748, 'Richardson / Bradshaigh letters', Forster collection, XI, fo. 7, Harvard University.

After the first mention, references to the source in the notes should take a shortened form. A shortened reference includes only the last name of the author and the short title of the book (containing the key word or words from the main title, so as to make the reference easily recognisable and not to be confused with any other work), followed by the page number of the reference. Thus:

Shortened references to books
author's or editor's surname (no first name or initials unless there is more than one author with the surname)
short title of the book
volume number, if applicable
page number(s)

e.g. Rousseau and Rogers (eds.), Enduring legacy, p. 45.

In general, titles of two or three words should not be shortened,

e.g. Runnock, Medieval fortress building, p. 74.

Shortened references to journal articles
author's surname (no first name or initials unless there is more than one author with the surname)
short title of the article (in inverted commas)
page number(s) (without p. or pp.)

e.g. Salter, 'Pilgrimage to truth', 34-5
e.g. Tieje, 'A peculiar phase', 75.

Shortened references to manuscript material (including unpublished theses or dissertations)
author's surname (no first name or initials unless there is more than one author with the surname)
short title
page number(s)

e.g. Southall, 'Regional unemployment', p. 72.
e.g. 'Richardson / Bradshaigh letters', fo. 116.

The author may of course be separated from the short title, e.g. in text/footnote formulations such as:

[As Runnock observes, the fortress inevitably had a secondary religious function.
Medieval fortress building, p. 134.]

The form of entries in the bibliography is similar to that for the full reference, except that the author's surname and first name or initials are inverted. A note usually carries the page number(s) or other specific reference to the part of the source which is being cited, while the bibliography usually gives those designating the section of a journal or multi-author volume covered by the whole of the cited article.

e.g. Runnock, A. T., Medieval fortress building, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976

e.g. Salter, Elizabeth, 'Piers Plowman and the pilgrimage to truth', Essays and Studies 11 (1958), 30-48

e.g. Tieje, Arthur Jerrold, 'A peculiar phase of the theory of realism in pre-Richardsonian fiction', PMLA 28 (1913), 213-52.

The author-date (Harvard) system

The author-date system (also known as the Harvard system) works best for books in social science subjects such as linguistics and economics, where the references are to secondary works rather than primary sources. It is not usually suitable for literary books, or those with references to manuscript collections, historical documents, foreign works and translations. For those books the short-title system should be used.

The main advantage of the author-date system is that it is concise and easy for the reader to follow. As the reference is given in a short form in the text, footnotes or endnotes can be kept to a minimum.

  • The textual reference should give the author's surname, the date of publication and the page reference within brackets in the form:
    (Culler 1998, p. 20) or (Culler 1998: 20)

This is the same for books, journal articles, chapters in an edited book or PhD theses.

  • Personal communications and unpublished data should be fully attributed in the text, as they will not appear in the list of references.
  • Works by the same author (or group of authors) in the same year should be cited as 1998a, 1998b, etc.
  • Et al. can be used for works by three or more authors if there is no possible ambiguity. The names of the co-authors should, however, be given in the list of references.
  • Several citations together should be listed consistently in either date order (Smith 1990; Culler 1998; Williams 2002) or in alphabetical order (Culler 1998; Smith 1990; Williams 2002).
  • All published works referred to in the text must be included in one alphabetical list of references at the end of the book, or - in the case of contributory volumes - in a separate list at the end of each chapter. Similarly, all works in this reference list must be cited in the text.
  • The list of references should give the full details for each work, in the following order:
author's surname
author's first name or initials
date of publication
title of publication
place of publication
publisher's name

e.g. Baranzini, Mauro and Scazzieri, Roberto (eds.) 1990. The economic
theory of structure and change
. Cambridge: Cambridge University

Journal articles
author's surname
author's first name or initials
date of publication
title of article (in inverted commas)
title of journal
the journal volume number (in arabic numerals)
first and last page numbers
e.g. Higginbotham, James 1983. 'On semantics', Linguistic Inquiry 16: 547-94

Chapters in an edited volume should be in the form:
Morishima, Michio 1990. 'Economic theory and industrial revolution', in Baranzini and Scazzieri (eds.), pp. 175-97

There is no need to give full publication details if the edited volume is included in the List of references in its own right.

Forthcoming works should be included in the reference list only if they have been accepted for publication. They should be listed as 'in press' and updated when you see the proofs. Works that have not been accepted for publication should not be in the reference list - they should be cited in the text as unpublished data or personal communications.

Citing websites

It is the author's responsibility to ensure that any external websites mentioned in the book are correct and active. Websites should be cited in roman without angle brackets:

The bibliography or reference list

  • Your typescript should include a bibliography if you have used the short-title system or a list of references if you have used the author-date system. A bibliography should generally contain all the sources cited in the text and notes and any other important titles that you think should be included. It should aim to provide a useful and concise reference guide to works relevant to the subject of your book. It may be set out as a single alphabetical listing, or it may be subdivided into primary and secondary material. A list of references should contain only those works cited in the text and should not be subdivided.
  • In the case of multi-author volumes, the volume editor(s) will usually be responsible for collating all the contributors' bibliographies into a general bibliography at the end of the volume, editing for consistency and overlap as appropriate.

Quotations and permission to reproduce them

  • Quotations should be kept to a minimum and lengthy quotations should be avoided.
  • As a general rule, quotations of more than about sixty words should be set off from the main text (indented with extra space above and below). Those of fewer than sixty words should run on in the text inside inverted commas.
  • Line references should be either numbers alone ('78-82'), or 'lines 78-82'. Do not use 'll.', which can be confused with II or 11.
  • Quotations of prose passages from a foreign language should be given in English only, using either an established translation or a new one of your own.
  • When quotation in a foreign language is essential (e.g. of poetry), it should be followed directly (not in the notes) with an English translation, placed in square brackets.
  • All quotations should be typed in double-spacing (just like the text, the notes, and the bibliography).
  • Finally, it should be noted that quotations from material still in copyright will require permission from the copyright-holder if they are to be reproduced in print. This applies, for example, to anything published in the last fifty years, including translations. Texts of ancient authors that have been newly edited in the last fifty years and appear now in significantly revised editions may also be in copyright. However, if the quoted material is subjected to a direct critical analysis (where the actual lines quoted are engaged with critically, rather than being reproduced merely in order to illustrate a point), it will be covered by the fair-dealing clause of the Copyright Act and permission need not be applied for. It is usually our policy to contain all quotations from in-copyright material within the provisions of the fair-dealing clause, to avoid copyright problems and costly permissions.

Layout and pagination

  • You will need to submit both a typescript and the electronic files of your text.
  • Your typescript should be printed on one side of the paper only (double-sided copy is not acceptable), with generous margins.
  • You should double-space everything, including notes and bibliography.
  • Please ensure that the typescript is paginated throughout, in one sequence (rather than by chapter), and that your final printout exactly matches the disk that you submit with it.

The typescript you submit must be the final version. You will not be able to make any substantial changes or additions once the book is in production.

Sensitive language

Try to be sensitive in your use of terms that may cause offence, e.g. use 'Native American' rather than 'Indian'; White and Black are preferable to Caucasian and Negroid; use 'Humanity', 'people', 'humans' rather than 'Man' to describe the human race; use 'him/her' or 'them' rather than 'him' (but we prefer that you rewrite to avoid excessive use of him/her).

Electronic Files

In submitting electronic files of your typescript, please observe the following:

  • Save your files in a word-processing or LaTeX format unless we have given you other specific advice. If you are using LaTeX, check with your Press editor whether you should be using one of our house macros.
  • Label all disks with your name, the book title, the program used and the date.
  • Make certain that the disks and the double-spaced hard copy that you send to us are the final version and are identical. Keep an exact back-up copy on disk or on your computer and, if submitting your typescript as LaTeX files, keep a complete, paginated hard copy for easy reference during copy-editing.
  • Number your pages in one sequence throughout the typescript.
  • Make sure that special characters are clear. If your computer cannot reproduce an accent or special character, please write it clearly on the hard copy.
  • If your book contains tables, please avoid using complex commands for laying out their content.