Editorial Style Guide
academic titles Capitalize only if they directly precede an individual's name (University President Jay A. Perman, MD; but Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland. Capitalize University when referring to this campus specifically; lowercase when referring to universities in general.
acronyms In most cases, follow a first reference with its acronym in parentheses when it is referred to later in the story. The Maryland Poison Center (MPC) … When the acronym is used as a noun in second reference, precede it with ‘the’. The MPC was established … When used as a modifier, no ‘the’ is needed. Anderson is a great MPC leader.
addresses In running copy, abbreviate directional ends of streets (i.e., north, south) and abbreviate Ave., Blvd., and St. when used with a numbered address (522 W. Lombard St.) or a block number (600 block of W. Lexington St.). Spell out and capitalize when used without a numbered address (Davidge Hall is on Lombard Street). Lowercase and spell out when used with more than one street name (Davidge Hall is on the corner of Greene and Lombard streets). Do not abbreviate alley, drive, road, terrace, etc.
advisor Exception to Associated Press style.
African-American (see nationalities)
AIDS Acceptable in all references for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, sometimes called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
almost never Don’t use phrase; Use seldom or hardly ever
al-Qaida Lower 'a' unless it starts a sentence. Sun style.
alumni Alumna (alumnae in the plural form) refers to a woman who attended or graduated from a specific school. Use alumnus (alumni in the plural form) for similar references to men. Alumni also refers to groups of men and women. On first reference—in publications or articles specific to a School—alumni should be referred to by their full, formal name followed by their degree and class year (Andrew Smith, DDS ’65).
ampersand Its use is acceptable when part of a formal name or title (Baltimore & Ohio Railroad) or as a design element. Not to be used as a synonym for “and” in running text, however.
annual An event cannot be described as annual until it has been held in at least two successive years
assure, ensure, insure Assure means to give confidence. Ensure means to make certain or guarantee. Insure means to contract to pay or be paid money in the case of a loss.
atrium Lowercase for Pharmacy Hall Addition
Baltimore Not "Baltimore City" unless specifically distinguishing between Baltimore City and Baltimore County, or in an official agency name (Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore City Council).
Baltimore Arena—no longer 1st Mariner Arena; ‘the’ isn’t part of title
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport—BWI on second reference
Fells Point (no apostrophe)
Hippodrome Theatre, (part of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center)
Hopkins, Johns (see separate listing)
M&T Bank Stadium (no spaces around ampersand, change from last time)
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
before Use instead of "prior to"
BioPark, University of Maryland Originally called the UMB BioPark, it opened with Building One in 2005; Building Two opened in August 2007; and a new state of Maryland Forensic Medical Center debuted in September 2010. Construction of a third multi-tenant building is planned and construction of the Maryland Proton Treatment Center is well underway. The entity that manages the BioPark is the UMB Research Park Corp. The official name is UMB Health Sciences Research Park Corp. but UMB Research Park Corp. is preferred for marketing and communications purposes.
Board of Regents A 17-member Board of Regents, including one full-time student, governs the University System of Maryland. Appointed by the governor, the regents oversee the system's academic, administrative, and financial operations; formulate policy; and appoint the USM chancellor and the presidents of the system's 13 institutions. With the exception of the student member, each regent is appointed for a term of five years, and may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
brackets Use instead of parentheses inside a quote. “I’ll be back at 3 [a.m.] to get my things.”
brain dead Complete absence of brain function based on a series of tests
bulleted or enumerated lists In general, it is best to format each list so its structure is parallel. If some items are sentences, all of the items should be sentences. If some items begin with verbs, all items should begin with verbs. Only use period at end of bulleted line if it is a complete sentence.
car pool (n), carpool (v) AP style
Campus Center, Southern Management Corporation (SMC) Campus Center uppercase both. Second reference: SMC Campus Center; the Campus Center is OK in quoted matter
Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Dental School has changed to the University of Maryland School of Dentistry; formerly was Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and the University of Maryland Dental School.
Health Sciences and Human Services Library, HS/HSL on second reference
Health Sciences Facility I and II, HSF I or HSF II on second reference.
School of Law became the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in fall 2011 after $30 million gift from W.P. Carey Foundation; University of Maryland Carey School of Law, UM Carey School of Law are options on second reference with UM Carey Law as seldom-used shorthand
Nathan Patz Law Center - The law school is housed in the Nathan Patz Law Center, a state-of-the-art building that opened in 2002.
Lexington Building – houses the offices of the Graduate School and Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, External Affairs, and Research and Development; lowercase ‘the’ before it
R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center After the "R" there is no period. Shock Trauma on second reference.
Saratoga Building – houses the Office of the President and other administrative offices; lower ‘the’ before it
Student Center at Pine Street
The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry (National Museum of Dentistry acceptable on second reference)
University of Maryland Medical Center refers to the hospital on Greene Street (UMMC or Medical Center on second reference)
University of Maryland Medical System refers to the entire health system (UMMS on second reference)
campuswide Use "campuswide" to refer to the physical campus. (The University Police Force provides campuswide security.) Otherwise, University is preferred. (Police provide security for the University.)
capital campaign Lowercase
capitalization schools Capitalize the formal name of the school (School of Nursing); but lowercase the less formal inversion (nursing school) and school by itself. Lowercase the plural: law and dental schools.
caregiver One word
CD-ROM All caps
cell phone two words (exception to AP)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Abbreviated CDC. Takes singular verb. CDC is proud to add a new member to its staff. See www.cdc.gov for names of individual centers.
chief Uppercase before name. She spoke to police Chief Tony Williams; or Tony Williams, chief of police
child care 2 words
CIPS Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions
cities Add U.S. state or foreign country with first reference to cities unless AP Stylebook says they can stand alone in datelines. Then they can stand alone in body copy, too.
City of Baltimore Lowercase city (AP style)
Class of 1976 Upper c, contrary to Webster's, The Sun
co- Retain the hyphen when forming nouns, adjectives and verbs that indicate occupation or status: co-star, co-pilot, co-author, he co-wrote the paper. But coed, cooperate, coordinate.
colon In running copy, always preceded by a complete sentence. If followed by a complete sentence, the first letter after the colon should be capitalized; otherwise the first letter should be lowercase.
commas Use the serial comma for things in a series. He ate his peas, corn, and squash. No comma before Jr. and Esq.
Company Abbreviate Co. when used at the end of company names (Army Times Publishing Co.)
core faculty All tenured and tenure-track faculty and department chairs
Corporation Abbreviate Corp. when used at the end of corporation names (Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.)
coursework One word
courtesy titles Do not use courtesy titles (e.g., Mr., Miss, Dr.) before a name in running text. OK in quotes ("Dr. Smith is a talented researcher.”) See honorifics.
credits Use numerals. He needs 6 credits to graduate.
CVS Caremark No slash, replaces CVS/pharmacy
dash Use an m-dash with a space before and after it. Likewise, an ellipsis is treated like a word, with a space before and after it. He thought he would pass the course … if he didn’t fail the final exam.
dates For ordinals, spell out "first" through "ninth"; use numerals starting with "10th." Do not use "th" or "st" with dates (Commencement will be Friday, May 21. Not May 21st). When abbreviating years, use an apostrophe to indicate dropped numbers ('99). Use only an "s" to show plural (Health care policy has changed considerably in the '90s). Also see months.
day care, day care center
dean’s office Lowercase, singular. See departments.
decision-makers (note hyphen)
degrees Use abbreviation (without periods) of advanced degree following the full name on first reference (Christian S. Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent). Lowercase when referring to the degree in general (She earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry) making sure to use the possessive apostrophe. Capitalize when using the formal name of an academic degree (Bachelor of Science). See honorifics.
departments, divisions, offices Capitalize only when using the full, official name. Lowercase when department, division, office comes after the name (an exception to AP): Department of Biomedical Sciences but biomedical sciences department; Division of Transplant Surgery, but transplant surgery division; Office of External Affairs; but external affairs office.
disabled/handicapped See AP Stylebook entry
disk With the exception of compact disc, laserdisc, videodisc. For the back, a slipped disk.
dollar amounts Do not use ciphers ($60, not $60.00). For $1 million and above, round to the nearest 100,000 ($1,569,433 rounds to $1.6 million) unless the exact number is necessary for a tabulation. And avoid $1 to $3 million construction. That means one dollar to 3 million dollars. Use $1 million to $3 million.
do’s and don’ts
dumpster AP says no longer a trademark, so lowercase
dwarf Preferred term for people with a medical or genetic condition resulting in short stature. Plural is dwarfs.
e-book, e-business, e-commerce, e-reader retain hyphen
e.g.; i.e. e.g. means "for example"; i.e. means "that is." Both are followed by commas.
email AP changed to one word, no hyphen for noun and verb
email and Internet addresses In running copy, put in lowercase italics. Email and Web addresses stand alone in all cases; do not use "email" or "Web address" to mark them in copy. Do not use "http://" if followed by "www" (www.umaryland.edu, but http://cnn.com).
entitled Means the right to have or do something. Do not use to refer to the title of a book, article, presentation, etc.
etc. Avoid when possible. Use etc. to cue the reader to extrapolate many possibilities from a brief list. (The Staff Senate is collecting toiletries—soap, toothpaste, etc.—for the homeless.) Do not use if only providing a few illustrative examples, especially with a list that starts with "including" or "for example."
FDA AP says no U.S. needed. First reference Food and Drug Administration
fellow Lowercase, unless part of formal name. Dorcas Gilmore has been named a 2007 Skadden Fellow. As a fellow, she will receive a stipend to help defray expenses.
firsthand One word.
fiscal year Four digits preferred (Fiscal Year 2009). Two digits acceptable in second reference (FY09). No acronym needed after first reference.
flier Preferred term for an aviator or handbill
former Lowercase before a title: former University President David J. Ramsay, DM, DPhil
Gala upper G for Founders Week black-tie event
genome Proper title: University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute for Genome Sciences
gibe, jibe To gibe means to taunt. Jibe means to shift direction
governmental bodies Follow Maryland Manual. Also see United States.
GPA spell out grade-point average in first reference (exception to AP)
grades Use capital letters. He got an A. Capitalize Incomplete. Do not use italics.
grass-roots Hyphenated as a modifier: grass-roots movement
health care Two words as noun and adjective; no hyphen.
high blood pressure Preferred term. Avoid using hypertension
high-tech not hi tech
HIV Acceptable first reference for human immunodeficiency virus. Avoid redundant HIV virus.
holidays Capitalize (New Year's Day, Easter, Hanukkah).
home page Two words. Also see Web page.
home-school verb and adjective are hyphenated
honorifics In place of doctor, use acronyms for advanced degrees after the name, placing medical degree first, PhD second, other degrees third. E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA.
Hopkins, Johns – For Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Health System; if sentence construction requires a “the,” make it lowercase
hotline One word
hyphens Use hyphens for unit modifiers. Hyphenate "self" and "well" constructions (e.g., self-assessment, a group of well-wishers). Do not hyphenate "ly" modifiers (e.g., a newly formed company).
i.e. See e.g.
IHV Second reference for the Institute of Human Virology. No ‘the’ before IHV. With its unique organizational structure, IHV … Exception to acronym rule.
in order to Delete "in order." (e.g., We use computers to work more efficiently.)
Inc. Preceded by a comma when part of the proper name of a company. Exception to AP.
initials When an individual uses initial instead of a first name, use periods with no spaces (H.L. Mencken). In body copy, reserve middle initials for University president and deans except in special cases.
interdisciplinary, interprofessional Both are one word, can be used interchangeably with cross-disciplinary. Interprofessional is broadest term and interdisciplinary in its strictest sense refers to specialties within medicine, Dr. Perman says.
in vitro, in utero Lowercase and italicized in body copy.
iPad, iPhone Uppercase I if starts a sentence
IRB Institutional Review Board
Jr. no comma. Martin Luther King Jr.
Korea doesn't stand alone; South Korea or North Korea are the countries. Our dealings are usually with South Korea since North Korea is communist country
Lamy – Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging
lawyer A generic term for all members of the bar. Attorney is someone legally appointed or empowered to act for another.
legislative titles Follow AP style, abbreviating Gov., Lt. Gov., Sen., Rep., and Del. in first reference before the name.
Light Rail Capitalize when referring to the Baltimore-area Light Rail system. Also see Maryland Transit Administration.
login, logon, logoff one word as nouns but two words as verbs
Mace Upper M for brand of tear gas
MARC Train Maryland Rail Commuter train service to and from Union Station in Washington, D.C., and West Virginia, Baltimore, and Perryville, Md.
Maryland agencies See governmental bodies.
Maryland Brand pharmacist No hyphen, lower P
Maryland Transit Administration Oversees Light Rail, Metro Subway, MARC train, and the bus system. MTA on second reference.
medevac Acceptable abbreviation for medical evacuation
Medical Center uppercase second reference in joint stories about University and the Medical Center
members at large No hyphens
Metro Subway Baltimore's subway line. Runs Monday through Saturday from Owings Mills to Johns Hopkins Hospital.
mid No hyphen unless capitalized word follows: mid-America, mid-Atlantic, midterm. But use hyphen when mid precedes a figure: mid-1930s.
months When using with a specific day or range of days, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. The other months are spelled out. Comma follows the year in a complete date. January 1972 was a cold month. Feb. 14, 1987, was the target date.
MTM Acronym is uppercase but first reference of medication therapy management is lowercase
multicultural One word.
multidisciplinary One word.
MVP Program Maryland CardioVascular Promotion (MVP) Program
National Institutes of Health An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH on second reference. Takes singular verb. The National Institutes of Health is hosting a Cancer Health Disparities Summit on June 30. See www.nih.gov for the names of individual institutes.
nationalities and races Capitalize the proper names of nationalities. Always hyphenate compound nationalities (African-American, German-American) whether used as an adjective or a noun.
OB-GYN (all uppercase). Accepted in all references for obstetrics and gynecology.
office Capitalize only when part of an official name (Office of External Affairs, but external affairs office). See departments.
online Always one word when referring to the Internet and computer networks.
over Not a synonym for 'more than' (exception to AP style). He raised his arm over his head. She has been a medical student for more than six years.
percentages Write out "percent" in text and use numerals (spending is up 4 percent); use "%" symbol in charts and graphics. For amounts smaller than 1 percent, use a zero before the decimal point (0.5 percent).
Page uppercase in AP; see story on Page 5
Petri dish uppercase P
Pharmaceutical Research Computing center Note lowercase c. PRC in second reference. Provides computing and support (including data warehousing and data analysis) to faculty within and outside of the University.
Pharmacy Hall Addition, the Addition School asks that we uppercase
physician assistant No apostrophe
-positive Use hyphen for HIV-positive and the like
postbaccalaureate, postdoctoral, postgraduate One word
Post-it (capital P)
P3 (Maryland) P3 (Patients, Pharmacists, Partnerships) Program; School of Pharmacy through its Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions (CIPS); superscript P3 when possible
predoctoral One word to agree with postdoctoral
President's Outreach Council
professor Lowercase as a title, even before a name. Can uppercase in a direct quote when speaker is using it in place of a name. “Professor Beardsley is a great teacher,” Eddington said. The initiative will be led by associate professor Mark Macek.
publications set off in italics (exception to AP); She spoke with a writer from The New York Times; His findings were published in DiPiro Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiological Approach, eighth edition.
question-and-answer session Note hyphens. Q&A second reference.
rack, wrack Nerve-wracking; but she racked her brain
real-world Hyphenated as a modifier; real-world thinking
rowhouse One word to agree with Sun style.
s possessive Just the apostrophe. CBS’ coverage. Simplification of AP rule.
SAT Acceptable on first reference
schools See capitalization
seasons Do not capitalize seasons of the year unless part of a proper name (Summer Olympics). Also see semesters.
semesters Do not capitalize semesters or academic periods in the collegiate calendar (winter semester, orientation, registration).
Shady Grove, the Universities at Heather Congdon, PharmD, CACP, CDE, has been named the first assistant dean of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy program at the Universities at Shady Grove.
Shock Trauma See campus locations.
smart phone Two words; exception to AP style
startup One word; AP exception to Webster's
states Spell out the names of states when used without a city in running text. When used with a city name, abbreviate the state (exception to AP Stylebook). Example: He lives in Elmira, N.Y. Some cities stand alone (see cities entry).
Eight states are not abbreviated: Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Write out the names of all states when they stand alone. Example: She lives in Vermont, but goes to school in New York.
Do not use the post office's two-letter abbreviations for states unless there is a complete address with ZIP code.
Accepted abbreviations are: Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kan., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Neb., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., N.D., Okla., Ore., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., and Wyo.
stem cell Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Sun, The Baltimore First reference for local newspaper is now The Baltimore Sun; use italics.
sweatpants, sweatshirt One word; exception to Webster’s New World
telephone numbers. For internal publications, use the campus or hospital extension only (6-0000 for University, and 8-0000 for UMMS). For publications with an off-campus audience, use the 10-digit phone number. In running copy, separate numbers with a hyphen (410-555-0000). Numbers may be separated with periods (410.555.0000) as a design element on materials such as business cards and invitations.
temperature Always use numerals, but spell out "degrees" in text. (During the blizzard, the temperature got down to 4 degrees.) Use the degree symbol in charts and graphs.
that vs. which You can never correctly use ‘’that’ with commas or ‘which’ without commas.
Wrong: The debriefing form, that was printed on letterhead, was provided after the session was concluded. Also Wrong: The debriefing form which was printed on letterhead was provided after the session was concluded. Right: The debriefing form that was printed on letterhead was provided after the session was concluded. Also Right: The debriefing form, which was printed on letterhead, was provided after the session was concluded.
The No need for uppercase 'The' preceding university names. Ohio State University, not The Ohio State University, Catholic University of America, not The Catholic University … See Johns Hopkins.
time Do not use ciphers (1 p.m., not 1:00 p.m.). Use "a.m." or "p.m."—lowercase, with periods. (Note: 1 to 3 p.m. or 1-3 p.m., not 1 p.m.-3 p.m.). Do not use 12 p.m. or a.m.; use noon and midnight.
titles of works Italicize the titles of books, periodicals (including 'The' if appropriate), newsletters, plays, films, art exhibitions, long poems, paintings, sculptures, comic strips, radio and television series, and long musical compositions. Use quotation marks with the titles of theses, dissertations, presentations, seminars, workshops, short stories, short poems, articles, essays, chapters of books, song titles and other short musical works, and episodes of television series. Ex: the “Death of Chuckles the Clown” episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
twin towers Lowercase
two-by-four Exception to dimensions rule
underserved One word.
underway AP changed its mind; now one word
United States In text, spell out when used as a noun. Abbreviate when used as an adjective, even with formal names (U.S. Defense Department).
University Capitalized when referring to this campus.
University of Maryland, Baltimore Proper first reference for the University followed by (UMB) if UMB is used in second reference. School names are preceded by University of Maryland without Baltimore: University of Maryland School of Medicine, for instance. In first reference in news releases, Web stories, and the like, be sure to include the University of Maryland or the University of Maryland, Baltimore. The University of Maryland School of Social Work, rather than just the School of Social Work. Attribution after the fact may work in some constructions; the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. But in most cases, put the university before the school. Never use the construction the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of xxxxx or the UMB School of xxxxx.
UMAB is no longer used. See entry above.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County Spell out in first reference to UMBC.
University Hospital Use University of Maryland Medical Center.
University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation, Inc. (UMBF on second reference) The University's central office for raising, administering, and investing funds.
University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) The hospital on Greene Street. The Medical Center (uppercase second reference) for joint stories with the University.
University of Maryland Medicine (UMM on second reference) Refers to collaborative efforts between the School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center.
University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS on second reference) The private, not-for-profit hospital system and all its components.
University System of Maryland The 13-member system of institutions formed in 1988 by consolidating the former five-campus network of the University of Maryland (Baltimore, College Park, Eastern Shore, University College, Baltimore County) with the State College and University system (University of Baltimore plus Bowie, Coppin, Frostburg, Towson, Salisbury). In addition to these 11 degree-granting institutions are two research units: University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Abbreviated as USM.
U.S.News & World Report No space between first two words when used in school rankings
VA See campus locations.
Walmart AP finally dropped the hyphen
website and other web references Lowercase except for World Wide Web. webcam, web, web page, webcast, webmaster. Web addresses go in italics.
West Baltimore, Western Maryland
Westside Uppercase, one word, for references to the area around the University of Maryland BioPark and Lexington Market.
whereas, while, and although Wrong: While the data in Reeder and Pryor's (1992) first study were collected from undergraduates, their 1995 study used data collected from the community at large. Right: Although the data in Reeder and Pryor's (1992) first study were collected from undergraduates, their 1995 study used data collected from the community at large. Also right: Whereas the data in Reeder and Pryor's (1992) first study were collected from undergraduates, their 1995 study used data collected from the community at large.
Wi-Fi Hyphen for wireless networking standards
workforce, workstation, workweek
World Wide Web Capitalized
worldwide One word, worldwide reach
zeros Not zeroes
ZIP code ZIP is all caps; it stands for Zoning Improvement Plan.