Editorial Style Guide for the Web

The following guidelines are required conventions for all web copy published on University of Maryland, Baltimore websites.


  • In most cases, follow a first reference with its acronym in parentheses when it is referred to later in the story

    • Example: The Maryland Poison Center (MPC)


  • Abbreviate numbered street addresses

    • Correct: 620 W. Lombard St.

    • Incorrect: 620 West Lombard Street

  • Abbreviate Ave., Blvd., and St. with numbered street addresses

  • Spell out and capitalize unnumbered street addresses

    • Example: Davidge Hall is on Lombard Street

  • Lowercase and spell out addresses with more than one street name

    • Example: Davidge Hall is at the corner of Lombard and Greene streets

  • Always spell out alley, drive, road, and terrace


  • Its use is acceptable when part of a formal name or title (Baltimore & Ohio Railroad) or as a design element

  • Do not use as a synonym for “and” in running text

Baltimore locations

  • 1st Mariner Arena

    • Stands alone: “The” is not 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)

  • M&T Bank Stadium (no spaces around ampersand)

  • Oriole Park at Camden Yards


  • Always use numerals

    • Example: He needs 6 credits to graduate.

Dates and Times

  • Use Jan. 9, not Jan. 9th

  • Use 9 a.m., not 9AM or 9am or 9:00 a.m.

  • Use 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., not 9-6 or 9-6p.m.

  • Use 6 to 8 p.m., not 6-8 or 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  • Spell out noon and midnight

    • Correct: Noon to 1:30 p.m.

    • Incorrect: 12-1:30 p.m.

  • Use the serial comma with “and” and “or”

    • Correct: lions, tigers, and bears

      • cats, dogs, or parrots

    • Incorrect: lions, tigers and bears

      • cats, dogs or parrots

  • Spell out first through ninth

  • Use numerals starting with 10th

    • 10th of the month

    • ninth of the month

  • Do not use “th” or “st” with dates

    • Correct: May 21

    • Incorrect: May 21st

  • Years

    • Use an apostrophe for dropped numbers with the apostrophe pointed in the direction of the missing numbers

      • Correct: ’99

    • Use an “s” for plural numbers

      • Correct: ’90s or 2010s


  • In web copy use the ndash (–) with a space on either side, do not use mdashes or hyphens

Degrees and Titles

  • Abbreviate degrees without periods

    • Correct: PhD

    • Incorrect: Ph.D.

  • Include degrees after the full name in the first reference for people affiliated with UMB – affiliates are students, faculty, staff, or alumni

    • Example: Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN

  • Lowercase name of degree in a general reference and use possessive apostrophe

    • Example: She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

  • Capitalize name of degree in formal reference

    • Example: She earned a Bachelor of Science.

  • Titles should be included after degrees and not capitalized

    • Example: Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing

  • If you choose to place the title before the name, capitalize

    • Example: School of Nursing Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN

Departments, Divisions, and Offices

  • Capitalize the name of departments, divisions, and offices only when you use the full, official name

    • Example: Department of Biomedical Sciences

  • Lowercase when the word department, division, or office comes after the name

    • Example: biomedical sciences department, communications and public affairs office, transplant surgery division

Dollar Amounts

  • Do not use ciphers

    • Example: $60, not $60.00

  • For $1 million and above, round to the nearest 100,000, unless the number is necessary for tabulation

    • $1,569,433 rounds to $1.6 million

    • Avoid the construction $1 to $3 million – that means one dollar to 3 million dollars; use $1 million to $3 million instead


  • Use only in quotations with a space before and after ( … ) to take the place of text left out in the middle of a sentence

  • If the ellipses comes at the end of the sentence, use a space before and after, and a period ( … .)

  • Do not use ellipses to signify a pause


  • Avoid using

Health care

  • Two words as noun and adjective; no hyphen


  • Capitalize

    • Example: New Year’s Day, Hanukkah

Interdisciplinary and Interprofessional

  • Both are one word

  • Both can be used interchangeably with cross-disciplinary

  • Interprofessional is the broader term

  • Interdisciplinary refers to specialties within medicine in its strictest sense

Login, Logon, and Logoff

  • Noun: one word

  • Verb: two words


  • Abbreviate all but March, April, May, June, and July when used with a date: Jan. 9

  • Spell out when used with a year: December 2013

  • A comma follows a complete date: May 15, 1972, was her birthday.

  • Abbreviations

    • January (Jan.)

    • February (Feb.)

    • August (Aug.)

    • September (Sept.)

    • October (Oct.)

    • November (Nov.)

    • December (Dec.)


  • Write out "percent" in text and use numerals (volunteer hours are 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)

Semesters and Academic Periods

  • Do not capitalize semesters or academic periods

    • winter, spring, summer, fall

    • semester, orientation, registration


  • Spell out state names when used without a city in running text

    • Tennessee is beautiful in the spring.

  • Abbreviate state names when used with a city (according to AP Style [link to state abbreviations list] )

    • Have you ever been to LaPlata, Md.?

  • Eight state names are never abbreviated

    • Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Alaska, and Hawaii

  • Do not use the post office’s abbreviations for states unless you also are using a complete address with a ZIP code

University Locations

  • Southern Management Corporation Campus Center

    • First reference: Southern Management Corporation (SMC) Campus Center

    • Second reference: SMC Campus Center

    • In a quotation, “the Campus Center” is acceptable

  • Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center

  • University of Maryland School of Dentistry or School of Dentistry

    • Incorrect: University of Maryland Dental School, Dental School, and Baltimore College of Dental Surgery (unless it’s a historic piece on the School’s founding in 1840)

  • Health Sciences and Human Services Library, HS/HSL on second reference

  • Health Sciences Facility I and II, HSF I and II on second reference

  • University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

    • Incorrect: School of Law or University of Maryland School of Law

    • Correct abbreviations

      • University of Maryland Carey School of Law

      • UM Carey School of Law

      • UM Carey Law (seldom used)

  • the Lexington Building – houses the offices of:

    • the Graduate School

    • academic affairs

    • administration and finance

    • communications and public affairs

    • research and development

  • R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center (no period after R), Shock Trauma on second reference

  • the Saratoga Building – houses the Office of the President and other administrative offices

  • The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, National Museum of Dentistry on second reference

  • University of Maryland Medical Center (hospital on Greene Street), UMMC or Medical Center on second reference

  • University of Maryland Medical System (entire health system), UMMS on second reference

  • Westside – one word, upper W, for area around University

University vs. Campus

  • Campuswide refers to physical campus

    • Example: The University Police Force provides campuswide security.

  • University is preferred

    • Example: Police provide security to the University.

URLs, Web, Email, and Phone Numbers

  • URLs

    • Correct: umaryland.edu or elm.umaryland.edu

    • Incorrect: http://www.umaryland.edu or www.nursing.umaryland.edu

  • Italicize urls

  • website is one word – lower w, unless starting a sentence

  • web is lowercase, unless starting a sentence

    • Correct: web copy, web page, web tools

    • Incorrect: Web copy, Web page, Web tools

  • email is lowercase, unless starting a sentence

  • Phone numbers should appear as follows:

    • On campus: 6-XXXX

    • Off campus: 410-706-XXXX