Editorial Style Guide for the Web

When you are creating content, please follow these style rules. They are required conventions for all content published on University of Maryland, Baltimore websites.

Acronyms

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)

Addresses

CORRECT FORMATTING

  • 620 W. Lombard St.
  • Davidge Hall is on Lombard Street
  • Davidge Hall is at the corner of Lombard and Greene streets

RULES

  • Abbreviate numbered street addresses
  • Abbreviate Ave., Blvd., and St. with numbered street addresses
  • Spell out and capitalize unnumbered street addresses
  • Lowercase and spell out addresses with more than one street name
  • Always spell out alley, drive, road, and terrace

Ampersand

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

  • Do not use in web page titles: URLs mirror page titles and ampersands are problematic in URLs
  • Do not use as a synonym for “and” in running text

Baltimore Locations

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

Credits

Always use numerals

Example: He needs 6 credits to graduate.

Commas

CORRECT FORMATTING

  • lions, tigers, and bears
  • cats, dogs, or parrots

RULES

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

Dashes

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

Dates and Times

CORRECT FORMATTING

  • Jan. 9
  • May 21
  • 9 a.m.
  • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Noon to 1:30 p.m.
  • ’99
  • ’90s or 2010s

RULES

  • Do not use “th” or “st” with dates
  • Place periods between a.m. and p.m.
  • Spell out the word "to" instead of using a hyphen or dash
  • Spell out noon and midnight
  • Use an apostrophe for dropped numbers with the apostrophe pointed in the direction of the missing numbers
  • Use an “s” for plural numbers

Degrees and Titles

CORRECT FORMATTING

  • PhD
  • Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
  • She earned a Bachelor of Science.
  • Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing
  • School of Nursing Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN

RULES

  • Abbreviate degrees without periods
  • Include degrees after the full name in the first reference for people affiliated – students, faculty, staff, or alumni – with UMB
  • Lowercase name of degree in a general reference and use possessive apostrophe
  • Capitalize name of degree in formal reference
  • Titles should be included after degrees and not capitalized
  • 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

CORRECT FORMATTING

  • $60
  • $1.6 million
  • $1 million to $3 million

RULES

  • Do not write out decimal points in dollar amounts
  • 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

Ellipses

  • 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

Etc.

Avoid using etc.

Health care

Two words as noun and adjective; no hyphen

Holidays

Capitalize holidays.

  • 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

Months

CORRECT FORMATTING

  • Jan. 9
  • December 2013
  • May 15, 1972, was her birthday.

RULES

  • 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.)

Percentages

  • 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

States

CORRECT FORMATTING

  • Tennessee is beautiful in the spring.
  • LaPlata, Md.
  • 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.
  • Eight state names are never abbreviated: Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Alaska, and Hawaii

RULES

  • Spell out state names when used without a city in running text
  • Abbreviate state names when used with a city
  • Never abbreviate 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

CORRECT FORMATTING

  • umaryland.edu or elm.umaryland.edu
  • web copy, web page, web tools
  • email
  • On campus phone number: 6-XXXX
  • Off campus phone number: 410-706-XXXX

RULES

  • Don’t use http:// or www. when writing URLs
  • Italicize urls
  • website is one word – lower w, unless starting a sentence
  • email is lowercase, unless starting a sentence
  • Phone numbers should appear as follows:
    • On campus: 6-XXXX
    • Off campus: 410-706-XXXX