Print Style Guide

Use this style guide for all UMB print materials from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs. (Updated July 2023)

academic titles Capitalize only if they directly precede an individual’s name — University of Maryland, Baltimore President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS; but Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. 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, or when it’s used as a modifier, no “the” is needed: MPC was established ... or Anderson is a great MPC leader.

addresses In running copy, abbreviate directional ends of streets (i.e., north, south) and abbreviate Avenue as Ave., Boulevard as Blvd., and Street as 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 this phrase; use seldom or hardly ever

al-Qaida Lower “a” unless it starts a sentence.

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. Ampersands are not to be used as a synonym for “and” in running text, however. Also, note that an ampersand is not permitted to be used in any UMB logo or logo text lockup.

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.

Baltimore City, Baltimore County 

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)
  • Hopkins, Johns (see separate listing)
  • M&T Bank Stadium (no spaces around ampersand, change from last time)
  • M&T Bank Exchange (events venue that opened in 2023 on Eutaw Street, near the Hippodrome)
  • Oriole Park at Camden Yards
  • CFG Bank Arena — “the” isn’t part of title for the arena on West Baltimore Street (formerly Royal Farms Arena)

Banner, The Baltimore First reference for local news website is The Baltimore Banner; italicize

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; and the Maryland Proton Treatment Center opened in fall 2015. 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 21-member Board of Regents, including two full-time students, 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 presidents of the system’s 13 institutions. With the exception of the two student members, 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 a period at the end of a bulleted line if it is a complete sentence.

If you are using a lead-in to the list, use the following format (start each bullet point with an uppercase letter, and DO NOT use a comma or semicolon and the word “and” in the second-to-last bullet point):

The University’s core values are the following:

  • Respect and Integrity
  • Well-Being and Sustainability
  • Equity and Justice
  • Innovation and Discovery

car pool (n), carpool (v)

Campus Center, Southern Management Corporation (SMC) Campus Center uppercase both. Second reference: SMC Campus Center; the Campus Center is OK in quoted matter.

campus locations

  • Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Community Engagement Center; CEC on second reference
  • The dental school is called the University of Maryland School of Dentistry; it formerly was called the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and the University of Maryland Dental School.
  • Discover Auditorium — gathering spot in the BioPark
  • Health Sciences and Human Services Library; HSHSL on second reference
  • Health Sciences Research Facility I, II, III; HSRF I, HSRF II, HSRF III on second reference
  • Koester’s Lot
  • The School of Law became the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in fall 2011 after a $30 million gift from the W.P. Carey Foundation; use Maryland Carey Law on second reference
  • Lion Brothers Building
  • Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (University of Maryland precedes this)
  • 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 School of Graduate Studies, Academic Affairs, and Research and Development; lowercase “the: before it
  • R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center — there is no period after the “R”; Shock Trauma on second reference.
  • Saratoga Building — houses the Office of the President, Office of Community Engagement, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, and other administrative offices; lower “the” before it
  • Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry; National Museum of Dentistry acceptable on second reference; lower “the” before it
  • T. Sue Gladhill Board Room
  • 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)
  • University Square — area directly across from the main entrance of the University of Maryland Medical Center

Campus and campuswide Use “campus” and “campuswide” to refer to UMB’s physical campus. (UMB Police and Public Safety provides campuswide security.) Otherwise, University or Universitywide 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

Catalyst Campaign UMB’s multiyear $750 million fundraising campaign

CD-ROM All caps


Center for International Health, Education, and Biosecurity Research center founded by the School of Medicine’s Institute of Human Virology. The center’s preferred abbreviation is Ciheb.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Abbreviated CDC. Takes singular verb. CDC is proud to add a new member to its staff. See for names of individual centers.

chief Uppercase before a name. She spoke to interim police Chief Bill Smith. Or She spoke to Bill Smith, interim chief of police.

child care Two 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

Class of 1976 Uppercase Class

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/Oxford comma for things in a series. He ate his peas, corn, and squash. No comma before Jr., Sr., Esq., or II, III, IV, etc.

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

core values Lowercase unless part of formal title: Core Values Speaker Series; Core Values Awards

Corporation Abbreviate Corp. when used at the end of corporation names (Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.)

course titles Uppercase with no quotes or italics; Introduction to Periodontology

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. She took a 3-credit course.

CVS Caremark No slash, replaced 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. Hyphen for time span dashes. 2017-2021 strategic plan

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 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 (Mark A. Reynolds, DDS, PhD, MA). Lowercase when referring to the degree in general (She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry; he earned a master’s degree in social work), making sure to use the possessive apostrophe. Capitalize and no apostrophe when using the formal name of an academic degree (Bachelor of Science, Master of Social Work). 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 Communications and Public Affairs; but communications and public affairs office.

disabled/handicapped In general, do not describe someone as “disabled” or “handicapped” unless it is clearly relevant to the story. If a description must be used, try to be specific.

disk With the exception of compact disc, laser disc, video disc. For the back, it’s 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


dwarf This is the preferred term for people with a medical or genetic condition resulting in short stature. Plural is dwarfs.

Eastern Shore

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 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” (, but

entitled Means the right to have or do something. Do not use to refer to the title of a book, article, presentation, etc.; used titled instead. The article was titled “How the Supreme Court Made Its Decision.”

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.”


fellow Lowercase unless part of formal name. Dorcas Gilmore has been named a 2018 Skadden Fellow. As a fellow, she will receive a stipend to help defray expenses.

firsthand One word

fiscal year Four digits preferred (Fiscal Year 2016). Two digits acceptable in second reference (FY16). No acronym needed after first reference. Fiscal Year is July 1 to June 30 at UMB.

flash mob

flyer Preferred term for an aviator or handbill

Food and Drug Administration U.S. is not needed before the name; FDA on second reference

former Lowercase before a title: former UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD

fundraiser, fundraising

Gala Uppercase G for former 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 on first reference

grades Use capital letters. He got an A. Do not use italics.

grass-roots Hyphenated as a modifier: grass-roots movement

Grid, the Second reference for the Graduate Research Innovation District is the Grid. 

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 on first reference for human immunodeficiency virus; avoid redundant HIV virus

holidays Capitalize (New Year’s Day, Easter, Hanukkah).

homepage AP changed to one word; also see webpage.

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 the 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


Indigenous Capitalize this term used to refer to original inhabitants of a place.

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.

initials When an individual uses initials instead of a first name, use periods with no spaces (H.L. Mencken). 

interdisciplinary, interprofessional Both are one word and can be used interchangeably with cross-disciplinary. Interprofessional is the broadest term and interdisciplinary in its strictest sense refers to specialties within medicine.

internet Lowercase

in vitro, in utero Lowercase and italicized in body copy

iPad, iPhone 

IRB Institutional Review Board

Jr. no comma. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Korea doesn’t stand alone; South Korea or North Korea. North Korea is a 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.

life span

Light Rail Capitalize when referring to the Baltimore-area Light Rail system. Also see Maryland Transit Administration.

login, long in; logon long on; logoff, log off one word as nouns but two words as verbs

Mace Uppercase 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: March, April, May, June, and July. A comma follows the year in a complete date. January 1972 was a cold month. Feb. 14, 2017, 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 for the names of individual institutes.

nationalities and races Capitalize the proper names of nationalities. No hyphen when used as a noun, such as African American, Asian American, etc., or when used as an adjective (African American man; Asian American woman). See Associated Press Stylebook rules on race-related coverage.

OB-GYN All uppercase. Accepted in all references for obstetrics and gynecology. 

office Capitalize only when part of an official name (Office of Communications and Public Affairs, but communications and public affairs office). See departments.

online Always one word when referring to the Internet and computer networks.

One Card Two words for UMB funding card 

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 (See story on Page 5.)

Petri dish uppercase P

PGY1 postgraduate year one

Pharmaceutical Research Computing Center PRC in second reference. Provides computing and support (including data warehousing and data analysis) to faculty within and outside of the University.

Pharmacy Hall Atrium School asks that we uppercase

physician assistant No apostrophe

P.O. Box Note periods

-positive Use hyphen for HIV-positive and the like

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

President’s Council for Women

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

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 Campus in Rockville with programs from UMB schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy

Shock Trauma See campus locations



startup One word

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 The Baltimore Sun; use italics.

sweatpants, sweatshirt One word

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 12 a.m.; use noon and midnight.

titles of works Use quotation marks around 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. Also 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.

town hall Lowercase when used in a generic sense 

twin towers Lowercase

two-by-four Exception to dimensions rule

underserved One word

underway 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.

UMB Police and Public Safety

UniverCity Partnership An effort to redevelop and revitalize Baltimore City’s Westside

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 of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State The structured partnership between UMB and the University of Maryland, College Park. Use italics for MPowering the State, and MPower is acceptable on second reference. Exception: MPower Professors (professorship established in 2021).

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 Italicize

VA See campus locations


Walmart No hyphen

website and other web references Lowercase except for World Wide Web. webcam, web, webpage, 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 was 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 was 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.

zip line