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Scientific Style and Format

The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, Eighth Edition

Eighth Edition

For more than fifty years, authors, editors, and publishers in the scientific community have turned to Scientific Style and Format for authoritative recommendations on all matters of writing style and citation. Developed by the Council of Science Editors (CSE), the leading professional association in science publishing, this indispensable guide encompasses all areas of the sciences. Now in its eighth edition, it has been fully revised to reflect today’s best practices in scientific publishing.

Scientific Style and Format citation style has been comprehensively reorganized, and its style recommendations have been updated to align with the advice of authoritative international bodies. Also new to the eighth edition are guidelines and examples for citing online images and information graphics, podcasts and webcasts, online videos, blogs, social networking sites, and e-books. Style instructions for physics, chemistry, genetics, biological sciences, and astronomy have been adjusted to reflect developments in each field. The coverage of numbers, units, mathematical expressions, and statistics has been revised and now includes more information on managing tables, figures, and indexes. Additionally, a full discussion of plagiarism and other aspects of academic integrity is incorporated, along with a complete treatment of developments in copyright law, including Creative Commons.
For the first time in its history, Scientific Style and Format will be available simultaneously in print and online at Online subscribers will receive access to full-text searches of the new edition and other online tools, as well as the popular Chicago Manual of Style Online forum, a community discussion board for editors and authors. Whether online or in print, the eighth edition of Scientific Style and Format remains the essential resource for those writing, editing, and publishing in the scientific community.

Scientific Style and Format is also available as a subscription website.

840 pages | 75 line drawings, 126 tables | 7 x 10 | © 2014

Reference and Bibliography


“There is no other book like this for the scientific and technological community. It should be the major desk reference for anyone writing a scientific article or book.”

Praise for a previous edition | Booklist

"Scientific Style and Format remains the best resource for issues related to scientific editing, and the move online makes it even more valuable. Buy it if you don’t have it, and consider an upgrade if you have an earlier edition."


“Sure to be useful table-side tool for authors wanting to write concise scientific articles, and for editors and publishers wishing to publish scientific journals of the highest quality. Importantly, as of the 8th edition, Scientific Style and Format is accessible to users online as well as print. Further, useful materials such as a citation quick guide, a sample correspondence to an editorial office, and one regarding editorial office practices, and an online forum are open to users at no additional cost.”

Science Editing

"This style manual from the Council of Science Editors does not simply tell scientists how to cite appropriately; it provides a holistic overview of preparing scientific work, from typography to specialized scientific conventions. . . . Essential."


“The format of the SSF8 provides readers with a comprehensive and authoritative guide to formatting any scientific work or publication. The Council of Science Editors really thought of just about everything a researcher may need when formatting and publishing their work." 

Reference Reviews

“No English-language author, editor or publisher in the field can do without it.”

STM Publishing News

“Whether you choose the electronic or print version, Scientific Style and Format is an essential reference work for all scientific copy editors.”

European Science Editing

Table of Contents


Part 1: Publishing Fundamentals

Chapter 1 Elements of a Scientific Publication
Chapter 2 Publication Policies and Practices
Chapter 3 The Basics of Copyright

Part 2: General Style Conventions

Chapter 4 Alphabets, Symbols, and Signs
Chapter 5 Punctuation and Related Marks
Chapter 6 Spelling, Word Formation and Division, Plurals, and Possessives
Chapter 7 Prose Style and Word Choice
Chapter 8 Names and Personal Designations
Chapter 9 Capitalization
Chapter 10 Type Styles, Excerpts, Quotations, and Ellipses
Chapter 11 Abbreviations
Chapter 12 Numbers, Units, Mathematical Expressions, and Statistics
Chapter 13 Time, Dates, and Age Measurements
Chapter 14 Geographic Designations

Part 3: Special Scientific Conventions

Chapter 15 The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Chapter 16  Subatomic Particles, Chemical Elements, and Related Notations
Chapter 17 Chemical Formulas and Names
Chapter 18 Chemical Kinetics and Thermodynamics
Chapter 19 Analytical Chemistry
Chapter 20 Drugs and Pharmacokinetics
Chapter 21 Genes, Chromosomes, and Related Molecules
Chapter 22 Taxonomy and Nomenclature
Chapter 23 Structure and Function
Chapter 24 Disease Names
Chapter 25 The Earth
Chapter 26 Astronomical Objects and Time Systems

Part 4: Technical Elements of Publications

Chapter 27 Journal Style and Format
Chapter 28 Published Media
Chapter 29 References
Chapter 30 Accessories to Text: Tables, Figures, and Indexes
Chapter 31 Typography and Manuscript Preparation
Chapter 32 Proof Correction


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