Spelling and punctuation

Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition) spelling and punctuation used; this is often known as American English. Please also refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition).

  • The overuse of Italics should be avoided (et al., a priori, per se, vis-à-vis, ad hoc, etc. should not be italicized).
  • In general, use a full point for lower case abbreviations (et al., Ed.), but no full point for
    upper case abbreviations (UN, Washington, DC). Except when an adjective (U.S. Congress).
  • For names of article authors and in references, use space between initials (J. P. Smith).
  • Avoid the overuse of abbreviations (use i.e., cf., e.g., etc., vs. only in parenthetical material; use, respectively, that is, compare, for example, and so forth, versus, in the normal text).
  • Please spell out all acronyms on first use, even if they are commonly recognized acronyms/acronyms familiar to the readers of this journal (such as EU, NATO, UN, WMD), indicating the acronym in parenthesis immediately thereafter. Only use the acronym in the remainder of the manuscript.
  • Please use a comma in a series of three or more items (France, Russia, and China).

Punctuation and capitalization

  • Please use double quotation marks, except where “a quotation is ‘within’ a quotation.” Long quotations of 40 words or more should be indented without quotation marks. Please also use double quotation marks for ironic comments or coined expressions.
  • Place periods and commas within quotation marks. Place other punctuation marks inside quotation marks only when they are part of the quoted material (see further).
    • Yet, if the quotation mark appears at the end of a sentence, cite the source first and end with a period: e.g. Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as the “evil empire” (Reagan, 1983).
    • And yet if the quotation is 40 words or more, include the period first and the citation after (see APA publication manual).
  • Hyphenate: compound adjectives part-time course; noun-present participle combinations decision-making; numbers/fractions when written in full Forty-five, two-thirds.
  • Do not hyphenate: -ly adverbs fully operational; multiple words used as nouns day off; most prefixes, except where the word would be ambiguous or overly long.
  • Keep capitals to a minimum, capitalize only when referring to specific places (e.g., Northern Ireland, Southeast Asia, the West), but not when using the terms in a more general sense (e.g., western Europe, northeastern England).

Dates, numbers and units

  • one to nine, 10+, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000, one million, 100 million, etc. (except when a sentence begins with a number; or when universally accepted usage “the Twelve Apostles”).
  • 500 km, £100 billion, 18%.
  • Page ranges should be in full: pp. 22–23, 256–257, 207–208.
  • Write in the form June 1, 2004; 1990s; 21st century;  mid 17th century (no hyphen)
  • Write spans of years in full: 1756–1763 (not 1756–63)