Wondering what to give your favorite copy editor this holiday season? How about a copy of the new Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers? The eighth edition of the CSE manual, published this year (2014), is an updated, modernized version of the manual all editors turn to for science and technology style matters.
The eighth edition of the CSE manual is organized into 4 parts: Publishing Fundamentals, General Style Conventions, Special Scientific Conventions, and Technical Elements of Publication. Each of these parts has been revised and expanded from the seventh edition. In part 1 (Publishing Fundamentals), information has been added on abstracts, online databases and repositories, responsibilities of publishers, copyright basics, and creative common licenses. In part 2 (General Style Conventions), a new section on active vs passive voice has been added, and the section on “Numbers, Units, Mathematical Expressions, and statistics” has been significantly revised and reorganized. In part 3 (Special Scientific Conventions), several of the nomenclature chapters have been updated, including information on chemical kinetics and thermodynamics, analytical chemistry, astronomical objects and time systems, and genes, chromosomes, and related molecules, and the section has been reorganized by subject as opposed to science. In part 4 (Technical Elements of Publication), significant changes have been made to modernize the language and include new types of publication formats.
Some of the specific changes in the 8th edition of the CSE manual that are pertinent to the working copy editor are as follows:
- app (abbreviation for apparent)
- f (not fl as abbreviation for fluid)
- Use of the citation-sequence format for reference citations
- Use of commas not thin spaces in numbers (1,000, 10,000, 100,000; not 1000, 10 000, 100 000)
Another advantage to the eighth edition of the CSE manual is that it is now, for the first time, available in both print and online versions (www.scientificstyleandformat.org). Online subscribers will not only be able to perform full-text searches of the manual but also have access to the Chicago Manual of Style Online forum.
Weighing in at 722 pages, Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 8th Edition, is too large to stuff in a stocking but would serve nicely as a holiday gift. If gift giving isn’t your style, pick up a copy for yourself and add this essential scientific style manual to your personal bookcase.—Laura King, MA, ELS