Scientific Style and Format - 8th Edition

The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I’ve tried searching Scientific Style and Format Online but am unable to find the answer to my question about a style matter. Are your technical support agents able to answer my inquiry?

A: Unfortunately, no. If you cannot find the information that you are looking for in Scientific Style and Format, you can post your question on The Chicago Manual of Style Online Forum, where subscribers to SSF Online and CMOS Online discuss style matters.


Q: I signed up for a 30-day free trial. Will I be signed up for a subscription automatically when the trial expires? 

A: No. We do not request credit card information from free-trial users and will not automatically begin paid subscriptions for them.


Q: When can I renew my subscription?

A: Individual and group subscriptions can be renewed beginning 90 days before expiration. You will receive an e-mail notification when your account qualifies for renewal. Renewal links are located on the home page and in Account Administration.

For information about institutional renewals, please contact


Q: Are there any plans to provide a “style-check” tool in the future? 

A: We do not currently have plans to integrate automatic proofreading into our software.


Q: When will the content of Scientific Style and Format Online be updated?

A: In order to ensure the accuracy and authoritativeness of the guidelines in Scientific Style and Format, the content of the online edition matches the content of the most recent printing of the book exactly. The next content update will occur when the 9th edition is published.

Technical Support Questions

Q: I can’t log in to Account Administration. Why not?

A: If you are a paid subscriber with an individual account, please make sure that you are entering your user name and password correctly and that the Caps Lock keyboard function is off. If the problem persists, e-mail with a description of your problem.

If you have subscribed as part of a group, the Account Administration area is available only to the group administrator, who may use this portion of the site to renew and update group information. All other group members should use the “log in” link, which is located at the top right-hand corner of the home page, to access the contents of Scientific Style and Format Online.

Institutional patrons and free-trial users are unable to access Account Administration.


Q: When I try to log in, I receive the following error message: “You have reached the maximum number of allowed sessions (1) for this account.” What does this mean?

A: This error can occur when more than one person is trying to log in with the same account at the same time, or, more frequently, when users close their web browsers without explicitly logging out of the site and then attempt to log in again soon afterward. This can be avoided by clicking on the “log out” link in the upper right-hand corner of our site before closing your web browser.


Q: Why do I have access to Account Administration but not the protected content of the website?

A: If you are a group administrator, please note that the administrator login information is used only to log in to the Account Administration page. All users, including the group administrator, must use the group login information to access the content of Scientific Style and Format Online. If your group uses the My SSF personalization features, the administrator must occupy a spot on the member list and create an individual user name and password to access the contents of SSF.


Q: I’m using Internet Explorer in Mac OS. Why do all the columns and tables look funny?

A: The supported browsers for this website are


Windows 7 and higher:

  •  Chrome—versions 30.x and higher
  •  Mozilla Firefox—versions 24.x and higher
  •  Internet Explorer—versions 10.x and higher


Macintosh OS 10.6 and higher:

  •  Chrome—versions 30.x and higher
  •  Mozilla Firefox—versions 24.x and higher
  •  Safari—versions 6.x and higher


Please see our "Recommended and Supported Browsers" page for more details.


Q: Some of the characters in Scientific Style and Format Online aren’t showing up for me. Instead, I see blank squares or question marks. What can I do to fix these? (I’m using Internet Explorer and Windows XP.)

A: Some versions of Internet Explorer on computers that run Windows XP may have trouble rendering certain special characters. In most cases, this can be fixed by manually changing your browser’s default font to one that has good Unicode support, such as Arial Unicode MS. (Unicode is a standard used by most modern computer systems for defining special characters and symbols.) To change the default font in Internet Explorer to Arial Unicode MS, follow these steps:


  1. Launch Internet Explorer.
  2. From the menu bar, select Tools -> Internet Options and then choose the General tab.
  3. Select the Fonts button.
  4. Scroll through the list under Webpage font and select Arial Unicode MS.
  5. Select OK until you get back to your browser window


If you do not have a font with adequate Unicode support or if you’re still having trouble with special characters, we recommend that you view SSF Online in another browser. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, for example, should be able to render all of the special characters by default.


Q: The type in Scientific Style and Format Online is blurry on my screen. What can I do to fix this? (I’m working in Windows XP.)

A: Windows XP users may experience this issue if ClearType, a property of the Windows XP operating system, is disabled. To turn on ClearType, follow these steps:


  1. Right click on your desktop and select Properties.
  2. On the Appearance tab, select the Effects button.
  3. Check “Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts” and select ClearType.
  4. Select OK.
  5. Select Apply for the change to take effect.


Q: I am logged out of the site after less than 30 minutes of inactivity. Why?

A: This may occur when your web browser’s security settings are high. Please make sure that your browser’s settings are “medium” and that you allow cookies from our site.


Q: How do I delete my cookies?

A: The procedure for deleting cookies depends on your browser type and version. Here are some general instructions for two browser types.

For Windows Internet Explorer, follow the directions on the official Microsoft support page at

For Firefox, follow the directions on Mozilla’s official support page at

Payment Questions

Q: Do you provide discounts for nonprofit, academic, or government organizations?

A: Yes, we offer discounted institutional subscription rates for such organizations. These rates are based on an organization’s FTE (full-time equivalency) count. Please e-mail for details.


Q: My organization is tax-exempt. In order to not be charged tax for this product, what do I need to provide?

A: Because Scientific Style and Format Online is an electronic product, no tax is charged for subscription purchases within the United States.


Q: Can you invoice my organization for my individual subscription?

A: Yes. To establish an individual subscription and have an invoice sent to your organization, please e-mail 


Q: Can I pay for my individual subscription with a personal check?

A: Yes. E-mail to set up your account.

Group Subscription Questions

Q: Is it possible to increase the number of members in a group subscription?

A: Yes. Your group administrator can increase the number of members in your group in the Account Administration area of the website.


Q: Can I change my member list if an employee no longer needs to use the SSF Online?

A: Yes. The group administrator can log in to Account Administration and edit the list of group members under Create or Update Group Member Information. From the Group Account screen, the administrator can also change the billing address on the account, update administrator contact information, or renew the subscription.

Institutional Subscription Questions

Q: Can we provide off-campus access for library users though our proxy server?

A: Yes, so long as only authorized users have access to your server.


Q: How can subscribing libraries track usage statistics?

A: Monthly usage reports are available upon request. Please send requests to


Q: Do you provide free trials for institutions?

A: Yes, we offer institutional free trials. Please contact us at for more information.