Scientific Style and Format - 8th Edition

The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers


Language is a living thing. We can feel it changing. Parts of it become old: they drop off and are forgotten. New pieces bud out, spread into leaves, and become big branches, proliferating.

Gilbert Highet
Professor, Columbia University

In an episode of the podcast Lexicon Valley,1 the hosts discuss the importance of documenting language even though it will, in all likelihood, eventually become extinct or change so drastically over time that it takes on a completely new form or characteristic, leaving the original version unrecognizable. They conclude that even if extinction is inevitable, it is “still worth the effort to document [language] because it honors . . . the effort of the people who spent centuries or more developing it.”1 Though the Council of Science Editors has published editions of its style manual only since 1960, not for centuries, it is with this deep appreciation that the Eighth Edition Style Manual Subcommittee gives profound thanks and much credit to the seventh edition committee members, as well as those of all previous editions, for their devotion to documenting the style and format guidelines and recommendations found in these pages, as the eighth edition is very largely based on the content and organization of all previous editions, especially that of the seventh.

To go one step further, it could also be said that documentation of the evolution of language is equally important for future lexicographers, language historians, and researchers of cultural and scientific knowledge.1 As Gilbert Highet suggests, “language is a living thing”, so with this eighth edition, we have massaged and nurtured the verbiage of previous editions to help the manual evolve and remain alive and relevant as an authoritative reference text in the writing and editing of physical and life sciences publications.

Many individuals contributed to the updates in this edition of Scientific Style and Format. Without the help of the following people, this edition would not be what it is today. An enormous amount of gratitude goes to those who were involved, in ways both great and small. If we have omitted the names of anyone who helped with the preparation of this manual, it is unintentional and we sincerely apologize for the error.

  • Project Manager
  • Lindsey S Buscher, ELS
  • Allen Press, Inc
  • Chapters 1, 28, 29, 31, 32
  • Advisory Group
  • Heather Goodell, MIS
  • American Heart Association
  • Russell Harper
  • freelance editor
  • Jody Hundley
  • American Heart Association
  • Style Manual Subcommittee
  • Louise R Adam, ELS
  • Federation of Animal Science Societies
  • Chapters 21, 22, 24
  • Emmanuel A Ameh, MBBS, FWACS, FACS
  • Annals of African Medicine and Ahmadu Bello University
  • Chapters 2, 27
  • Dana M Compton
  • National Academy of Sciences
  • Chapters 4, 10
  • Jo Ann M Eliason, MA, ELS
  • JNS Publishing Group
  • Chapters 2, 3, 8, 13, 14, 28
  • Tina L Fleischer
  • Dartmouth Journal Services
  • Chapters 19, 23, 29
  • Kelly Gerrity
  • National Academy of Sciences
  • Chapters 25, 26
  • Beth E Hazen, PhD
  • Willows End Scientific Editing and Writing
  • Chapters 15, 16, 17
  • Devora Krischer, ELS
  • CVS Caremark (retired)
  • Chapters 5, 6, 9, 11, 29
  • Raymond Lambert
  • Duke University Press
  • Chapter 18
  • Thomas A Lang, MA
  • Tom Lang Communications and Training International
  • Chapters 12, 30
  • Kate Mason, ELS
  • JNS Publishing Group
  • Chapters 5, 7, 27
  • Beva Nall-Langdon
  • Biotext
  • Chapter 20
  • Mary Warner, MS
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Chapters 16, 17
  • Reviewers
  • Jean Baldwin, Allen Press, Inc (Chapter 14)
  • Carolyn Brown, freelance editor (Chapters 2, 30, 31)
  • Monica L Helton, The Journal of Pediatrics (Chapter 13)
  • Lynn Jaluvka, MFA, ELS, GlaxoSmithKline (Chapter 8)
  • Kathryn Kadash-Edmondson, Write Science Right (Chapter 15)
  • Russell Kohel, US Department of Agriculture (Chapter 21, Cotton)
  • Raymond Lambert, Duke University Press (Chapter 12)
  • Beva Nall-Langdon, Biotext (Chapter 7)
  • Teresa A Oblak, The JB Ashtin Group, Inc (Chapters 16, 17, 18)
  • Nicola Parry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Chapters 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26)
  • R Michelle Sauer, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (Chapters 6, 11)
  • Rupinder Sayal, Michigan State University (Chapters 3, 4, 5)
  • Jonathan Schultz, American Heart Association (Chapters 1, 22, 23, 27, 28, 32)
  • Ann Tennier, Stanford University (Chapters 9, 10, 22)
  • Proofreaders
  • Tracy Candelaria, Allen Press, Inc (Chapters 25, 26)
  • Lindsey Christopher, Allen Press, Inc (Chapters 5, 6)
  • Myron Grotta, Allen Press, Inc (Chapters 11, 12)
  • Leslie Hunter, Allen Press, Inc (Chapters 7, 8)
  • Raymond Lambert, Duke University Press (Chapters 19, 20)
  • Joel T Luber, Duke University Press (Chapters 2, 3)
  • Suzanne Meyers, ELS, Suzanne Meyers Editing (Chapter 13)
  • David Nadziejka, Van Andel Research Institute (Chapters 15, 16, 17, 18)
  • Danielle R Smith, Allen Press, Inc (Chapters 9, 30)
  • Linda Tamblyn, Allen Press, Inc (Chapters 23, 24, 27)
  • Ann Tennier, Stanford University (Chapters 14, 22)

Unending thanks also go to David Morrow, senior editor, University of Chicago Press, for his constant support and guidance throughout this adventure, and without whom I could not have managed this project. Much gratitude also goes to Jenny Gavacs, assistant editor, University of Chicago Press, for her knowledgeable assistance and infinite patience during the beginning stages of the print production process.

Lindsey S Buscher, ELS

Project Manager

Cited Reference

1. Vuolo M. Our dying words [podcast, episode 16]. Lexicon Valley. Slate. 2012 July 9, 21:10 minutes. [accessed 2012 Oct 23].

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