Pub 285 spc english style guide
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
This style guide was prepared by Kim Des Rochers and
Alison Southby with input from previous SPC editors.
.2ISBN, ISSN, Agdex and CIP
.6Hyphens and compound words
.9Full stop or period
.13Writing out numbers
.14Dates and time
ABBREVIATIONS, ACRONYMS AND SYMBOLS
.16Scientific symbols and units of measurement
.17Foreign words and phrases in English text
.17Singular or plural
.17Some verb forms
LISTS AND TABLES
COUNTRIES AND CURRENCIES
SPC HOUSE STYLE
CITATIONS, REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES
Citations within text .22
Punctuation in citations .23
This style manual has been written to help SPC authors pro-
duce documents for publication and is designed to establish a conven-tion for style and grammar, streamline the editing process, and facili-tate layout.
It is not meant to cover every style and grammatical issue the SPCauthor may encounter. Volumes have been written on the subject. It isalso impossible (not to mention unnecessary) to include every eventu-ality an author might run into.
For many readers of SPC publications, English is not the first lan-guage. Therefore, one of the most important considerations in pro-ducing a publication is that it be written clearly, concisely, and with-out unnecessary words and phrases.
The style rules in this guide have been derived from the latest editionsof the following internationally recognised sources:•
Scientific Style and Format: the CBE Manual for Authors,Editors, and Publishers
The Random House Dictionary of the English Language
European Association of Science Editors: Science Editors’Handbook
The spelling of words in English is not governed by any nation-
al or international authority as the spelling of French words is. Manywords in English take different forms that can be generally charac-terised as either American English or UK English. UK forms are usedin Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand andCanada.
All documents should be double-spaced before they are pre-
sented to Publications. This makes it easier for the editor to writecomments in the margins and between the lines of text and makes iteasier for the author to read these changes. In addition, pages shouldbe numbered and the entire document should be spell-checked.
References in the text body to tables and figures should correspondwith the actual illustrations. Use a simple font such as Times Roman.
If your publication has complicated graphs or tables in MicrosoftExcel or some other program, check with Publications before submit-ting your document for layout.
If you need to include general cultural and physical back-
ground information about a Pacific country in your publication (egtotal rainfall, land area, capital, major ports, language spoken, orother geographical information), PLEASE consult a reliable source.
This does not mean any of the Lonely Planet
guides. Reputablesources can be found in the SPC library and include: The PacificIslands: an encyclopedia
, University of Hawai’i Press, 2000; TheStatesman’s Yearbook
, Palgrave Publishers, 2001; The World Guide
,New Internationalist Publications, 2001. There are others.
With a few exceptions, each SPC publication should have the
Copyright Secretariat of the Pacific Community, [current year]
All rights for commercial / for profit reproduction or translation,
in any form, reserved.
The SPC authorises the partial reproduction or translation of this material for scientif-
ic, educational or research purposes, provided that SPC and the source document are
properly acknowledged. Permission to reproduce the document and/or translate in
whole, in any form, whether for commercial / for profit or non-profit purposes, must
be requested in writing. Original SPC artwork may not be altered or separately pub-
In the case of brochures, where space is a premium, the copyright canbe shortened to:
ISBN, ISSN, Agdex and CIP
— International Standard Book Number is a unique code
used to identify a publication by its title, publisher and edition. TheISBN can be used to identify books in orders (e.g. Amazon.com),stock control and library systems.
ISBNs are always 10 digits long, and are divided into four parts. Forexample, the ISBN 982-203-810-0 refers specifically to the document,Pacific kava — a producer’s guide
. The 982 refers to the South Pacificregion; the 203 refers to the individual publisher (in this case SPC);820 refers specifically to that document (i.e. is keyed to the title); thelast digit is a kind of check mechanism.
ISBNs should be assigned to books, pamphlets, and reports more thanfour pages long. Microfilm publications, microcomputer software, mul-timedia kits containing printed matter, books on cassettes and maps.
ISBNs are not given to most posters (unless there is detailed informa-tion), calendars, advertisements, and most serial publications.
— International Standard Serial Number is a unique
number given to serial publications such as newsletters, magazines,newspapers.
ISSNs are helpful in identifying a specific serial, especially when dif-ferent serials have the same or similar title. An ISSN can be given toany serial publication, no matter the format (CD ROM, online, etc.).
A serial publication is one that is published successively under thesame title (e.g. Fisheries Newsletter
ISSNs are eight digits long. For example, the Pacific Islands Nutrition
newsletter has the ISSN 1022-2782. ISSNs should appear in the upperright-hand corner of the front cover of each issue.
— Agdex is a system for cataloguing agricultural publi-
cations. An Agdex number is not a unique number like an ISBN orISSN, but instead links similar subject matter (i.e. an Agdex numberis subject specific, rather than item specific). Two publications withthe same Agdex number means they are on the same subject. Forexample, any publication with an Agdex number of 622, means thosepublications are about insect pests and their control. Agdex numbersare three digits long.
1.10 CIP data
— Cataloguing-in-publication data is an internation-
ally recognised description for a publication, and can include infor-
mation on the title, author(s), or editor(s), place of publication, pub-
lisher, year of publication, and page numbers. CIP data is generally
found on the reverse side of the title page of a publication, near the
For more detail, see the brochure Publishing at SPC
In English language documents, SPC’s address should appear as:
Secretariat of the Pacific CommunityBP D598848 Noumea CedexNew CaledoniaTel: +687 20.00.00Fax: +687 26.38.18E-mail: [email protected]
In general, SPC Publications follows UK
English usage; however, influences are crossing the Atlantic in bothdirections all the time. For example, the Concise Oxford Dictionary
uses ‘organize’ with a ‘z’ as its first choice of spelling. Also, thespellings program
have become required UK usage in ‘com-puterese’). There may even be times when it is preferable to useAmerican English, such as for publications specifically targetingMicronesian countries. In general, it is suggested that SPC authors usethe Concise Oxford Dictionary
as a basic reference for spelling.
Words ending in -ise/-ize
. Use -ise and -yse endings.
Both spellings are correct in UK English, but the -ise and -yse formstend to be more common. Again, refer to the Concise Oxford
for thelatest convention.
, for proper names follow the style of the organisation itself. Forexample, World Health Organization, Food and AgricultureOrganization
(both take a ‘z’)
Judgment/judgement and acknowledgment/acknowledgement
SPC style is to retain the first ‘e’.
Words with -ae- or -oe-.
Use the British spelling for words such
as aetiology, foetus, and oestrogen
, and estrogen
As a general rule, capitalise all nouns and adjectives in names
of specific institutions and their subdivisions (DGs, directorates, divi-sions and other departments), committees, or working groups.
, the committee discussed …; the programme encompasses…
. When using an original name in French or another language
where only the first word is capitalised, follow the foreign style and
put in italics or add inverted commas if confusion could arise.
political entities, but use
lowercase when the reference is general
The Federated States of Micronesia; Kosrae State
Treaties and international agreements
. Follow the same general rule
for treaties, conventions, arrangements, understandings and protocols.
the Treaty of Waitangi; the Canberra Agreement
Seasons, weekdays, months, and events
. No capitals for spring,
summer, autumn, winter
; use capitals for weekdays, months, holidays,
and events (e.g. Friday, July, Bastille Day, International Year of the Child).2.10 Earth, world, and other celestial bodies
. Capitalise earth
only in connection with astronomy or astronautics (the Earth,
the Galaxy, the Moon
), except where the proper noun is used as an
adjective (earth satellites, moon rock); no capitals for the resources ofthe earth, the population of the world
2.11 Proprietary names
. Proprietary names (or trade names) are nor-
mally capitalised, unless they have become generic terms, such asaspirin
. Capitalise registered trade names such asXerox, Land-Rover, Coca-Cola.
Start with a capital in running text only if the quo-
tation is a complete sentence in itself.
According to Françoise Sagan, ‘Writing is just having a sheet ofpaper, a pen and not the shadow of an idea of what you’regoing to say.’
2.13 Nationalities, languages, etc.
All words derived from country
names should be capitalised.
I-Kiribati; ni-Vanuatu; English style guide; French-speaking
Capitalise titles before a name.
President Kennedy; Ratu Seru Epenesa; Reverend Jesse
Place names and topographical features should always be capi-
talised: Pacific Ocean, Coral Sea, Grande Terre, Majuro Atoll, Suva,
Mauna Loa, Marianas Trench, Emperor Seamounts.
NB: Pacific, when referring either to the region or the ocean, is always
capitalised. Ignore your spell checker which suggests a lower case ‘p’
Likewise, all island groups are capitalised: Bismark
Archipelago, Hawaiian Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago, Pacific Islands.
Compass points (north, south, east, west) and their derivations
(northern, southern, eastern, western; southwest, northeast, .) are
lower case unless they form part of a place name. For example: South
Pacific, Southeast Asia, Pacific Northwest. A single capital letter (N,
S, E, W) is used when writing latitude and longitude (e.g. Honolulu isat 21°18.47’N, 157°52.00’W).
Ocean currents are capitalised: Equatorial Counter Current,
Winds are not capitalised: southeast trades, monsoon winds.But,
weather and climatic systems are: El Niño, La Niña, Intertropical
Convergence Zone, North Pacific High.
Hyphens and compound words
General. The trend is away from hyphens and to either join
words or to leave them open. For example: seawater, gill net.
Compound words may be written as two or more separate words, or
with hyphen(s), or as a single word. Many compounds have followed
precisely those steps (e.g. data base
Sometimes hyphens are necessary to clarify the sense or to avoid confusion.
re-cover — recover; re-creation — recreation; re-form — reform
There are few hard and fast rules, but note the following
small-scale fisheries; user-friendly software; two-day meeting;four-month stay; thiamine-deficient diet; sea-surface tempera-ture; purse-seine fishery; long-term plan; five-year-old wine; up-to-date information
In adverb-adjective modifiers, no hyphen is needed when the
adverb ends in -ly.
genetically modified foods; a beautifully phrased sentence
Many compounds lose their hyphens when used after the noun.
policy for the long term; production on a large scale; news thatis up to date
If, however, the compound is used as an adverb or adjective, it
she works full-time; a part-time position
are usually hyphenated in recent or ad hoc coinages.
co-worker, non-resident, non-flammable, non-smoker
Many words tend to drop the hyphen as they become established.
antibody, codecision, cooperation, coordinate, subcommittee
2.26 Nouns from phrasal verbs
. These are often hyphenated, but the
situation is fluid and US usage (no hyphen) is increasingly adopted in
UK English. Thus handout, takeover, comeback
but, follow-up, run-
2.27 Avoid double consonants and vowels in words that are not fre-
. Hyphens are often used to avoid juxtaposing two con-
sonants or two vowels.
part-time, re-election, re-entry, re-examine
2.28 Numbers and fractions
. Numbers take hyphens when they are
spelled out. Fractions take hyphens when used as an adjective, but
not when used as nouns.
an increase of two thirds.
2.29 Prefixes before proper names.
Prefixes before proper names are
hyphenated: pre-Colombian, mid-Pacific, trans-European.
Full stop or period
Use only one space after the full stop at the end of a sentence.
No additional full stop is required if a sentence ends with an
abbreviation that takes a point (for instance a.m.) or a quotationcomplete in itself that ends in a full stop, question mark or exclama-tion mark before the final quotes. Mark Twain once said, ‘When indoubt strike it out.’
Full stops as omission marks (aka ellipsis points).
three points, preceded by a hard space (non-breaking space). In Word,use Alt + Ctrl + (full stop) to insert ellipsis points. In French texts thepoints are commonly enclosed in brackets. This is never done inEnglish.
‘The objectives of the Secretariat will be achieved … whilerespecting the wishes of individual governments.’
If a sentence ends with an omission, do not add an extra full
If any other punctuation mark follows, there is no space before
Colons are most often used to indicate that an expansion, qual-
ification or explanation is about to follow (e.g. a list of items in run-ning text).
Do not use colons at the end of headings or to introduce a
Do not start the word following a colon with a capital letter
Do not leave a space between a colon and the preceding word
The discussion group covered three topics: carbohydrates,lipids and proteins.
Use the semicolon to link two connected thoughts in the same
sentence; to separate items in a series in running text, especially
phrases containing commas; or to add emphasis.
John says he intends to go on duty travel in August; however,he hasn’t made definite plans.
In men the most important aetiological factor is a high-fat diet;in women, an oestrogen deficiency.
John Green, Fisheries Statistician, ICLARM; Jane Brown,Fisheries Development Adviser, SPC; Pierre Blanc, FisheriesInformation Officer, SPC.
Commas, or their absence, can completely change the sense of
3.12 Non-defining relative clauses.
Non-defining relative clauses
must be set off by a pair
of commas to distinguish them from relative
clauses that define the preceding noun.
The translations, which have been revised, can now be typed.
adds detail — all the translations have been revised)
The translations that have been revised can now be typed.
defines the subset that is to be typed — only those thathave been revised are to be typed)
Strings of adjectives all modifying a later noun but
not each other should be separated by commas.
where the last adjective is part of the core it is not preceded by acomma:
1moderate, 2stable 3agricultural 4prices.
Here, 1 and 2 each separately modify the core (3 and 4).
Em dashes, or em rules, are used to indicate an abrupt break in
a sentence. An em rule should be used instead of commas or paren-
theses. Include a space on either side of an em dash.
There are many differences — aside from physical ones —between men and women.
3.15 En dashes, or en rules,
are used to join coordinate or contrast-
ing pairs of words (a current–voltage graph, cost–benefit analysis,
mark–recapture study, ice–seawater slurry
); or to indicate a range of
numbers (34–96), including dates (1956–2001), degrees of latitude
(23°N–18°S) or temperature (0°–30°C)
Use an en dash to express a minus sign (e.g. –10°C) or to give
a range in months or page numbers (May–August; p.37–48).
En rules should be closed up (ie without a space on either side of it).
Bracketed sentences. A whole sentence in brackets should have
the final stop inside the closing bracket.
3.18 Square brackets.
Square brackets are used to make insertions in
Courtesy questions. No question mark is needed after a request
or instruction put as a question for courtesy.
Would you please sign and return the attached form.
Do not use a question mark in indirect speech.
The Director-General asked when the Annual Report would becompleted.
Avoid using it.
Double vs single quotation marks. Use single quotation marks
first and double marks for quotations within quotations.
3.23 Short quotations.
Short quotes of up to four lines or so are
normally run into the surrounding text. They are set off by opening
and closing quotation marks.
3.24 Block quotations.
Extended (block) quotations should be
indented and separated from the surrounding text by paragraph spac-
ing before and after. No quotation marks are required with this dis-
3.25 Other uses.
Generally, use quotation marks as sparingly as pos-
sible for purposes other than actual quotation.
Words ending in -s. Common and proper nouns and abbrevia-
tions ending in -s
form their singular possessive with -’s
), just like nouns ending in other letters.
Chris’s document; a hostess’s pay; the Smiths’ house
3.27 Plurals of abbreviations.
Plurals of abbreviations do not take
3.28 Plurals of figures
. Plurals of figures do not take an apostrophe.
Pilots of 747s undergo special training.
The names of ships, vehicles and aircraft are italicised.
; HMS Endeavour
The names of newspapers, books, SPC publications or journal
names (within running text, not within a list of references) are italicised
(except for ‘the’ in a newspaper title).
The New York Times
; Zen and the Art of MotorcycleMaintenance
; Pacific Islands Nutrition Newsletter
In deciding whether to write numbers in words or fig-
ures, the first consideration should be consistency within a passage.
Where statistics are being compared in running text, use figures. Innon-statistical documents write the numbers nine and below in words(except in a range such as 9–11); all others to be written as numerals.
In scientific writing, metric measure is the accepted form for express-ing quantities. SPC uses the Système international d’unités (or SI).
Do not use a comma in numbers under 9999.
Always use figures with units of measurement denoted by sym-
10°C; 1000 nm; 50 ml; 250 kW; 5 km or
five kilometres not
However, numbers qualifying units of measurement that are
spelled out may be written with figures.
With hundreds, thousands and so on there is a choice of using
three hundred but not
Million and billion, however, may be combined with figures.
Try to not start a sentence with a number or a symbol followed
by a number. These should be written out, or the sentence rephrased.
Writing out numbers
Do not combine single-digit figures and words using hyphens
Compound attributes containing numbers must be hyphenated
a seven-year-old wine; a ten-year-old child; five-year plan
When two numbers are next to one another, it is often prefer-
able to spell out one of them.
ninety 50-gram weights; seventy 25-franc stamps
4.11 Obligatory use of figures
. Always use figures, not words, for
temperatures, times, percentages, and units of measurement (see 4.1).
Written out. Repeat symbols and multiples (thousand, million,
4.13 Abbreviated form.
If the symbol or multiple remains the same,
insert a closed-up en-dash between the figures.
Dates and time
Write out the month, preceded by a simple figure for the day,
e.g. 23 July 1997
. Use all four digits when referring to specific years
(i.e. 1997 not ’97).
Write a range of days as follows: 12–18 May 2000; 29 May–3
June 2000 (no comma).
4.16 Decades and centuries.
When referring to decades and centuries
write the 1990s
(no apostrophe), the 1800s
Use a closed-up en dash.
Note the following:
from 1990 to 1995 (never
between 1990 and 1995 (never
1990 to 1995 inclusive (never
When writing dates using the 12-hour system, separate the
hour and minute with a full stop. Use a.m. or p.m. to indicate the
division of the day.
5. ABBREVIATIONS, ACRONYMS AND SYMBOLS
In principle, abbreviations and acronyms are upper-
cased. In practice, the longer the acronym, the more likely it is to lose itscapitals. To ensure consistency and remove the need to make subjectivedecisions, it is suggested that you follow the ‘five-letter’ rule below. Bearin mind, though, that this rule is arbitrary, so use your judgment.
NB: the initial letters of radar and scuba are lower cased unless a sen-tence begins with these words.
Five letters or fewer: uppercase throughout
without full stops (periods), including acronyms that can be pro-nounced.
In general, lowercase those with more than
five letters, with initial capital, provided they can be pronounced
Benelux, Esprit, Unesco, but
. This should be based on the way an abbrevi-
ation is read. The choice of the article (a/an) depends on the pronun-ciation of the first letter.
. Do not use the definite article (the) before an
SPC is a regional organisation. (not
, The SPC is a regionalorganisation.)
Single truncated words.
Single truncated words take a point
the last letter of the word is included.
Untranslated foreign language
abbreviations should retain the capitalisation and punctuation con-ventions of the original.
The per cent sign (%
) sits directly next to the figure
(e.g. 58%), unlike French practice. Note that percentage
is one word,but per cent is two words although many scientific journals use per-cent as one word. In non-technical texts, spell out per cent ratherthan using the symbol.
Scientific symbols and units of measurement
Names of units of measurement.
Names of basic and derived
units of measurement are always lowercased when they are writtenout in full, even if they are derived from a personal name, such asampere, kelvin, hertz, watt.
They have normal plurals: 250 volts, 50watts
, 90 hertz
5.10 Capitalisation of symbols.
The initial letter of symbols for SI
units derived from personal names is always capitalised: Hz (hertz), K
. Symbols derived from generic nouns are always lowercased:fl oz (fluid ounce), ft (foot), etc. Symbols for units of measurement.
These are normally abridged forms of the names of these units. They
are written without stops, with a space between the number and the
unit, and do not have plurals (4 ha, 9 m, 10 lb, 20 psi)
6. FOREIGN IMPORTS
Foreign words and phrases in English text
Latin and other foreign-language expressions that are gram-
matically integrated into an English text should be italicised (noinverted commas) and should have the appropriate accents, eg ‘usedinter alia
as proof of payment’; ‘a possible raison d’être
for thesestudies is …’
Exceptions: words and phrases now in common use and/or
considered part of the English language: angst, ennui, ad hoc, percapita, per se, vice versa.
Diacritics are marks or symbols written above, below or
between letters to indicate a difference in pronunciation from a letterwithout this mark. For example the French é and ç, or the Spanish ñ.
Many Pacific Island languages also use diacritical marks, more com-monly in the form of glottals (Hawai‘i, ahupua‘a, Vava‘u, Ha‘apai).
SPC’s style, however, is to use diacritics with French documents only.
The reason for this is that in addition to glottal stops, some Pacificlanguages use other types of diacritics as well, many of which areextremely difficult to make with the software we use. Perhaps moreimportantly though, there is no in-house person to check the accuracyof these notations. If the author feels that diacritics are justified fortheir document, then they will be responsible for ensuring the accu-rate use and placement of those marks. Perhaps one of the few excep-tions to the use of diacritics with Pacific languages is when an organi-sation or institution specifically uses a diacritical mark in their name(e.g. the official way to write University of Hawai`i, is with a markbetween the two ‘i’s).
Singular or plural
Use the singular form when the emphasis is
The government is
considering the matter.
The advisory committee has
met twice this year.
Use the plural when the emphasis is on the individual members.
The police have
failed to trace the goods.
A majority of the committee were
Countries, institutions and organisations take the singular.
The United States is
reconsidering its position.
The Secretariat was
A singular verb is common in English with a double subject if
Checking and stamping the forms is the job of the customsauthorities.
Words in -ics.
The sciences of mathematics, dynamics, kinetics,
statistics and economics are singular. Statistics
meaning simply ‘fig-ures’ is plural; so too is economics
in the sense of ‘commercial viabili-ty’, as in the economics of the new process were studied in depth
The word none
may take either a singular or plural verb.
Some verb forms
. In UK usage, a final -l
is doubled after a single
vowel on adding -ing
(sole exception: parallel, paralleled
Other consonants double only if the last syllable of the root
verb is stressed or carries a strong secondary stress.
Further exceptions:Some verbs ending in -p
(e.g. handicapped, kidnapped, worshipped
8. LISTS AND TABLES
Lists of short items
(without main verbs) should be introduced
by a full sentence and have the following features:•
no punctuation (very short items) or comma after each item
Where each item completes
the introductory sentence, you
label each item (using no initial capital) with the appropriatebullet, number or letter;
begin each item with a lower case letter;
If all items are complete statements
without a grammatical link
to the introductory sentence, proceed as follows:a.
label each item with the appropriate bullet, number or letter;
start each item with a lowercase letter;
Try to avoid running the sentence on after the list of points.
If any one item consists of several complete sentences, announce
the list with a main sentence and continue as indicated below.
Label each item with the appropriate bullet, number or letter.
End each statement with a full stop. This allows several sen-tences to be included under a single item without throwing punc-tuation into confusion.
The list of points may extend over several pages, making itessential not to introduce it with an incomplete sentence orcolon.
Tables inset in text matter should never be introduced with a
Place table headings above the table. Diagrams,
figures and graphs should be labelled at the bottom. It is not neces-sary to repeat the word table
in the heading.
9. SCIENCE GUIDE
Note that the initial letter of the scientific
name is capitalised, while the species name is always lowercased, evenif it is derived from a proper noun.
The names of genera, species and subspecies (varieties, culti-
vars) are always italicised: the genus Thunnus
Most text references are to genus or species. The genus name
should be spelled out in full on first occurrence and subsequentlyabbreviated: Escherichia coli,
abbreviated E. coli.
To avoid confusion,if another genus name is introduced into the text with the same initialas one already in use, both genus names should be spelled out in fullfrom that point on.
Common or vernacular names that are familiar to the reader
should not be bolded or italicised, but left the same as the surround-
ing text (e.g. a taro plant; a taboo area). They should also not be cap-italised unless they include a proper name (e.g. Galapagos shark,Asian papaya fruit fly; but
, blacktip reef shark, melon fruit fly).
10. COUNTRIES AND CURRENCIES
SPC Member Countries and Territories
N.B.: With some countries the definite article (the) is not used (e.g.
Solomon Islands, not
the Solomon Islands; Cook Islands, not
theCook Islands; Fiji Islands, not
the Fiji Islands)
11. SPC HOUSE STYLE
A number of style and punctuation issues particular to SPC include:
Pacific Islands not
Pacific Islanders not
PICTs = Pacific Island countries and territories (which includeSamoa, Guam, Pitcairn Islands, French Polynesia and Wallisand Futuna) not
Pacific Island Countries and Territories
PICs = Pacific Island countries not
Pacific Island Countries
NGO = non-governmental organisation not
(For more instances of specific usage, see the SPC House Style List [inpreparation
12. CITATIONS, REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES
A list of references is not quite the same as a bibliography. A
list of references gives a complete citation of all works cited in the
text. A bibliography is a list of references, plus sources used in com-
piling the document but not necessarily cited within the text.
Different publishing houses and journals have their own style for
formatting references. SPC uses a combination of the CBE Scientific
Style and Format
and the Vancouver system.
Do not translate titles and details of works that have appeared
only in a foreign language, but give official English titles, for example of
publications of international organisations, if available.
Citations within text
Use the author–date (also known as name–year) system: the
author’s surname and the year of publication (without a comma sepa-
rating the two), and enclosed in round brackets.
The incidence of NCDs in the Pacific region is increasing rapid-ly (McDonald 1999).
Punctuation in citations
A comma followed by a space separates citations of different
references by the same author(s).
Nearly 40 per cent of the population are less than 15 years old(Smith 1998, 1999a, 1999b).
A semicolon followed by a space separates citations of refer-
ences by different authors.
Tuna stocks in the western and central Pacific Ocean will soonbe extinct (Hampton 1998; Lawson 2000).
12.7 Multiple authors
. For two authors, use both surnames, joined
by ‘and’. For three or more authors, use the first author’s surname,
followed by ‘et al.’:
(Dawson and Briggs 1996; Luciani et al. 1997)
et al.’ is not italicised, and takes a full stop.
In general, SPC uses minimal punctuation and capitalisation in
Titles of foreign-language works or names of publishers should not betranslated into English or italicised.
Within a reference list, do not write out in full some journal namesand abbreviate others. For example, the Journal of Pacific History canbe abbreviated to J Pac Hist. Both are acceptable but only ONE formshould be used within any given reference list.
Johannes, R.E. 1982. Traditional conservation methods and pro-tected areas in Oceania. Ambio 11(5):258–261.
Chou, R. and H.B. Lee. 1997. Commercial marine fish farming inSingapore. Aquaculture Research 28:767–776.
Cambie, R.C. and J. Ash. 1994. Fijian medicinal plants. Australia:CSIRO. 365 p.
Editors as authors
Gilman, A.G., T.W. Rall, A.S. Nies, and P. Taylor (eds). 1990. Thepharmacological basis of therapeutics. 8th ed. New York:Pergamon. 1811 p.
Chapter from a book
Haines, A.K. 1982. Traditional concepts and practices and inlandfisheries management. In: L. Morauta, J. Pernetta and W. Hearney(eds). Traditional conservation in Papua New Guinea: implicationsfor today. Boroko: Institute for Applied Social and EconomicResearch. 279–291.
Proceedings and conference reports
Seret, B. and J-Y Sire (eds). 1999. Fifth Indo-Pacific FishConference; 3–8 1997 Nov; Noumea, New Caledonia. Paris:Société Française d’Ichtyologie. 866 p.
Nietschmann, B. 1984. Indigenous island peoples, living resources,and protected areas. In: National parks, conservation, and devel-opment: the role of protected areas in sustaining society. J.A.
McNeely and K.R. Miller (eds). 333–343. Proceedings of theWorld Congress on National Parks, Bali Indonesia, 11–22 October1982. Washington D.C: Smithsonian Institute Press.
Dissertations and theses
Ritzmann, R.E. 1974. The snapping mechanism of Alpheid
shrimp[dissertation]. Charlottesville (VA): University of Virginia. 59 p.
Newspaper and magazine articles
Rensberger, B., Specter B. 1989 Aug 7. CFCs may be destroyed bynatural processes. Washington Post; Sect A:2(col 5).
To cite a website (but not a specific document or information within
that site), give the address of the site in the text and the year. For
example, to cite The Nature Conservancy website:
To cite specific information from The Nature Conservancy’s website,give the URL and the year (and the day and month if it is listed):
‘Scattered in a double chain of 922 islands east of Papua NewGuinea, the Solomon Islands cover more than 1.35 millionsquare kilometers of the South Pacific (http://nature.org/inter-national/work/art567.html 2001)’
‘Mahi mahi are a highly migratory species found in tropicaland subtropical waters of the Indian, Atlantic and PacificOceans(http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genus-name=Coryphaena&speciesname=hippurus 02 July 2001)’
Referencing an article from an online journal
Stone, R. 2000. European Union to fund science in Balkanregion. Science 290(5500):2230. Retrieved from Web 18 July2001http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/290/5500/2230a.
Jacobson, J.W., J.A. Mulick and A.A. Schwartz. 1995. A his-tory of facilitated communication: Science, pseudoscience, andantiscience: Science working group on facilitated communica-tion. American Psychologist, 50, 750–765. Retrieved from WebJanuary 25, 1996, http://www.apa.org/journals/jacobson.html
Putting references in order
Two or more references by the same author, should be orderedby date; i.e. oldest first, most recent last
Chapman, M.D. 1985. Environmental influences on the devel-opment of traditional conservation in the South Pacific region.
Environmental Conservation 12(3):217–230.
Chapman, M.D. 1987. Women’s fishing in Oceania. HumanEcology 15(3):267–287.
Several references where one or more author(s) is common to
all of them
Alcala, A.C. 1988. Effects of marine reserves on coral fishabundances and yields of Philippine coral reefs. Ambio17:194–199.
Alcala, A.C. and T. Luchavez. 1981. Fish yield of the coral reefsurrounding Apo Island, central Visayas, Philippines. MarineBiology 8:69–73.
Alcala, A.C. and G.R. Russ. 1990. A direct test of the effects ofprotective management on abundance and yield of tropicalmarine resources. Journal of Conservation 46:40–47.
Ebeling, A.W. and D.R. Laur. 1985. The influence of plantcover on surfperch abundance at an offshore temperature reef.
Environmental Biology of Fishes 16:123–133.
Ebeling, A.W. and D.R. Laur. 1988. Fish populations in kelpforests without sea otters: effects of severe storm damage anddestructive sea urchin grazing. Ecological Studies 65:169–191.
Ebeling, A.W., D.R. Laur and R.J. Rowley. 1985. Severe stormdisturbances and reversal of community structure in a southernCalifornia kelp forest. Marine Biology 84:287–294.
Ebeling, A.W., S.J. Holbrook and R.J. Schmidt. 1990.
Temporally concordant structure of a fish assemblage: boundor determined? American Naturalist 135:63–73.
Ebeling, A.W. R.J. Larson, W.S. Alevizon and R.N. Bray. 1980.
Annual variability of reef fish assemblages in kelp forests offSanta Barbara, California. Fisheries Bulletin 78:361–377.
Malaysian Business July 1-15, 1991 The Heat Is On! A recent merger in the courier industry spurs the rest to gear up for tough competition. MARCH 14, 1991 was a special day for the US multinational, Federal Express and the Malaysian Nationwide Express. It was on this day that both ‘exchanged vows’ in the Malaysian courier industry’s first of its kind corporate merger. While
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