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The Style Guide has migrated to Google Drive. Please see


the current NCAR/UCAR Communications Style Guide



*ARCHIVAL INFO ONLY - FOR CURRENT GUIDANCE: please go to the NCAR|UCAR Communications Style Guide 2019.*

The NCAR|UCAR Communications Style Guide for writing and editing outreach materials was developed by NCAR|UCAR Communications for use in our own digital and print publications. It reflects style decisions made over the course of many years, with updates added as needed. Other staff are not compelled to follow it, but the style guide may prove useful to anyone in NCAR or UCAR for advice on style matters.Primary & Secondary ReferencesIn 2016 we adopted the AP Stylebook, the preferred style for the news media, as our primary reference for all AtmosNews articles.Exceptions to the AP StylebookUnlike grammar, in style there is typically no right or wrong — the sole goal is to be consistent throughout a publication. There are only two adopted by Comms to date:

We use the serial comma (aka the Oxford comma) — because we find it helps clarify distinctions in science writing that might otherwise be muddled.


We still follow Chicago for journal, book, movie, and similar publication titles (e.g.,


Journal of Climate) — because, unlike a newspaper, we use a lot of these.


prior reference was the Chicago Manual of Style, and many parts of this wiki have not yet been updated to reflect the switch to AP. When in doubt, follow AP Style. Our secondary reference is the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.Cases not found in either or exceptions to their recommendations are recorded in the NCAR|UCAR Style Guide. When a meteorological term does not appear in American Heritage, we refer to the American Meteorological Society's Glossary of Meteorology.Journal Style GuidesMany professional journals have a specific style not covered here. Please refer to the requirements of the journal to which you are making a submission. The NCAR Library provides links to several style guides in the atmospheric and related sciences.


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Related resources

Online Style Guides


(NCAR Library)



Communicating Science


Need more help?

  • For questions not addressed by this guide, contact Zhenya Gallon (Communications).