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.
In 2016 we adopted the AP Stylebook, the preferred style for the news media, as our primary reference for all AtmosNews articles. The only exception we are aware of is that we use the serial comma (aka the Oxford comma) — because we find it helps clarify distinctions in science writing that might otherwise be muddled. Unlike grammar, in style there is typically no right or wrong — the sole goal is to be consistent throughout a publication.
Our 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.
Many 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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For questions not addressed by this guide, contact Zhenya Gallon (Communications).