Style Guide for Authors

Footnotes and endnotes

Please avoid using footnotes or endnotes. If the information is essential, work it into the text; if it is not, leave it out.

Quoted passages

Quoted passages: if the quotation is less than two or three lines in length then include it in the main text, enclosed between single quotation marks. If it is longer than this then separate it from the main text in an indented block.


UK spelling, with ‘-ise’, ‘-yse’. If in doubt, authorities such as the Oxford English Dictionary can be used, but consistency is more important than particular spellings. Always use: focused, adviser, email, online, website.


Acronyms and similar abbreviations should be spelled out in full at their first mention, unless the abbreviation is very well known (such as BBC). For example, Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and thereafter TEL.

If an abbreviation is introduced it makes sense to use it unless there’s an ambiguity or need for a reminder later on – and if you’re not going to use it, why introduce it? In the main text of the article spell out ‘for example’  rather than using ‘e.g.’.

Page numbers

Refer to page numbers in text using spaced p. or pp. (so ‘see p. 10’ and ‘pp. 110–45’).

Numbers generally

  • When referring to numbers informally in running text, normally use words unless part of a company or other official title
  • One to ten spell out, then use numerals, except in ‘data’ contexts or where followed by formal units
  • Decades: 1960s or ‘the sixties’ if the century is obvious, not 1960’s – unless it genuinely is a possessive, which is almost never the case
  • Time: 8.00 am (space before am, no full points); or use the 24 hour clock if you prefer
  • Percentages: normally use ‘per cent’ (two words) in running text, but % is acceptable in data contexts and in tables etc.
  • Avoid any superscripts generated by MS Word default settings, such as 10th and 2nd, as the copy-editor will have to spend time converting them back.
  • Elide number pairs, so use 112–20 rather than 112–120, but always 112–14 and never 112–4.


  • Where using the slash (oblique or solidus  / ) to show division, ‘or’ etc., only close up words on either side (e.g. conclusion/learning) if it is being used between single terms. Otherwise, space it to show that it is separating more than one term (e.g. short term / long term dichotomy). If there is a mix of single and multi-spaced terms using the slash, use the spaced version throughout.
  • Use the closed-up en rule (–) to show relationship or meanings such as ‘from  . . . to’, but do not use the hybrid ‘from 10–12’ and instead use either ‘10–12’ or ‘from 10 to 12’.
  • Hyphenation: be consistent. In general, if in doubt, don’t use a hyphen unless the sense is ambiguous without it.
  • Parenthetical dashes: use a spaced en rule – like this.
  • Normally, don’t use commas in lists before ‘and’, so A, B and C, not A, B, and C. Note that this does not affect clausal punctuation.
  • Quotes: use single quotes, but double quotes for quotes within quotes.
    • Quoted passages: for run-on (in text) quotations, the source follows in parentheses before the closing stop.
    • Break off long quotations (of about two or three lines or more) without outer quote marks. The source then follows final punctuation of quoted passage in parentheses.

Headings, lists etc.

Use main subheadings and secondary subheadings within articles, but do not use lower-level headings (i.e. main title and two levels of subhead only).

Use ‘max caps’ (all significant words) for article titles only, and min caps (first word and proper nouns only) for all subheads.

Please avoid numbered subheadings and subsections: where these must be used for significant and necessary cross-referencing they may be acceptable, but if there is no reference to them why use the numbers? What work do they do?

Lists: beware over-use of lists, which can fragment the narrative dimension of the text. As with headings, if there are numbered lists ask yourself whether the numbers do any work, e.g. in showing a particular sequence? If not, consider using bullets instead.


Use UK date style: 13 May 2005, not May 13th 2005

Please avoid superior ordinals (superscripts) automatically generated by Word default settings, such as June 10th or 2nd March.

Tables and figures

Tables or figures must be titled and numbered consecutively, with tables and figures numbered independently in separate sequences. Tables and figures can appear in the text of the paper, however high resolution versions of images must also be provided in separate files in JPEG or TIFF format.


Use the author–date (Harvard) system throughout. References in the text should be cited by the author’s name and year of publication, such as Airey (2013).

In-text citations: some examples

Smith, 2003, p. 34

(comma between author and date, p. for page number)

Smith, 2012b, 2011c; Jones, 2001

(b and c when more than one title in a year; semi-colon between different authors; be consistent in a chapter between ordering works alphabetically [which would put Smith after Jones] or by date [as in this example])

Smith et al., 2007

(use et al. [roman, point after ‘al.’ only] for three or more authors, unless this would be ambiguous between two or more possibilities in the same year, in which case list authors in full rather than use ‘et al. 2000a’ and ‘et al. 2000b’, which is incorrect)

CAPP, 2013

(normally, use an abbreviated form in the text citation rather than the full form, and spell it out immediately after the abbreviation and before the date in the reference list – spelling it out in the text makes the citation, which is really only a code, unnecessarily long)

When citing a web page, adopt the same conventions. If the author (individual or organisation) is not clear use the first few words or the page title e.g. Abolish Politicians, no date.

Should I use parentheses in text citations or not?

Remember that Smith, 2003 etc. are codes that link to reference entries at the end of the article, so it’s permissible to say ‘in Smith, 200a’ etc. without using parentheses. If you’re referring to the author, however, you can link that to a source by using parentheses, so ‘this usage was first developed by Smith (2003a)’ and similar, where the parentheses signify something like ‘in’.

The reference list

You must of course provide a full list of the references you used at the end of the paper. The reference list is arranged alphabetically, with the publication date after the author name(s), and is conventionally entitled ‘References’.

As a general rule (there are exceptions), the decision as to whether a title should appear in italic or roman should be based on whether it is an independent title or instead a chapter in some larger publication. It’s not about length. So the title of a five page separately published pamphlet is in italic, but that of an 80 page article or chapter in a collected volume is not.

Sample entries (note use of parentheses, punctuation, italic, capitalisation, spacing)


Scarrott, M. (ed.) (1999). Sport, Leisure and Tourism Information Sources. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.

Schön, D. A. (1987). Educating the Reflective Practitioner. London: Jossey-Bass.

  • Note that author initials are spaced – D. A. not D.A.
  • Use ‘ed.’ for one editor, ‘eds’ (no point) for two or more; use ‘edn’ to mean edition

Chapter etc. in book

Airey, D. and Tribe, J. (2000). Hospitality education. In Lashley, C. and Morrison, A. (eds) In Search of Hospitality: Theoretical Perspectives and Debates. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann. pp. 276–92.


Abolish Politicians website (no date). Retrieved on 30 August 2000 from:

  • Beware of citing hugely long transient URLs which may be the result of particular search or access paths. Access dates should always be used where possible because URLs date so quickly.

Journal article

Barron, P. and Prideaux, B. (1998). Hospitality education in Tanzania: is there a need to develop environmental awareness? Journal of Sustainable Tourism 6 (3), pp. 224–37.

Conference papers, unpublished papers

Use the journal article as a model and adapt to the circumstances. An unpublished paper is strictly a standalone piece, but it’s common to use roman to distinguish them from published work.

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