Most editors have resources they find useful on a daily basis and others they reach for from time to time when a specific need arises. I have a long list of trusted favourites, but a couple are always particularly helpful.
Australian Manual of Style (AMOS)
AMOS is always open in my browser as it’s one of my first stops when I need to solve a style issue not covered by our in-house style guide.
The “Showing” section of AMOS is great for guidance on presenting visual information such as graphs, tables, figures, infographics and other methods of data visualisation. I like to use it when I’m highlighting general conventions and suggesting improvements for clarity.
With more than 33 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals and online books, PubMed is an excellent starting point when checking details for reference lists. Use the “Cite” action to generate a citation in a range of styles.
Penguin Guide to Punctuation
Many newer, more comprehensive texts are available on punctuation, but this little book offers clear answers to those tricky issues that trip me up when I’ve had a long day in front of the screen and my brain’s gone on strike. As the blurb promises, if you’re “puzzled by colons and semicolons, unsure of where commas should go or baffled by apostrophes, this jargon-free, succinct guide is for you”.
Australian Government Directory
If your work, like mine, sometimes involves checking the correct wording and capitalisation of the names of departments, this guide to the structures, organisations and key people in the Australian Government might save you a lot of time. You can search A to Z lists or hop to state and territory directories.
World Health Organization: coronavirus disease pandemic
Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been working on reports and guidance documents on the management of COVID-19 in relation to surgery. We opted early on to follow WHO style for associated terminology. Here you’ll find a single page of links to everything from variants to vaccines to research studies and disease outbreak news.
What are your go-to guides? If you’d like to share, send them to me at email@example.com and I’ll compile them for a future newsletter.
By Jo Vabolis AE, Vice President and Secretary, Editors SA