2. On Our House Style
2.1 All manuscripts submitted to punctum must conform to the Chicago Manual of Style. You can consult and also subscribe to the Chicago Manual of Style online or you can access it via your university library. If you have no access, let us know. Depending on your discipline, you may opt to follow either Chicago’s Humanities or Author-Date systems for citation (more on which, see below).
2.1.1 Please follow American spelling conventions. Consult the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary in case of doubt.
Like this: “utilize, color, center”
Not like: “utilise, colour, centre”
2.1.2 Please follow traditional American punctuation conventions. Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks, with colons and semicolons outside quotation marks. Exclamation and question marks only go inside if they are part of the quotation.
Like this: “Tomorrow morning,” he fumbled, “we will seek out the Camembert.”
Not like: “Tomorrow morning”, he fumbled, “we will seek out the Camembert”.
2.1.3 Please always use double quote marks for citations, and single quote marks for citations within citations.
Like this: “After long hours of research, they discovered that ‘the cheese’ was in fact an elaborate scheme to bring down the company.”
Not like: ‘After long hours of research, they discovered that “the cheese” was in fact an elaborate scheme to bring down the company.’
2.1.4 Please always use the Oxford comma.
Like this: “He served a smorgasbord with Birdwood Blue Heaven, Duddleswell, and Cotswold.”
Not like: “He served a smorgasbord with Birdwood Blue Heaven, Duddleswell and Cotswold.”
2.1.5 We are no longer in the age of the typewriter (even though we do not discriminate against it as a writing tool). There is no excuse for using a double space after a period unless you just like torturing copy-editors.
2.1.6 Pronouns should always follow the preference of the person referred to, or, in case of historical references, the established custom. Otherwise, we prefer the use of the non-binary anaphor they.
2.1.7 Omissions by the author from citations are always signaled by an ellipsis between square brackets: […]. Pertinent punctuation around the ellipsis is maintained to clarify what been excised:
The enticing, tangy smell of the Blue Stilton reached Augustus’s nostrils. If all went well today on the battlefield, he would reward himself with a large slice, that is, if his lover hadn’t consumed the entire cheese by then.
This original can be cited, for example, as follows :
“The enticing, tangy smell of the Blue Stilton reached Augustus’s nostrils. […] [H]e would reward himself with a large slice, that is, if his lover hadn’t consumed the entire cheese by then.”
“The enticing, tangy smell of the Blue Stilton reached Augustus’s nostrils. If all went well today […], he would reward himself with a large slice, that is, if his lover hadn’t consumed the entire cheese by then.”
“The […] smell of the Blue Stilton reached Augustus’s nostrils. If all went well today on the battlefield, he would reward himself with a large slice.”
2.1.8 We will also consult the Chicago Manual of Style first to resolve any other usage questions (on punctuation, italicization, hyphenation, etc.) – though we may choose to deviate from it.
2.2 We prefer footnotes to endnotes, as many of our books are read as PDFs and footnotes are much more reader-friendly than endnotes. For online sources, we prefer no “Accessed on such-and-such a date” information, but we do prefer full URLs as well as the spelling out of information that will be useful to future researchers when URLs break, as they often do. To wit:
- Henry Brie, “Why Do Millennials Not Understand Cheese?” Slate, May 16, 2014, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/05/millennials_cheese_and_mtv_poll_young_people_are_confused_ about_cheese.html.
2.3.a. For citations, we prefer and encourage the Chicago Manual’s Notes and Bibliography format (preferred in the Humanities), with full bibliographic citations included in footnotes upon first mention in each chapter. Subsequent citations may be shortened following CMoS guidelines.
Alternatively, you may use the Author-Date format (preferred in the Social Sciences) with abbreviated, parenthetical, in-text citations and a full bibliography at the end of the book.
Please note that we do not allow any other citation style, and while we of course will provide in-house copy-editing and proofreading, manuscripts submitted to punctum for publication that do not meet minimum expectations for uniformity of style and adherence to CMoS’s citation formats will be returned to author for further tinkering before any production work can commence.
Treat each chapter separately, in terms of its citational apparatus. If you are using CMoS Notes and Bibliography format, and you cite certain works multiple times throughout your book, make sure that the first time those works are cited within a chapter, you provide a full bibliographic citation in a footnote. For each subsequent citation of the same work within a chapter, use a shortened reference format in your footnotes (we are okay with either abbreviated citations or ibid., or a combination of both).
1. Henrik Winterbottom, Curdle or Die: How to Stir Up Your Life (London: Penguin, 2013), 8.
2. Aisha Domenic, “Elementary Emmenthal Dynamics,” Experimental Dairy Physics 45, no. 4 (1989): 58–73, at 59.
4. Ibid., 15.
Nota bene: Although we don’t mind “ibid.” for subsequent citations of the same work within a chapter, please do not ever use “op. cit.” When preparing footnotes in general, always keep in mind that they should be as useful to the reader as possible: we don’t want readers to have to work too hard to navigate and reference any book’s sources.
2.3.b. Because the primary mode for the discovery and dissemination of Open Access books is digital, punctum is committed to protocols that will aid in your work being as visible as possible within the Digital Commons, and therefore it is imperative that all of the academic journal articles you cite reference what is known as the DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, that is attached to those works in their digital form, and which has become a standard tool for cross-referencing journals content (eventually we will be asking for these for digital books and digital book chapters as well, but for now, the rule only applies to journal articles you cite). A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency (the International DOI Foundation) to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet. (You can learn more about DOIs HERE.) It is not necessary to include DOI #s in footnotes, but they will need to be included in your Bibliography:
Laurie T. Havarti. “Understanding Americans’ Perceptions of Pasteurization Processes.” The Journal of American Dairy Producers 12, no. 4 (2014): 431–44, at 440. https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430209764550.
2.4 Your book will need a bibliography. Even in the case where you are using Chicago Manual’s Notes and Bibliography format, where full bibliographic citations are included in footnotes, you will still need to prepare a comprehensive bibliography that will be placed at the end of your book.
Check your bibliography: Who are you citing and why? Are there authors, especially female-identified, of color, or other historically marginalized groups that are absent? Avoid having a "bro-bibliography"!
2.5 We do not require an index. A searchable PDF is not the same as an index, but it’s not bad. We can hire an indexer for a fee (typically $1000–$1500 for 200–300 pages), or you can hire an indexer. Either way, if you would like to create an index, discuss this with your point person at punctum.
2.6 Although of course the punctum editorial and production teams will be copyediting and proofreading your manuscript in multiple stages (consulting with you every step of the way), manuscripts that have been submitted for the final production phase that do not conform to the expectations for citational apparatus set out in the guidelines above shared here will be returned directly to authors for further formatting.