The Style Manual Committee of the Council of Biology Editors had five aims in producing this excellent book: to support convergence in style in an international framework, to simplify formats for citations and references, to simplify style rules, to offer options based on the deeply rooted conventions of some disciplines, and to reduce work at the keyboard. The major parts of the book are "General Style Conventions," "Special Scientific Conventions," "Journals and Books," and "Publishing Process." Of these parts, the first two make up the bulk of the book. "General Style Conventions" covers every possible aspect, including alphabets, symbols, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, and geographic descriptions. Most of these conventions are also used outside the scientific community, so this manual can serve as a style reference for all writers, although some conventions are unique to science. For example, this section recommends the use of Arabic numerals instead of spelled-out words for the numbers one to nine. The "Special Scientific Conventions" section is comprehensive, covering the electromagnetic spectrum, subatomic particles, chemical elements, chemical names and formulas, analytical methods, drugs and pharmacokinetics, chromosomes, viruses, bacteria, plants, algae, human and animal life, the earth, and astronomical objects and time systems. The text is thorough and easy to follow, with many examples. Appendixes cover recommended practices for abbreviating journal titles and publishers' names; a bibliography is followed by an index.
There is no other book like this for the scientific and technological community. It should be the major desk reference for anyone writing a scientific article or book. Students should be made aware of the manual early in their educational career so that old habits can be broken and correct procedures adhered to. Highly recommended for all academic libraries; public libraries should consider purchase, too.
'Of reasonable size, written in a clear style, free from any over-specialized language, at the level of a master's degree which remains accessible to a vast scientific public, this book should enjoy a wide and well-deserved circulation ...' Paul Germani, Professor at Polytechnique, Secrétaire perpétuel de l'Academie des Sciences
'No English-language author, editor or publisher in the field can do without it.' STM Newsletter
'As a reference manual for anyone in the business of scientific editing, this publication, now in its sixth edition, has no rivals.' Olive Brooke, Learned Publishing
' ... an invaluable publication for authors and editors alike ... warmly recommended.' P. K. Thomas, Journal of Anatomy