Publications - Guidelines for Society or Branches
Updated May 2023
These guidelines have been prepared as a basic guide. Interpretations of
correct procedures vary greatly between organizations and agencies and are
continuing to change. These guidelines rely heavily on the Style Manual,
Sixth Edition, published by the Commonwealth Government and the current
on-line Style Manual which continues to evolve. They have been
adapted to meet the perceived needs of the Tasmanian Family History Society
Inc. and to accommodate some existing conventions.
- Each branch may develop its own individual style of
publication in line with these guidelines.
- Throughout each individual publication the most important
point is consistency.
- An exception is anything that is a quote, which should be
exactly as written.
- These guidelines should be followed as far as possible for all
electronic media as well as printed media.
2. Front Pages /Covers
- This gives the first impression of the publication so all care
should be undertaken in its presentation.
- The Society name is to be in written in full, followed by the
Branch. Date of publication on this page is optional e.g.:
Tasmanian Family History Society Inc.
3. Title Page
- Must bear the full title of the work and may identify the
- Must also include the name of the publisher and date of
4. Reverse of Title Page or Imprint Page
- Used to accommodate lists of works by the same
author/publisher, details of a series, lists of editions or reprints,
copyright line or statement, ISBN/ISSN codes.
- Publisher's full name and postal address should be given.
- Use of differing fonts should be kept to a minimum throughout
- Upper case should only be used for headings, titles, surnames,
etc. Bold type may be used to highlight or emphasise a word, phrase,
paragraph or sentence.
- Italics are to be used for all newspapers e.g. The Advocate,
The Mercury, The Launceston Examiner.
- Italics are usually used for all ships, titles of books or
articles but single quotes are optional provided one or the other method
is used consistently e.g. Bellona or 'Bellona' not Bellona; Pioneers
Tasmania's West Coast by CJ Spinks or 'Pioneers of Tasmania's West
Coast' by CJ Spinks.
7. Full Stops
- Use a full stop at the end of a sentence.
- A full stop is not used at the end of headings, page headers,
- Full stops are not used at the end of abbreviations except
when the abbreviation comes from a Latin word e.g., i.e., etc.
- Nor is it necessary to use full stops when using initials or
- Unless each item in a list is a full sentence no full stop
is used until the last item.
As less punctuation is desirable in databases
or indexes, the above rules need not apply but consistency is essential.
- Use as few apostrophes as possible.
- An apostrophe is used to indicate the possessive of nouns e.g.
John's hat = the hat of John. The s' should be used for plural nouns
that end in s e.g. Members' Interests= the interests of the members. With
proper names ending in the letters add an apostrophe and another s e.g.
- Omit apostrophes from church and place names e.g. St Marks
Church, Childrens Hospital.
- An apostrophe is used to indicate the omission of a letter or
letters e.g. can't, haven't, would've.
- An apostrophe is not used with 1860s 1830s or acronyms: e.g.
BDMs Registers, PROs records.
- The first time an acronym is used it is to be written in full,
followed immediately by the acronym in brackets. Thereafter the acronym
can be used in that publication.
- Acronyms do not have full stops or commas between the letters
e.g. TAMI OT rather than T.A.M.I.O.T; PO rather than P.O.; AJCP rather
than A.J.C.P.; VDL rather than V.D.L.
- Single quotation marks are to be used to indicate direct
- Double quotation marks are only used within quotations e.g.
'The decision of the Executive for "major changes" to meeting times will
- Short quotes of less than thirty words are to be within single
quotation marks or italicized.
- Longer quotes should be indented without quotation marks, need
not be italicized and may be printed in a smaller font.
- A standard method must be used throughout the publication e.g.
24 March 2009. An exception would be a direct quote when the original
must be retained.
- Numbers less than one hundred are generally expressed in
words, e.g. two, three, fifty-five etc.
- Exceptions - when used to indicate a unit of measurement e.g.
ages (21 years); dates (3 March 1886); distances (12 km), weights (3
kg), areas (1100 acres), money ($12.50), time 2:00 or 2.00 or 2 o'clock,
13. Square Brackets
- Should be used to enclose words or phrases inserted in the
text by someone other than the author or original source.
- Should be used to indicate other notes such as [ continued
overleaf] [ see index] [sic].
- There are many usage conventions for abbreviations, with the
result that the choice may be confusing. Each branch is free to
develop its own set of guidelines for abbreviations, but, as emphasised
elsewhere, the most important point is consistency, both within the text
and within the branch.
- A list of abbreviations used within each publication should be
included at the beginning of the publication.
15. Footnotes and Endnotes
- Place reference numbers for footnotes or endnotes after commas
or other sentence punctuation marks without a space.
- When more than one reference number is appropriate in the same
place, use only one number. Show the additional information in the
footnote or endnote, each reference separated by a semicolon.