Synopsis

Of the entire Style Manual, the most anticipated section has always been the Resources section. After all, this is where people go when they need that hard-to-define abbreviation. However, because the field of science is constantly changing and because new abbreviations or means of data presentation are always being introduced, this is one of the most difficult sections to keep current. How often do comma usage rules change compared with, say, abbreviations for drugs?

It is for this reason that the Resources section is, by no means, an exhaustive list of everything you may encounter as a Copy Editor. However, it is hoped that it will provide you with information regarding a wide variety of common terms: terms that are well established in the field and that have few other definitions. From time to time, an author may use these terms to denote something other than our normal definition, so it is crucial that you understand the context of the abbreviation used and query the author as necessary. On the other hand, if the author uses another definition for a very commonly used terms (i.e., an abbreviation in our explicitly defined Abbreviation List), then you may want to query them and request that they use a different abbreviation.

The final portion of the Resources section is dedicated to helping you, as a Copy Editor, to understand the science behind the articles that we publish. This information is in no way required for you to know to do your job; however, it may help you greatly in performing your task and it's darn interesting in and of itself. If you ever wanted to know, for example, what PCR is or why certain statistical information is relevant, then these articles are dedicated to you.

And so, without further ado, here are your Resources.

Subsections