About Us

Editorial Guidelines


Baylor College of Medicine Style


Affiliated Hospitals, Collaborating and Local Institutions


When referring to any Baylor College of Medicine affiliated entity, spell out the name on first reference and use the second reference as follows. Do not use the acroynm BCM on the public websites. See list of official names below:

Affiliated Hospitals, Collaborating and Local Institutions

First Reference

Second Reference

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center

Baylor St. Luke’s

Ben Taub Hospital

Ben Taub

CHI St. Luke's Health

CHI St. Luke’s Health

Children’s Hospital of San Antonio


Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center

Duncan Cancer Center

Houston Methodist

Houston Methodist

Institute for Rehabilitation and Research TIRR

McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

McGovern Medical School

Menninger Clinic Menninger

Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center


Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s

Texas Medical Center


University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

MD Anderson


Baylor College of Medicine Reference


Each Web page is to be treated as a separate document. The first mention of the College is to be spelled out: Baylor College of Medicine. On second reference, use the College or Baylor.


Baylor College of Medicine Buildings


Do not use "Jewish Building." Instead, use Jewish Institute for Medical Research Building.

On first reference spell out the proper names in full. For example, The Roy and Lillie Cullen Building. On second reference, use the Cullen Building. And, The Margaret M. and Albert B. Alkek Building on first reference; the Alkek Building on second reference.


Use of "Mission, Vision and Values"


The College has a Mission, Vision, Values page set up that is maintain centrally by the Office of Communications and Community Outreach. This is the only page that is to use the word "mission, vision or values. Departments, centers, labs are to use terms like, focus, commitment or our activities in and active voice. This is so that the search only brings up the main College's mission page in search. 


AP Writing Style


AP style is simply a standardized way of writing everything from dates to street addresses to job titles. AP style was developed and is maintained by The Associated Press, the world’s oldest news service.


Named Departments and Academic Centers


On first reference, within content, use formal names for the following departments and centers:

  • Verna and Marrs McLean Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Margaret M. and Albert B. Alkek Department of Medicine
  • Joseph Barnhart Department of Orthopedic Surgery
  • Bobby R. Alford Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
  • Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery
  • Scott Department of Urology
  • Henry J.N. Taub Department of Emergency Medicine
  • H. Ben Taub Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Huffington Center on Aging
  • Lester & Sue Smith Breast Center



departments, divisions, offices, titles

Capitalize only when using the full, official name (Department of Pediatrics; but pediatrics department. Office of Communications and Marketing or communications office).

In running text, capitalize titles only if they directly precede an individual's name (President Paul Klotman, M.D.; but Paul Klotman, M.D., president of the College). Capitalize College when referring to Baylor College of Medicine specifically; lowercase when referring to colleges in general.

Capitalize professor when used as a formal title before a full name. Do not continue in second reference unless part of a quotation. Never abbreviate professor.




Chair is used instead of chairman when referring to the head of a Baylor College of Medicine department.


Academic Degrees

  • Use abbreviations (with periods) when following the full name on first reference (John Doe, M.D.)
  • Use M.D. and Ph.D. Do not use MD or PhD.
  • Lowercase when referring to the degree in general (She earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry) making sure to use the possessive apostrophe.
  • Capitalize when using the formal name of an academic degree (Bachelor of Science).
  • Never use Dr. John Doe, M.D.



One word


AP Style


Acronyms. Avoid awkward constructions, e.g., do not follow an organization's full name with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses or set off by dashes. If an abbreviation or acronym would not be clear on second reference without this arrangement, do not use it.

Addresses. Abbreviate Ave., Blvd. and St. when used with a numbered address (6565 Fannin St.). Spell out and capitalize when used without a numbered address (Smith Tower is on Fannin Street). Lowercase and spell out when used with more than one street name (Medical Towers is on the corner of Fannin and Dryden streets). Do not abbreviate alley, drive, road, etc.

Ampersand. Use only when part of a formal name or title.

Assure, ensure, insure. Assure means to give confidence. Ensure means to make certain or guarantee. Insure means to contract to pay or be paid money in the case of a loss.

Bulleted or enumerated lists. Consistency is important. If some items in your list are sentences, all of the items should be sentences. If some items begin with verbs, all items should begin with verbs. Each bulleted item should begin with a capital letter and end with a period, not a semicolon. Items that are single words or short phrases may drop the period.

Dates. For ordinals, spell out "first" through "ninth"; use numerals starting with "10." Do not use "th" or "st" with dates (Commencement will be Tuesday, May 18. Not May 18th). When abbreviating years, use an apostrophe to indicate dropped numbers such as '99. Use only an "s" to show plural (Healthcare policy has changed considerably in the '90s). Also see months. Avoid use of numbers in dates: 10/01/03. Internationally, the month and the date are different than in the United States.

Dollar amounts. Do not use ciphers ($60, not $60.00). For one million and above, round to the nearest 100,000 ($1,569,433 rounds to $1.6 million) unless the exact number is necessary for a tabulation.

e.g., i.e. e.g. means "for example"; i.e. means "that is." Both are followed by commas.

Email and Internet addresses. In running copy, put in lowercase – email. Email and Web addresses stand alone in all cases; do not use "email" or "Web address" to mark them in copy. Do not use "http://" if followed by "www" (www.umaryland.edu, but http://cnn.com).

Entitled. Means the right to have or do something. Do not use to refer to the title of a book, article, presentation, etc. An example: The presentation is entitled "How to Write Web Content." It should read: The presentation is titled "How to Write Web Content."

etc. Avoid when possible. Use etc. to cue the reader to extrapolate many possibilities from a brief list. Do not use if only providing a few illustrative examples, especially with a list that starts with "including" or "for example."

Fiscal year. Four digits preferred (FY1999, Fiscal Year 1999, FY1999-2000). Two digits acceptable (FY01).

Home page Two words. Also see Web page.

Initials. When an individual uses initial instead of a first name, use periods with no spaces. (D.V. Jones). Use middle initials except when an individual does not use it or is known publicly without it.

Interdisciplinary. One word

Internet. Capitalize


  • When used alone or with a year, spell out. – December 2003
  • When used with a date, abbreviate. For example, Dec. 5, 2003.
  • When using with a specific day or range of days, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. The other months are spelled out.

Multidisciplinary. One word

National Institutes of Health. An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH on second reference. See List of NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices for the names of individual institutes.

Nationalities and races. Capitalize the proper names of nationalities. Always hyphenate compound nationalities (German-American) whether used as an adjective or a noun.

Numbers. Spell out one through nine. For 10 and above, use numerals unless beginning a sentence. For ordinals, spell out "first" through "ninth"; use numerals starting with "10th." When using a number in a casual expression (A picture is worth a thousand words.), spell it out.

Online. Always one word when referring to the Internet and computer networks.

Percentages. Write out "percent" in text (spending is up 4 percent); use "%" symbol in charts and graphics. Always use numerals. For amounts smaller than 1 percent, use a zero before the decimal point (0.5 percent).

Seasons. Do not capitalize seasons of the year unless part of a proper name (Summer Olympics). Also see semesters.

Semesters. Do not capitalize semesters or academic periods in the collegiate calendar (winter semester, orientation, registration).

States. Spell out the names of states when used without a city in running text. When used with a city name, abbreviate according to AP Stylebook. State name is not required with major cities where there can be no confusion about location (Baltimore, but Portland, Ore.). When referring to the "state of Texas" do not capitalize state.





Alabama (Ala.)

Louisiana (La.)

Ohio (Ohio)

Alaska (Alaska)

Maine (Maine)

Oklahoma. (Okla.)

Arizona (Ariz.)

Maryland (Md.)

Oregon (Ore.)

Arkansas (Ark.)

Massachusetts (Mass.)

Pennsylvania (Pa.)

California (Calif.)

Michigan (Mich.)

Rhode Island (R.I.)

Colorado (Colo.)

Minnesota (Minn.)

South Carolina (S.C.)

Connecticut (Conn.)

Mississippi (Miss.)

South Dakota (S.D.)

Delaware (Del.)

Missouri (Mo.)

Tennessee (Tenn.)

Florida (Fla.)

Montana (Mont.)

Texas (Texas)

Georgia (Ga.)

Nebraska (Neb.)

Utah (Utah)

Hawaii (Hawaii)

Nevada (Nev.)

Vermont (Vt.)

Idaho (Idaho)

New Hampshire (N.H.)

Virginia (Va.)

Illinois (Ill.)

New Jersey (N.J.)

Washington (Wash.)

Indiana (Ind.)

New Mexico (N.M)

West Virginia (W.Va.)

Iowa (Iowa)

New York (N.Y.)

Wisconsin (Wis.)

Kansas (Kan.)

North Carolina (N.C.)

Wyoming (Wyo.)

Kentucky (Ky.)

North Dakota. (N.D.)



Telephone numbers. Use parentheses around the area code (410) 555-0000.

Temperature. Always use numerals, but spell out "degrees" in text (During the storm, the temperature got down to 4 degrees.) Use the degree symbol in charts and graphs.

Time. Do not use ciphers (1 p.m., not 1:00 p.m.). Use "a.m." or "p.m."- lowercase, with periods. (Note: 1 to 3 p.m. or 1-3 p.m., not 1 p.m.-3 p.m.). Do not use 12 p.m. or a.m.; use noon and midnight.

Titles, academic. See academic degrees and capitalization.

Titles of works. Use italics for books, CD-ROMs, journals, magazines, movies, newspapers, and television and radio shows that are a series. Use quotation marks for articles, chapter names, speeches, songs, television and radio shows that are not part of a series, theses and dissertations. Capitalize, but do not italicize or put in quotes, names of software applications or packages.

Underserved. One word

United States. In text, spell out when used as a noun. Abbreviate when used as an adjective, even with formal names (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). Note that periods are used – U.S.

Web page. Refers to one specific page of a website. Website refers to an entity's entire grouping of Web pages. Home page refers to the main page of a website. Also see email and Internet addresses.

Website. One word

ZIP code. ZIP is all caps; it stands for Zone Improvement Plan.