Style Guide

Also available in PDF format.

Please note that only part of OBP Author’s Guide applies to our book series. The following document is intended to provide a comprehensive and yet exhaustive overview with helpful references where necessary.

Information for Authors of Chapters

Typesetting will be done by the publisher. Please make sure that typesetters can easily identify in your manuscript what is standard text, what is a block quote, what is a transcript, what is a footnote, what is which kind of heading, etc.!

Please observe the following demands for authors:

  1. Each chapter should start with an abstract of 150 to 250 words. Abstracts should not contain abbreviations or references.
  2. Please use font size 12 for text, font size 18 for chapter titles, 16 for section titles, 14 for sub-section titles, and 10 for indented block quotes.
  3. Please use the ruler feature (and not tabs) to set paragraph indents.
  4. Please do not add empty lines between paragraphs.
  5. Please number the chapter titles, sub-titles and captions in your manuscripts.
  6. Please use only italics (and not bold or underlined font) for emphasis.
  7. Please use no full stops in abbreviations. (E.g., write ‘USA’ instead of ‘U.S.A.’.)
  8. Use either the British style or the American style of the English language throughout your chapter (if you author a chapter in an edited volumes) or throughout your book (if you author a monograph)! You find an overview of the difference you should be aware of in Annex 1 below.
  9. Please provide only family names of scholars you refer to. If you wish to provide first names as well, only do so the first time you mention a scholar in a chapter, e.g.: Hans Freudenthal started his career as a mathematician. Later, Freudenthal developed an interest in mathematics education. Never include academic titles.
  10. Please do not use a compound such as ‘s/he’ or ‘him/her’ etc when you wish to indicate a generic person! Either use ‘they’, ‘their’ or alternate between ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’ as you wish.
  11. You should not use contractions (e.g., ‘can’t’ instead of ‘cannot’), except in citations and transcripts.
  12. Dates should be written in the form: 20 December 1148; 20 December; AD 245–50, the 1890s, twenty-first century, nineteenth century (or with a hyphen if it becomes an adjective, e.g., nineteenth-century culture).
  13. Numbers should be written out up to 100, except in a discussion that includes a mixture of numbers above and below this, in which case all of them should be in figures (e.g., ‘356 walkers overtook 72 others, as 6 fell back, exhausted’). Numbers with units should always be given in figures, with a space between the number and the unit (e.g., ‘4 cm’).
  14. Titles of books, plays and operas are italicized. Make sure you give the author’s name the first time you refer to the book, but not in subsequent mentions. If it’s relevant or useful, you can include a date, but only use the date the first time the work is mentioned in each chapter. Titles of articles, poems and songs are not italicized, but use quotation marks.
  15. Footnote numbers should go at the end of the sentence where possible, and on the outside of the fullstop (or, in some cases, comma). Please do not change the normal footnote settings in Word.
  16. If including transliterations, please avoid styles that include diacritics wherever possible. For example, do not use Library of Congress transliteration style for Cyrillic.
  17. If you want to include text in a different than the Latin alphabet (e.g., Ancient Greek), please contact the series editors beforehand!
  18. Please prepare high-resolution and high-quality digital files of images (for further details please refer to OBP Authors’ Guide). Do not include images in the Word file but send them separately, according to OBP specifications. In the Word file, indicate where and in what size you wish (whenever possible) to have which image positioned. Clarify and communicate to the editors and publisher the reproduction rights of the images you use and provide documentation whenever needed.
  19. Illustrations should have captions which start with ‘Fig.’, then the running number of the figure in the chapter, then a description of what is being depicted, and then, if applicable, a reference to its source. In the text, write ‘Figure 6’ to refer to Figure 6, unless in brackets, where you are to write ‘Fig. 6’. Make sure that the Fig. number in the caption matches the figure’s file name.
  20. Quotes of less than 60 words should run on in the text in quotation marks. Quote of 60 words or more should be set off as indented block quotes. In neither case should quotes be set in italics, except when this is done for some words for emphasis in the original or by yourself.
  21. If you add text into a quote, demarcate the added text with square brackets. If you leave text out, demarcate that with […].
  22. Quotes in other languages than English should be italicised and followed by a non-italicised translation in square brackets (e.g., ‘Der Aufklärung wird zum Schein, was in Zahlen, zuletzt in der Eins, nicht aufgeht; der moderne Positivismus verweist es in die Dichtung.’ [For the Enlightenment, anything which cannot be resolved into numbers, and ultimately into one, is illusion; modern positivism consigns it to poetry.])
  23. Follow the citation style provided by the book editors strictly!
  24. Include active links to any freely available resources, and permanent identifies (usually DOIs) wherever possible! Do not include links to closed-access resources, e.g. JSTOR.

OBP Author’s Guide contains information on the Open Access licences under which the book will be published, a blueprint contract, and further information.

What book editors should tell their authors

Book editors of edited volumes will need to decide and communicate the following in addition to this style guide to their authors:

  1. What word limit for chapters should the authors adhere to? (A book should not have more than 175,000 and in no case more than 350,000 words.)
  2. Please choose one citation style which authors are to follow throughout the book, and inform both your chapter authors and your managing series editors about your choice! In mathematics education publications, it is rather common to use the APA citation style, the 7th edition of which has appeared in 2019. It is ideal if you can provide authors with a weblink where the obligatory citation style is explained. E.g., you might refer to if you want to use APA 7th edition. We provide a short overview of APA 7th edition in Annex 2 below. If you want to use a "lighter” version of a style (e.g., omitting the countries of publication which are otherwise required in APA 6th edition, or omitting the translations of non-English titles of publications), please communicate that very clearly to all authors, so that the book eventually has a consistent citation style!

What book editors or monograph authors need to do when finalising the book

  1. Book editors must check and ensure that all authors followed the instructions given above and given by the book editors themselves (such as using a specific citation style).
  2. Book editors or monograph authors have to submit the entire book in one Word file. (Contact us if you think this is not possible, especially of somebody used a TEX file.)
  3. Book editors or monograph authors have to create an index of the final book. A manual how to do this can be found in Appendix II of OBP’s Author’s Guide (for a link, refer to the very first paragraph). If necessary, the series editors can assist.
  4. Book editors or monograph authors are asked to submit a draft blurb describing the book in about 200 words and biographical information of the book editors or monograph authors in no more than two paragraphs in total. This will be used for the marketing of the book, for example on OBP’s website.
  5. OBP will contact book editors or monograph authors concerning cover design, which will follow the Series template.

Annex 1: British vs. American English

The following table provides an overview of conventions of the British and the American style of the English language. Please choose one style for your chapter (if you author a chapter in an edited volume) or for your book (if you author a monograph), and follow the style as presented here throughout your chapter or book, respectively!

DifferencesBritish StyleAmerican Style
SpellingUse British spelling, e.g., centre, labelling, colour.Use American spelling, e.g., center, labeling, color.
SuffixesUse suffixes -ise and -yse or -ize and -yze, e.g., randomise, analyse, but use one form throughout your chapter!Use suffixes -ize and -yze, e.g., randomize, analyze.
ContractionsContractions which end with the last letter of the contracted work have no full points, e.g., Mr, St, edn, while abbreviated words, which do not end with their final letter, will, e.g., vol., vols., ed., eds.Contractions and abbreviations end with a period, e.g., Mr., St., vol., vols., ed., eds.
QuotesUse single quotes as shown ‘here’! In any case, quotes should be typographic and not simply vertical (as in 'example').Use double quote as shown "here”! In any case, quotes should be typographic and not simply vertical (as in "example").
Punctuation in quotesAt the end of quotes, punctuation goes outside of the quote: ‘Look at this example’, he said.At the end of quotes, punctuation goes inside the quote: "Look at this example,” he said.
DistancingIf you want to distance yourself from a word of phrase, use double quotes, e.g., ‘Write a test every week’, he said to share his idea of "good” instruction.If you want to distance yourself from a word of phrase, use single quotes, e.g., "Write a test every week”, he said to share his idea of ‘good’ instruction.

Annex 2: Examples of the citation style APA 7th edition

Note that the 7th edition of the APA citation style only appeared in 2019. Many authors might still be accustomed to APA 6th edition.

BookŽižek, S. (1989). The sublime object of ideology. Verso.
Book chapterValero, P. (2004). Postmodernism as an attitude of critique to dominant mathematics education research. In M. Walshaw (Ed.), International perspectives on mathematics education. Mathematics education within the postmodern (pp. 35–54). IAP.
Journal articleTegmark, M. (2008). The mathematical universe. Foundations of Physics, 38(2), 101–150.
Newspaper articleAl-Khalili, J. (2020, April 21). Has physics lost its way? The New York Times.
Website with author(s)Aguillo, I. F. (2020). Highly cited researchers (h>100) according to their Google Scholar Citations public profiles.
Dissertations and thesesIngram, N. (2011). Affect and identity: The mathematical journeys of adolescents [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Unpublished textsSkovsmose, O. (2020). A critical conception of mathematics [Unpublished manuscript].
FilmMelfi, T. (Director). (2016). Hidden figures [Film]. 20th Century Fox.
How to translate non-English titlesFreire, P. (1968). Pedagogía del oprimido [Pedagogy of the oppressed]. Paz e Terra.
How to provide the year of first publicationFoucault, M. (2007). The order of things: An archaeology of the human sciences. Routledge. (Original work published 1966)