Last updated on 20 December 2019.
This style guide covers the elements of writing about statistics. It aims to make statistical content more open and understandable, based on editorial research and best practice. In ONS the standards replace any previous standards on the intranet or in print. The Government Digital Service (GDS) have helped produce this style guide for all members of the Government Statistical Service (GSS). These will be reviewed regularly, and updated when new research and user feedback indicates changes need to be made.
Language and spelling: Includes abbreviations, grammar tips, and using capital letters
Using punctuation: How to correctly punctuate your work
Writing numbers: Formats for statistical and non-statistical types of numbers, dates and measurements
How to write for the web: Writing and structuring digital content to be accessible, searchable and readable
Data visualisation: Guidance for creating charts and tables and best practice for using colour in your work
Statistical bulletin: Guidance for writing your statistical bulletin
Style.ONS provides guidance for writing about statistics, and is not designed to include every possible element and example of house style; we refer to various external sources if needed. If you can’t find the example you’re looking for in our guidance, refer to the following style guides (in this order):
Our default dictionary is the Oxford English Dictionary – please use this resource when making spelling decisions that can’t be answered by referring to the style guide, for example, whether or not decision-making takes a hyphen. It also provides guidance on grammar.
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