Last updated on 27 May 2022.
Style.ONS is a digital style guide for the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It provides guidance on:
- house style (including language, spelling, punctuation and titles and summaries)
- understanding your users and how to structure content to meet user needs
- data visualisation (including chart and table design, use of colour and diagrams)
- how to write and structure statistical bulletins
- how to write and structure articles
It aims to make statistical content more open and understandable, based on editorial research and best practice.
These standards replace any previous standards on the intranet or in print. The Government Digital Service (GDS) have helped to produce this style guide for all members of the Government Statistical Service (GSS). The standards will be reviewed regularly, and updated when new research and user feedback indicates changes need to be made.
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 cannot find the example you are 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 cannot be answered by referring to the style guide, for example, whether or not decision-making takes a hyphen.
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