Writing Style Guidelines
The chart below gives examples of specific references to entities. As a general rule, any organization should be referred to in all communications as its full proper name on first reference and by its acronym or common noun on second and subsequent references.
- Upon first reference, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center would be referred to as such. On second and subsequent references, it would be referred to as UNC Lineberger, or its common noun, the cancer center.
Second & Subsequent
*NC Cancer Hospital (in logo) or N.C. Cancer Hospital (in text)
NOT North Carolina Cancer Hospital
the cancer hospital
|Always reference in conjunction with UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center|
|*NC Memorial Hospital (in logo) or N.C. Memorial Hospital (in text)||the hospital||Never refer to this hospital as the 'main hospital'|
|UNC Cancer Care||UNC Cancer Care||Cancer Care is always two words.|
|UNC Health Care||UNC Health Care||Health Care is always two words. Avoid using "the system" whenever possible.|
|UNC Hospitals||the hospitals||In most instances -- particularly external communications -- simply refer to 'UNC Hospitals' when writing about a patient.|
|University Cancer Research Fund||UCRF or "the fund"|
|UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center||UNC Lineberger||On subsequent references, refer to "the cancer center".|
**Standard language for noting the relationship between UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the N.C. Cancer Hospital is as follows:
“The N.C. Cancer Hospital is the clinical home of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.”
***Standard language for defining “UNC Cancer Care” is as follows:
“UNC Cancer Care combines the research strength of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center with patient care provided by UNC’s nationally-known faculty physicians.”
|home page||always two words|
|online||always one word|
|Web site||always two words|
|never capitalized, always hyphenated|
|and||Never use "&" unless part of an official name or title|
|chair||Never chairman or chairwoman|
|cutting-edge||Avoid, substitute "leading-edge"|
Two words, when referring to general medical care or the health care industry.
The only exception to this rule is "Rex Healthcare" since it is a proper name
|housestaff (residents)||lowercase, one word|
|inpatient||lowercase, one word|
|outpatient||lowercase, one word|
|attending physicians||Never use the word "attendings" to refer to attending physicians|
|faculty members||Never use the word "faculty" to refer to faculty members|
Specific references to departments
Capitalize all department names when using the full, official name and upon first reference unless they appear in a series. Upon second reference, department names should be lowercase. The word “department” should always be lowercase unless used in conjunction with the official name of the department.
- The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has accepted an award.
- Professors involved in the project represent the departments of surgery, family medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology.
- John Doe is the director of the Department of Genetics. As director of the department of genetics, John…
Do not capitalize names of programs.