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Office of Communications

Editorial Standards

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Maintaining editorial consistency in University communications is critical to the overall strength of the Penn State brand.

 

The University follows separate standards for marketing and news materials:

Below are some common standards applicable to both news releases and marketing materials:

  • Penn State — not Penn State University (unless part of a formal title) or The Pennsylvania State University (reserved for formal documents, legal contracts, and other exceptional cases), and never PSU.
  • Capitalize University when referring to Penn State.
  • Capitalize President when referring to a current or former Penn State President.
  • Lowercase college, except in formal reference (the Eberly College of Science; the college).
  • Lowercase department and associated terms, except in formal reference (the Department of Biology; the biology department; the department; Penn State biology).
  • Lowercase academic and administrative titles, except when they precede names and are used as part of those names (Dean Tracy Langkilde; the dean; Professor of Biology Tracy Langkilde; Tracy Langkilde, professor of biology).
    • Exception: endowed professorships, named professorships, and titles of chairholders — capitalize whether the title appears before or after the person’s name (Evan Pugh University Professor of Chemistry Squire Booker; Squire Booker, Evan Pugh University Professor of Chemistry).
    • Also, it is redundant to refer to someone as Dr. Firstname Lastname, Ph.D. Use either Dr. Firstname Lastname or Firstname Lastname, Ph.D.
  • Lowercase academic degrees when spelled out (bachelor of science degree; bachelor’s degree; doctoral degree; doctorate).

 

Also, please note: As a general rule, all promotional publications and marketing materials must be reviewed by the Office of Communications and assigned a University Editor (U.Ed.) number before they can be published or distributed.

Items that should have a U.Ed. number (and the requisite review and approval) include the following:

  • Recruitment materials
  • Brochures
  • Flyers
  • Posters
  • Catalogs
  • Calendars
  • Schedules of events
  • Booklets
  • View books
  • Invitations
  • Annual reports
  • Magazines

 

The following items do not require a U.Ed. number or review:

  • Classroom instructional materials
  • Scholarly journals
  • Faculty papers
  • Internal memoranda
  • Forms

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Communications at sci-comm@psu.edu.