|For a useful list, visit the page Acronyms
and Abbreviations Used at MIT.
| Aeronautics and Astronautics
||USE short form: "Aero/Astro"
rather than "Aero-Astro"
||Preferred to "alumni". "Alumni" is
approved for special short text uses (such as link names).
||include exclamation point
|Ask Us! — Live
||include exclamation point and use an em dash, not an
en dash (a hyphen) in print
|Athena, n. or adj.
||capitalize; e.g.: "your Athena account"
||"a" is lower-case unless at the beginning of
|Barker Engineering Library
||"Engineering" is part of this library's official
||note capital "P"
||the "x" is lower-case
|USE "CDs" for
||"Collection" is singular. "Collection
Services" is treated as singular in sentences
|USE "copy card"
||plural, e.g.: "the data prove."
desktop, n. or adj.
|Digital Instruction Resource Center (DIRC)
||Building 14N-132. Note the former "/" is no
longer used. This replaces the old Library Training Room.
|Digital Library of MIT Theses
||Replaces Digital Thesis Library/MIT Theses online
|Digital Thesis Library/MIT Theses online
||USE "Digital Library
of MIT Theses"
||USE "Office of the
||singular in usage. e.g.: "Document Services has
an office in Building 14."
|download, n. or v.
||one word, no hyphen
|USE "DVDs" for
|e- or electronic
||Make sure context is clear. Consider audience and whether
the concept is familiar.
how to capitalize
when at start of sentence or in title:
"E-book" (do not capitalize the "b")
This is an arbitrary choice (Publisher's Weekly
handles it this way most often).
how to capitalize
|when at start of sentence or in title: "E-journal"
(do not capitalize the "j")
|USE "email" with
||note capital "N"
||when at start of sentence or in title: "E-reserves"
(do not capitalize the "r")
||when at start of sentence or in title: "E-resources"
(do not capitalize the "r")
|- USE "FAQ"
for a single set of questions
- USE "FAQs" for more
than one set of questions
- never use "FAQ's"
||do not capitalize (e.g., not "Fax" or "FAX")
|inter library, inter-library
||service in which the MIT Libraries borrow
books from other libraries for members of the MIT community
(handled by a unit within Humanities)
||service in which the MIT Libraries lend
our own materials to members of the outside world (handled
by Document Services)
||capitalize Internet as a noun, but not as adjective (ex:
||this is the correct verb to use--"loan" is
a noun only
|Lewis Music Library
||"Lewis" is part of this library's name - do
not just use "Music Library"
||note correct position of the possessive plural apostrophe
in constructions such as "Libraries' web site," "MIT
Libraries' policy," etc.
ALWAYS capitalize the word "Libraries"
in "the MIT Libraries" or "the Libraries" when
MIT Libraries are meant (but do not capitalize "the" midsentence).
Wrong: "Please visit The [MIT] Libraries."
Right: "Welcome to the Libraries."
||plural. Ex: "The Libraries are also eager to pursue
|library, as adj.
||ok to use as adjective, but do not capitalize it
lower-case "the library" even
when referring to a particular library
Ex: "The Lindgren Library is located in 54-200.
The library collects material on earth, atmospheric and planetary
||as verb: two words
||as noun or adjective: one word. Ex: "the login screen"
||Includes CD-ROMs, videotapes, films, DVDs (c.f. "visual
as article with "MIT." Ex: "an MIT thesis."
(The general rule is that you choose the article based on the way
the acronym is pronounced.)
Don't include periods in "MIT."
not Room (new Institute style).
Ex: "Building 14S-216."
|MIT Libraries, the
||plural. Ex: "The MIT Libraries are creative partners.."
||note capital "S"
|Office of the Director
||in formal usage, use this construction, not "Director's
prefer "Privilege Cards." Use abbreviated form only when
context is crystal-clear.
||see: Archives, Libraries, staff, data
||always capitalized; also known as "Library Privilege
||note capital "Q"
||note capital "S"
||as noun, one word
|Rotch Visual Collections
||note "Collections" is plural, but the phrase
is used as singular in sentence. Ex: "The Rotch Library Visual
Collections contains slides"
||All units ending in "Services" are treated
as singular within sentences: "Document Services provides you
with the best copiers," "Bibliographic Access Services catalogs
Whether the collective noun "staff"
is plural or singular is a matter of some contention. TOEFL-takers
are told that it depends on the context: "Staff is unanimous"
vs. "Staff are in disagreement." (Luckily the latter case
almost never happens.)
Since this could lead to having different usages adjacent
to each other, it may be best to finesse by avoiding constructions
that expose whether plural or singular has been chosen. Ex: use
"staff can assist," instead of having to choose between
"staff assist" and "staff assists." Another
popular dodge is using the term "staff members."
to read about a library-specific instance of this quandary.
Use periods between each set of numbers.
(when set off on the page as in letterhead, mastheads,
|telephone numbers, use of area codes with
Include area codes in all publications
which could be conceivably viewed by those not in Cambridge--that
is, include the area code on the Web, and in brochures and other
widely distributed materials.
In more local contexts (such as an email or a flyer
for a particular class) include first 3 digits of phone number.
|titles (for jobs)
||Ask Robin Deadrick
for official list of job titles when in doubt.
||Note capital "C"
|URLs, how to represent
Include the http://
(note that using http:// in Eudora makes the URL clickable)
Do not include a final slash after the last directory:
If URL goes over a line in length, break after
a slash--do not use hyphens to indicate continuation. (Yes, the
Boston Globe does it, but it is confusing.)
To achieve this, use a hard break (Shift + Enter in
MS Word). You can increase letterspacing a subtle amount if the
resulting line is too short. Having a ragged right margin in your
document makes this look less awkward.
||Stands for Virtual Electronic Resource Access. To match
style of "Barton," just the first letter is capitalized:
"Vera", not "VERA."
|versions: electronic, online, web
version: describes resources such as CD-ROMs that are electronic
but not online (networked)
online version: describes
resources that you dial into online (ex: DIALOG) but which are not
web version: describes
resources that are in HTML & can be accessed through a web browser.
This is the most specific term.
||Be consistent whether you use "videotapes"
||Includes photographs and slides (c.f. "media collections").
|Web, the, n.
||capitalize Web as a noun, but not as adjective (ex: "web
||Do not capitalize web when used as adjective. You will
see others use "Web site" but we feel the capitalization
is distracting and that there is no risk of confusion without the
|Women's Studies Research Room
||note the first "R" stands for "research"
rather than "reading"
|World Wide Web, the Web; nouns
||capitalize as nouns