Principles of Reference Styling

Styling the list of references in scholarly books and journals

I want to take this course!

Who can take this course?

  • Copyeditors working on scientific journals or scholarly books
  • Freelance copyeditors learning to copyedit academic books and journals
  • Anyone seriously considering a career in academic copyediting

Course overview

Basic details

  • 40 video lessons (totaling over 18 hours), accessible 24 × 7 for a period of 6 months
  • Approximate study time required: 910 weeks to complete the lessons (and another 34 weeks to work on the practice material)
  • Outlines the basic components of any reference (author, title of work, source) and the various ways of formatting them, together with their separators (punctuation marks)
  • Demonstrates (using over 150 examples) that it is these formatting preferences that give rise to the myriad reference styles seen in the literature
  • Expounds the principles of reference styling using an arbitrarily chosen style—and makes it clear how these concepts can be extended to any specified style
  • The wealth of downloads include
    • journal title abbreviation practice files
    • practical aids for reference styling
    • template for fixing reference style for any project
    • general procedure for styling references
    • material for practicing reference styling

Addresses your needs

  • Every one of you—those entering the copyediting profession, freelance as well as full-time editors—can learn from the convenience of your homes
  • Self-paced study (any time, weekdays, weekends, with breaks whenever you want)
  • Mobile access to course lessons via a dedicated app
  • Replay lessons any number of times till the concepts become clear to you
  • Interaction with participants and instructor in the form of comments within the course; email support also available
  • World-class training at affordable pricing, part-payments also possible
  • Practice material provided to apply the concepts learned
  • This course has The Art of Copyediting guarantee 
I want to take this course!

Course instructor

  • Venkataraman Anantharaman, PhD, is the Founder of The Art of Copyediting
  • Has 25 years of editorial experience (22 years in-house), first as a copyeditor and later a manager and director of editorial programs
  • Spent almost his entire career training people and evolving his own methods of teaching copyediting over the years
  • Was the only Asian speaker at Editing Goes Global, the first international conference for editors, convened by Editors’ Association of Canada (now Editors Canada), Toronto, June 2015
  • Is writing a book tentatively titled Principles of Copyediting (currently about 312,500 words)
  • Concepts and examples presented in the The Art of Copyediting courses are simply those culled from his book

Why this may be important for you!

  • Gives you the detailed theory behind principles of reference styling
  • Establishes the base for you to understand ANY type of reference style
  • Prescribes methods for achieving consistency in reference styling
  • Will make you feel confident about handling the list of references, whatever be the preferred style

Benefits of taking this course

  • At the end of the course, you will have a clear, step-by-step method for styling the list of references of any journal article or book chapter
  • You will be able to master reference styling—handle any journal, any style, with clarity and confidence
  • You will learn some practical aspects of reference styling that you may never read in any of the style manuals
  • You will understand the complexity associated with the reference styling process—and why this forms the first learning activity in copyediting

The Art of Copyediting guarantee

This course comes with The Art of Copyediting guarantee of satisfaction

  • The value of content that you will receive and its practical use in earning will far outweigh the amount you pay for the course
  • Brings together the cumulative effect of 25 years of learning and training by the instructor
  • The course is completely self-contained; you do not need access to any specific style manual, although you can relate whatever you learn to any manual you may have access to
  • You will learn within 10 weeks and bypass the many years of struggle and conscious reading of various style manuals to pick up what is presented here
  • The course (built from questions asked by copyeditors over 15 years) will answer almost any practical problem you may encounter—or at least empower you with sufficient information to help you solve newer problems

Course Outline

  • Introduction
    • Basic components of a reference
    • Possible formats for the basic components: author name
    • Possible formats for the basic components: title of work and source
    • Possible styles for references: some samples
  • Journal-type references
    • Overview
    • Simple journal article
    • Why reference styling is often the first learning activity in copyediting
    • Translated article and article that is part of a series
    • Journal and volume parts, issue, special issue, supplement
    • Special issues and articles with or without editors
    • Online publications and article abstracts
  • Book-type references
    • Book-type references—overview
    • Understanding components, their relationships, and consequent positioning in simple book-type references
    • Formats A to D—the basis for understanding all complexities in reference styling
  • Proceedings-type references
    • Proceedings-type references—introductory overview
    • Proceedings-type references-1
    • Proceedings-type references-1: recap and consolidation
    • Proceedings-type references-2
    • Proceedings published as a one-off project
    • References with series titles given first
  • Report-type references
    • Simple report-type reference: various expressions of descriptor
    • Report-type references: descriptor with two parts
    • Report-type references where the author and source are the same and are abbreviated
    • Report-type references with two descriptors
    • Book-type reports
    • Summary of challenges in understanding report-type references
    • Reference standards
  • Other types of references
    • MS/PhD dissertations/theses
    • Patent-type references
    • Web-type references
    • Magazine-type references
    • Newspaper-article-type references
  • Tips on styling and editing references
    • General procedure for styling references
    • Handling unpublished references
    • Practical tips relating to styling of author names
    • Practical tips relating to styling of title of work
    • Practical tips relating to styling of source components
    • Miscellaneous tips
  • Arranging references in a list
    • Three ways of arranging an alphabetical list of references

Course highlights

  • Discusses principles of reference styling threadbare
    • 12 subtypes within journal-type references
    • 9 subtypes within book-type references
    • 19 subtypes within proceedings-type references
    • 5 subtypes within report-type references
  • Provides practical tips relating to the styling of every component (author, title of work, source)
  • Explains that some references may also have a fourth component (the descriptor), the positioning of which can vary, depending on the nature of the descriptor as well as the punctuation preferences
  • Pin-points definite ways of identifying the different types of references
  • Lays down the precautions to be taken—in turn dependent on the style of reference citation—before starting to style a list of references
  • Outlines 6 types of "unpublished" references and explains which of these can be allowed in the list of references and why
  • Presents a clear, step-by-step method to follow for styling the list of references
  • Summarizes 16 points to be attended to in titles of references
  • Outlines 3 different ways of arranging an alphabetical list of references
I want to take this course!


Some comments received on The Art of Copyediting courses

"I can see that you have put enormous time and thought into the training, and everything that you covered in the sample content you shared with me mirrors exactly the type of training we have been doing for editors internally for the past few years. I can see immense value for individuals trying to learn the fundamentals of the trade and for corporates that don't have the capacity to train copyeditors quickly enough after they join."

Jason Pearce
Previously Head of Prepress & Systems, Oxford University Press, London; now President, Strategic Technology, Newgen KnowledgeWorks, Chennai, India

"I had the opportunity to attend Dr Venkat's Basic Course on Editing and Writing. . . It has been such a wonderful learning experience. I would say this course is not just for beginners, but for all copyeditors—no matter your years of experience. . . I recommend all freelance and in-house copyeditors (entry level, intermediate, experienced), editorial proofreaders, authors, project managers, translators, and writers to take up the Basic Course on Editing and Writing. . . Do not hesitate to make this investment in your career; I am sure this course will give you a fresh perspective on writing and editing and help you reach greater heights in your careers."

Visalakshy Loganathan
Convenor of the First-Ever Conference for Editors in India, Chennai, February 2018

"I find that the writing/editing course offered by Dr Venkataraman Anantharaman . . . bridges a major gap one has to cross ("learning before the job") before venturing on our "learning on the job." This compact and in depth course has two major advantages: It not only helps the learners acquire—and refine—their editing skills, but they're also exposed to the psychology of the writer and the writing process. In terms of editing, the learners are supplied constantly—throughout—with examples and concepts that they may not have understood or even observed earlier, and with immaculate precision and detail. The course clears some "editing myths" through a practical "rule of meaning" approach. So, be ready to understand some important concepts through the "stay hungry, stay foolish" approach. . . There's so much more. . . If you're learning from a Master, you're always much ahead of the others. Dr. Venkat's methodology of "proving that a sentence is wrong before attempting to edit it" is worth knowing simply because of its great practical value for any editor."

Anand Singh
Freelance STM editor

"I attended Dr Venkat’s Basic Course on Writing/Editing (June 2017–January 2018). I have to say the experience was illuminating and humbling: the former because it brought to light errors that are common but usually unrecognized, and the latter because it made me realize that though I am a native English speaker, there were flaws in my grammar. Fortunately, Dr Venkat helped to iron these out. . . Dr Venkat’s delivery in interesting and his passion for the language comes through in each session. He answers questions with precision, clarity and patience. I highly recommend this course as a refresher for all those who have been away from the formal study of English for some time, including those who, like myself, consider themselves pros at the language!"

Neena Thomas

"The classes were so well organized into points and each one discussed in detail; using many examples to elucidate each point made it much easier to comprehend the differences between different scenarios; and connecting a rule to other relevant rules was very effective in helping to grasp certain concepts much better than before. . . I enjoyed each session as sentence structure became clearer. Although I should not play favorites, I loved the session on introductory phrases; the ones on the colon, semicolon, and dashes come next. Of course, I would feel guilty if I do not mention the one on prepositions or the explanation about appositives. But then, each session had something new to be learned."

Chandra Karthik
Freelance STEM copyeditor

Choose one of two offers for this course

List of references-1


Single full payment

Access to 40 video lessons totaling over 18 hours

Access to course videos: 24 × 7, for 6 months

Mobile access to courses via a dedicated app

Interaction with course participants and instructor via comments; also email support

A wealth of downloads that serve as reference documents, practice material, and working aids

Buy now

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Two part-payments: $119 upfront and another $119 after 30 days

Access to 40 video lessons totaling over 18 hours

Access to course videos: 24 × 7, for 6 months

Mobile access to courses via a dedicated app

Interaction with course participants and instructor via comments; also email support

A wealth of downloads that serve as reference documents, practice material, and working aids

Subscribe now
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