Style sheet

Please contact the Managing Editor at with any queries or suggestions for additions/changes that may arise as you use this Style Guide.


Abbreviations should be used sparingly and avoided if possible. If an author has used unfamiliar abbreviations, please ensure that they are explained at their first use. If they have not been, please include in author queries.

Full points should not be used in abbreviations (ie, etc, eg, ibid, et al).

To avoid confusion, the abbreviation for ‘number’ is no. (note the full stop) and nos in the plural (no full stop). Similarly, the abbreviation for ‘editor’ is ed. and eds in the plural.

No full points should be used in upper-case abbreviations such as UK or US. Note that people’s initials are spaced without full points, eg A A Milne.

Abbreviated units of measurement do not have full points and do not take a final ‘s’ in the plural, eg 20km.

Use two-letter abbreviations for US states in references and bibliography (ie Cambridge, MA not Cambridge, Mass).

Academic titles

These are given only in the Acknowledgements - not on the title page, table of contents or headings.


No apostrophes in plurals (eg NCOs not NCO’s)

No apostrophes for dates (eg 1960s not 1960’s)

When a word ends in s, add an apostrophe to show possession, not apostrophe + s

Archaeological features

Artefact and feature numbers which have been allocated a sequential numbering system should be capitalised and clearly noted in the text:

The sherds from Vessel 52 were recovered from Sample 5002, from the basal fill, Context 124, of Cist 7.

However, when a feature is being described generally, it should not be capitalised, eg: ‘The sherds from one of the vessels (52) were recovered from Sample 5002, from the basal fill, Context 124 of Cist 7.’

Abbreviations may be used for commonly used terms, but these must follow standard conventions:

Contexts   use eg ‘C101’ or ‘C88-101’ after first occurrence

Samples   use eg ‘S101’ or ‘S88-101’ after first occurrence

Small Finds   use eg ‘SF101’ or ‘SF88-101’ after first occurrence

Vessels   should be abbreviated to V only if the paper discusses many vessels, and                                                          should be capitalised only when referring to a specific vessel from the site.

Cist should never be abbreviated to avoid confusion with contexts.

Note that there is no space between the abbreviation and the number.

Ensure that references to features are consistent throughout the paper, particularly in the case of multi-contributor articles.


Brackets should only be used to provide a reference to a specific feature in a general sentence – in most cases they are not necessary (see below):

eg ‘Context 014 also yielded small quantities of naked six-row barley and some barley chaff, similar to C012’ not ‘Context (014) also yielded small quantities of naked six-row barley and some barley chaff, similar to Context (012).’

'Two contexts in particular, C012 and C039, contained significant numbers.’

‘Although found in many contexts, the greatest concentrations were identified from the same contexts (C003 and C005) that produced the abundant cereal grain.’

 ‘All the pottery except for one sherd (SF22) was found in the fill of pits.’

‘Sample 3 from the same site contains a small undiagnostic rim sherd.’

‘Another possible Neolithic vessel was represented by two sherds (SF11) from Trench 2.’

Please note: if an author has used a particular style consistently throughout the paper, please query this before changing. The most important thing is that consistency is maintained throughout an individual paper. Please contact the Managing Editor if you are unsure.

 Archaeological periods

 Follow the most widely established usage: Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Early Historic, early medieval, later medieval, post-medieval, Middle Ages, early modern,  modern. It is always preferable to use exact date ranges where possible.

 We direct authors towards the recognised vocabularies provided by RCAHMS.

 Note that archaeological periods should be capitalised, with the exception of medieval (including early, late and post-medieval) and (early) modern.

 Please note:

  • Late Bronze Age but later Bronze Age
  • Late Iron Age but later Iron Age

Archaic letter forms

 In quotations from documentary sources, archaic letter forms should be represented by the phonetic or orthographic modern equivalent.

Author names

When an author’s name includes a particle (eg von, van, de, du) a decision must be taken depending on a case-by-case basis, taking into account nationality, author preference (if known), capitalisation. This will affect both how the relevant author is reference in the text, and how they are included in the bibliography.


A rough rule is that names should be alphabetised under the first capitalised letter.

Excerpt from Mark Stevens, director of general reference at Merriam-Webster:

“In the names of Frenchmen and -women, de and d’ are almost always lowercased; treatment of du varies. La and Le are almost always capitalized. In alphabetized lists, names are alphabetized under their first capitalized element. When someone is referred to by his or her surname alone, the particle is usually included only if it’s capitalized; thus, we would normally say ‘Sartre and Beauvoir’ but ‘Molière and La Rochefoucauld.’

“Elsewhere in Europe, particles such as von, van, da, di, and the Spanish/Portuguese de are just about always lowercased when they show up in surnames, and usually omitted when the surname is used by itself. Dutch particles such as van and terare usually lowercased, but when the surname is used by itself, the particle is capitalized and included (‘in Van Gogh’s paintings’).

“Surnames of people born in Britain or the U.S., regardless of the names’ original sources, just about always begin with a capital letter even if they look foreign (Mark Van Doren, Bernard De Voto). When you come across the surname of a native-born American or Briton that starts with a lowercase letter, such as Agnes de Mille, Walter de la Mare, or John le Carré, you’ll often be right in thinking that these aren’t quite the names they were born with. But American writers and editors naturally try to observe the style preferred by the individuals themselves.”


 On the whole, capitals should be kept to a minimum. They are necessary in the following cases:

  • Acronyms (eg NATO, USA)
  • Titles or ranks followed by names:
    • Duke Edward
    • King Charles I
    • President Mitterrand
    • but note ‘the queen welcomed President Mitterrand’
  • To distinguish the specific (He is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh) from the general (He is a professor at the University of Edinburgh)
  • Internal cross-references, eg ‘Chapter’ ‘Illustration’ ‘Table’
  • To distinguish political and ethnological divisions of a country eg
    • South-east Asia
    • south of China
    • southern England
  • The title of a PSAS paper should be in title caps.
  • Archaeological periods should be capitalised (Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age etc). However, medieval, post-medieval, early modern and modern etc should be in lower case.
  • Capital letters should not be used after a colon.


Please copy edit the list of captions for tables and figures. These will be supplied as separate lists from the author. These should take the form:

Illus 1 Title of the figure, taking initial capital for the first word and any proper nouns (Source and acknowledgements often appear in brackets)

Note that there is no full stop at the end of captions. This includes multi-sentence captions; the final sentence should not have a full stop at the end, whether it is part of the descriptive caption, or part of the source.

There is no point after the illustration number.

Copyright/source information should be included in captions.

Illustrations and tables should be numbered sequentially (1, 2, 3, 4). Where an illustration is made up of multiple parts, they should be lettered rather than numbered. (Illus 4a, Illus 4b, Illus 4c).

Table captions appear above the table, with the table number in small caps on a line underneath. The whole caption should be in sentence caps. There should be no full stop at the end of the caption.

Illustration captions appear below the illustration, with the illustration number in small caps. The whole caption should be in sentence caps. There should be no full stop at the end of the caption. Multi-part captions should be distinguished with letters in brackets, in lower case.

There is no point after the number in either Tables or Illustrations.

The author will have inserted call-outs where the illustrations and tables are to be placed. If this has not been done, please return to the Managing Editor who will ask the author to insert these. Authors are told that it may not always be possible for illustrations to be placed exactly where the call-outs have been inserted.


 In-text citations should take the following form:

(Bradley 2009: 47–9)

Multiple citations should be separated by semicolons and listed chronologically, not alphabetically:

(McGilvery 1999: 3; Bradley 2009: 47–9)

 When there are multiple citations by the same author they should be separated with a comma, and the author name should not be repeated:

(Bradley 2009: 8–12, 2013: 114-15)

 Please see below for Endnotes. Footnotes should never be used.

 Compass directions

  • Only long compounds such as NNE, WSW should be abbreviated
  • Compass orientations are written in full for simple orientations (‘to the north’, ‘from the south-east’)
  • Note that compass orientations are lower case
  • A forward slash indicates alignment or axial orientation eg ‘the building lay on an east/west alignment’


 When referring to a section within the paper, the heading number should be included as well as the section title (not the author/contributor). The section title should be in single quotation marks. For example:

‘a number of probable prehistoric worked stones were recovered from the rubble of the possible leacht and another from near the top of the medieval enclosure bank (see 9.5 ‘The vitrified material’ below).’


  • Pairs of dates should be condensed to the shortest pronounceable form (eg 1971–2, 1970–5, but 1914–18, 1789–1810)
  • To describe dates between which a historical event is thought to have occurred, use ad 413 x 427. Use ad 413–28 to describe the duration of an event
  • bc, ad and bp should be formatted as small caps
  • bc and bp dates should be written out in full to avoid confusion
  • Centuries are written in figures (eg 14th century) with no superscript

 Dates should be written 20 June 2016:



20 September 1996

September 20th 1996, 20th September 1996

1600s, 1660s, 1980s

1600’s, sixteen-sixties, eighties, ‘80s.

ad 413, 427 bc

413 ad, bc 427

 Radiocarbon dates

Radiocarbon dates are used in many archaeological PSAS papers. We direct authors towards A R Millard’s ‘Conventions for Reporting Radiocarbon Determinations’ ( for current conventions of citing radiocarbon dates.

 Please note the formats below which should be adhered to:

  • OxCal v4
  • OxCal v3.10
  • OxA-5758
  • δ15N
  • δ13N
  • 451–215 cal bc (95% probability; SUERC-1122)

Dimensions and measurements

  • Always use metric units: km, m, cm or mm
  • There should be no space between the digit and unit, and there should be no full stop or ‘s’ after the abbreviations eg 5km
  • Small finds should always be described in millimetres. Centimetres may be used for approximations.
  • The following abbreviations are used for dimensions:
    • L length
    • W width
    • Diam   diameter (do not use D to avoid confusion with depth - if an author has used ‘D’, include in author queries.)
    • Th   thickness
    • Dimensions for small finds should be described as follows:
    • L: 23mm; W: 5mm; Diam: 46mm; Th: 3mm
  • When using ranges, do not repeat the units, eg ‘Pool ranged from 50­­ to 240mm’
  • If measurements are given to decimal places including 0 (eg 15.0mm, 2.90mm) do not remove the last digit, as it provides accuracy.


Emphasis should be achieved by phrasing – italics, bold or underline should not be used to show emphasis.

En rules

Closed up en rules should be used between dates when it is replacing ‘to’ (eg 1914–18; pp 117–18)

An en rule should not be used if the word ‘from’ or ‘between’ are used (eg the period between 1914 and 1918 not the period between 1914–18; from 1997 to 2009 not from 1997–2009)

Spaced en rules should be used for parenthetical dashes. A space should come before and after the en dash – as seen here – when used in a parenthetical phrase.


 Give numbers in full text where less than 11 (ie one to ten), but as numerals for any greater numbers, as follows:

            ‘five samples from each pit’ but ’22 sherds’

Please note the following exception:

Centuries should all be written in ordinal eg 5th century not fifth century

 Avoid using numbers to begin sentences. If a number must start a sentence, it should always be written in full:

                         ‘Fourteen sherds were found in the pit’ not ’14 sherds were found in the pit’

Number ranges should be elided as far as possible, such as: 1–4, 12–13, 23–7, 30–5, 113–14, 114–23, 131–9, 1914–18, 1661–3

Commas should be used for thousands (1,500; 10,000; 100,000) with the exception of page numbers (eg p 3111).


Quotations are marked with single quote marks. A quotation within a quotation is noted with double quote marks eg ‘the report was described as “clear and informative” by the reviewer’.

Quotations of less than 30 words should be preceded by a comma.

Longer quotations (more than c 30 words) should be displayed. Displayed quotes do not take quotation marks, but are indented to the left, with a line space above and below the quotation. The reference or source should appear in brackets at the end of the quotation and outside the punctuation. Original spelling should be retained when used in quotations.

If a quotation starts a new sentence, a capital should be used. If it continues as part of a sentence, use lower case.

Introductory ellipses should not be used, but concluding ellipses are acceptable. Ellipses, if used, should be separated from the adjoining words by a space (as the missing words they represent would have been).

A lengthy quotation in another language should be displayed in the same way, but also include an English translation below.


Tag all headings and subheadings with letters in angle brackets. No more than three levels of subheadings should be used:

<CH> Chapter heading (ie title of the paper)
<A> Level 1 subheading (ie abstract, introduction, discussion)
<B> Level 2 subheading
<C> Level 3 subheading

A section written by a contributor other than the lead author should include the person’s full name (excluding ‘by’ and with an ampersand between the last two names for multi-authored sections).

Illustrations and tables

Images/figures are referred to as Illustrations, abbreviated to Illus in captions and within the text.

Illustrations should be numbered sequentially (1, 2, 3, 4). If an illustration is made up of multiple parts, they should be lettered rather than numbered (for example Illus 4a, 4b etc).

Tables will be provided by the author in separate MSWord documents. All formatting and editorial guidelines should be applied to text within tables as well.

References to illustrations and tables within the article should be marked as follows:

            There were many isolated features, particularly in Zone 2 (Illus 3).

            This is based on a relatively small number of radiocarbon dates (see Tables 1 & 4).

Note that references to illustrations within the paper should be capitalised. References to illustrations, figures or tables from other work should be in lower case, as below:

These roundhouses are of a particular type known from Douglasmuir (Kendrick 1995: 55, illus 23) and at Newbarns, near Inverkeilor, Angus (McGill 2004: 102-5, fig 10).

 A metric scale and north point must appear on every map or site plan.

 A metric scale must appear on every artefact drawing.

Lists and bullet points

Lists, whether numbered or unnumbered, should be indented.

Numbered lists should be formatted as follows. Note the point after the number.

‘There are eight indicators which offer an indication as to whether a wood was managed or not, shown in the list below.

  1. Keeping or reserving a wood or placing a wood in defence
  2. Prevention of destruction and waste
  3. Banks and ditches around a wood
  4. Exclusion of animals
  5. Penalties for cutting wood
  6. Produce of wood and trade in wood
  7. Foresters or servants keeping a wood
  8. Grants of forest rights limited to wooded areas’

Unnumbered lists should be formatted with bullet points.

‘The following phases are identified:

  • 12th/13th century associated with the open sewer ditch 067 and the localised capping deposit 070.
  • 15th/16th century ceramic hiatus associated with the open sewer ditch and overspill midden.
  • Late 16th/17th century associated with the tenement building, boundary wall 041, pit 059 and the main midden deposit 027.
  • Late 17th-century sealing deposits 028, 062, 064.

Each list entry should be capitalised.

Punctuation depends on the length and content of the items – short items have no final punctuation, while longer items do.

If the list forms part of a sentence, the final entry should close with a full stop while previous entries should not be punctuated:

‘The paper examines various aspects of the subject, such as:

  • Comparison between dated activities in this part of the site with activity elsewhere in 3rd-millennium Orkney
  • The significance of an earlier, much larger scale deposit featuring cattle remains at Ness of Brodgar
  • The nature of Orcadian society and practices during the second half of the millennium
  • The impact of the findings on the wider field.’


Italics should only be used when absolutely necessary. When foreign words have been long adopted into English, they should not be italicised. Unadopted foreign language words should be italicised, including species’ names in Latin.

Lengthy passages in a foreign language (please see below) should not be italicised but displayed as with other quoted extracts.


Roman/not italic

c = circa (followed by a space ie c 1500)


Infra (preferably use ‘above’)

et al

Supra (preferably use ‘below’)


a priori

en route

bona fide

per se

ad hoc

raison d’être

en bloc

in situ

inter alia




longue durée


prima facie


terminus ante quem

op cit

terminus post quem

names of institutions or associations

termini post quos



ad infinitum

newspaper titles (eg The Guardian)


book titles (eg Making for America)

Titles of poetry (eg ‘Ode to a Nightingale’)

journal titles (eg The Scottish Archaeology Journal)


play titles (eg The Merry Wives of Windsor)


film titles (eg Twelve Angry Men)


names of ships (eg Mary Rose)


works of art (eg Mona Lisa)


TV shows (eg Time Team)



Any text quoted in a foreign language should be translated. If a lengthy passage is being included, unless the language itself is being analysed, only the translation should be included.

National Grid References

National Grid References should be provided for all archaeological sites or historic buildings which are central to the publication.

These should be presented in the following format

NGR: NO 7180 2052 (not NO71802052)

Canmore ID

Canmore IDs should be cited whenever a site or item in the Canmore catalogue is referred to. ‘Canmore’ should be in lowercase (Canmore ID not CANMORE ID)


Use of hyphens should be kept to a minimum. It should be used adjectivally, eg ‘19th-century building’. Please note that hyphens are not necessary in ‘early 19th-century manuscript’, ‘late 16th-century building’

Hyphens should not be used after adverbs when ‘ly’ is used, eg freely draining, not freely-draining.

Hyphens should be used after prefixes (eg co-, re-) when the root word begins with the same letter (eg re-elect), or when confusion may be introduced by not including them (eg re-cover/recover) 

Widows and Orphans

Should be avoided. Orphans - the first line of a paragraph or a heading at the foot of the page; widows - the last line of a paragraph at the top of the page.


Any time third party material is used in the paper, it must be referenced.

Bibliographic citations within the text should take the form (Author year: pages) with full details listed in a bibliography. For example:

(Orwell 1948: 31)

(Henderson & Jones 2004: 179)

Multiple citations should be listed chronologically, not alphabetically. They should be separated with a semi-colon, as follows: (Collis 1984; Shepherd 1996; Barclay 1998). Multiple citations by the same author should be separated with a comma, as follows: (Sabnis & Kenworthy 2008, 2009; Sabnis 2011, 2012, 2014).

If more than one publication by the same author is being referenced, ‘a’, ‘b’, or ‘c’ should be added after the date to distinguish which is being referred to, as follows: (Smith 2011a; Smith 2011b; Smith 2011c).

Personal communication should be indicated using the abbreviation pers comm (unitalicised, no full stops).


Endnotes may be used for papers on historical topics, in particular when references are predominantly to documentary material. Footnotes should never be used. The same referencing style must be consistent throughout the paper.

Ibid may be used (no full stop, and no italics) to refer to the immediately preceding note. It should not be used if the preceding note has more than one reference in it.

List of References

Full details for every reference cited in the text must be included in a list of references at the end of the paper. Please check the references carefully, and ensure that any third party material cited in the text is included. Please query anything cited in the text that is not referenced in full at the end of the paper. If texts are included in the list of references but are not cited in the text, this should be discussed with the Managing Editor

Full journal titles should be used for all references, with the exception of the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, which is abbreviated to Proc Soc Antiq Scot. Please replace any abbreviated journal titles with the complete form.

Documentary sources should be identified by the full archive number and relevant repository.

Maps should be identified by a full title in the list of references.

House style (eg small caps for ad and bc; italics for c; no point after abbreviations or initials) should not be applied to book, article, journal titles etc.

Please see the table below for the preferred style of formatting for references in the bibliography.


Armit, I 2005 Celtic Scotland. London: Batsford.


Allen, J R & Anderson, J 1903 The Early Christian Monuments of Scotland. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Book with multiple volumes

Allen, J R & Anderson, J 1903 The Early Christian Monuments of Scotland, 2 vols. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Note abbreviated vols.

When citing multi-volume works in in-text citations, should be cited (Allen & Anderson 1903, vol 2: 311).

Edited collection

Macquarrie, A (ed.) 2012 Legends of Scottish Saints. Readings, Hymns and Prayers for the Commemorations of Scottish Saints in the Aberdeen Breviary. Dublin: Four Courts Press.


Cowan, I B, Mackay, P H R & Macquarrie, A (eds) 1983 The Knights of St John of Jerusalem in Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish History Society.

Chapter in an edited collection book

Hill, J D 2007 ‘The dynamics of social change in Later Iron Age eastern and south-eastern England c. 300 BC – AD 43’, in Haselgrove, C & Moore, T (eds) The Later Iron Age in Britain and Beyond, 16-40. Oxford: Oxbow.


Kelly, T A D 1994 ‘The Govan Collection in the context of local history’, in Ritchie, A (ed.) Govan and its Early Medieval Sculpture, 95-114. Stroud: Alan Sutton.

Note the full stop after ed.

Note ‘in’ in italics.

Note that even when the edited collection is cited in the bibliography in full elsewhere in the bibliography, full bibliographic details should still be included.

Book in a series

Frere, S S & Wilkes, J J (eds) Strageath. Excavations within the Roman fort 1973-1986. Britannia Monograph Series No. 9. London: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.


Ballin Smith, B (ed.) Howe: Four Millennia of Orkney Prehistory. Excavations 1978-82. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph Series No. 9. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Note the series in Roman followed by a full stop.

Book with multiple editions

Brothwell, D R 1981 Digging up bones, 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press/British Museum.

Note ordinals for edition number, edition written in full.

Book with multiple volumes

Stewart, A 1989 Scotland in the fifteenth century, vol 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Journal article

Andrén, A 2005 ‘Behind Heathendom: Archaeological Studies of Old Norse Religion’, Scottish Archaeological Journal 27: 105-38.

PSAS article

Please cite with the year of publication

Harrison, A & Burnett, C J 2018 ‘Scottish lettering of the 16th century’ Proc Soc Antiq Scot 147: 219-241.

Contributed section within a journal article also cited in the references

Bruce, M & Kerr, N 1995 ‘Skeletal analysis’, in Dunwell et al 1995a: 283.

Dunwell, A J, Neighbour, T & Cowie, T G 1995 ‘A cist burial adjacent to the Bronze Age cairn at Cnip, Uig, Isle of Lewis’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 125: 279-88.

Contributed section with a journal article not cited in the references

Bruce, M & Kerr, N 1995 ‘Skeletal analysis’, in Dunwell, A J, Neighbour, T & Cowie, T G 1995a ‘A cist burial adjacent to the Bronze Age cairn at Cnip, Uig, Isle of Lewis’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 125: 279-88 (283).

Online publication

Cook, M 2016 ‘Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the North-east of Scotland; Excavations at Grantown Road, Forres 2002-2013’, Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports 61.

Note no full stop after DOI.


Conneller, C, Bayliss, A, Milner, N & Taylor, B 2016 ‘The Resettlement of the British Landscape: Towards a chronology of Early Mesolithic lithic assemblage types’, Internet Archaeology 42.

Note no full stop after DOI.

Online publication with no DOI

Jones, E 2010 ‘Through the Cowgate: life in 15th-century Edinburgh as revealed by excavations at St Patrick’s Church’, Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports, 42. Accessed 5 January 2017.

Note the access date to the online publication. If this is missing, please include in author queries.


Annals of Connacht Accessed 1 October 2014.

Note the access date to the online publication. If this is missing, please include in author queries.


Arge, S 1989 The Cathedral and other Historic Relics at Kirkjubour. Accessed 24 March 2015.

Note the access date to the online publication. If this is missing, please include in author queries.

Documentary Sources

Registra Supplicationum 289 f253r, Vatican Archives, Rome.


Liber Pluscardensis, MS 308876.

Unpublished dissertation/thesis

Gard, L 1937 ‘Reliefsigillata des 3. und 4. Jahrhunderts aus den Werkstätten von Trier’, unpublished dissertation, University of Tübingen.


Farrell, M 2009 ‘The Environmental Context of Later Prehistoric Human Activity in Orkney, Scotland’, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Hull.

Note that many universities have digitised PhD theses/dissertations and a link will have been included. This should be included as long as link is live, and access date is included (see online publication above).

Unpublished reports

Clarke, D V 1991 ‘Excavation of the Neolithic Settlement at the Links of Noltland, Westray, Orkney 1978-1981. Part One: the History and Discovery of the Site, the Excavation Strategy and a Summary of the Results’, unpublished report prepared for the Scottish Development Department.


Roy, M 2005a ‘Empire Site, Dunbar: Excavation Data Structure Report’, AOC Archaeology No. 4653 unpublished archive report.

Discovery and Excavation in Scotland entry

Turner, D J 1975 ‘Achanduin Castle’, Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 1975:9.

Discovery and Excavation in Scotland references should include the author/excavator, and should be formatted as a journal article.

British Archaeological Report

Allen, J R L 2014 Whetstones from Roman Silchester (Calleva Atrebatum), North Hampshire. Character, Manufacture, Provenance and Use. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, British Series, 597.

Bible references

1 Peter 6: 18-20.

Primary source, subsequently edited

Smith, L 1888 Diary of 1888, ed. Jones, S A 1988. London: London Publisher.


When a website is cited, an access date should be provided. If this is missing, please query it with the author. If a DOI is supplied, no access date is needed. Please note that the approved guidelines for displaying a DOI includes the prefix: not


When several papers by the same author are cited in the bibliography they should be listed in date order. Papers that they have authored individually should come before any they have co-authored, regardless of date.

Co-authored papers should follow, in alphabetical order by the second author’s surname.

Papers with three or more authors should follow, in chronological order. These papers should be cited in the text as ‘Smith et al’, but all authors should be listed in the references. 

Sheridan, J A 1999 ‘Grooved Ware from the Links of Noltland, Westray, Orkney’, in Cleal, R & MacSween, A (eds) Grooved Ware in Britain and Ireland, 112-24. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

 Sheridan, J A 2004 ‘Going round in circles? Understanding the Irish Grooved Ware “complex” in its wider context’, in Roche, H, Grogan, E, Bradley, J, Coles, J & Fartery, B (eds) From Megaliths to Metal. Essays in Honour of George Eogan, 26-37. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

 Sheridan, J A & Smith, R 2005 ‘The National Museums of Scotland radiocarbon dating programmes: results obtained during 2004/5’, Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 6: 182-3. 

 Sheridan, J A & Turner, W 2003 ‘New dates from the north and a proposed chronology for Irish court tombs’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 112C: 1-60.

Sheridan, J A, Clarke, D V, Shepherd, A N & McSweeney, K 2014 ‘Early evidence of the Tooth Fairy? A pair of front milk teeth found at Skara Brae, Orkney’, PAST 77: 4.

Preferred spellings and forms

UK English spelling should be used throughout. Please use –ise rather than –ize forms.

The list below is updated regularly as new words for inclusion come up. Please email if you have suggestions that you feel ought to be included.


% (not per cent)


aeolian (adj)
Aeolian (period/islands)

among (not amongst)




au pair



bath house

beam slot



boulder clay

bowling green

burgage plot







clayey silt

clayey-silt ash






copper alloy

corn drying kiln






cross face


cross-marked stones


cross shaft


cross slab


cup and ring mark






dining room

drawing room



disc brooch

disc pins

ditch circles

double-bead moulding



early medieval

early modern

Early Neolithic

Early Bronze Age





et seq



f ff

farthest (distance)

field system


first-floor room (adjectival)

First World War

fish bone (not fishbone/fish-bone)


Food Vessel


freely draining


glass working


good night

grave digging


grave markers

grave  slab

green glaze

Grooved Ware



half past

half a dozen




head box

head slabs

head support

head-box burial/head-box rite etc

head-support burial

Heritage Lottery Fund

Heritage Lottery funding




Impressed Ware



in so far

infill, infilling









land use

Late Bronze Age (but later Bronze Age)

Late Iron Age (but later Iron Age)

late medieval





living room


long cist

long-cist burial/short-cist burial

long-cist grave





Mary, Queen of Scots

metres (though 5m)

Mid Argyll


medieval, post medieval




mid-  (hyphen), eg mid-16th century

Middle Ages (but medieval preferable)

Middle Iron Age

Middle Old Red Sandstone




multi-phase activity








no one

  1. (abbreviation for number eg no. 5)

nos (abbreviation for numbers eg nos 11-12)







on plan (not in plan)


on to

OD (caps)




Oxbow Books







Period 1, Period 2

pers comm

Phase 1, Phase 2


place name

place names     

plough pebble

plough-pebble technology





poorly preserved




post hole

post-mortem occurrence

post pad

post pipe

post pit

post ring






program (when in context of computers)






red deer


redeposit, redeposited






rig and furrow


ring ditch

ring groove

ring groove house



scratch-plough marks

Second World War

Sector 1, Sector 2

see also




sheet-metal working

side plate


Site 1, Site 2





sling shot


stake hole

status quo


stone-free (adj)



strap end


Style II














turf line

turf walls














waiting room



while (not whilst)

well-preserved (adjectival)

well-drained (adjectival)

well pit


wheel pit