Liverpool John Moores University has a set of approved editorial guidelines to ensure consistency and accuracy across internal and external written communications.
This consistency is important for us to protect, manage and enhance our brand. It is intended to help and support colleagues who are writing on behalf of the university.
The guidance applies to non-academic writing for LJMU staff and should be applied in full. This is not optional guidance – this is the required manner and style of writing for the university.
External publishers of academic work may ask you to follow their own house style guide.
The Corporate Communications team will review and update this guide as necessary. If you have any comments or questions about the guide, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Referring to Liverpool John Moores University
The institution should be referred to as:
- Liverpool John Moores University
- The university
You should not refer to JMU, Liverpool John Moores or the University.
At LJMU, we promote inclusivity for all and the language we use must reflect that.
The way we write about our community and our work should support our ongoing efforts to ensure our university is a place where everyone feels welcome.
As a general principle, we only include personal details, such as age, gender, sexual orientation or religion, where it is relevant to the subject we are writing about. Otherwise, we do not include such information.
When we are writing about a specific individual, we should use the language and preferred pronouns they use to describe themselves. If you are not sure of somebody’s preferred pronouns, please ask them.
We should use non-gender-specific terms in our writing:
- Alum rather than alumnus/alumna
- Chair instead of chairman
- Humankind rather than mankind
We must not define individuals or groups of people by their mental or physical characteristics; our use of language should not portray people as victims of a condition. We refer to a person with a disability rather than a disabled person or a person suffering from a disability.
Following a university-wide survey and series of focus groups, LJMU no longer uses the acronym BAME to refer to Black and Minority Ethnic communities. Instead, the terms preferred by our students and staff are:
- Ethnically diverse
- Ethnic minority
If you require any support, please email email@example.com.
You should only capitalise nouns such as university, faculty or school when they are used as part of a full title. In all other instances, these words should be in lower case.
- Staff and students are the beating heart of Liverpool John Moores University.
The university has a distinct place in the city.
- The Faculty of Business and Law prepares students for the workplace.
The faculty has extensive links with the business and legal communities.
- The School of Education offers a high-quality teaching and learning environment.
Graduates from the school are prepared for a career in education.
Subject areas should be in lower case. Specific courses should be upper case.
- She wanted to study sport science.
- She enrolled on the BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences course.
Types of degrees should be in lower case.
Titles should be upper case when they are used alongside somebody’s name, but otherwise should be lower case.
- The award was presented by Professor Jane Doe.
- Jane Doe is a professor at the university.
You should use lower case letters for job roles held by more than one person. You should capitalise job titles where they can be understood to refer to one specific person.
- I received a message from our receptionist.
- We had a productive meeting with the Director of Estate Management.
- I will invite each of the pro-vice-chancellors to the event.
- The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) will be in attendance.
Common LJMU words or phrases, such as semester, term, graduation, honorary fellow and halls of residence, should be lower case (unless you are referring to a specific hall).
- Assessments will take place in semester two.
- The summer term will be busy.
- Students will shortly move out of their halls of residence.
- She lived at Marybone Student Village.
- We are looking forward to this year’s graduation ceremonies.
- John Bishop is an honorary fellow of LJMU.
Abbreviations and acronyms
The first time you use an acronym in a piece of writing, you should spell it out in full and include the acronym in brackets. Use the acronym alone thereafter.
- The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) made the decision at this week’s meeting.
ELT members will monitor progress over the coming weeks.
- The Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies (APSS) offers a diverse range of programmes.
There are currently more than 7,000 APSS students at the university.
It is acceptable to use certain acronyms without first spelling them out. This is the case where the acronym is so well known that there can be no ambiguity. Examples include BBC, NASA and AIDS.
It is acceptable to use the acronym LJMU without first spelling it out in full if you are writing on a recognisable LJMU platform (LJMU website, social media, email).
You should abbreviate millions (m), billions (bn) and trillions (tn) if you are referring to monetary value, but otherwise spell them out in full.
- The Cretacious Period lasted approximately 79 million years.
- Experts have spent £50m this year – and £10bn in total since 2001 – studying the Cretacious Period.
You should spell out units of measurement in full (such as metres or kilograms). You should abbreviate those words when you are referring to a specific measurement.
- The cost per kilogram was too expensive.
- I bought 10kg of vegetables.
- Every metre of wood needed painting.
- The tree was 20m away from the house.
You should use words for single digit numbers (zero to nine) and digits for all other numbers (10 and above).
- There are two guest speakers at the event and 20 attendees.
However, if you are starting a sentence with a number, you should spell it out, even if the number is above nine.
- Twenty people attended this week’s guest lecture.
The same rule applies to ordinal numbers.
- It is the eighth time LJMU has hosted the event.
- It was the 14th time she had visited Liverpool.
Percentages, values and measurements are exceptions to this rule. In these instances, you should always use a figure and abbreviate the unit of measurement.
- We reduced our costs by 5% last year.
- The university invested £2m in the project.
- The building is 6km away.
The format for writing dates is day/month/year, without any suffix after the day.
- The meeting took place on Monday 18 May 2023.
When you refer to a century, it should be lower case unless you are using a number. If you are using a number, you should use a suffix.
- The university’s origins date back to the 19th Century.
- Experts hope to find a solution by the end of the century.
When you refer to an academic or financial year, or a sporting season, use a slash to separate the numbers without spaces.
- We are looking forward to the 2023/24 academic year at LJMU.
Use the 12-hour clock, with a full stop between the hours and minutes. You don’t need to add minutes for the top of the hour.
- The meeting will start at 1.30pm and is scheduled to finish at 3pm.
You should use bullet points rather than a long paragraph to make your text easier to follow.
Use a colon before your list. If the items in your list do not flow directly on from the text before the colon to form full, self-contained sentences, use an uppercase letter at the beginning of each bullet point. Do not use punctuation at the end of each bullet point.
We offer a range of services for students:
- You can have free one-to-one counselling
- Our trained staff offer study support
- The Student Advice and Wellbeing team provides financial advice
- iPads are available in the libraries
If the bulleted items form complete sentences when put with the text before the colon they should begin with a lowercase letter (unless an initial uppercase letter is required for a proper noun). Always ensure that each bullet point makes sense as an extension of the wording before the colon.
Students can access:
- counselling services
- study support
- Liverpool-based medical services
- financial advice
If a bullet point contains more than one sentence, you should use a full stop at the end of each sentence apart from the last one within that bullet point. The bullet point ends without a full stop.
We offer a range of services for students:
- You can have free one-to-one counselling. Please book a session by ringing our helpline
- Our trained staff offer study support. Check MyLJMU for more information
- iPads are available in the libraries. Please ask at reception for more details. Alternatively, email the library team
Rather than including long, untidy web addresses in your copy, use a hyperlink where possible if your text will be accessed electronically.
- You can find more information on the Faculty of Science webpage.
The format for landline and mobile telephone numbers is shown below.
- 0151 123 4567
- 07123 456 789