At long last, the University of Chicago Press has released the 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). The Press accurately bills it as “The essential guide for writers, editors, and publishers.” No writer or editor should be without the CMS.
People often ask about books: “Is this new edition worth buying when I have the last edition?” The answer to this question regarding CMS is “Absolutely!” Major changes and updates have occurred, especially in the realm of digital writing and publishing. Among the updates are :
Comprehensive updates reflecting the latest style and usage, technology, and professional practice
Expanded coverage of electronic publications, including procedures for proofreading web-based and other electronic documents
Electronic-editing checklist for editors and writers
Expanded section on bias-free language
Expanded coverage of fair use and electronic rights, including an overview of the NIH Public Access Policy
New section on parallel structure
New and improved hyphenation guide, presented in an easy-to-use tabular format
An introduction to Unicode, the international computing standard for letters and symbols required by the world’s languages, including tables with Unicode numbers
More references to organizations that publish their own guidelines and standards online
Newly uniform stylistic treatment of elements in the two major systems of documentation
Updated advice on DOIs versus URLs, including more examples
More tips for citing blogs, podcasts, and other electronic sources
Streamlined advice on citing legal and public documents
Thoroughly revised coverage of production processes, including an overview of electronic markup and XML
An updated glossary that includes more terms related to electronic publishing
Expanded headings on numbered paragraphs and more cross-references for ease of navigation, especially online
A logical and intuitive reorganization by chapter and paragraph that brings together closely related concepts wherever possible, to help readers find what they’re looking for
Firmer rules and clearer recommendations, to help authors and editors make the right choices
Another major change is an online version of CMS that is fully-searchable. With the online version, you can add notes, bookmarks, and create style sheets in your personalized version of the manual.
The 15th edition of CMS was published in 2003. The world of electronic writing and publishing has undergone dramatic shifts in that period, and this new version is indispensible in helping you navigate this world. I can’t recommend this new version strongly enough.
The print version is available through bookstores for $65. The online subscription is $35 per year. The University of Chicago Press is currently running a special offer for new subscribers to the online edition. With a one- or two-year subscription, you will receive $5 off the subscription and 50% off the purchase of the print version. That means you can get both the book and a one-year subscription for $62.50 (less than the price of purchasing the book alone). More details are available at www.chicagomanualofstyle.org.