The resources and links below provide authoritative guidance on a range of areas relevant to writing and editing across all fields.
- Australian Government Style Manual 7th edition
- Macquarie Dictionary (subscriber)
- Australian Manual Of Style (formerly Australian Manual of Scientific Style)
- The ABC Style Guide
- NSW Government Content Style Guide
- Queensland Government Web Writing and Style Guide
- Style Manual for Accredited Standards Development Organisations
- NZ Government Style Guide
- NZ Government Content Design Guidance
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- Blue Book/Grammar Book
- Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition (subscriber)
- US Government Style Guidance
- US Government Publishing Office Style Manual
- Congressional Budget Office Guide to Style and Usage
- Australia: AGLC (Australian Guide to Legal Citation; 3rd edn with notes on 4th edn)
- New Zealand: Law Foundation Style Guide
- UK: OSCOLA (Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities)
- USA: Bluebook Online (subscriber)
- EU: EJIL (European Journal of International Law)
- Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (McGill Guide) (summary)
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, approximately 7 million Australians aged 15 to 74 years have literacy scores below Level 3 – considered the ‘minimum required for individuals to meet the complex demands of everyday life and work in the emerging knowledge-based economy’. Using Plain English helps ensure the widest possible audience is able to access information.
- Australian Government Clear Language and Writing Style
- Office of Parliamentary Counsel Plain English Manual
- Office of Parliamentary Counsel Guide to Reducing Complexity in Legislation
- NZ Office for Disability Issues: A Guide to Making Easy Read information
- PRISM (Program for Readability in Science & Medicine) Toolkit
- CDC Clear Communication Index
- Hemingway app – free platform that tests for readability
- WebFX – free platform that tests web page readability
- com – free platform that tests for readability
- Plain Language Association International (PLAIN)
- Clarity International
- gov (USA)
- Federal Plain Language Guidelines (USA)
Australia and New Zealand are diverse societies and the language used by writers in any field should be carefully crafted to avoid exclusion of individuals or groups. At the same time, values and preferences in terminology can vary over time, between communities and even within communities. The resources below provide guidance on contemporary standards for inclusive language.
- GLAAD Media Reference Guide – 10th Edition
- Victorian Government Inclusive Language Guide
- Tasmanian Government Guidelines for Inclusive Language
- NT Government Aboriginal Language & Plain English Guide
- NZ Human Rights Commission: Statement on Language Policy
- NZ Human Rights Commission: nglish Only Policies in the Workplace
- NZ Human Rights Commission: Kōrero Whakamauāhara: Hate Speech
Almost 4.5 million Australian and more than 1.1 million New Zealanders have a disability, with these numbers increasing as the population ages. Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the Human Rights Act 1993 require equal access to information for people with disabilities. Accessibility is often viewed in terms of the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for accessible websites. However, the WCAG guidelines also cover best practice for writing accessible digital content, and accessibility is also a consideration with non-digital content, such as printed material.
- Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled
- Web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview
- How to Meet WCAG (Quick Reference)
- Digital Transformation Agency: Accessibility and the Digital Service Standard
- Australian Human Rights Commission: World Wide Web Access – Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes
- Tasmanian Government Writing and Preparing Accessible Documents
- Victorian Government Accessibility Guidelines for Government Communications
- WA Access and Inclusion Resource Kit
- NZ Web Accessibility Standard 1.1
- NZ Digital Service Standards and Guidance
- NZ Office for Disability Issues (Te Tarī Mō Ngā Take Hauātanga) Accessibility Charter
- Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative (AIPI)
- Vision Australia: Document Accessibility Toolbar – a free downloadable ribbon menu for MS Word that supports creation of accessible documents.
Research & Reporting
Reporting research and communicating technical information require special skills, whether one is writing for a specialist or general audience. The conduct and reporting of research in particular is guided by well-established standards and a range of other authoritative guidelines, and authors of research or technical reports should have this in mind when writing.
- Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC) 2008
- Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (downloadable PDF)
- BS 4811:1972. Specification for the presentation of research and development reports
- CONSORT (CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) Statement (downloadable .doc file) – guidelines to improve the reporting of parallel-group randomised controlled trials
- CONSORT 2010 Checklist (downloadable .doc file)
- CONSORT 2010 Flow Diagram (downloadable .doc file)
- CRediT – a taxonomy that can be used to represent the roles played by contributors to scientific research.
- ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors): Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors
- ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (downloadable PDF)
- National Health & Medical Research Council” Publication & Dissemination of Research (downloadable PDF)
- PRISM (Program for Readability in Science & Medicine) Toolkit
- PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) Statement
- PRISMA Checklist
- PRISMA Flow Diagram
- STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology) Checklists
Associations and Forums
- Australian Society of Authors
- ACT Writers Centre
- NSW Writers Centre
- NT Writers Centre
- Queensland Writers Centre
- SA Writers Centre
- Tasmanian Writers Centre
- Writers Victoria
- Writing WA
- First Nations Australia Writers Network
- PEN Sydney
- Australian Publishing Association
- Australian Literary Agents Association
- Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts
- NZ Society of Authors (Te Puni Kaituhi o Aoteraroa)
- Toi Maori Aotearoa – Maori Arts New Zealand
- New Zealand Association of Literary Agents (NZALA)
Online Guides and Dictionaries
(also see Style and Usage resources above)
- The Free Dictionary – online dictionary with a thesaurus, acronyms, abbreviations and idioms.
- Maori Dictionary – provides English-Te Reo translations of individual words.
- Google Translate – easy (if often questionable) translation into more than eighty languages.
- Brainy Quote – finds quote by word, author or topic; generally reliable but always research before quoting.
- WikiQuote – easily the most reliable online source for quotes and includes common misattributions.
- The Phrase Finder – finds proverbs and phrases from a single word or by subject or author.
Industry Associations and Forums
- Institute for Professional Editing (Australia & New Zealand)
- Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers
- Canberra Society of Editors – the only Australian editors’ chapter remaining outside IPEd
- Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (UK) – formerly the Society for Editors and Proofreaders
- American Copy Editors Society (ACES) (USA)
- Association of Freelance Editors, Proofreaders and Indexers (Ireland)
- Editors’ Association of Canada
- South African Translators’ Institute
- European Association of Science Editors
- Board of Editors in the Life Sciences
- Council of Science Editors
Editing and Editors
- Anthrosource (subscriber) – offers members and subscribing libraries full-text anthropological resources.
- arXiv – free open-access archive for non-peer-reviewed articles in the sciences, mathematics and economics.
- AustLII – searchable database of Australian legislation, law reports and other legal material.
- CINAHL – research tool for nursing and allied health professionals.
- CiteSeerX – scientific literature digital library and search engine
- EconPapers – world’s largest collection of on-line Economics working papers and journal articles.
- Federal Register of Legislation (Australia)
- Google Scholar – free search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature.
- DigitalNZ– a free search engine that provides access to information about NZ culture and history.
- PhilPapers – comprehensive index and bibliography of philosophy and open access archive.
- PsycINFO (subscriber) – online collection of papers in the psychological sciences.
- PubMed – more than 32 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.
- ResearchGate (free subscription) – social networking site for researchers to share papers, ask questions and find collaborators.
- SSRN – repository for preprints in the social sciences and humanities.
- Trove – Australian online library database aggregator and service that includes full text documents, digital images, bibliographic and holdings data
- United Nations Treaty Collection – maintained by Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations
- WorldCat – catalogue that itemises the collections of 15,600 libraries in 107 countries.
Writers need to have some understanding of intellectual property rights — both their own and those of others. Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia, but laws differ from country to country and may increase the copyright protection of international works. Further advice on copyright and intellectual property for writers is available at the Australian Copyright Council and the Arts Law Centre of Australia.
- Australian Copyright Council: An Introduction to Copyright in Australia
- NZ Intellectual Property Office: Copyright
- World Intellectual Property Organization: What Is Copyright?
- Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
- Fair use – ten per cent and other myths
- Using images from the Internet
- Creative Commons Licences – there are six types, with different restrictions on use and requirements for acknowledgement.