Introduction: A style guide or style manual is a set of standards for the design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization or field. The implementation of a style guide provides uniformity in style and formatting within a document and across multiple documents.
Definition: Some style guides focus on graphic design, focusing on such topics as typography and white space. Web site style guides cover a publication’s visual and technical aspects, along with text. Style guides are revised periodically to accommodate changes and usage.
Style guides are used for establishing rules for language use, such as spelling, italics and punctuation. Their major purpose is consistency. Authors are asked or required to use a prescribed style guide in preparing their work for publication.
Roles of a librarian are in maintain style manual: Academic organizations and universities are strict about documentation formatting style for citations and bibliographies, footnotes-endnotes and references used for preparing term papers, assignment, etc. Professional scholars are advised to follow style guides of organizations in their disciplines when they submit articles and books to academic journals.
International: Several basic style guides for technical and scientific communication have been defined by International Standards Organization (ISO). Eg: ISO 215 Documentation – presentation of contributions to periodicals and other serials.
Europe: The European Union publishes an Interinstitutional style guide – encompassing 23 languages across the European Union. This manual is obligatory for all those employed by the institutions of EU who are involved in preparing EU documents and works.
Australia: (1) Style manual for authors, editors and printers by Snoops & Co. for the department of finance and administration. 6th ed. (ISBN 0-7016-3648-3). (2) Australian guide to legal citation.
Canada : (1) The Canadian style: a guide to writing and editing, by Dundurn Press in cooperation with Public works and the government services Canada Translation Bureau. (ISBN: 1-55002-276-8). (2) CP style book: guide to newspaper style in Canada maintained by the Canadian Press. (ISBN: 0-920009-38-7) (3) Lexicographical Center for Canadian English: a dictionary of Canadianism on historical principles. (4) Vancouver style
General: 1. Fowler’s modern English usage, ed. By R W Burchfield. 3rd rev ed. London: Clarendon Press, 2004. 2. Modern English usage, ed by Henry Watson Fowler. The King’s English, by Henry Watson Fowler and Francis George Fowler. 3. The complete plain words. By Sir Earnest Gowers. 4. Usage and abusage, by Eric Patridge.
Journalism: The BBC news style guide, The Economist style guide, The Guardian style guide, The Times style and usage guide, The Associate Press stylebook., Academic papers, ACS style guide, AMA manual of style, AP stylebook, The ASA style guide, Bluebook (uniform system of citations), The Chicago manual of style, The elements of style, The elements of typographic style, ISO 690, MHRA style guide (Modern Humanities Research Association), The Microsoft Manual of style, MLA handbook for writers of research papers.
Unite States of America: 1. The Chicago manual of style (Most non-journalistic professional writings follow this style in the USA.), 2. MLA style manual and guide to scholarly publishing (scholarly writings follow this guide), 3. MLA style manual, 4. The New York Times manual, 5. The Oxford guide to style/New Hart’s Rules, 6. The Publication manual of APA, 7. Turabian , 8. Business, 9. The Gregg reference manual, by William A Sabin, 10. Web publishing, 11. The Yahoo! Style guide: the ultimate sourcebook for writing, editing and creating content for the Web, by Barr and the Yahoo editorial staff.
The areas: Citation, Diction, Documentation, Disputed usage, English writing style, Grammar, List of style guides, Prescription and description, Punctuation, Sentence spacing in language and style guides, Spelling, Stylistics, Usage.
Conclusion: Style guides are common for general and specialized use, for the general reading and writing audience, and for students and scholars of various academic disciplines, medicine, journalism, law, government, business and industry.