Re: Citing Regulations in Documents

Subject: Re: Citing Regulations in Documents
From: "E. Forrest Christian" <eforest -at- MICRO-NET -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 11:31:27 CST

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My fellow technical writers/editors (in the Environment, Safety, and Health
Division at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) were discussing what style
to use in citing reference and regulatory documents. Some of our ES&H
manual chapters italicize the titles and some don't.

My thought was that italicizing is a good idea since it gives the reader a
clear message about the actual title of the referenced document.
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I was a trainer for the American Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (it's just fun to type that name) earlier, and wrote several manuals and articles on the regs. We developed a house style based on the EPA and OSHA usage, and our own common sense.

1) If the audience were ES&H professionals or CEResponders:

- roman for all regulatory citation:
"1910.1200(c), the OSHA HSC"

- italics for all guidance document titles,
unless we refered to them by number only:

"<italics>Monofilament and Textile Fiber
Manufacture (EPA 560/4-88-994a)</italics>"

This agreed with OSHA and EPA usage. ES&H
professionals are eerily comfortable with
quoting the regulations by number.

- italics for all titles of Acts or Rules,
with later references using a roman
acronym only

"<italics>The Emergency Planning and
Community Right-to-Know Act</italics>
(or <i>EPCRA</i>) is a freestanding
title (Title III) of the.... Thus, EPCRA
is also known as <i>SARA Title III</i>...."

2) For non-regulatory audiences, like the public,
executives and front line workers:

- Do not use number citations for the regs
except in parentheses following the title

"the OSHA <i>Hazardous Communication Standard</I>
(or <i>HazCom</i>) is found in Section
1910.1200(c) of Title 29 of the <i>Code of
Federal Regulations</i>)"

Follow the same italics rule as above. Avoid
the "29 CFR 1910.1200(c)" habit and any usage
of our ubiquitous section mark when writing for
non-EHS folks.

I hope that helps. Writing on EHS is hard enough without having to worry about the way you print your citations. Personally, I remember how boring I became at parties. ("You know, according the TRI data, the releases of toxic chemicals by major manufacturers is actually decreasing. It's those SQGs that you have to worry about....")

E. Forrest Christian
Freelance Technical Writer
eforest -at- micro-net -dot- com
(773) 363.95.15

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