FOLLOW-UP (long): Citing stuff generally, regs in particular

Subject: FOLLOW-UP (long): Citing stuff generally, regs in particular
From: "E. Forrest Christian" <eforest -at- MICRO-NET -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 17:53:23 CST

After reading the other posts on this thread, I think that the general difficulty in citing regulations needs to be explained a bit more. Hillary's question is one that all of us who have written for the field have faced and it is one that needs to be asked. The problems inherent in writing for Environmental Managers are becoming more common throughout all writing.
As Dick Margulis explained, "Italicize titles of books, journals, magazines, monographs. Use quotes for chapter names and article titles." The problem is that in the regulatory world, you are never sure what is a Book and what is a Chapter. It gets even more confusing when you realise that "Title" and "Chapter" have legal meanings in United States law, as do "Part" and "Subpart".
Regulations and laws can have more than one "title" (that is, names attached to them) and can be free-standing and at the same time a part of another law. For example, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) is a law. The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) is also a law by itself, but is also a freestanding Title (in the legal sense) within EPCRA. They are both are part of the U.S. Code.
They authorize regulations, which are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations. Some of these regulations are titled Standards, such as the Hazard Communication Standard in 29 CFR, which I mentioned. This is also refered to as the HCS, or more simply, HazCom, HAZCOM, Hazcom and hazcom.
And then there are Guidance Documents, Instructions, Memoes of Understanding, policy statements, Clarifications and the odd legal case and hearing.
Whether any of these appears as a book, a monograph, or a chapter in a book depends on how you got it. Sometimes they are in books. Sometimes they are separated. Sometimes they are only Federal Register articles.
So, what is placed into italics and what is quoted? What do you do when you are refering to a section of a titled subpart of a set of volumes that are a subset of larger collection that themselves are simply a part of an even larger framework? Not only that, but each regulatory body (EPA, Coast Guard, OSHA, DoT, DoD, etc.) may have particular format standards that they follow within their own documents.
In the end, I think, like environmental compliance, you simply make a decision, document your assumptions, and act like you know what you are doing. (The Association of Professional Environmental Communicators, if it is still exists, would probably have something to say on this, I think.)
Unfortunately, our entire world is getting this complex. I hope to have a piece that I wrote on scanning placed on a website. The piece is published as a stand-alone work and as a part of another book. It is published in on-line format, where it is part of yet another piece. If it is on the website, it will be a part of a section of a division of a website that is a part of the parent company's structure. If you refer to my work, how will you format the reference? It is something that I am sure is worked out, but it is certainly not set in stone. I've seen four different answers thus far, but then I live next to the U of Chicago, where the CMS is sold in the bookstore windows along side the works of John Calvin, in the original latin.
Thank God the world is getting more complex, or I might be out of job.

E. Forrest Christian
freelance technical writer
eforest -at- micro-net -dot- com
(773) 363.95.15

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