University of Rochester

Style Guide

World Wide Web Style


E-mail and Web site addresses should be run into text with no special spacing or font treatment. Addresses can be broken at the end of a line, but do not add a hyphen.

Normal punctuation should be used after the address if needed.

You can e-mail the Alumni Association at

In Web addresses that start with http://www., eliminate the http://. However, in addresses that start with http:// but are not followed by www, it is necessary to retain the http://.

The University's Web page can be found at
At, you will find many links to the University.

Acronym for compact disc is acceptable on first reference when referring to audio/music discs. Do not refer to CD-ROMs as CDs.


Acronym for compact disc–read-only memory is acceptable on first reference when referring to discs that store data and/or software. Do not refer to CD–ROMS as CDs.

compact disc

Use to refer to silvery disc upon which music is saved. NOT compact disk. The acronym CD is acceptable on first reference. Do not refer to CD-ROMs as compact discs.

cut back (verb), cutback (noun and adjective)

Treat "data" as a plural noun and combine it with a plural verb when writing about the research meaning of the word.

The data from the pilot study are inconclusive.

Treat "data" as a collective noun and combine it with a singular verb when writing about data in the electronic, computer networking sense of the word.

When working with large files, the data is often compressed.

Data travels over wires, lines, networks, etc., not through them.

disc, disk

Disc — an optical-storage medium designed to be written to and read by a laser

compact disc; laserdisc; digital versatile disc

Disk — a portable piece of plastic embedded with magnetic material, or a less portable metal-encased storage disk.

a floppy disk; a hard disk
download (verb and noun)

Has stood for both digital video disk and digital versatile disc. Acronym is acceptable in first reference to movie format. Do not use DVDs to refer to DVD-ROMs. DVD-ROMs store music, movies, or software and are played in the DVD-ROM drive of a computer.

electric, electrical, electronic

Do not use these terms interchangeably. The IEEE Standard Dictionary of Electrical and Electronics Terms defines electric as "containing, producing, arising from, actuated by or carrying electricity."

electric blanket; electric light

By contrast, electrical means "relating to, pertaining to, or associated with electricity but not having its properties."

electrical engineer

Electronics as a plural noun suggests devices and equipment. As an adjective, electronic suggests that something is implemented on or by means of a computer.

electronic filing; electronic banking

Hyphenate the word in all uses. Do not hyphenate compound nouns formed with this word.

e-mail account

E-mail can mean one single message.

He sent me an e-mail about that problem.

Or it can mean many messages. In this case, treat as a collective noun with a singular verb.

Unsolicited e-mail is a problem for most businesses.

Or it can refer to an entire e-mail system.

Our e-mail will be down for 20 minutes this afternoon.

E-mail can also be used as a verb or an adjective.

Please e-mail me with any questions.
Use the e-mail form on our Web site.

E-mail addresses should be run into text with no special spacing or font treatment. Addresses can be broken at the end of a line, but do not add a hyphen.

Normal punctuation should be used after the address if needed.

You can e-mail the Alumni Association at

Stands for Frequently Asked Questions. Can use this abbreviation on first reference in running text or as a heading in electronic or print publications.


Wired Style defines as a "wall of software that keeps unauthorized meanderers or malicious intruders outside a network." Write as one word in all cases.

floppy disk

Generally refers to the 3.5 inch disks used to store computer data. Use floppy disk, not floppy disc. Floppy is also acceptable.

I saved it to my floppy.

Plural is floppies.

hard disk

Not "hard disc."

high tech (noun and adjective)

Always lowercase and write solid.

Visit the Office of Technology Transfer homepage.

Avoid referring to your homepage on your homepage. It can confuse your visitors, who may think there is some "bigger" page that they are missing.

Always include a link back to your homepage from the internal pages of your Web site. Make sure the link is labeled consistently and in the same location on each of your internal pages.

Information Technology Services

May be abbreviated as ITS on second reference.


Always capitalize.


A private network within an organization; lowercase unless part of a larger proper name.

We plan to establish an intranet for sharing internal documents.
We've signed a contract with Dashboard Intranets for the design.

Information technology. Do not use this abbreviation in general text. Acceptable as part of the proper name or a group or organization.

log on, log in, logon, login

Log on and log in are verbs. You log on to access a computer or network. When you are finished, you log off. Logon and login are nouns. You use your login to log on to your computer.


Write solid when referring to computer connections.

She went online to check her e-mail.
He created an online version of his chemistry project.

Acceptable for both personal computer and political correctness when the context is clear.


Universal Resource Locator. Synonymous with Web address. Always abbreviated.

See addresses.


Always capitalized when referring to the World Wide Web.

We need to put this information up on the Web.
Web cam

Two words. Also, Web camera.

The University's new Web cam has been popular with students and alumni.
Web site

Two words. Also, Web page.

The new Web site is now live at

One word, lowercase. Can be used as both a noun and a verb.

The Commencement webcast will begin at 9 a.m.
We will be webcasting the College Commencement ceremony.

One word, lowercase. Refers to someone who is responsible for creating and maintaining a Web site.

office webmaster Jane Smith
Send an e-mail to the webmaster about that broken link.

Last modified: Friday, 19-Dec-2014 13:41:58 EST