Style Guide



Articles for publication on Nursing Clio should be no longer than 1,500 words and aim to tell one story well. Make your argument clear right away and be selective with your evidence. We welcome contributions about the histories of medicine, gender, race, disability, sexuality, and the many other topics that fit within the Nursing Clio mission.

Our contributors and readers come from many backgrounds, both in and outside academia. Take care to write in accessible language, as Nursing Clio is for everyone. Your tone should be less formal than for an academic journal.

For a sense of our style and tone, we have provided a list of exemplary articles on the Write for Us page.


To gauge interest in your article, please submit a pitch to The pitch should be a short summary of what you want to write about. Pitches should be 200–500 words maximum and should not be a full draft. Please also submit a short bio with your pitch. Further guidelines can be found on the Write for Us page.

Once your pitch has been accepted, please submit articles using our submission form. For questions about the submission process, please contact our managing editors at

We will review your post and return it with feedback, generally within 2 weeks, as a Google Doc with in-line comments and track changes from two editors. During your revision process, please make your edits and resolve changes within that Google Doc. Please revise your post at your earliest convenience in order to assure timely publication and assist our hardworking editors.

House Style

All submissions should be written with a general audience in mind. Avoid jargon, long paragraphs or sentences, and think about using subheadings to break up the article.

We use American spelling and punctuation and the conventions in the Chicago Manual of Style, supplemented with resources like the NCDJ’s Disability Language Style Guide and P. Gabrielle Foreman, et al. “Writing about Slavery/Teaching About Slavery: This Might Help.”

We prefer the following language for describing groups:

  • BIPOC or POC (will follow the author)
  • Black (capitalized)
  • Disabled person or person with disabilities (will follow the author)
  • Indigenous (capitalized)
  • Latinx
  • LGBT+

These are umbrella terms for discussing identity, but please be as specific and intentional as possible when discussing groups and communities. We also recognize that these terms are specific to the United States. If you are writing from another context, we will work with authors to choose language that best represents the communities you are discussing.


Use numbered endnotes to cite print sources like books and articles. When preparing your submission, make sure to use the “insert footnote” functionality of your word processor to create references. All footnotes should follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Visit the CMOS “Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide” for more information.

Note that in citing books, if a publisher name is included, the publisher location is optional.

For open-access digital content such as online news articles or websites, embed hyperlinks within the text instead of using footnotes. If the online resource is behind a paywall, please use a footnote.

An advantage of writing for an online publication is the ability to use hyperlinks to easily connect readers with additional information. We encourage authors to use links to refer to supporting material and to provide context that wouldn’t otherwise fit in the article.
Choose link text that briefly refers to the nature of the linked source. Aim for shorter links, and don’t include terminal punctuation.


  • This: Jane Doe’s article about XYZ provides more information.
  • Generally not this: Jane Doe’s article about XYZ provides more information.
  • Definitely not this: Click here to read Jane Doe’s article about XYZ.

Punctuation and Mechanics

In general, you can refer to the Chicago Manual of Style for punctuation guidelines. We use some specific rules within those parameters.

    • Ampersand (&): Avoid using ampersands in regular prose. Only use them in article and page titles.
    • Capitalization: Capitalize all major words when using title case and use lowercase for “and,” “but,” “for,” “or,” and “nor,” unless they are integral to the meaning of the heading.
    • Commas (,): In the great comma debate, we come down on the side of serial commas. Use the serial (Oxford) comma (the comma preceding the “and” before the last item in a list).
    • Dashes: Use en dashes ( – ) instead of em dashes (—). Leave a space on either side of the en dash.
    • Quotations: Use American-style quotations, with “curly” double quotation marks to denote the quotation, and single quotation marks only to mark a quotation within a quotation. Most punctuation goes inside the quotation marks.
      • Use ellipses to indicate omitted parts of a quotation, but they are not needed at the beginning or end of the quoted text. A space should be included between each period and on either side of the ellipses ( . . . ).
      • Avoid excessive “scare quotes.”
      • Any quotation longer than two sentences should be formatted as a block quotation.


We do not require writers to provide images, but if you have specific images you want to include we are happy to consider them. The layout editors will make the final decision.

To improve the chances we’ll be able to use a suggested image:

      1. Make sure you have permission to use the image (or that it is available under an open license like Creative Commons).
      2. Provide a high quality version that is at least 450 pixels in one direction.
      3. Include a suggested caption, a clear description for use as alt-text on screen readers, and a full citation for the image.

Send images or questions to Please do not include your images in the text document.