Towards a new Readers' Guide

House Rules for contributors

In order to preserve a degree of consistency throughout this large and diverse work, it will be most helpful if contributors can, as far as possible, observe the rules below, which are consistent with those used over the years for articles in the Kipling Journal.

[January 15 2003]


1. References to Harbord

Harbord's Guide to be referred to as the ORG, and the new Guide as the NRG.

2. Attribution

By-lines for contributors to be shown in italics under the main heading, centred in brackets, in a format which reflects how far the text is the work of the new Editor or contributor, and how far that of the ORG, thus: (notes by Lisa Lewis) or (notes edited by Lisa Lewis) or (notes edited by Lisa Lewis and A. N. Other). Where there is substantial re-use of passages of text or notes from the ORG this should be acknowledged.

3. References to the Kipling Journal

References to KJ articles to be shown thus: KJ 105, June 1981, p.7

4. Biblical references

To be shown thus: Eccles. 3,1 (as indicated in Hart's Rules and the Oxford Guide to Style).

5. Titles of Kipling's works

Titles of individual stories or poems to be set within double inverted commas, cf. "Recessional", or "The Brushwood Boy". By contrast, all book titles to take italics, but with no inverted commas, thus: Kim, or The Seven Seas. In the first mention of another poem or story, the writer should consider (though it may not, in a given context, always be appropriate) citing in brackets the publication in which it first appeared, with a date or dates. Thus:

"The Maltese Cat" (collected in The Day's Work, 1898). Or, a briefer formula, "A Charm"(Rewards and Fairies, 1910). Or, among other patterns, "The Bull that Thought" (first published in Cosmopolitan, December 1924, collected in Debits and Credits, 1926).

(On the web, all such titles will be cross-referenced (by hotlinks) to the relevant entry, and will therefore appear in red.)

Titles of Kipling's works as headings to be centred in upper and lower case, with no quotation marks.

6. References to Rudyard Kipling

He should be referred to as 'Kipling' or 'Rudyard Kipling', not as 'R.K.' or 'RK'. He may, though, be referred to as 'Rudyard' where this seems appropriate in articles referring to his childhood. 'R.K.' would be acceptable when using note form or tabulation.

7. Quotations

Quotations to be set within double inverted commas. Where these are brief they can be kept within the body of the text in the same font size. Where substantial, they should be inset as a separate para., with a line space above and below. For the web we will put quotations in a contrasting colour so as to differentiate them from the body of the text, and will indent substantial quotations from the left margin for emphasis, probably in a smaller font.

8. Abbreviations of certain terms

Some titles and ranks may be abbreviated without the use of a full stop. It is correct to print Mr Mrs Lt-Col Dr etc, thus, and also (for Monsieur and Madame) M and Mme. But it is wrong to remove the full stop from a place where it has acquired validity in a title (as in Stalky & Co. or "Mrs. Bathurst"), or in a quotation.

9. Titles of newspapers and periodicals

It is a widely accepted convention in the U.K. that only one newspaper or magazine is referred to with the definite article italicised as part of the title, and its initial letter capitalised, thus: The Times. All others are traditionally referred to with the definite article in lower case, roman, as the Guardian, or the Poultry Breeders' Gazette, etc. Following this convention, we should not refer to The Kipling Journal (even though that is its formal title on the cover), but to the Kipling Journal, or, where the context justifies it, the Journal.

10. Dates

Dates should be specified in a logical and unambiguous order, following a progressive pattern of day of the week / date of the month / month / year, e.g. Monday 11 March 2001, which may be abbreviated in note form to 11.3.01. This is more helpful than the American abbreviation, which, with or without the Monday, would generally specify the same date as 03.11.01, leaving doubt as to whether it means the 11th of March or the 3rd of November.

11. Time

Time of day should be indicated by a 12-hour clock, e.g. 3 p.m., not 1500 hrs. For the sake of consistency, p.m. (and a.m.) should be printed thus, with points (full stops). A point (not a colon or a dash) is used in the formula for stating a precise time like 12.15, or 8.35. Because it is a 12-hour clock and you are specifying a.m. or p.m., there is no need to use a zero for the hour time (which would make it, say, 08.35 or 04.20). However, the zero can properly be used when the minutes are in single figures. Thus: 'five past four in the afternoon' will be 4.05 p.m. (not 4.5 p.m.)

12. Numerals

Numerals from 'one' to 'twenty' may normally be printed as words, but from 21 onwards should usually be printed as numbers. Thus: "She was only five when she died", but "He first married at the age of 47".

13. Dashes

Dashes (as opposed to hyphens) to be used with a character space before and after.

14. Lists

Lists to be shown with bullet points rather than (a)..(b).. (c).or 1..2..3

15. Subheadings

It will be helpful to readers who are using the NRG on line if passages of text can be divided into paragraphs, like those currently shown on the Society's web-site, with sub-headings where these seem appropriate. Such subheadings should be in italics, left justified, with a line space before and after.

16. Spelling - some miscellaneous rules

17. Footnotes

Because of the file structure we are using on the web, we do not plan to provide either footnotes or endnotes. It will be helpful, therefore, if you can contain any references within the body of the text. Because, though, many contributors will be citing the same books, we are planning to include a bibliography, with details of titles and authors of publications, and time and place of publication, to which references within the text can be linked.


It will be important for contributors to observe consistent principles for the presentation of notes on the text of the prose or verse, so that users can quickly and easily relate the NRG to their own reading.

18. Text references

In the case of prose, these will need to refer to page and line numbers in the standard Macmillan (London) Uniform editions (up to 1950). For verse they need to refer to line numbers within the text of each poem. Where pages or lines are referred to within the text of an article, they should be shown thus: p.15 or l.23 or pp.15-23 or ll.18-35.

19. Presentation

Page and line references for specific notes to be placed between square brackets. The text referred to should follow in bold with the note running straight on. Each note to start on a new line, after a line space, thus:

[Page 1, Title] The Enemies to Each Other: The title echoes the Koran, Surahs II, VII and XX.

[Page 331, line 19] a preparation of powdered cork that was sprinkled over her inside paint: The theory is that the cork absorbs the moisture of the condensation, and this was still in use in the 1950s - though how the cork could absorb moisture from the surrounding air when it was covered with umpteen layers of paint is less clear!

To assist the process of formatting the notes for the web, it will be helpful if a colon can be inserted immediately after the quote referred to. These colons will be used as markers, and will not appear on the screen.


20. For presentation on the Web we are experimenting with page lengths, so as to make the use of the Guide as painless as possible. It may be necessary, for ease of use, to divide long contributions into a series of manageable pages. This process will be carried out when the text is coded for the web-site, and need not concern our contributors. If, however you have comments on the presentation of your material on the site, we will be very glad to have them and to respond to them.

21. It will be very helpful if contributions can be sent in formatted in A4, in single spacing, with page numbers centred at the bottom of each page, in Times New Roman 12-point font with one-inch margins, left and right, and top and bottom. Because of the limitations of web presentation we cannot easily handle footnotes, so it will be helpful if references can be included within the body of the text. If this creates problems for a particular contribution, please get in touch with John Radcliffe.

22. It may be subsequently be possible to arrange for the publication of parts, if not all, of the NRG in printed form. In this case we are likely to favour using A5, while keeping the Times New Roman font, and the same font sizes as we are familiar with, from well tried and satisfactory use in the Kipling Journal.

In this case the basic specifications are simple. The main short title heading the first page of an article will be in 14-point, caps, centred. Any expanded sub-title for that first page will probably go into 10-on-11-point, caps, centred. The 'by-line' need be no larger than 8-point, caps, centred. The main text will suitably take 12 pt. But any editorial introduction, and the footnotes or endnotes, will in that case go into 8-on-10-point (a size which is also suitable for captions or notes on illustrations).

Annotation in printed versions of the NRG would probably follow the principles in para 19. above. However 8-on-10 is rather small for long texts, not easy on the eye for solid pages of annotation, and it may be possible to devise an improved layout with more emphatic (bold, italic or underlined) type, and more imaginative spacing, to make the NRG, especially its extensive and crucial annotations, as readable in print as we can.

[G.W./ J.R.]