Style Sheet for Reviews of Non-Physical Media

The following are the formatting guidelines for reviews of non-physical media (conferences, exhibits, websites, multi-media installations, etc.). For guidelines on reviewing physical media (books and films) please follow this link: Style Sheet Guidelines for Reviews

Header Format Guidelines

  • Reviews must be in ASCII format, that is, plain vanilla a-b-c's with no accents or italics.
  • All reviews should carry the reviewer's name, institutional affiliation and e-mail address at the top and bottom. As you format the header of your review, please consult the following template:


Published by  (December, 1998)

John Smith. _History on CD-ROM_. Buffalo, N.Y.: Cambridge University
Press, 1997. 2 CD-ROMs and user's guide. $150.00, ISBN 0-521-58541-4.

System Requirements: Software runs on either a PC or Macintosh. PC
must be 386 or later with Windows 3.1+, 8 MB of RAM and a double speed CD-ROM drive. For a Macintosh, it must be a System 7 or later and have 4 MB of RAM along with a CD-ROM drive.

Reviewed for EH.Net by Jane Doe (, Department of
Some Subject, Somewhere University

Jane Doe's Multimedia Review Title

Readers will like this software a lot because . . .

General Format Guidelines

  • All reviews should be titled.
  • All reviews should be single spaced. However, it is fine skip an occasional line for the sake of appearance.
  • Paragraphs should not be indented.
  • Two spaces should appear after colons and periods.
  • The text should be 60 to 75 columns wide, and should start at the flush left margin.
  • All reviews must be headed with the full information concerning the software or CD-ROM.
  • If the material has an author, this should appear before the title of the software or CD-ROM.
  • Italics can be represented in ASCII like this: _Title of Software_.
  • Please include information about material included in the software or CD-ROM package, including number of disks or CDs and information on any user's guides or other useful printed materials that may be included.
  • Use the price given in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.
  • The "N" in ISBN stands for Number, so don't say, "ISBN No."

Please note: 

Do not use tabs or extra spaces. Nearly anything you do to optimize the look of the review in your own e-mail program will be lost in ASCII, and sometimes it will cause garbled text or added characters. In addition, please do not add hyphens in words to make the lines look nice on your screen. When e-mail or html rejustifies the text, extra spaces will appear, since the word will often no longer be at the end of a line.

Publisher Information

In listing the publisher and place of publication, there are three rules:

  1. If the state is named in the name of the publisher, it's not included in the place. So Lexington: University Press of Kentucky and Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
  2. We use "literary" abbreviations for states, rather than postal codes; so Conn., not CT, Del., not DE.
  3. Generally, if a publisher has U.S. and overseas offices, we try to list one of each, since folks all over the world access the pages. So Cambridge University Press is New York and Cambridge, England, etc.

Other Citation Standards

  • Any standard citation form may be used. However, reviewers should use endnotes rather than footnotes, which do not translate well in e-mail or the web.
  • For citations of internet sources, you may wish to reference Mel Page's useful General Citation Guidelines.
  • Page numbers should be supplied for all quoted passages. Please use the following standard:
  1. "... does not really answer the question" (pp. 235-36); or "... if he had thought of it," (p. xv). (Note that the punctuation goes after the citation.)
  2. a recently published article.[2] is how to designate a note. Then, for the note itself:

[2]. James Smith, "Article," etc.

Length Guidelines

H-Net is flexible concerning the length of reviews. Individual lists may have target lengths. Therefore you will need to consult your list review editor.


Reviewers should proofread their text carefully. Please consult the following mini-styleguide:

  • Use U.S. as an adjective; United States as a noun.
  • Spell out names of centuries; and hyphenate when they are adjectives: "eighteenth-century literature."
  • "&" and "%" can cause problems on the Web; use "and" and "percent" unless in a quotation.
  • Spell out most numbers under 1000--numbers which can be spelled out in less than three words; BUT use Arabic numerals in "10 percent."
  • Use "..." for ellipses, and "...." if a sentence ends in the omitted part; "word--word" for dashes (no spaces).
  • Finally, if you have any questions, please contact the book review editor who commissioned your review.