Content is any piece of information found on a digital page, including text, images, and multimedia and page elements such as contact information (name, phone number, e-mail address, etc.).
This page contains the style guide for creating, editing, and maintaining content within IEEE.org.
View the content provider checklist (PDF, 180 KB)
Do not use content from another digital site (including IEEE digital sites) without permission. For example, do not use Google images found through search without permission of the owner.
Provide the source of all content that is not original once permission for publishing has been obtained.
References to IEEE
When "IEEE" is part of the name of a product, publication, service, Society, or other title, it should never be dropped. This applies to first and subsequent references. (Examples: IEEE Xplore®, IEEE Spectrum, IEEE Computer Society).
The purpose of the page should determine the length of the content.
Use short pages, or those containing one or two screens of text at most, for the first few levels of a digital site where users are scanning for link choices.
Longer pages (those that require more scrolling) may be more acceptable deeper within the site where related content can be printed and read later.
The primary measure of page length should be content. Think through your material; create logical divisions and subdivisions based on the structure of your information. You should not arbitrarily divide your information simply to conform to acceptable page length.
When creating deeper pages within the site, where scrolling may not be avoidable, the following devices should be considered to make the content more easily readable and navigable:
• anchor links to bookmarks throughout the page with "back" links to return the user to "top";
• subheadings and relevant links (where appropriate) to serve as signposts for the user;
• bulleted copy and meaningful graphics or pull quotes to break up larger blocks of text;
• end links allowing the user to access other relevant pages without having to scroll back to the top of the page.
Keeping accurate and timely content establishes credibility for IEEE as a trustworthy source of information. To ensure timeliness of content:
Show importance or priority by:
Some ways to show relationships between content include:
Other tips for creating a more readable, interesting page layout include:
Writing content for the digital platform versus writing for print
Do not simply move print content onto your digital pages. Instead, write content that can be quickly and efficiently read by a user in the most concise manner possible.
Printing versus reading online
If your content is likely to be read online, create shorter pages that are cross-linked.
If your content is likely to be printed from the digital platform, create one long page.
Considering audience and tasks
Determine your page’s potential audience members.
Establish the goals each of these audience members may want to achieve on your page, and create a page that helps users easily accomplish these goals.
Considering user language
All content must be written in English.
Let the user know where he or she is on every page. Establish the topic by using a unique page heading.
Link to background information where necessary.
Use the following devices to increase scannability:
• Use shorter (50–80 characters per line) rather than longer line lengths (100 characters per line).
• Use left alignment for headings, sub-headings, and text.
• Link where appropriate.
• Use lists rather than paragraphs wherever possible.
• Include only one main idea in each paragraph.
• Put the most important information at the top.
• Start the page with the conclusion as well as a short summary of the remaining content.
• Use headings where applicable.
• Never use capitalization (CAPS) for emphasis.
• Use short, simple words that are to the point.
• Be concise and focused.
For longer pages, use the following tools to make the page easily scannable:
• anchor links;
• subheadings and relevant links;
• bulleted copy;
• meaningful graphics or pull quotes to break up larger blocks of text;
• end links.
Making effective use of lists
Follow these guidelines when presenting your content in a list format.
• Use numbered lists when the order of entries is important.
• Use bulleted lists whenever the order of the entries is not important.
• Generally, limit the number of items in a single list to no more than nine.
• Generally, limit lists to no more than two levels: primary and secondary.
International writing conventions
Use the following formats:
|Phone numbers|| |
|Seasons||Use the month or quarter of the year to refer to dates, not the season. |
|Time zone||Use local and UTC (e.g., 2:00 p.m. ET/1800 UTC-05). |
|Currency||When referencing to US currency, include a “US” in front of the dollar sign (e.g., US$25). |
|Humor and colloquialism||Avoid using puns, clichés, popular expressions, and jargon in your writing.|
When using a number between zero and ten, spell out the number (e.g., "three" or "ten").
When using any number higher than ten, use the numeric version (e.g., "12" or “300”).
The titles of all IEEE digital pages should be in title case.
Section headers, form fields, and all other page content should be written in sentence case. Only proper nouns and titles should be capitalized.
Punctuation of the following commonly-used IEEE terms is as follows:
| || |
British spellings and terminology
Change all British spellings to American spellings where applicable.
Adhere to standard grammar and punctuation rules when it comes to pluralization of typical words.
The plural of calendar years do not take the apostrophe before the “s.” For example, the plural form of 1990 is 1990s.
Hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes
Use the hyphen to combine words and to separate numbers that are not inclusive.
Use the en dash to represent the words “to,” “through,” or “and.” Use it between page numbers, years, names, a range of values, or for opposites. When using the en dash to represent a range, if the word “from” occurs, the word “to” must be used rather than the en dash (e.g., “ranges from 5 to 50 times”).
Use the em dash to mark a suspension of the sentence, or like a parentheses, to mark a subordinate thought within a sentence.
Words that are often confused
Be sure to use the correct and more accurate word in context.
At a minimum, all sites must adhere to the following best practices for SEO:
Home page and top-level landing pages metadata descriptions
Proper use of page titles throughout the site
The following guidelines should be used:
Lines of text should be no longer than half the width of the screen for optimum readability.
Adhere to the design elements and IEEE Master Brand standards within the IEEE Visual Identity Guidelines (PDF, 3.1 MB)
Usability and accessibility guidelines