Cochrane Style Manual
Upper-case letters

In text and headings, use sentence case (first letter upper-case and subsequent letters lower-case, except for proper nouns and abbreviations).

This table lists exceptions, where upper-case letters should be used:

SectionUsageFurther information
Book titles and journal titles (but not book chapter titles or journal article titles)Write in full using title case (all major words start with an upper-case letter)References: reference fields
Some bibliographic databasesThe preferred format for the following databases is all upper-case letters: MEDLINE, CENTRAL, OLDMEDLINE, and CINAHL (not CINHAL). Some databases use a mixture of lower-case and upper-case letters, for example, Embase (not EMBASE), PsycLIT (not PsychLIT) and PsycINFO (not PsychINFO).Search methods

Use upper-case letters to explain the abbreviation or acronym only if required by the abbreviated term, for example:

  • A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews (AMSTAR)
  • a QUality Assessment tool for Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS)
  • Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR)
Formatting of abbreviations
Pharmaceutical drug namesPharmaceutical drug brand names, if used, should be written with a capital letter, but international standard drug names should not be capitalized.Names and common terms: names
Organism namesNames of organisms are given in the form Genus species (e.g. Plasmodium falciparum, Staphylococcus aureus). The genus name starts with an upper-case letter, and the species name is all lower case. Both are italicized. Once an organism's name has been stated in full, use the abbreviated form thereafter. For the abbreviated form use the initial letter of the genus followed by the species name (e.g. P falciparum, S aureus).

Names and common terms: names

Formatting: character formatting and typography

P valueUse an upper-case ‘P’ (not italic), and do not add a hyphen between the ‘P’ and the valueNumbers, statistics and units: statistical and mathematical presentation
Section info
Describe change
Guidance on use of upper-case (capital) letters expanded
Typo corrected
Change date
26 June 2024