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Atla Open Press: House Style

This guide provides information for authors, prospective authors, readers and editors of the publications of Atla Open Press

General Guidance

All Atla Open Press publications follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition. It is the responsibility of authors to ensure that their manuscripts adhere to these guidelines at the time of submission. The sections below provide guidance on matters of house style for points not specified by the Chicago Manual of Style.

Below are some additional requirements:

  • In all submissions to Atla Open Press, authors must label their works cited or references as "References."
  • When explanatory and supplementary material needs to be referenced outside of cited sources and not as part of the main body text of an article or chapter, Atla Open Press requires that this content be included in an endnote. Footnotes are not accepted.

Referencing Atla

Prior to 2019, Atla was commonly known as the American Theological Library Association, often abbreviated as ATLA. This sometimes raises questions for authors referencing the Association both before and after the change.

Any reference to Atla programs or events before 2019 may use the previous brand identity—American Theological Library Association (ATLA). When specifically in reference to our annual conference from 1947–2018, please use “ATLA Annual Conference”; conferences happening from 2019 onward should be referred to as “Atla Annual.” 

With the names of committees, task forces, and other institutional bodies and titles that disbanded, concluded work, or were otherwise retired before 2019, “ATLA” is retained, while those that continued through 2019 may be paired with “Atla.” For example, one would write that “ATLA had an Executive Secretary from 1956 to 1991” (when that job title was changed), but that “Atla has had a Director of Member Services since 1991” (because that title is still in use).

If alternating between the present and past usages impairs the clarity of the submission, however, the author may choose to standardize all usages to the present form, in which case the following statement should be included in-text or as a note to the first occurrence: “Established in 1946 as the American Theological Library Association (ATLA), the membership organization introduced a new brand system and assumed the new name Atla in 2019. This [ARTICLE, REVIEW, ETC.] chooses to refer to Atla with its new name and will reference past events and programs using the new brand identity.”

Atla Open Press House Style Guidelines & CMOS Interpretations

If your submission includes any type of visual material (e.g., photo, chart, table), please refer to the Atla Open Press Visual Materials Guidelines for instructions on attribution, formatting, and submission.

Spell out books of the Bible when they appear in the text (CMOS 10.44). In parenthetical citations, preference is for traditional abbreviations and not shortened forms. See CMOS 10.45-48 for a list of abbreviations.

Wherever possible and appropriate, a page number or other locator must be included in all citations, separated by a comma from the author’s name and date of publication (CMOS 15.7-8 and 15.23). Preference is for placement at the end of the sentence, before final punctuation. If an author’s name is referenced in the text, preference is for a citation with year and page number or other locator to be placed at the end of the sentence (a nuance of CMOS 15.25-26).


The Chicago Manual of Style, recognizing current changes in usage, provides editors with discretion in the casing of several terms relating to racial and ethnic identities. Where Chicago admits of both a lower-case and an upper-case usage, the preference of Atla Open Press is generally for upper case—a policy that includes, but is not limited to, the terms “Black,” “White,” and “Indigenous” when used as racial and/or ethnic designations for specific persons or populations. This decision, while maintaining our commitment to the CMOS as our standard reference, also aligns with the practice of the APA and other respected style guides and is intended to reflect our commitment to responsiveness and respect toward all the communities that impact, and are impacted by, our work.

Culturally Specific Language

Authors are sometimes uncertain of the most accurate and respectful means of referring to different ethnic, cultural, and linguistic groups. It is always advised for authors to consult with appropriately qualified or designated representatives from the group(s) being discussed for guidance in these matters.

Subject to such guidance, and as a general rule, Atla Open Press recommends that authors use the most specific terms available for identifying ethnic groups, languages, and cultures. Much as kilts are not usually described as traditional “British” clothing—much less “European” clothing—but instead as specifically “Scottish,” the use of broad terms such as “American Indian / Native American” or “African” is discouraged when a more specific designation can be made.

One very useful starting point for identifying appropriate terms is the interactive map provided by Native Land Digital.

Preference is for italicizing terms within a text that need to be emphasized or set apart (CMOS 7.56). Unless otherwise necessary, only the first occurrence of the term should be italicized.

Any terms from a controlled vocabulary such as Library of Congress Subject Headings should be italicized, with a double hyphen between coordinated terms as needed (e.g., Buddhism and culture--India--Mumbai).

Within the works cited list or any in-text citations containing a short title, titles of books, articles, journals, etc. should appear in their original script without transliteration. Translations of titles should appear in brackets following the original language. Author names always appear transliterated in the alphabetized list; where possible, original script forms should be given in brackets afterward.

Cho, Chae-sun. 2011. “일본의 학부과정 도서관학 교육 형성과정에 관한 연구 [A Study on the Developmental Process of University-based Librarianship Education in Japan].” 한국문헌정보학회지 [Journal of the Korean Society for Library and Information Science] 45, no. 2: 230.

Within the body of the manuscript, titles of books, articles, journals, etc., may appear transliterated or translated where the author sees fit. If a title is given in both original script (or transliteration) and a translation, these may appear in either order, with the second element in parentheses. The same practice may be followed for names, specialized terms or phrases, etc.

An important resource for librarians supporting Jewish studies is the library of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (יידישער וויסנשאפטלעכער אינסטיטוט).

Preference is for the alternative rule (CMOS 9.3) which states to spell out single digit numbers and use numerals for all others. Consideration for consistency and flexibility when multiple numbers are listed in a paragraph (CMOS 9.7) is the highest priority.

Publishers located in cities that may be easily confused or are not well-known by the international audience of Atla Open Press may need an abbreviation for state or territory included in the place of publication (CMOS 14.130). Preference is for two-letter postal codes.

When referring to electronic books, shorten as e-book or e-books.

For websites and other sources consulted online only, a web address must be accompanied by a date of publication or last modification (CMOS 15.50). If these dates are not available, an access date must be included (CMOS 14.12).

The version and form of URL used in a reference should be the one most likely to persist over time (CMOS 14.7).

URLs should point to the version of the resource that was consulted by the author. They will not be edited, updated, or changed if the content disappears before or after the time of publication (CMOS 14.14-15).

Atla Open Press's standard practice is to retain authors' original, consistent usages conformant to national English standards (UK, Canadian, Australian, US, etc.). Atla Open Press may edit for consistency where collaboratively written articles or chapters exhibit inconsistent or mixed usage.

Author Bio Format

Bios for inclusion in Atla Open Press publications should be in the following formats:

Books@Atla Open Press
Bios should be no more than 150 words and should include the author's name and present position, followed by a statement of experience or credentials relevant to the submission. For example:

Arthur Beispiel, MLIS, is the online training librarian at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, where he has taught courses on academic self-presentation for more than fifteen years. His past work on academic bios has appeared in The New International Journal of Immoderate Prolixity and Lakon, while his other interests include administrative rhetoric and the use of hauntological devices for argument summation in the closing sentences of German and Latin paragraphs.

Optional: Authors may include their credentials and/or preferred pronouns following their name.

Theological Librarianship and TCB


Optional: Authors may include their credentials and/or preferred pronouns following their name.


Include a byline consisting of the name, position, and institution for each contributing author, as applicable (e.g., “Jane Smith, Metadata Librarian, Utopos Seminary”).

Optional: Authors may include their credentials and/or preferred pronouns following their name.

We are unable to accept or include images with bios.

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