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Editorial style guide for Rutgers IT

This style guide has been developed to promote consistency in webpages, email messages, and other materials produced by information technology staff at Rutgers University. The guide focuses on IT services, resources, and terminology typically used in communicating about IT at Rutgers. It is meant to be used in tandem with the Rutgers Editorial Style Guide.

For inclusive IT language, please refer to the bias-free communication guidelines from Microsoft and the inclusive documentation guide from Google.

For webpages at the Rutgers IT website, please also refer to the capitalization and heading style guidelines.


  • Avoid overusing acronyms.
  • Acceptable on second and subsequent references; place the acronym in parentheses on the first reference. For example: “The Office of Information Technology (OIT) recently upgraded the service.”


backup and back up
One word as a noun. Two words as a verb.

Avoid using as a synonym for OIT.

  • Recommended: Canvas will be an enterprise-wide service supported and managed by OIT.
  • Not recommended: Canvas will be managed by central IT.

Central Authentication Service (CAS)
This term is not widely known among non-IT staff. In general, avoid referring to CAS in materials for non-IT staff. Instead, refer to NetID:

  • Recommended: Use your NetID and password to log in.
  • Not recommended: You can log in with the Central Authentication Service (CAS).

Do not abbreviate the days of the week and months.

  • Examples: Tuesday, September 12, 2017. September 2017. September 12 (not 12th).

delegated administrator
This term is not widely known among non-IT staff. For non-IT audiences, avoid the term.

  • Recommended: Please reach out to your department’s IT staff with questions.
  • Not recommended: Contact your delegated administrator with questions.

distributed IT
Acceptable name for departmental, unit, and other non-OIT units and staff. Sometimes also called “local” IT.


Duo Security
The provider of two-factor authentication for Rutgers. Duo and Duo Mobile app are also acceptable.

  • Example: Two-step login, powered by Duo Security, helps protect your account by adding an extra layer of security beyond your password.

All caps.

All lowercase.

Emergency Notification System (ENS)

Preferred (i.e., rather than “central”).


file name
Two words.

G Suite for Education
Google’s name for its educational versions of email, calendar, and related services. G Suite is the platform that powers ScarletApps.

GB, Gbps, and GBps
No space needed between a number and the abbreviation: 5Gbps.

  • GB = gigabyte
  • Gbps = gigabits per second
  • GBps = gigabytes per second

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Spell out on first reference

Help Desk
Refer to this as the Office of Information Technology Help Desk or the OIT Help Desk on the first reference. To include contact information, link to the Help Desk webpage and, when appropriate, suggest contacting departmental IT staff, as follows (for an email message):

  • Example: If you need additional assistance, please contact your department’s IT staff or reach out to your local Office of Information Technology Help Desk:

Hill Center
Building on the Busch Campus at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Hill Data Center
Refers to the data center located in the Hill Center.

No abbreviation necessary, even on the first reference. Stands for Internet Message Access Protocol.



Be attentive to language that has a specific meaning for IT people and an entirely different meaning for non-IT people, such as audit, client, domain, machine, package, tenant, and many others. Additionally, many technical terms, such as endpoints, SSID, and others, are not familiar to a non-technical audience; use other terms or define the terms you’re using, when applicable.

KB, Kbps, and KBps


Abbreviation for local area network. LAN acceptable on the first reference for a technical audience.

Learning Management System (LMS)
Spell out on the first reference.

Link text should describe the information users will view when they click. Avoid using Click here. Avoid displaying URLs unless there’s an obvious reason to do so. Also, please make sure that no links lead back to the old website.

login vs. log in
Use login as a noun (or sometimes an adjective) and log in as a verb, as in these examples.

  • Use your NetID login to sign up for the service.
  • The login page was updated to reflect changes in the service.
  • Please log in using your NetID.

logout and log out
Use logout as a noun and log out as a verb.



MB, Mbps, and MBps



Also known as two-step login or two-factor authentication.

Network Operations Center (NOC)

Newark Computing Services

Office 365
The platform that powers Rutgers Connect.

  • Example: A recent update to Office 365, the platform that powers Rutgers Connect, has added a number of features.

Office of Information Technology (OIT)
Universitywide communications should reference the Office of Information Technology rather than the names of divisions or subdivisions within OIT. In general, whether for an IT audience or a more general audience, avoid mentioning more than two organizational layers within OIT, and do not use acronyms for OIT’s divisions (i.e., EI, ESD, etc.) or subdivisions (iDM, TD, etc.).

  • Recommended: The Office of Information Technology will be installing new Cisco phones in your building on May 1.
  • Not recommended: OIT/EI Telecommunications Division (TD) will be installing new Cisco phones in your building on May 1.


on-board and onboarding


policies vs. guidelines or procedures
In general, the word “policy” should be reserved for official Rutgers policies available in the University Policy Library. Use other terms (guidelines, procedures, protocols) for documents outlining standard, processes, etc.

Use spell check. Use Grammarly. Ask for others to read your work.

Protected Health Information (PHI)
Spell out on first reference.

“Commas and periods go inside quotation marks, in the standard American style, despite it being inconsistent with the way things are done in code, and inconsistent with the standard British style,” as noted in the Google Developer Documentation Style Guide.


Rutgers Automated Mass-mailing System (RAMS).


rollout vs. roll out
Use rollout as a noun, roll out as a verb.

Use Rutgers IT, not RU IT.

Rutgers Active Directory (RAD)

Rutgers Connect

Rutgers University–Camden Information Technology (RU–Camden IT)
RU–Camden IT acceptable on the first reference.


Rutgers IT
Not RutgersIT, except when used as a #RutgersIT or @RutgersIT on social media.






Only for use among IT audience.

Leave only one space between sentences.

subject lines
Use “down style” for email subject lines—that is, the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.

In general, convert titles to “down style” (first word and proper nouns capitalized). For webpages at the Rutgers IT website, please refer to the capitalization and heading style guidelines.

two-factor authentication
Two-step login preferred when addressing a non-technical audience.

two-step login
The preferred term for NetID+ and two-factor authentication.

  • Recommended: Two-step login, also known as NetID+ or two-factor authentication, helps protect your account by adding an extra layer of security beyond your password.
  • Not recommended: NetID+ is used to protect your account and add an extra layer of security.

unit computing manager and unit computing specialist
Do not abbreviate UCM and UCS. Outside of IT, those don’t mean anything. You can say “these managers,” “these specialists,” or “these staff members.”

Do not capitalize unless it is used as part of a formal name.

  • Recommended: Before you share data, ask how that action could adversely affect you and/or the university.
  • Not recommended: Software is available to members of the University.

University Software Portal


Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Not WebEx.

Not WiFi.