The ONS content style guide: a guide to communicating statistics

Policy details

Metadata item Details
Publication date:13 September 2017
Owner:Office for National Statistics
Who this is for:Anyone writing about statistics

Brief description

The ONS content style guide is a guide to writing about statistics that can be accessed online. The content style guide was previously known as Style.ONS. It is now part of the ONS service manual, which provides guidance for designing consistent, user-focused and accessible services.

The content style guide has been produced with help from the Government Digital Service (GDS) and is intended for anyone writing about statistics.

It covers the elements of writing about statistics. It aims to make statistical content more open and understandable, based on editorial research and best practice. In the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this style guides replaces any previous writing standards and following the ONS content style guide is mandatory.

The ONS content style guide contains guidance on:

  • writing numbers — including formats for statistical and non-statistical types of numbers, dates, and measurements
  • language and spelling — including abbreviations, grammar tips, and using capital letters
  • using punctuation — how to correctly punctuate your work
  • how to write for the web — writing and structuring digital content to be accessible, searchable, and readable
  • data visualisation — guidance for creating charts and tables and best practice for using colour in your work

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