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Content Guide

Ryan Sibley edited this page Jun 30, 2017 · 3 revisions

Introduction

Follow the AP Stylebook unless otherwise noted here.

Voice

Voice is what makes all of your communications sound like they came from the same place. The Crime Data Explorer should sound like the people behind the data at CJIS:

  • Approachable
  • Conversational
  • Engaged
  • Informative
  • Honest

Style guidelines

Acronyms and abbreviations

  • Spell out abbreviations on the first mention, except the FBI, which is acceptable on its own.
  • If an acronym is only used once or twice on a page, or is very short, avoid using it.

Capitalization

  • Use title case for page titles, h1s, chart headings, and crime labels.
  • Use sentence case for other titles, headings, and subheadings (h2-h4).
  • Unless starting a sentence, do not capitalize “the” before a proper noun (for example: the Department of Justice).
  • Do not capitalize official titles unless they precede a name.
  • Capitalize the names of racial, linguistic, tribal, religious, and national groupings of people.

Numbers

  • Use numerals instead of spelling out numbers. Avoid putting a number at the beginning of a sentence or headline.
  • Use the % sign instead of spelling out percent.

Punctuation

  • Use the oxford comma.
  • Add a single space after each period.
  • Avoid using ampersands except in Downloads & Documentation.

Specific words and phrases

  • actual data refers to data that hasn't been estimated and is sourced from reports sent directly to the state UCR program, or in some cases directly to the FBI. Don't say raw or unestimated data. Suggested phrasing: Actual data submitted to the FBI, or Data from actual reports submitted to the FBI.

  • CJIS Division is acceptable on the second reference

  • data takes a singular verb (like agenda) to be more approachable. If you need to draw a distinction between two pieces of data, use datasets instead. For example, “The data is inconclusive,” or “The datasets are inconsistent with each other.”

  • dataset

  • federal

  • FBI always requires an article unless it is being used as a modifier (For example: “Today, the FBI announced that the number of violent crimes went up in 2015. FBI staff members compiled a report for the director.”)

  • hierarchy rule

  • hotel rule

  • law enforcement agencies, not LEAs

  • location refers to the geographical or jurisdictional region where crimes occur. Uniform Crime Reporting data is voluntarily reported city, county, state, tribal, university and college, and federal law enforcement agencies.

  • location type refers to the kind of building or location where a crime was committed (such as an office building or residence). This is a standard NIBRS data element.

  • National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) is the FBI’s incident-based reporting system for crimes known to law enforcement. For clarity, we refer to this type of crime data as incident-based (NIBRS) data or individual incident reports in narrative text.

  • people, not persons

  • raw data shouldn't be used to refer to data on the Crime Data Explorer. Say "actual data" instead. See the entry above for a phrasing suggestion for actual data.

  • statistics may imply a false sense of accuracy or certainty in the data. When in doubt, use data instead.

  • Summary Reporting System (SRS) is the FBI’s reporting system for summarizing crime trends and arrests known to law enforcement. For clarity, we refer to this type of crime data as summary (SRS) data.

  • unestimated data shouldn't be used to refer to data on the Crime Data Explorer. Say "actual data" instead. See the entry above for a phrasing suggestion for actual data.

  • Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program

  • U.S. government

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