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Official Names 

Official Names

Brenda Gregoline

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Official Names

Capitalize the official titles of organizations, businesses, conferences, congresses, institutions, and governmental agencies. Do not capitalize the conjunctions, articles, or prepositions of 3 or fewer letters contained within these names. For names of institutions, do not capitalize the unless it is part of the official title.

Chicago Board of Education

the International Subcommittee on Viral Nomenclature

the Communist Party

Knox College


Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Council of Science Editors

The Ohio State University

the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Quaker Oats Corporation

Harvard University

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

House of Representatives

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

the Senate

Tufts University School of Medicine

Sigma-Aldrich Corporation

the US Navy

Supreme Court (Note: capitalize Court only when referring to the Supreme Court)

But: the board of trustees, the boards of health, the company, congressional reports, a congresswoman, the federal government, the navy, US senators

Often when referring to themselves and their officers in abbreviated form, institutions and organizations use initial capitals for titles. We prefer lowercasing such generic terms. For example, JAMA and the Archives Journals use the following designations:

the American Medical Association

the association

the Board of Trustees

the board or the trustees

the Council on Scientific Affairs

the council

the House of Delegates

the delegates

the president of the AMA

the president

In running text, a singular form that is capitalized as part of the official name is usually not capitalized in the plural.

She is chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Illinois, Urbana.

Funding was received from the departments of pediatrics and neurology at the University of Illinois, Urbana.

(See 2.3.3, Manuscript Preparation, Footnotes to Title Page, Author Affiliations, for an example of capitalization of department titles in an affiliation footnote.)

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