What Time Is It?

There are dozens of recognized time zones throughout the world. Time zone information may occasionally be included in scientific writing, depending on whether such data are useful for comprehension. In general, however, time zone information may be omitted. If included, the zone’s abbreviation may or may not be added in parentheses (some time zone abbreviations have more than one possible expansion, eg, BST stands for Bangladesh standard time [Asia], Bougainville standard time [Pacific], and British summer time [Europe]).

The international team of investigators scheduled a video conference via Skype at 9 am CST (central standard time) to discuss issues concerning its upcoming clinical trial.

The circadian rhythm aspects of sleep and wakefulness allow us researchers to understand both the normal physiology and the pathophysiology of occasional sleepiness related to shift work among health care workers and to travel across time zones.

Institutions that are interested in applying to become a center for excellence may participate in a webinar on September 12, 2017, from 3 pm to 5 pm EST.

A very useful resource for current times worldwide is available at The World Clock.—Roxanne K. Young, ELS

Why Not Say It Clearly: The JAMA Network Editors on Correct Usage

The second edition of Why Not Say It Clearly? A Guide to Expository Writing by Lester S. King, MD, was published in 1991 (first edition in 1978).

Dr King was a charmingly irascible but fascinating and classically trained scholar who was a senior editor at JAMA for more than 25 years. A coauthor of the AMA Manual of Style (eighth edition), he was an accomplished raconteur and humorist as well as a prolific writer, particularly concerning language and usage.  He was professor of pathology and professorial lecturer of history of medicine at the University of Chicago.

Why Not Say It Clearly remains an enduring editorial classic on writing and usage and is the inspiration for this expansion of the AMA Style Insider:  The JAMA Network Editors on Correct Usage.  Feedback welcome!—Roxanne K. Young, ELS

Internet, Computer Terms, and References to Social Media

The JAMA Network editors prefer the following capitalization and punctuation styles for e- and i-entities, computer terms, and references to and in social media and networks.  Also check commercial websites for trademarked terms and conditions of their use.

app, application

cell phone

e-cigarette (E-cigarette at the beginning of a sentence or in a title, subtitle, or heading)

e-commerce (see e-cigarette)

e-learning (see e-cigarette)



e-terms (see e-cigarette)

email (Email at the beginning of a sentence or in a title, subtitle, or heading)

Follow (as on Facebook; also capitalize Junk folder, Option key, Edit menu, and other computer key and menu names)

Google (google as verb)



iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc (trademarks)




online (as both adjective and adverb)


Skype (skype as verb)


text, texted, texting

Tweet, Tweeting, Twitter, Twittering (despite the official logo being lowercase; a trademark)

webinar, website (World Wide Web, web-based literature search)

Wiki, Wikipedia