This section provides information on the various sections and features of the Australian manual of scientific style (AMOSS):

Navigation – finding your way around the content

AMOSS has three chapters of content:

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Showing.

Each chapter has multiple sections, some of which are listed in the left-hand navigation pane, and others within the parent page.

How you navigate through AMOSS will depend on what you want from the manual. The extent and complexity of the content mean that each section of information sits independently within the database. 

If you just want to browse the information, as you would a book, you can use the left-hand menus to access the sections within chapters, and the ‘previous page’ and ‘next page’ links at the bottom of a page. If you get lost, look at the breadcrumbs at the top of the page, or use the back button of your browser to get back to a page.

If you know exactly what you are looking for, it is best to use the search function. This will show you a number of sections of information you can navigate to directly. If you want more context to that section of information, you can use the breadcrumbs at the top of the page to go to the parent page or look at the left-hand menu to see what part of the manual has been ‘activated’.

The Bookmarks and Resources parts of the manual can also be accessed from the left-hand menu and from links within the manual content.

AMOSS content

AMOSS includes discussion text, organised in sections, with helpful tips and examples. It also has a Resources section, which provides a bibliography and other useful tools, ‘terms to watch out for’, and quick guides on a range of topics.


Examples are used throughout, in boxes within the text.


AMOSS provides tips to highlight key or interesting information.

The following types of tips are used:

  • Reminder tips reiterate information that has been given elsewhere and also applies to the current topic – for example, ‘Just because the abbreviation of a term is made up of capitals, it does not mean that the term has initial capitals when it is spelt out’.
  • Did you know? tips provide interesting background information on a topic – for example, ‘The en dash is about the width of the letter “n”’.
  • How to tips usually explain useful keyboard shortcuts in Word.
  • Caution! tips provide warnings about common mistakes, and issues that often cause problems in writing and editing – for example, ‘The multiplication symbol (×) is a specific symbol, not a lower-case “x”’.
  • Let us know boxes ask users for suggestions for improvements to the examples we have used or more information on the appropriate styles for a certain topic. The AMOSS community welcomes expert opinion to build on the manual’s standards.

Bibliography and online resources

This section lists many of the resources used to build AMOSS, as well as tools and resources – both print and online – that can be useful in creating effective science communication products.

Quick guides

AMOSS includes a number of quick guides that summarise information in a PDF that can be downloaded and printed. The quick guides cover topics that users may wish to refer to frequently – for example, reference style, or using numbers and units. Links to the guides can be found in the relevant sections of the manual and as a full list of available guides in the Resources section.

Simply click on the PDF link to download the quick guide.

Contact us if there are other quick guides that you think would be useful in AMOSS. 

Terms to watch out for module

Terms to watch out for boxes present examples of words that may be confused or misused. These appear as boxed text at the beginning of relevant sections – for example, terms to watch out for when writing about human disease appear near the beginning of the Human diseases and conditions section. You can also find the entire list of terms in the Resources section.


A simple keyword search will allow you to search AMOSS manual content. The search is not case sensitive.

Your bookmark list, the ‘Terms to watch out for’ module and the quick guides are not searchable from the search button. 


You can bookmark sections that you use frequently or want to return to. Your bookmarks are listed in the Bookmarks page in the left-hand menu. You can use this list to navigate directly to your chosen section of the manual.

To bookmark a section in a page, click on the bookmark icon, which appears to the left of the section heading. The bookmark will turn orange when you have clicked on it:

               Clear bookmark becomes  Selected bookmark when bookmarked.

You can remove bookmarks from the contents page by clicking off the bookmark icon. You can also delete your bookmarks from the list found in the Bookmarks page.

Bookmarks are only available to the individual who created them.

Contact us

Please contact us with your ideas to improve AMOSS. 



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