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EITI style and citations guide

EITI International Secretariat
August 2017


Style guide for written text

The EITI style guide covers style, spelling and grammar conventions for all content published by the EITI International Secretariat. 

It includes:

  • guidance on specific points of style, such as abbreviations and numbers
  • EITI style for specific words and phrases, in terms of spelling, hyphenation and capitalisation

We also use the Economist style guide as a reference.

If you are searching for a certain term in the style guide, press Ctrl+f on your keyboard if you’re using a PC or ⌘+f if you’re using a Mac and type the word or search term that you’re looking for.

You might also find our glossary useful, or our translation glossary.

Glossary / style



aggregation/ disaggregation

Do not capitalise


Alphabetical order

List items in alphabetical order if there is not a hierarchy

Anadarko reports payments in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Mozambique and Sierra Leone.

France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom recently joined other OECD countries, such as Australia and the United States, in making a formal commitment to implement the EITI Standard.


Use the possessive (‘s) after singular words and names that end in “s” and plural words that do not end in “s”.

Use the possessive (s’) after plural words that end in “s”

Avoid the false possessive. A year cannot own anything.

Do not put apostrophes into decades

Jonas’s car; Anders’s bike

Women’s; media’s


Bosses’; caucuses’

Gulf War of 1991, not 1991’s Gulf War

1990s, not 1990’s

Board Circular style

Always make sure that the text in the Board Circular is Franklin Gothic Book


Board meeting

Do not capitalise meeting


Board member(s)

Do not capitalise member(s)



If a whole sentence is within brackets, put the full stop inside.

Use square brackets when placing an explanation or addition a direct quote. The use of ordinary brackets within a direct quotation indicated that the words were part of the original text.


“They [the National Coordinators] met in Kinshasa for a training workshop.”

British English spelling

“s” instead of “z”

“-re” instead of “-er”

“-our” instead of “-or”

Exception: If an American spelling is used in the proper name, use that spelling



favourite; colour

Example : Alcan Aluminum, Pulverizing Services, Travelers Insurance

British English words

“candidature” instead of “candidacy”

“take” a decision instead of “make” a decision

Exception: license, defense (US spelling with “s”)


Bulleted lists

Bulleted lists should begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop





It is not necessary to use periods after short phrases or single words in a list, if the introductory statement is grammatically complete or if the listed items are like those on an inventory sheet or a shopping list.

The EITI International Secretariat might be able to provide the following services to countries considering implementation:

•   Advice, guidance, and training on the EITI Rules and requirements, especially on sign-up.

•   Knowledge centre for best practice and facilitation of peer learning.

  • Lessons and best practices from other countries.

This is what I like about living in Norway:

  • Access to culture
  • Long summer days
  • The EITI International Secretariat
cadastreNot "cadaster", which is the American spelling. 

candidate country/status

Lower case letters


candidature application

Lower case letters


Capital letters

Use upper case letters for all ranks and titles when directly preceding a name, but lower case when on their own or when separated by a comma. This rule does NOT apply for heads of state.

Seth Terkper, Ghana’s Minister of Finance, delivered the keynote address.

Over 1000 delegates participated in the annual meetings, including finance ministers from countries in francophone Africa.

The head of the EITI International Secretariat is the Board secretary.

Jonas Moberg is Head of the EITI International Secretariat.

The Queen

changes of name

Where countries have made it clear that they wish to be called by a new (or an old) name, respect their requests.

Thus: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Myanmar Sri Lanka, Thailand, Zimbabwe

Zaire has now reverted to Congo.

In contexts where countries where there can be no confusion with the ex-French country of the same name, plain Congo will do.

But if there is a risk of misunderstanding, call it the Democratic Republic of Congo (never DRC). The other Congo can be Congo-Brazzaville if necessary. The river is now also the Congo. The people of either country are also Congolese.

Former Soviet republics that are now independent countries include:

  • Belarus (not Belorus or Belorussia), Belarusian (adjective)
  • Kazakhstan
  • Moldova (not Moldavia)
  • Tajikistan Turkmenistan (see Turk, Turkic, Turkmen, Turkoman below)
  • Kyrgyzstan is the name of the country. Its adjective is Kyrgyzstani, which is also the name of one of its inhabitants. But Kirgiz is the noun and adjective of the language, and the adjective of Kirgiz people outside Kyrgyzstan. (See also names.)

Follow local practice when a country changes the names of rivers, towns, etc, within it. Thus:

  • Almaty not Alma Ata
  • Chemnitz not Karl-Marx-Stadt
  • Chennai not Madras
  • Chernihiv not Chernigov
  • Chur not Coire
  • Kyiv not Kiev
  • Kolkata not Calcutta
  • Lviv not Lvov
  • Mumbai not Bombay
  • Nizhny Novgorod not Gorky
  • Papua not Irian Jaya
  • Polokwane not Pietersburg
  • Yangon not Rangoon
  • St Petersburg not Leningrad
  • Tshwane is the new name for the area round Pretoria but not yet for the city itself. (See also placenames.)

civil society

Do not capitalise


Commas in lists

Do not use the serial or Oxford comma except to avoid ambiguity

The EITI is a coalition of governments, companies, civil society groups, investors and international organisations.

Franzefoss Minerals, Knaben Molybden, North Cape Minerals, Rana Gruber, Store Norske, Titania and Tschudi Shipping Company are mining companies that operate in Norway.


Do not capitalise committee

Exception: used together with the name of the committee or when referring to the specific committee.

Each committee has eight members.

Executive Committee, Implementation Committee, Outreach and Candidature Committee

The Governance Committee has eight members. The Committee met in London yesterday.

Committee chair

Do not capitalise chair

Do not use the terms “chairman” and “chairwoman”

The EITI chair will be speaking at the annual meetings of the African Development Bank in May.

The chair of the EITI is Fredrik Reinfeldt.

compliant country/non-compliant

Do not use compliant / not compliant -  these terms are no longer used in common EITI parlance. Reference levels of progress towards meeting the EITI Standard.

Mongolia has made satisfactory progress towards meeting the EITI Standard.

Many countries are making meaningful progress.

COVID-19all capsSee here our COVID-19 guide. 


US dollar: USD

Euro: EUR

Norwegian kroner: NOK

For a complete list of currencies please visit:

USD 4 million

EUR 4 million

NOK 4 million



All dates should be in the following format: 10 June 2009; 10-12 June 2009

Single digit dates should be written without a zero in front: 1 October 2011

For an event that spans over several days, write either on 23-25 May or from 23 to 25 May


Definite article

“The” needs to precede “EITI” unless in a headline


Exception: when “EITI” is used as an adjective, the article corresponds with the noun

The EITI is implemented by countries, and extractive companies in these countries have to report how much they pay.

What are the benefits of EITI implementation?

The EITI Standard was adopted in 2013.

e.g. and i.e.

Use full stops after each letter

Do not place a comma after

NB e.g. means “for example”

i.e. means “that is; in other words; that is to say”

the value of the balancing benefit stream (e.g. infrastructure works)

The three US states on the west coast have favourable climates (i.e. warm winters and cool summers).


DO NOT refer to the EITI as an Initiative – it might still be in the name, but the term does not capture what the EITI does. Use process or standard or just EITI depending on the context. 


The EITI is a standard…

The EITI is a process…

The EITI is ….

EITI Board

Capitalise Board

Do not use “EITI International Board”

You can say the international EITI Board

EITI International Secretariat

To avoid confusion with local EITI secretariats, insert 'International' when referring to ourselves.

When writing articles, news items, etc., if there is any uncertainty, use EITI International Secretariat


EITI Report

Report should be capitalised only when preceded by EITI. Do not refer to an EITI Report unless you’re actually talking about one. 

The EITI now uses the term EITI reporting to emphasise that information can be disclosed across government, not necessarily confined to an EITI Report.

Mauritania published its fourth EITI Report disclosing the revenues from mining and oil companies for 2009. 

Zambia EITI reporting showed that copper production increased by over 8% from 2012 to 2013.

The report was prepared by Fair Links.


Use a full stop after etc. followed by a comma if it does not come at the end of the sentence and the list is outside of brackets.

Always place a comma before “etc.” in a list

Climate change activities requiring monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions, verification of carbon credit projects, etc., are very likely to have similar capacity challenges and can draw from the experiences of EITI capacity building.

All of the 35 countries displayed their EITI materials (posters, reports, videos, brochures, flags, t-shirts, etc.).

We will need a lot of bread: wheat, white, wholemeal, etc.


Use Franklin Gothic Book for letters, Board papers, Board Circulars or other documents that we may also share in word version.

Use Metropolis for products for external audiences, including  publications and website.



Do not capitalise except when part of a complete title

the Government of Sudan; the French government

In Kazakhstan the government has been slow to implement the EITI.

Companies, civil society and national governments all play an important role in implementing the EITI.

implementing country

Lower case letters


in-kind and in kind

Hyphenate when used as an adjective

in-kind payments; in-kind revenues

payments in kind; taxes in kind

Independent Administrator

Always capitalise

Abbreviation: IA

The Independent Administrator must be perceived by the multi-stakeholder group to be credible, trustworthy and technically competent.


Do not put full stops after initials

HE (His Excellency)

Rt Hon Clare Short

Mr Jonas Moberg

Legal attachments

Do not use include legal attachments to company names unless it would be misleading to omit them

Corp, A.S. PLC, GmBH


Do not write licence

The EITI Standard also addresses other issues such as license and contract transparency to ensure that the wealth from a country’s natural resources benefit all its citizens.


Always hyphenate

Do not capitalise except when referring to a country's Multi-Stakeholder Group

Abbreviation of multi-stakeholder group: MSG

The multi-stakeholder group is encouraged to include further information on revenue management and expenditures in EITI reporting.

This chapter seeks to draw lessons on multi-stakeholder governance from the EITI.

Ghana's Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) held its fifth meeting in June 2009.

National Coordinator

Always capitalise

The National Coordinator of Trinidad and Tobago is Sherwin Long.

national secretariat

Do not capitalise

An EITI national secretariat in Iraq has been established within the Inspector General's Office at the Ministry of Electricity.

The Iraq EITI national secretariat has been established within the Inspector General's Office at the Ministry of Electricity.


Do not start a sentence with a numeral; spell out the number

Always spell out a number if it is less than 10, except for units of measurement. This also applies for adjectives.

Exception: when numbers less than 10 and greater than 10 occur together, write them all in figures

Exception: use words for one-hundredth and one-thousandth

When two numbers refer to one item, spell out one of them and express the other in figures

A unit of measurement when used adjectively with a number is hyphenated

Do not use the word thousand when preceded by a number
Use a comma separator on the bottom

Abbreviations: million=m; billion=bn; trillion=tr

Round off large numbers, particularly in text

Twenty-two countries are facing a Validation deadline of 9 March 2010.

The EITI national secretariat in Albania has four staff. The Iraqi secretariat has 10.

The EITI International Secretariat has 20 staff.

Third, 20th, 182nd

At the meeting, 12 government representatives and 5 company representatives brought forth the same issue.

They requested four 1-metre stands. They requested 36 ninety-centimetre stands.

2kg, 5 metres, USD 5m, 60-kg bag, 200-km road, 8-MW capacity

15,000 (not 15 thousand)
15,000 not 15 000

5m; 6bn, 7tr

1.3 billion rather than 1 297 780 000

Percent and decimal fractions

Use % and not percent, unless this is at the beginning of the sentence

When using percentage, the use the numeral for numbers less than ten. Exception: see rule above

Numbers containing decimal fractions should always be written in figures

Subnational governments received 20% of the revenues.

Twenty percent of the Board members can speak French.

Only 5% of the total revenues reach the subnational level.

The average family has 2.4 children.

The annual inflation rate reached 4.9%.

project-level reporting

Use hyphen between the first two words if used together with the noun

Project-level reporting has increased across EITI countries
More and more countries are reporting revenues on project level.


Not “publically”

The EITI requires EITI reporting that are comprehensible, actively promoted, publicly accessible, and contribute to public debate.

quasi-fiscal expenditures

Hyphenate between the quasi and fiscal

Quasi-fiscal expenditures include arrangements whereby SOE(s) undertake public social expenditure such as payments for social services, public infrastructure, fuel subsidies and national debt servicing, etc.


Start with the quote, not with the person who speaking. The message before the function!

Put the name of the person before their function.

“We will strive to organise the best possible EITI Conference,” said Rosa Maria Ortiz, Minister of Energy and Mines.

“This is no talking shop,” the Rt Hon Clare Short, EITI Chair, added. “The world cannot afford to fail to optimise its use of natural resources.”

Reference to publications

When names of newspapers, magazines, and titles of books are found in main text, use italics

Titles of chapters in books or magazine articles should be enclose in quotation marks and not italicised.

An advertisement for the next EITI chair will be published in The Economist and in Jeune Afrique.

Beyond Governments – Making Collective Governance Work: lessons from the EITI is a new book by Jonas Moberg and Eddie Rich.

“The drums of war” is the fourth chapter of An Honourable Deception? New labour, Iraq and the misuse of power

Report clarification

Please distinguish the two kinds of reports: EITI and Validation.

Please always use the full term.

When referring to a report, add the year of the report.

Exception: when referring to the first, second report.

Liberia submitted its 2012 Validation Report to the Validation Committee four months after the release of its first EITI Report.

reporting process

Do not capitalise

The EITI reporting process has been bogged down by a lack of institutional capacity.


Do not capitalise

Exception: Capitalise when referring to a specific requirement or the EITI Requirements.

To assess this requirement as met, the Validator must cite evidence that the government has removed any obstacles to meet the requirements in the EITI Standard.

The provisions of Requirement 5(e) regarding regular and timely reporting will be mandatory after 31 December 2012.

Saving letters on Shared

When saving letters in PDF, make sure to give them a name that makes sense

E.g. Letter from EITI chair/HoS to Prime Minister Cameron

secretariat review

Do not capitalise


Spacing between sentences

use one space, not two between sentences



Do not capitalise unless referring to the EITI Standard specifically. You can drop the “EITI” to avoid repeating “EITI Standard” in a given paragraph. You must have specified EITI Standard previously in the text.

The EITI is a global standard to promote open and accountable management of natural resources.

The EITI Standard contains the set of requirements that countries need to meet in order to be recognised as an EITI member country. The Standard is overseen by the EITI Board, with members from governments, companies and civil society.

state ownership

Not hyphenated


state-owned enterprise

Always use a hyphen

Do not capitalise



Do not hyphenate nor capitalise

The EITI is currently looking at ways to improve implementation at the subnational level.

supporting company

Lower case letters


supporting country

Lower case letters


systematic disclosure / mainstreaming



Lower case letters

The terms “mainstreaming”, “integrated reporting” and “systematic disclosure” are often used interchangeably depending on the target audience. Always in lower case. Terms such as E-government and E-governance can also be used when writing about systematic disclosure. 

The EITI Board has ushered in a new era of systematic disclosure by approving Norway’s application for mainstreamed implementation.

Terms of Reference

Abbreviation: ToRs, not TORs nor Tors

The ToRs were approved by the MSG.

Titles of people

Most titles should not be attached directly to names

The exception is heads of state

Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance of Ghana NOT Minister Terkper

Barack Obama, President of the United States

President Obama

Titles of publications

Use British English style: capitalise only the first word and proper nouns/words that are pre-defined to be capitalised

“How to become a candidate country”


When including a URL in the text, remove http://


Capitalise Validation

Implementing countries must undertake Validation regularly.

Where Validation verifies that a country has met all of the requirements, the EITI Board will designate that country as having met the requirements in the Standard.


Always capitalise

Company X has been contracted to serve as the Validator in Liberia.

The EITI Board has pre-approved seven companies to serve as EITI Validators.

work plan

Two words

Do not capitalise, even when preceded by “EITI”

The work plans reflect the key priorities of the international management of the EITI for the following calendar year.

This guidance note provides guidance to multi-stakeholder groups on framing their work plans in consultation with stakeholders.

How to develop an EITI work plan


Citations guide

How to reference sources for initial assessments and other longer papers, such as Briefs of research papers for the Board.

To cite sources, we use footnotes

Insert footnotes using the menu bar: “Insert --> Footnote…”

No need to change any settings. The numbering will be updated automatically, also when other people contribute to the document.

Whenever you are citing or paraphrasing a source, you should reference it.

Make sure you cite the

  • Author (organisation) / Publisher
  • Publication date in brackets
  • Title of report / news item
  • If applicable: page nr
  • Publication date
  • URL


The Government of Peru committed to the EITI in May 20051 and participated in the International Advisory Group (IAG)2 between 2005 and 2006.


1 Peru EITI (September 2010), Validation Report; p. 13. Retrieved from
2  EITI (September 2006), Report of the International Advisory Group, p. 16. Retrieved from


Further example:

The NSWG agreed at its 16 December 2014 meeting to proceed with a repeat procurement of the Taju Audu & Co consortium for the 2013 EITI Report, following its satisfactory performance for the 2012 EITI Report and the “tight” deadline of end-2015 for producing the 2013 EITI Report548.


548 NEITI (16 December 2014), NSWG meeting minutes, unpublished, provided by NEITI Secretariat.


Make sure that you list all the cited sources from your footnotes in the reference list at the end of the document, in the order of the bullet points above. If you sourced the file from a URL, include the date you accessed the page.



Peru EITI (September 2010), Validation Report; p. 13. Retrieved from on 06.09.2017.

EITI (September 2006), Report of the International Advisory Group, p. 16. Retrieved from on 06.09.2017.


If there is no date to the source, state that.


36 (no date), Sweet vs Sour Crude Oil, retrieved from

Again, in the list of references you will need to add to the source when you accessed the webpage.

If you are citing an official source, such as an Official Journal / Journal Officiel, you do not need to include the url necessarily.


You may also use footnotes to point to further sources of information.


1 Please refer to for more examples. Page accessed 7 September 2017.


Footnotes are commonly used to elaborate more on a point made briefly in the main body text.

1  See for more information Annex I to Board paper 34-4-B on commodity trading, available upon request from the EITI International Secretariat.

How to cite laws

We are citing laws according to the The Bluebook ( a uniform system of legal citation):  

  1. Citing statutes, decrees, regulations:

Generally, you should cite the title, chapter, or article, the section number itself and the year of the code.

Example: Article/Chapter xxx, Section xxx , Mining Code of Papua New Guinea, 2006.

  1. Citing house bills- Include the short title and the parliamentary session serial number. Note that the serial number changes every time the Bill is reprinted or refiled. 
  1. When referring to codes, presidential decrees, rules and regulations, always capitalise-

                  Example: The 2008 Mining Code of Burkina Faso states….. 

                  In 2012, the Ministry approved the Rules and Regulations on Mining  

  1. When referring to appellate courts, “Court” should always be capitalised.

                  Example: In 2012 the Court ruled that…

  When referring to specific contracts or agreements, always capitalise.

Example: The company’s Production Sharing Contract …

The government granted a Mining Agreement to xxx company 

If you want to insert a footnote for where you retrieved the law, you can add the URL, but you don’t need to. Laws and regulations have no authors, just the title and the year. Indicate clearly if the website you are citing is not the official government website. Again, in the list of references, state the date accessed.  

1 2008 Mining Code of Burkina Faso, retrieved from (not a government website).


How to cite EITI Board decisions

The text can say something like

“In its Validation decision on Mali, the Board found the country needs to address 14 corrective actions until November 20181.”


1 EITI Board (March 2017), Decision on Mali, Ref nr. 2017-29/BM-37/BP-37-9-B. Retrieved from


How to cite your most used source

Most cited source is probably the latest EITI Report. At beginning of document, say main reference is 2015 EITI Report, specify the author, date, title in one footnote and announce you will use “2015 EITI Report” to refer to that report instead of using a footnote every time.

When you refer to pages within a mentioned report (that is clear from the phrase), no need to add that as footnote, use brackets in text (otherwise half the page will be used with very short footnotes).


The basis of the initial assessment is the latest EITI Report covering 20151. This assessment will refer to this report as ‘2015 EITI Report’.

According to the 2015 EITI Report, the following revenue streams were covered: Surface rental, royalty and corporate tax (p. iv). Eight new petroleum agreements received the approval by the Parliament (p. 11).


1 EITI Ghana (2016). 2015 EITI Report. Available at


Transitional arrangement

For the Validation files which are under way, be sure that the document citation method is internally consistent. Use either citations or footnotes as main citation method.


Dos and don'ts

Do not




Use the word unique unless it is true. Unique means, literally, of which there is only one.

Ask yourself if you can delete the word without the sentence losing its meaning. If yes, delete.

Write utilisation. Some words add nothing but length to your prose.

Write use. A clear, concise language is always preferred.

Use unnecessary words like very or really.

Write concisely. 

Use the word roughly.

Use about instead.

Write American English, such as organization.

Write British English. Organisation is correct.

Use impact (as a verb)

Use impact as a subject, or replace with a different term.

Write sentences of more than 16 words.

Use plain, familiar language and short sentences.

Don't use complex or potentially confusing contractions like: should've, would've, they've, mustn't, aren't, couldn't, haven't.

Only use simple contractions like 'you’re' or 'you’ll'

Don't use abbreviations such as e.g., i.e. or etc.


These should be replaced with appropriate phrases including: for example, such as, that is, and so on.

Assume the reader knows our organisation.

Expand all abbreviations when we use them for the first time on a page. Exceptions can occur if the EITI is used in a title.