UBC Media Relations Canadian Press style guide

Last updated: Dec. 8, 2023

Download the PDF version of this style guide here.

Titles

“Dr.” title

We use the title Dr. in front of the names of any faculty, staff member or postdoctoral scholar who has been awarded a doctoral degree from the University of British Columbia or other post-secondary institution.

We avoid degree abbreviations, if possible. If degree information is pertinent to the story, we include a description of the degree in the text. Example: “Dr. Jane Smith, who holds a doctorate in education…”

The title Dr. will used on first reference and all additional references in the text.

Note: If the person wishes to use their UBC title rather than the title Dr., we defer to their preference. Example: “Prof. John Smith, who teaches in the UBC faculty of dentistry…”

Note: We avoid the repetition of using Dr. in headlines or photo captions for ease of readability.

Exceptions

Executives: When referring to members of the Executive, confirm with the person how they wish to be described in print, guided by the following two options:

Option 1: Use the title Dr. in front of their name, and their position behind the name: Dr. Andrew Szeri, provost and vice-president academic

Option 2: Use the position in front of the name: Provost and vice-president academic Dr. Andrew Szeri President:

The President and Vice-Chancellor is to be addressed as Dr. Benoit-Antoine Bacon, president and vice- chancellor.

Pronouns

Whenever possible, confirm with the person how they wish to be described in print, including their preferred pronouns — male, female or gender-neutral pronouns like they and them.

Such pronouns can be used sparingly to refer to a single individual who expresses such a preference.

Always explain the person’s preference in copy, and make generous use of the person’s chosen name as an alternative in order to foster as much clarity as possible.

Capitalization guidelines

As per Canadian Press style, we do not capitalize the names of faculties, departments or schools.

Examples:

  • department of psychiatry
  • faculty of medicine
  • school of nursing
  • school of population and public health

We do, however, capitalize the ‘proper names’ of schools, for example, schools named after donors. Examples:

  • Peter Allard School of Law
  • UBC Sauder School of Business
  • Vancouver School of Economics

Capitalization is typically used for any institution or centre names often in the news. Examples:

  • Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions
  • BC Centre on Substance Use
  • BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute
  • BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
  • Vancouver Prostate Centre

We apply lowercase for the names of courses and programs. Examples:

  • political studies program, world history course,

Indigenous Peoples language guidelines

The UBC Vancouver campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

The Okanagan campus is located on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation.

We use the word Indigenous with a capital “I” to refer to members of the Indigenous community.

Indigenous Peoples in Canada are not a homogeneous group. An effort should be made to reflect their diversity in stories specifically dealing with Indigenous groups. Calling someone an Indigenous person in British Columbia is unhelpful. Try to identify the Indigenous group, territory, affiliation, First Nation or people.

For more information, click here. https://www.thecanadianpress.com/app/uploads/2017/12/18th- edition-Stylebook-corrections.pdf