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CODESRIA Guide for Authors

Perfect binding: an adhesive binding system, involving no stitching or sewing, used primarily for paper backs and journals; pages are held together with glue along the back edge/spine and then trimmed to size.

Pica: a unit of typographic measurement equal to 12 points; often used in conjunction with em (‘pica em’).

Point, point-size: the typesetter’s basic unit of type measurement, one twelfth of a pica, approximately 0.35 mm or 1/72 inch. Used to measure or define the size of type, leading etc.

Portrait Format: Vertical format with the height greater than the width (as oppose to landscape format).

Prelims: Also known as front matter. These are pages at the beginning of the book before the actual text. The front matter includes the half-title page, title page, copyright, dedication (if any), contents, preface, acknowledgements, list of abbreviations, lists of plates, figures, tables and so on. The end matter can include appendices, notes, bibliography and index (in order).

Ragged Text: Text with an uneven right-hand margin, flush left-hand margin – not justified.

Run on: (1) Continue on the same line rather than starting in a fresh line or new paragraph; or (2) a print ‘run on’ is the printing of extra copies of surplus to normal print run requirements, e.g., a ‘run on’of 200 copies of a journal issue which are to be used for sample copy mailings.

Running head: the heading set at the top of each page in a book or journal issue, usually indicating the title of the chapter or article.

Recto: a right-hand page. See verso.

Signature: one sheet of he printed and folded sections of a book; folded signatures (with each signature usually in 8, 16 or 32 pages) are marked with a signature mark and then assembled ready for sewing or binding; complete signatures of a book are also referred to as ‘running sheets’.

Saddle-stitching: a binding process in which a book’s signature are stitched through the middle with, usually with wire (like staples), and secured in the centre spread. Can be used for small books up to 96 pages in length, see also perfect binding.

Stet: Instruction that the characters are to remain unaltered or to be restored if already deleted or altered. It is usually circled or marked with a row of dashes or dots below the characters.


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