Journal Conventions

General JETLaw Conventions

1. Style Conventions. The Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law (JETLaw) conforms to the Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed. 2017) [hereinafter “CMS”].  Citations should appear in footnotes—rather than endnotes—and conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th ed. 2015) [hereinafter “Bluebook”].

2. Length. JETLaw prefers to publish articles of 12,000–18,000 words in length (excluding footnotes); however, article lengths outside of this range may be considered in extraordinary circumstances.

3. Images. If planning to submit a color image, please also submit copies of that image in black and white, using both .tiff and .jpeg formats.

Specific JETLaw Conventions

4. Spacing Between Sentences. There should be one (1) space between all sentences, both above the line and below the line.

5. Scope of Citations. In general, a citation should accompany every assertion other than an original intellectual conception of the author; provided, however, that a citation within the Conclusion or any “roadmap” paragraph that would take the form of an internal cross-reference may be omitted.

6. Abbreviated Terms. When introducing an acronym, provide the full text and, immediately following that text, include the acronym in parentheses without quotation marks (e.g., “Only the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates . . . .”).

7. Acronyms in the Table of Contents (TOC). Use acronyms in headings or the TOC only if abbreviated throughout the paper.  A term need only be abbreviated the first time it is used in the text.

8. Constitutions and Numbers. When referring to an article or section of the US Constitution, either capitalize the reference—e.g., “Article IV, Section 1”—or provide a commonly known title (e.g., “the Equal Protection Clause”).  See Bluebook Rule 11.  For general references to state constitution provisions, leave in lower case but retain a numerical format for specific references (e.g., “article I, section 12” or “the double jeopardy clause”).

9. Legislation. Discuss the contents of a currently valid act in the present tense, but discuss the contents of a proposed bill in the conditional tense (e.g., “Congress passed the Act,” “The Act authorizes,” and “The bill would authorize”).  Additionally, when referring to legislation for the first time, always include the public law or chapter number in an accompanying footnote (e.g., Clean Air Act, Pub. L. No. 91-604, 84 Stat. 1676 (1970) (codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. §§ 7401–7671q)).  See Bluebook Rule 12.4(a) for a similar structure.

10. And/or. The use of “and/or” is disfavored.  Instead, select only one of the two words or rephrase entirely.

11. Slash (/) Symbol. The use of the slash symbol between words to convey alternatives is discouraged (e.g., The “idea/expression dichotomy” in copyright law discussions should appear instead as the “idea-expression dichotomy.”).

12. Names for Courts. Use the court’s full name when mentioning a court of that level for the first time (e.g., “US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit” or “US District Court for the Southern District of Texas”).  For subsequent mentions, however, a short form may be used (e.g., “Tenth Circuit” or “Eastern District of Virginia”).  Using phrases like “the district court” or “the court” is also acceptable for subsequent mentions.

13. Capitalizing Judicial Bodies. When referring to the US Supreme Court, capitalize “Court” (i.e., “the Court”).  When discussing any other court, however, use the lower case designation (e.g., “The Supreme Court of Texas reversed.  The court held . . . .”).  See CMS Rule 8.63; Bluebook Rule 8(c).

14. United States. Refer to the United States of America as “the United States” if used as a noun and as “US” if used as an adjective, rather than “America” or “American,” respectively.  See CMS Rule 10.32.  Note also that “US” should appear without periods (i.e., not “U.S.”).  Use of a possessive noun should be spelled out as “the United States’s” (i.e., “the United States’s treatment ….”).

15. Other Countries. Abbreviate the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU).  See also CMS Rule 10.32.

16. Em Dashes. No spaces should appear between an em dash and the words that it separates.  See CMS Rule 6.82.

17. En Dashes. References to numerical ranges (e.g., pages, sections, dates), should separate the inclusive numbers with an en dash, rather than a hyphen.  See, e.g., Bluebook Rule 3.2(a).

18. Hyphenation. Refer to CMS Rules 5.91 and 7.77–7.85 for general hyphenation conventions; provided, however, that the following exceptions apply:

· Black letter law. Never hyphenated.

· Case law. Neither “caselaw” nor “case-law.”

· Common law. Not hyphenated unless appearing before a noun (e.g., “common-law system”).

· Fact-finder. Always hyphenated.

· Preexisting. Never hyphenated.

19. Terms of Art. The following terms of art should never be hyphenated, even when appearing before a noun.

· Climate change. Never hyphenated.

· Derivative work author. Never hyphenate “derivative” and “work.”

· Intellectual property. Never hyphenated.

· Markholder. Never hyphenate and never supply a space between “mark” and “holder.”

· Rights holder. Never hyphenated.

· Trade secret. Never hyphenated.

20. Hyphenation in Headings. When words are hyphenated in a heading, capitalize both words.  See also CMS Rule 8.157.  For example, “fact-finder” is one word when using a hyphen, so it should appear as “Fact-Finder” within a heading.

21. First Person. First person in all forms is generally disfavored, with few exceptions.

22. References to the Present Work. Refer to the present work as “this Article” (or “this Note” for student works).  Use “this Author” or “this Author’s” in place of first person references.

23. Internal Cross-References. Refer to topics within the present work as “Part” (e.g., “Part II discusses . . . .”).  If referring to a topic other than a Roman numeral heading, however, use the term “Section”—e.g., “Section II.B explains . . . .” or “Section II.B.1 explains . . . .”

24. Infra & Supra Above the Line. Try to avoid the terms “infra” and “supra” in text.  Replace instead with “as mentioned above/below,” “as discussed in Section II.A.3,” and the like.

25. Introduction’s Roadmap. An author’s roadmap in the Introduction should appear in the present tense, rather than the future tense (e.g., “Part I analyzes . . .” and not “Part I will analyze . . . .”).

26. Conclusion. If referring to a previously discussed topic in the Conclusion, use of the past tense is discouraged (e.g., “This Article addresses . . .” and not “This Article addressed . . . .”).

27. Italicizing (Foreign) Words. Refer to Bluebook Rule 7(b) for general italicization conventions; provided, however, that the following rules apply:

· Not italicized: a priori, ca., carte blanche, certiorari, de facto, de novo, dicta, dictum, en banc, et al., ibid., in vitro, passim, per se, prima facie, stare decisis.

· Italicized: ad infinitim, de minimis, in camera, in limine, in pari delicto, inter alia, in terrorem, qua, qui tam.

28. Italics and Possessive. Do not italicize the apostrophe or the “s” following an italicized possessive term (e.g., Roe v. Wade’s or The New York Times’).  See CMS Rule 7.28.

29. Publications in Above-the-Line Text. Publications appearing in above-the-line text should be italicizedSee Bluebook Rule 2.2(a)(ii).  Titles of photographs and songs, however, do not constitute publications under this rule and should instead appear “in quotations.”

30. Punctuation and Quotation Marks. All punctuation, except for colons, should appear inside quotation marks.  See Bluebook Rule 1.1(a).

31. Quotation Marks. Use “curly” quotation marks rather than “straight” quotation marks.  If using quotation marks to designate a new term in text—e.g., The so-called “Act of State doctrine”—the quotation marks are only necessary for that term’s first mention.

32. Wikipedia. Citations to Wikipedia are strongly disfavored.

33. Miscellaneous Words.

· 3D. Always capitalize “D” and never hyphenate.

· Attorneys’ Fees. Should always appear as a plural possessive.

· Canceled. Should always use “canceled” unless “cancelled” appears in a quote.

· Congress’s. Use of this possessive noun should appear as “Congress’s” rather than “Congress’.”

· Data. Always plural (i.e., “the data show” and not “the data shows”).

· Dicta. If modifying a singular noun, should appear as “dictum” (e.g., “This analysis was dictum.”).

· Email. Should never appear as “e-mail” unless it appears that way in the title of legislation or in a quote.

· Health care. Should always appear as two words.

· Internet. The word “internet” should be lowercase unless it is used in part of a trademarked term or otherwise constitutes the proper name of an organization or the like.

· Policy maker. Should always appear as two words. 

· Video game(s). Should always appear as two words.

· WiFi. Should never appear as “wifi,” “Wi-Fi,” or “Wi-fi.”