Many of the books that are of use to an editor or proofreader are now also available online, so you may not need the printed version on your shelves if you only need to refer to the material occasionally.

Online access to Oxford University Press reference books/dictionaries is via their Oxford Reference Online portal ( Users of UK public libraries have access through their library membership and will need their library card number to login. You can also login with an Athens user name or purchase a subscription to the service.

Style guides

New Hart’s Rules, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, 2014

Butcher’s Copy-editing, 4th ed, Cambridge University Press, 2006

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed, The University of Chicago Press, 2010. Online version:

AMA Manual of Style, 10th ed, Oxford University Press, 2007. Online version:

Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors and Publishers, 8th ed, Council of Science Editors/University of Chicago Press, 2014


English dictionaries

Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press

New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, Oxford University Press

New Oxford Spelling Dictionary, Oxford University Press

Collins English Dictionary, Collins. Online version:

The American Heritage Dictionary, Houghton Mifflin. Online version:

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Online version:

Medical dictionaries

Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, 32nd Revised ed, Saunders, 2011. Online version:

Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, 28th ed, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005. Online version: (needs a paid subscription)

Oxford Concise Colour Medical Dictionary, Oxford University Press

French Dictionaries

Collins Robert French Dictionary, Collins. Online version:

Oxford Colour French Dictionary Plus, Oxford University Press