Abstracts in Italics

Law review editors: If you publish the abstracts to your articles in italics, please stop. Big blocks of italics are harder to read than ordinary Roman text; that’s why you don’t see books, articles, or newspapers printed all in italics.

There are many ways that you as publishers can use to set off the abstract from the rest of the article — spacing, indentation, borders, and more. There’s no reason you have to use italics for this, and there’s ample reason not to use italics. Nor is there some deeply entrenched custom of using italics: many law reviews indeed don’t print abstracts in italics, but unfortunately quite a few still do. If you’re on the Dark Side of this, come over to the right side.

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