BioProject: Formatting Your Biography and Source Notes

Note: To understand how one should use the English language in the document, please refer to the SABR Style Guide:

Before you hand in your finished biography for editing and review, please adhere to the following guidelines as much as possible. If you cannot get your word processing program to do these things, or don’t know how to, please contact the SABR office our our project and we will try to help you. The closer you can get to these guidelines, the better.

1. Use margins of 1 inch all the way around.

2. The manuscript should use Times New Roman, 12-point font.

3. The title of the biography (the subjects name) should be centered, bolded and in all caps on the first line, followed by the author’s name of the second line. Like this: 

By Tom Meany

4. The entire manuscript should be left justified (no indenting), and single spaced. There should be a blank line between each paragraph—do not use double-space formatting at the end of the paragraph—just hit the enter key twice to create a blank line:

Babe Ruth hit a lot of home runs and ate many hot dogs. I am now typing the first paragraph and am approaching the end of the second sentence. I will now end the paragraph.

Now I am typing the second paragraph. Babe Ruth was an orphan for a time, etc.

5. The rest of the document should be a series of left-justified single-spaced blocks separated by blank lines. If there is an extended quote that needs to be set aside, leave that left-justified still with quotes around it. It will be posted properly.

6. At the end of your biography, you should have a list of sources or a source description. Begin the section with the single word “Sources” in bold, followed by a blank line.


7. It is important that all biographies list all of the sources consulted in preparing the article. You can use a simple list, or you can use end notes, or you can use both. If you use any quoted material, it is essential that the specific source for this quote is identified with an end note.

Your source list should be a list with as much information as you can provide. Please see the section below entitled “List of Sources”.

8. A description of sources used could be used instead, and would look like this:

In preparing this biography, the author relied primarily on a sizeable stack of clippings from McNally’s file at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, New York. Also helpful were Retrosheet;; Doug Brown’s article “Dave McNally—A hard man to convince,” in the June 1969 issue of Sport; and John Eisenberg’s oral history of the Orioles, From 33rd Street to Camden Yards.

9. If you use end-notes, please use the built-in feature in Word, which automatically links the superscript in the text with the note at the bottom. This makes it much easier to add and remove notes later, and formats very well on the web. I will add a note here by clicking the “References” tab in Word 2007, and then clicking “Insert Endnote”.1 If I do it again, I get another note.2 Please see the End Notes section below.

10. We ask all authors to help enhance your articles as they appear on the SABR website and making them more interactive for future readers by using Microsoft Word's hyperlink function to link to SABR biographies whenever a player's name appears in your article. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

If you have a photo you would like to use, please send it with your biography in a separate file (JPG preferred).

A. List of Sources

Your list of sources must be in the following order. The following examples are intended to suffice

Books, book chapters, book sections

by author name, alphabetically by last name

  • Eisenberg, John. From 33rd Street to Camden Yards (New York: Contemporary Books, 2001), 33-34.
  • Johnson, Lloyd and Miles Wolff, ed. The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (Baseball America, 1997).

Newspapers or Magazines (in this order)

by author name, alphabetically by last name
by article title, alphabetically
by newspaper or magazine name only, alphabetically

  • Allen, Maury. “Dave McNally: pioneer for free agency,” New York Post, November 3, 1983.
  • Jackman, Phil. “Cuellar Shines Again,” The Sporting News, June 19, 1971.
  • Jackman, Phil. “McNally Named Legion Grad of Year,” The Sporting News, June 26, 1971.
  • Time, January 12, 1972. 
  • Chicago Tribune.
  • San Francisco Chronicle.

Online Sources

by author
by article title or page name
by site name
by URL name

Archives / Documentary fragments / Other materials

alphabetized according to repository name

  • Baseball Hall of Fame Library, player file for Wee Willie Keeler.
  • New York Public Library.
  • US Census Bureau, 1930 US Census.

Personal Correspondence

face-to-face interviews
phone interviews
written correspondence
email correspondence

  • Brooks Robinson, telephone interview with author, April 16, 2010.
  • Babe Ruth, email correspondence with Fred Lieb, August 4, 1940.

B. End notes

End notes should begin with the number 1. Please use Microsoft’s built-in end note feature if you use Word. It makes it much easier to edit, and much easier to post on our website. End notes should use the same style as above, but can use shortened form if a particular source is used repetitively.

Do not use "ibid.," “op. cit.” or “loc. cit.” Instead use the shortened form of the note, as in note 4 and 5 below.

  1. Ted Patterson, The Baltimore Orioles: Four Decades of Magic from 33rd Street to Camden Yards (Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company, 2000), 117.
  2. Curt Smith, The Storytellers: From Mel Allen to Bob Costas – Sixty Years of Baseball Tales from the Broadcast Booth (New York: Macmillan, 1995), 204.
  3. Brooks Robinson and Jack Tobin, Third Base Is My Home (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1974), 20-29.
  4. Patterson, The Baltimore Orioles, 40.
  5. Robinson and Tobin, Third Base Is My Home, 54-55.
  6. Rick Maese, “Yea for York,” Baltimore Sun, April 5, 2008; Patterson, xi.
  7. Robinson and Tobin, Third Base Is My Home, 92.
  8. Larry Stone, “The Most Wonderful Days I Ever Had,” Rain Check: Baseball in the Pacific Northwest, Mark Armour, ed. (Cleveland: SABR, 2006), 106.
  9. Robinson, Third Base Is My Home, 126.
  10. Robinson, Third Base Is My Home, 126.
  11. C. Joseph Bride, Bob Brown, and Phil Itzoe, eds, Baltimore Orioles 1966 Yearbook (Baltimore: Baltimore Baseball Inc., 1966), 10.

To go back to the BioProject Resources page, click here.

  • 1. There. I am now adding a note.
  • 2. A second note to match the first.