GDPRhub commentary style guide

From GDPRhub

This page provides specific guidance on the Commentary. For general information regarding the writing style on the Hub, including on the Commentary, please follow this guide.

General Information for Commentary Articles

The GDPRhub Commentary features relatively short analysis regarding a GDPR Article. Commentaries should not exceed 4000 words total (including abstract, main text, references and figure legends). They should have an abstract of 50 words or less ("Overview") and no more than 35 references.

Writing your Commentary Article


Commentary begins with an introductory paragraph that immediately presents the issues under discussion in a way that captures the reader's interest. The Overview should be general enough to orient the reader not familiar with the specifics of the field being discussed. Here, and throughout the article, the author should avoid the jargon and special terms of his or her field or system.

Body of the text

The body of the text should, in the limited space available, develop the discussion in a lively manner. By "lively" we don't mean hype and oversimplification. Rather, the editors seek clear, declarative writing that avoids the passive tense, tangled constructions, and needless detail. Avoid asides that interrupt the flow of the text.

Commentary structure --> In general, the commentary should follow the structure of the Article. We prefer an analytical approach. This means that, if possible, we analyse the meaning of the most important sentences included in each paragraph of the Article, and then we move on to the next one, with the same approach. That said in general terms, it is also true that we don't need to be that analytical all the time. In other words, if a paragraph is terribly boring or does not deserve more than five minutes of your time, you don't need to split hairs. A general headline will work just fine.

Article 12 makes a good example. The provision is made of 8 paragraphs and each one of them is commented (check the index of contents, here). However, certain paragraphs (for example 1 and 5) require deeper analysis while others can be grouped in a more general "issue", without further analysis.

Paragraph numbering --> the Wiki automatically numbers paragraphs once they are given a hierarchy value ("Heading", "Sub-heading 1", "Sub-heading 2", etc). Therefore, there is no need to give a number to each paragraph. If doing so helps you in visualising the structure of the Commentary, do it. Please, remember that no numbers should be given to the paragraphs once the commentary is uploaded on the GDPRhub.

Citation Style

  • Books --> name(s) of author(s), year in brackets, full title, edition, publishers, place of publication, page number. Where there are two authors, both should be named; with three or more only the first author's name plus "et al." need be given. The list at the end of the paper should include only works mentioned in the text and should be arranged alphabetically by name of first author:

Example: Maizels N, Weiner AM (1993) The genomic tag hypothesis: modern viruses as fossils of ancient strategies for genomic replication. In: Gesteland RF, Atkins JF (eds) The RNA world. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York, pp. 577 -- 602Li W - (1997) Molecular evolution. Sinauer Assosiates, Sunderland, MA

  • Journal papers --> name(s) of author(s), year in brackets, full title, full name of the journal, volume number, first and last page numbers. In case there are three or more authors, the above stays valid:

Example: Quiring R, Walldorf U, Koter U, Gehring WJ (1994) Homology of the eyeless gene of Drosophila to the small eye gene in mice and aniridia in humans. Science 265:785

  • EDPB/DPAs guidelines, opinions --> name of the authority (EDPB, CNIL, etc.), title, date, page number

Example: EDPB, Guidelines 05/2020 on consent under Regulation 2016/679, 4 May 2020, p. 12.

  • EDPB, DPA, Court decisions --> name of the authority, case number, date and link to the GDPRhub summary (if available) [if not available, link to the official decision or reference to the book or journal that features the decision]


Please, do not use op. cit., ibid., 3-m dashes, en dashes, or et al. (in place of the complete list of authors' names). Never.

Practical tips

  • Since you Do not number the paragraphs, at