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I am about to publish my machine learning method which I called "Run-clustering" (obviously I use a different word than "Run", I use it as a place holder here, since my paper is not published yet). I want to know how I should write it in my publication. Previously I published a paper which contained "Run-kernel" as a term (Run capitalized, with a hypen and kernel not capitalized). This Run-kernel is used by my other method "Run-KDE" which I already published, named like this. KDE is an already existing method that extended to Run-KDE. My new method builds on the method KDC, so I could also call it Run-KDE, but I fear people might get confused because Run-KDC and Run-KDE looks very similar, when not reading carefully. I am not sure how I should call my method:

  • run-clustering
  • Run-clustering
  • run-Clustering
  • Run-Clustering
  • run clustering
  • Run clustering
  • run Clustering
  • Run Clustering

The word run is a normal english word and I fear someone might think there is a paradigm called "run clustering" or an already existing method, or group of methods called run clustering (which is not the case). Thus I was thinking of using the hpyen. Also, I used the hypen in my previous paper. I thought of writing "Run" capatilized, because it is a proper name. However, I was told that this is wrong and I should write "run clustering" - no capitalization and no hypen.

What should I write?

  • Practically speaking, run clustering is fine. However, if there is any chance of “run” being mistaken for another part of a sentence, then run-clustering will be more clear. But don’t worry too much. If your method attracts any interest, people will spell it any way that pleases them. – Global Charm Oct 13 '18 at 21:02
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As a general rule, you always capitalize proper nouns. Whoever told you otherwise is wrong. There are some exceptions, but they are deliberate and nonstandard.

So, which words are part of your proper noun?

If it's just Run, and Run is being used adjectivally (or adverbially) to modify clustering, then the common styling would be Run clustering without a hyphen.

Here are a couple of examples:

A green apple.
A Granny Smith apple.

The proper noun is capitalized, the common noun is not, and no hyphen is used.


On the other hand, if the proper noun has both words, then it would most often be Run Clustering. Or even Run-Clustering if you want to explicitly include a hyphen in its name. There is no grammatical reason to use a hyphen, but since you're naming it, you can do whatever you wish.

  • Since I used the style "Run-kernel" in my previous publication, I would stick with "Run-clustering" - or would that be grossly wrong? The Springer style guide (ftp.springernature.com/cs-proceeding/svproc/guidelines/… page 2) says for headings that if the fist word can stand on its own, the second should be capitalized (otherwise not). Not sure whether this rule can be transferred to the question at hand. – Make42 Oct 12 '18 at 18:02
  • @Make42 If you want to use the precedent of your previous style as your own "in-house style guide," that's fine. My answer just referred to common styling. (Of course, unless you are self-publishing, the publisher you use may use a different style.) – Jason Bassford Oct 12 '18 at 18:07

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