How we write at Karolinska Institutet

Here are writing rules to support you in your role at KI. You will find, among other things, guidelines for language, KI:s name, positions and concepts linked to the university.

The writing rules concern areas that often create uncertainty and are intended to facilitate and create uniformity within KI. They are based on the Swedish Language Act and the Language Council's guidelines.

Use a literate, simple and understandable language

Paper and hand with pen
KI's writing rules provide support for a coherent and understandable language.

In a university and an authority, it is easy for the language to become unnecessarily pompous or formal. 

KI must strive to comply with the Swedish Language Act, which states that the language in public activities must be literate, simple and understandable.

Keep in mind that your text should: 

  • be adapted to the intended reader  
  • have a structure that suits its purpose;
  • have a literate, simple and understandable language  
  • be accessible
  • have a respectful tone. 

Swedish and English 

The official language at KI is Swedish, which means, among other things, that all decisions and governing documents must be in Swedish. For KI as an international university and workplace, it is often required that texts are written in both Swedish and English. 

The following must have both a Swedish and an English name: 

  • titles 
  • organisational units within Karolinska Institutet, such as departments, sections, units, research centres and such 
  • educations/programmes 
  • research areas

Information should also be available in both Swedish and English when it comes to: 

  • Information intended for recently hired staff 
  • Information intended for Master’s students
  • safety information, such as procedures and rules for the use of laboratories and alarms 
  • work environment information related to daily work 
  • acute problems related to premises, telephony and IT issues. 

An English summary of the Swedish text may be sufficient when it comes to, for example, information related to service for employees, such as forms and templates. 

The website is bilingual

The website is a bilingual site, this means that all content should be available in both languages. The exception is content that is only intended for a target group that the sender knows only understands Swedish or English.

Academic designations

Academic positions and designations
Svenska Engelska
Rektor President
Prorektor Vice President
Vicerektor Academic Vice President
Prefekt Head of Department
Vice prefekt Vice Head of Department, Deputy Head of Department, Vice Chair
Biträdande prefekt Deputy Head of Department
Dekan Dean
Professor Professor
Adjungerad professor Adjunct Professor
Gästprofessor Visiting Professor
Universitetslektor Senior Lecturer
Adjungerad lektor Adjunct Senior Lecturer
Adjunkt Lecturer
Adjungerad adjunkt Adjunct Lecturer
Forskare Senior Researcher
Senior forskare Principal Researcher
Forskarassistent / Biträdande lektor Assistant Professor
Forskningsspecialist Research Specialist
Senior forskningsspecialist Senior Research Specialist
Postdoktor Postdoctoral Researcher
Doktorand Doctoral Student/ PhD student
Docent Docent
Grundutbildningsansvarig (GUA) Departmental Director of Education
Kursansvarig lärare Course Director
Programdirektor Programme Director
Handledare Supervisor
Forskargruppsledare Research Group Leader
Studierektor för forskarutbildning Director for Doctoral Studies

KI:s name 

Our university is named Karolinska Institutet. The name is used as an unbroken unit, that is, not only "Karolinska" or "Institutet". 

Keep in mind:

  • Both parts of the name are capitalised, capital K, and capital I, which can be explained by the fact that Institute is part of the name, not a descriptive noun.  
  • A permitted abbreviation of the name is KI. KI is always written in capital letters. 
  • Genitive of KI should be written with colons: KI:s (not KIs or KI's). 
  • It is possible to vary the text by using the words "university" and "educational institution". 
  • In official contexts, the preposition at Karolinska Institutet is used (not in Karolinska Institutet). 

How to use the abbreviation KI

If the abbreviation KI is to be used in running text, the full name should be included during the first instance, with the abbreviation together with the name: "Karolinska Institutet (KI) ...". After that, only the abbreviation KI can be used.  

In some cases, and especially in a digital context, it may be justified to use the abbreviation KI. It may for example involve the name of a system (KI Mediabank) or a seminar series (KI-xxx). In cases where the abbreviation KI is used in the heading/naming, Karolinska Institutet should be written in text in close connection with the abbreviation KI or be supplemented with a logo.

KI in English 

The brand name is not translated into other languages in writing – even in English it is called Karolinska Institutet (not Karolinska Institute).

Illustration of corona virus.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus. Photo: Getty Images.

Writing rules related to the viral disease Covid-19

SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

We follow WHO’s way of writing and how abbreviations are often written in English. Compare HIV and ADHD.

Coronavirus disease/the coronavirus

Simpler way to describe the disease, see the Swedish explanation. Note that corona and viruses are written together, the coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic/the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is used when we write about the ongoing pandemic in English. Variations thereafter: the pandemic/the coronavirus pandemic.