“Running Head” refers to a short synopsis that appears at the top of every page for articles, books, or works that are no more than 50 characters long and may consist of as few as one word. Sometimes also called “Header.”
Running heads serve two essential functions. First, they help readers track where they are in a document. Secondly, it enables authors to distinguish multiple sections within one work that need identification.
Running Heads should typically appear flush with the left margin in the top left corner. They are sometimes abbreviated to save space; for example, an article discussing the American Revolution might include this feature under their running head, “HIST-REV.”
Running heads must be distinct from headlines – which establish the main topic and title for an article, book, or work – which are typically much longer and placed below them on the left-hand page.
Running heads assist readers with quickly locating individual pages of a book or manuscript, which is especially helpful when chapters or sections have been divided by numbers or letters.
Running Head is an integral component in publishing, as it helps identify books during printing and binding processes, marketing/sales efforts, online store listings, library searches, or store shelving identification processes. Running head plays an integral part in book publishing culture as an identification feature. It serves multiple essential functions in its many guises.