Do we need a standard format and style in order to facilitate the world-wide dissemination of scientific knowledge? If so, then the APA Publication Manual is the best scheme so far devised. It is subject to continuous revision, so if you think some of the guidance is wrong or inappropriate, tell the editors - you'll find a feedback form on their website - and look out for the seventh edition.
Although early reviews of this sixth edition criticised the inadequate proofreading, I haven't myself looked for misprints; my copy is the third printing, and I haven't noticed any casual errors, so I assume that the process of correction has been successful.
One advantage of a well-developed scheme is that editors and peer reviewers can easily defend their requirements for amendments and/or resubmissions of manuscripts, thus - one can hope - reducing the sense of grievance felt by a rejected author.
For obvious reasons, the content relates specifically to psychology publications but the principles set out - including strictures on the presentation of data - easily extend to other sciences. From a British perspective, everything works fine, but you would be better off consulting the OED rather than Webster's for publishing in the UK.
An addendum for legal scholars: Appendix 7.1 explains how to refer to legal materials, but these instructions relate only to US materials. For guidance on British (and other overseas) legal materials, you still need to check OSCOLA at [...]
Overall, the APA Manual gives indispensable guidance on how to prepare scientific work for publication.