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Guidelines for Citations in Encyclopedia Articles

This page is a chapter in 'Book Encyclopedia Writers Guide'

Methods for providing citations

Encyclopedia articles represent current knowledge, and that knowledge is usually derived from books and articles. Providing citations is essential in encyclopedia articles to show the sources of the information.

This article explains how to provide citations using a simplified form of the Harvard or author-date method. It then describes a number of templates which have been created to assist creating citations.

Using Harvard or author-date is not compulsory. However it is recommended.

The Harvard or author-date style

The basic form of a citation in this system is:
Author(s) date, title, publisher
For example:

The reason for putting the author and date first is to provide a convenient and short way to refer to a citation in the text. For example:
The analysis of sales (Moore 1945, page 50) shows ...

The articles on collecting by Watkins (2009) ...
The Harvard method handles anonymous works by listing them by title. However, the style used for NAWCC encyclopedia citations has been modified to allow citing anonymous authors using Anon.

Although basically very simple, a number of problems arise because there are many variations in the forms of citations which need to be catered for; the most obvious is that book and article citations are different. To make the task of producing citations easy in the NAWCC Encyclopedia, it is suggested that you use the simplified method described here. Solutions to some particular problems are described later.

Using references

The easiest way to include citations is:
  • Place all citations in alphabetical order at the end of the article in a section headed References.
  • In the text of the article refer to the citations by:
    • Where the name of the author does not appear in the text: (author date, info). That is, provide the short reference, to which you can add some specific information, usually page numbers.
    • Where the name of the author appears in the text: (date, info).
Although very simple, this method has one important drawback: There is no automatic link between the reference in the text and the citation at the end of the article. That is, if the reader wants to check a citation he has to scroll to the end of the article and then scroll back to the right place in the text. This can be difficult in a long article. (If you are reading an article on screen then you can have two windows or tabs displaying different views of the same article, which largely overcomes this disadvantage.)

In contrast it has an advantage: It is very easy to provide precise references, including specifying particlar pages and other information.

Using footnotes

Citations can be placed in footnotes. This has the advantage that an automatic link is created between the footnote number in the text and the footnote itself; so it is quite easy to to check a citation and then return to the correct place in the text.

However, footnotes have three important disadvantages:
  • It is essential that complete citations are given. Consequently, a footnote must provide the citation for the book or article as a whole, and not part of it. So it becomes impossible to specify particular pages or other information.
  • The footnotes are ordered by their occurrence in the text, and so the citations will not be in alphabetical order.
  • Footnotes are commonly used to provide additional information which would disrupt the flow of the article if placed within the text. Using footnotes would result in citations being mixed up with other information.
Because of these problems, it is strongly recommended that you use references and not footnotes.

Using both footnotes and references

Although it requires more work, the best of both worlds may be to use both references and footnotes. The complete citations are placed in a References section. Then footnotes are used to provide short references to particular sections of a book or article.

Templates and special cases

In order to make it fairly easy to create citations, five templates have been created.

When you create an article a drop-down menu Templates is available in the editing window. Using this you can insert any of the citation templates into the article you are writing.

At the moment there is a problem in the system and the Templates menu will not automatically appear when you edit an existing article. However, above the edit window there will be the statement This tab was loaded via AJAX. For your browser to attempt caching any edits you make this session, you should Reload This Tab. By clicking on Reload This Tab. the screen will be refreshed and the menu will appear.

Reference templates

Two templates can be used to create citations in a References section, one for books and one for articles. To use these templates:
  • Create a References section at the end of the article.
  • For each citation, use the Templates drop-down menu or copy and paste the Ref book or Ref article template outline under the references heading and fill in the required information.
  • Sort the citations into alphabetical order. (There is no automatic sort available, so this has to be done by hand.)

Book references

The Ref book template outline is:
[template]Ref book
|author(s) or company (or Anon)
|title
|name and place of publisher (or blank if unknown)
|date of publication (or blank if unknown)
|optional additional information such as volume, series title, etc.
[/template]
This template has five parameters. Each parameter is on a separate line beginning with “|” and must be in the order shown. The parameters are:
  1. Author: The author(s) should be given with family name first; for example:
    Dennison, A.L.
    Crossman, Charles and Dawes, Donald

    If no author is given then you use Anon.
    If a person is an editor use Dawes, Donald (ed).
  2. Title: The title of the book using normal capitalisation.
  3. Publisher: The name and place of the publisher separated by a comma:
    Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. (In this example the state is needed to distinguish the place from Cambridge, England.
    If you do not know the publisher, leave this blank and no publisher will be inserted.
  4. Date: The year only of the date of publication. (If you want to provide more detail, such as month, use the last, optional information parameter.)
    If the date of publication is unknown, leave this parameter blank and n.d. will be inserted.
  5. Optional information: To keep the template simple, variations will need to be noted here; for example if the book is one of a series the series title can be provided. Or if the book consists of several volumes, information about them can be given.
For example:
[template]Ref book
|Moore, Charles
|Timing a Century, History of the Waltham Watch Company
|Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.
|1945
|Volume XI in the series Harvard Studies in Business History
[/template]
will produce:

It is easier to fill in the template outline if it is on several lines. However, this is not necessary and the new lines can be removed:
[template]Ref book|Moore, Charles|Timing a Century, History of the Waltham Watch Company|Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.|1945|Volume XI in the series Harvard Studies in Business History[/template]
Trailing, empty parameters can be omitted. So:
[template]Ref book
|Anon
|How to repair watches and clocks
[/template]
or:
[template]Ref book|Anon|How to repair watches and clocks[/template]
will produce

Article references

The Ref article template outline is:
[template]Ref article
|author(s) or company
|title
|journal name or short reference to a book
|volume (or nothing)
|date of publication (year only)
|pages
|optional additional information such as whole number, issue date, etc.
[/template]
This template has seven parameters. Each parameter is on a separate line beginning with “|” and must be in the order shown. The parameters are:
  1. Author: As above.
  2. Title: The title of the article using normal capitalisation.
  3. Journal: The name of the publication containing the article. This could be, for example, a journal (Antiquarian Horology), a newspaper (New York Times), or a book (in The Quest for Longitude 1996).
  4. Volume: The volume of the journal, newspaper or book if known. Otherwise leave this blank and it will be omitted.
  5. Date: The year only of the date of publication. (If you want to provide more detail, such as month, use the last, optional information parameter.)
    If the date of publication is unknown, leave this parameter blank and n.d. will be inserted.
  6. Pages: The page numbers occupied by the article.
  7. Optional information: Variations are noted here.
For example:
[template]Ref article
|Watkins, Richard
|Practical Watch Collecting
|NAWCC Bulletin
|51
|2009
|313-325
|whole number 380, June 2009
[/template]
produces:

and
[template]Ref article
|Howard, Edward
|American clocks and watches
|in Depew 1895
|2
|1895
|540-543
[/template]
produces

Footnote templates

Three templates can be used to create citations in a Footnotes section, one for books, one for articles, and one for short references. To use these templates:
  • Create a Footnotes section at the end of the article with nothing but the codes [reflist][/reflist].
  • For each citation, use the Templates drop-down menu or copy and paste the Foot book, Foot article or Foot short template outline immediately after the text where the footnote number is to appear, and fill in the required information.

Book footnotes

The Foot book template outline is:
[template]Foot book
|footnote name (or blank)
|author(s) or company (or Anon)
|title
|name and place of publisher (or blank if unknown)
|date of publication (or blank if unknown)
|optional additional information such as volume, series title, etc.
[/template]
This template has six parameters. Each parameter is on a separate line beginning with “|” and must be in the order shown. The parameters are:
  1. Footnote name: The footnote name allows multiple footnotes to refer to the one reference. It is recommended that this is always provided.
  2. Author: As before.
  3. Title: As before.
  4. Publisher: As before.
  5. Date: As before.
  6. Optional information: As before.
For example:
[template]Foot book
|Moore
|Moore, Charles
|Timing a Century, History of the Waltham Watch Company
|Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.
|1945
|Volume XI in the series Harvard Studies in Business History
[/template]
produces the footnote at the end of this sentence.

By having a footnote name, the same book can be referenced later in the text. In this case the template can be abbreviated to only the footnote name and author (or some other text). For example:
[template]Foot book
|Moore
|Moore, Charles
[/template]
produces the footnote at the end of this sentence. Note that there must be some text, such as author, in the footnote or it will not appear.

Article footnotes

The Foot article template outline is:
[template]Foot article
|footnote name (or blank)
|author(s) or company or Anon
|title
|journal name or short reference to a book
|volume (or nothing)
|date of publication (year only) (or blank if unknown)
|pages
|optional additional information such as whole number, issue date, etc.[/template]
This template has eight parameters. Each parameter is on a separate line beginning with “|” and must be in the order shown. The parameters are:
  1. Footnote name: As above.
  2. Author: As above.
  3. Title: As above.
  4. Journal: As above.
  5. Volume: As above.
  6. Date: As above.
  7. Pages: The page numbers occupied by the complete article.
  8. Optional information: As above.
For example:
[template]Foot article
|
|Watkins, Richard
|Practical Watch Collecting
|NAWCC Bulletin
|51
|2009
|313-325
[/template]
produces the footnote at the end of this sentence.

Again, by having a footnote name, the same book can be referenced later in the text.

Short footnotes

Short footnotes are used when both references and footnotes are employed, as described above, with the citations in a reference section and the footnotes providing specific references to them.

The purpose of the Foot short template is to create short references to citations with specific information. Its outline is:
[template]Foot short
|footnote name (or blank)
|author(s) or company or Anon
|date of publication (or blank if unknown)
|pages
|optional reference information.[/template]
This template has five parameters. Each parameter is on a separate line beginning with “|” and must be in the order shown. The parameters are:
  1. Footnote name: As above.
  2. Author: As above.
  3. Date: As above.
  4. Pages: The page numbers of that part of the book or article being referred to (or blank).
  5. Optional information: If the pages parameter is blank then there must be optional information.
The following examples are necessarily complex. First, three citations are given below in the references section, for two books and article in one of the books.[1]
Second, I want to refer to George Graham’s interest in a longitude timekeeper, which appears in the article. So the previous sentence has a short footnote for that purpose. I also want to note Howard’s article in the other book. In this instance the optional information has been used so that the volume could be specified. Using both the pages and optional parameters works in this instance but may be awkward in other cases.

The templates that were used to generate the references and footnotes for this section are:
[template]Ref book|Andrewes, WJH (ed)|Quest for longitude, the proceedings of the longitude symposium Harvard University 1996|Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments Harvard University, USA|1996[/template]





[2]






Special cases

There are a number of special cases that need to be considered:
  • Several articles or books in the same year: If several citations for one author relate to the same year, then sort them by title and append a letter (a, b, c, ...) to the year:

  • Articles in books: When an article within a book is cited, a separate citation for the book must be given. So in addition to the citation for Edward Howard above, the article should include:
    [template]Ref book
    |Depew, CM (ed)
    |One hundred years of American commerce
    |D.O. Haynes, New York
    |1895
    |2 volumes
    [/template]
  • Multiple authors and editors: Where a book or article has several authors the authors parameter can be shortened by listing, for example, two authors and adding et al (and others).
    Many books with multiple authors are compilations of separate articles. In these cases it is normal to list the book under the name(s) of the editor(s), as in the case of Andrewes (1996) listed in the references below.
  • Anonymous works: Very few books and articles should be regarded as anonymous and use Anon for the author. In many instances books which do not state the author have been produced by organisations and the author was an employee. Such books should be listed under the organisation’s name, abbreviated if necessary. For example:

    In contrast:

    Should be listed under Anon because it is unlikely that the publisher write the book or that the author was an employee.
Links to other Encyclopedia articles or information on web sites can be included in the above templates. Normally the link should be in the title parameter. For example:
[template]Foot book
|
|NAWCC Encyclopedia
|[main]Writing and Editing Encyclopedia Articles[/main]
|NAWCC
|2009
[/template]
produces the footnote at the end of this sentence.

And the following:
[template]Ref book
|Buffat, Eugene
|[url=http://watkinsr.id.au/buffat.html]History and Design of the Roskopf Watch[/url]
|Richard Watkins, Australia
|2007
|Translated from the French
[/template]
produces

Footnotes

  1. ^This footnote has been included to remind you that footnotes can be used for additional information as well as references.
  2. ^This footnote has been included to remind you that footnotes can be used for additional information as well as references.

References


Categories: Category Tutorials

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