18 Bibliography

18.1 General principles

18.1.1 Introduction

Bibliography, specifically enumerative bibliography, is the discipline of citing reference matter in a consistent and accurate manner, so as to provide enough key material for readers to be able to identify the work and locate it in a library or a citation index (bibliographic database). Bibliographies occur in all types of publication, and are found in most non-fiction works (though depending on the type of publishing they may not be headed Bibliography—see 1.4.4).

The structure of bibliographic citations is determined by the referencing system in use in the publication concerned. In general publishing and academic publishing in the humanities, bibliographic citations are ordered (very broadly speaking):

author, title, place of publication, date of publication

This form supports the use of footnotes or endnotes for referencing (see 17.2). In these types of publishing the bibliographic list is likely to include works that are not referred to in the text.

Academic publishing in the sciences and social sciences uses author–date references in the text to source quotations and references to other authorities (see 17.3); this form requires bibliographic citations ordered:

author, date, title, place of publication

In these types of publishing the bibliographic list often includes only those works that are referred to in the text; the correct heading for such a list is not Bibliography but References.

A variation on the author–date system is the author–number system (see 17.4).

18.1.2 Placement within a publication

Citations are conventionally found in two different parts of an academic work:

  • Note citations appear in footnotes and endnotes (see 17.2).

  • Bibliography citations form a list of works that is usually placed at the end of a publication before an index, or at the end of a chapter in multi-contributor titles.

In the interests of simplicity it is best to keep stylistic differences between note citations and bibliography citations to a minimum. The following distinctions are useful, however:

  • • Note citations will frequently require a specific volume and/or page number. Apart from page ranges to identify the start and end of chapters in books or articles in journals, bibliography citations will usually cite a work in its entirety.

  • • In bibliography citations, if an author or editor is cited before the title the surname should appear first, aiding the reader in navigating through a list. In note citations this is an irritant that reduces readability, and should be avoided:

    note citation
    Joe Bailey, Pessimism (London, 1988), 35.
    bibliography citation
    Bailey, Joe, Pessimism (London, 1988).

Except when it is necessary to clarify a difference between the two types of citations, examples in this chapter follow bibliography style.

18.1.3 Arrangement and ordering of a bibliography

A bibliography is normally ordered alphabetically by the surname of the main author or editor of the cited work. It is sometimes advantageous to subdivide longer lists, for example by subject or type of work. A typical division is that of primary and secondary sources; also, a separate list of manuscripts and documents may be made. A bibliography of primary sources is sometimes more historically interesting if ordered chronologically, or more practical if arranged by repository. For ordering in the author–date system see 18.5.

Alphabetization follows the same principles as in indexing (see Chapter 19); ignore all accents (index Müller as Muller, not Mueller) and treat Mc as Mac and St as Saint. See 6.1.8 for the indexing of names with prefixes.

Single author

Entries by the same author may be ordered alphabetically by title, ignoring definite and indefinite articles, or chronologically by year, the earliest first, and alphabetically within a single year. Alphabetical order is advisable when many works by one author are cited, but chronological order may be preferred if it is important to show the sequence of works. In second and subsequent works by the same author do not replace the name with an em rule or rules: although this has been traditional print practice, it is not suitable for many types of electronic publication, so it is preferable to spell out the name in full for each entry.

Rogers, C. D., The Family Tree Detective (Manchester, 1983).
Rogers, C. D., Tracing Missing Persons (Manchester, 1986).

Works edited by an author are listed in a separate sequence following all works written by him or her, singly or with co-authors; works edited in collaboration are arranged according to the same rules as for multiple authors. Alternatively, it is possible to list all publications associated with a single person in a single sequence, ignoring the distinction between author and editor.

More than one author

It is usual to alphabetize works by more than one author under the first author’s name.

When there is more than one citation of the same author, group references within these two categories (see 18.5 for a more detailed discussion of bibliographic order):

  • • works written by a single author

  • • works written by the same author with any co-authors, in alphabetical order by surname of the co-author:

    Hornsby-Smith, Michael P., Roman Catholics in England: Studies in Social Structure since the Second World War (Cambridge, 1987).
    Hornsby-Smith, Michael P., Roman Catholic Beliefs in England (Cambridge, 1991).
    Hornsby-Smith, Michael P., and Dale, A., ‘Assimilation of Irish Immigrants’, British Journal of Sociology, xxxix/4 (1988), 519–44.
    Hornsby-Smith, Michael P., and Lee, R. M., Roman Catholic Opinion (Guildford, 1979).
    Hornsby-Smith, Michael P., Lee, R. M., and Turcan, K. A., ‘A Typology of English Catholics’, Sociological Review, xxx/3 (1982), 433–59.

18.1.4 Bibliographic elements

As a general rule, it is important for citations in a bibliography to be consistent in the level of detail provided. Inconsistency is a form of error and will not only reduce the overall integrity of an academic publication but may also prevent successful linking with citation indexes. Moreover, readers should be able to infer reliably that an absence of information from one citation but not another reflects the bibliographic detail available from the texts being cited.

For published matter, the key elements required for a ‘complete’ citation are:

  • • person or persons responsible for the work

  • • title of the work or serial

  • • the edition being used, if not the first edition

  • • place and date of publication.

Some citations require further details: these are covered in the various sections in this chapter. A decision to include other information (for example number of volumes, series title, publisher, or access dates) should be applied consistently to all citations where relevant.

All bibliographic information must be taken from the cited work itself, and not from a secondary source such as a library catalogue or other bibliography. Additional information not supplied by the work should generally appear within square brackets.

The means by which a reader distinguishes one element from the other is by its order within the citation, its typography, and its surrounding punctuation. It is therefore important to ensure that each part of the citation is presented correctly, and in the appropriate place.

For non-published material (so-called ‘grey’ literature), such as manuscripts, company reports, and some electronic sources, there are fewer established conventions, but efforts should be made to follow the style consistently using the general pattern applied to published matter (see also 18.6).

This is particularly important for automated XML tagging (see 2.1.1) because the process relies on the recognition of patterns in formatting and order of the elements. This can break down if the ‘rules’ for a particular citation system are not followed.

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New Hart's Rules


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