Documentary note style

In a documentary note style, references are provided in footnotes or endnotes. In the text, they are identified by a numeral, usually in superscript. This numeral is placed after the concluding punctuation, unless it refers only to part of the sentence (in that case, it is placed after the relevant word or part of sentence). Attached to the numeral is a footnote at the bottom of the page or an endnote at the end of the chapter, book, etc.

Several style manuals

There are several style manuals for documentary note styles. The Oxford Style Manual (2003) and The Chicago Manual of Style (2003) both offer guidance on how to use a documentary note reference style. Another popular manual is K. L. Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (2007), which is based on the Chicago manual. The MHRA Style Guide: A Handbook for Authors, Editors, and Writers of Theses (2008) is another notes style manual. It is issued by the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA).

A note on The Chicago Manual of Style (click to expand/contract)

Note that The Chicago Manual of Style (2003) contains information about two kinds of reference styles; the one we refer to here is the documentary notes style. The Chicago Manual also outlines an author-date style.

For more information about that, see


For further reading: Documentary note style manuals (click to expand/contract)

We provide basic information about documentary notes referencing. For more detailed information, see, for instance,

  • The MHRA Style Guide: A Handbook for Authors, Editors, and Writers of Theses (2008) can be downloaded on the MHRA website:

AWELU information about documentary note styles

As there are different versions of documentary note style, what we present here are the basics of this type of reference style.

The information provided here contains the following items:

In-text references

When sources are cited, a numeral in superscript is placed after the sentence to direct the reader to a footnote/endnote, where the reference is provided. The numeral thus functions as a cue to the reader. Note that the numeral in the footnote/endnote is not in superscript.

The first time a source is referred to, a full reference is given.

Example:

In a war of unprecedented length and intensity, anxiety disorders became endemic, even among those who willingly served within range of the enemy’s weapons. Fear of the possibility of being shamed in the future was itself a cause of postwar anxiety, when the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder might surface without warning – an alarming possibility in a society in which an "operative opposition lay between healthy masculinity and a pathological lack of male behaviour".11

-----
11. Paul Lerner, Hysterical Men: War, Psychiatry, and the Politics of Trauma in Germany, 1890–1930 (Cornell University Press: Ithaca and London, 2003), p. 8.

(Fox, 2006, p. 252)

Comment: The reference in the footnote/endnote looks very much like the entry in a Bibliography (the difference being that the author's name in the footnote/endnote is given in first name - last name order, whereas it is given in reverse order in a Bibliography).

When the same source is referred to again, a short reference is provided:

Example:

Lerner suggests that although Freud had been relegated to the margins of medical debate since 1900, not least because of his address to sexual development, his pre-war thinking remained highly influential, particularly the thesis that neurotic pathology should be understood in terms of the conversion of unprocessed affect into physical symptoms.13

-----
13. Lerner, Hysterical Men, pp. 185–7.

(Fox, 2006, p. 252-253)

Comment: The short reference consists of the last name of the author plus page numbers or (as is the case in our example) of the author's name, a short form of the title of the cited work plus page numbers.

Bibliography

The list of references in documentary note styles is called a Bibliography. As references are given in full the first time they occur, the information in the bibliography and in the footnotes/endnotes is almost the same. In some journals, articles will have no bibliography, but only notes.

In the Bibliography, the entries are listed in alphabetical order.

Book

Format for footnote / endnote:

First name Last name, Book Title (Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication), p. page number.

Note that

  • the author's first name is often given in full
  • book title is capitalised and italicised
  • place of publication, name of publishing company and year of publication should be placed within parentheses

The second time a reference is made to a work, a short reference is used, for instance:

Last name, page number.
or

Last name, Short Title, page number.

Note that if several works by the same authors have been used, a short title, or year of publication, must be added for clarity.

Example: Footnote / Endnote (click to expand/contract)

The first time a source is referred to, a full reference is provided in the note:

1. Christa Salamandra, A New Old Damascus: Authenticity and
Distinction in Urban Syria
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
2004).

Subsequent references to that source are given in a short format:

1. Salamandra, p. 37.
or

1. Salamandra, A New Old Damascus, p. 37.


Format for entry in the Bibliography:

Last name, First name, Book Title (Place of publication: Publisher,
     Year of publication)

If the book has more than one author, their names should be listed in the same order as on the book's title page, separated by commas. If there are more than three authors, only the first writer's name is listed, followed by 'et al.'.

Example: Entry in the bibliography (click to expand/contract)

Salamandra, Christa, A New Old Damascus: Authenticity and
     Distinction in Urban Syria
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
     2004).


Journal article

Format for footnote / endnote:

First name Last name, "Article Title", Journal Title volume (Year): page number.

Note that

  • the author's first name is often given in full
  • titles of articles are written within quotation marks. In British publications, single quotation marks are sometimes used.
  • journal titles are capitalised and italicised
  • volume number is always provided; regarding issue number, practices vary.

Example: Footnote / endnote (click to expand/contract)

The first time a source is used, a full reference is provided in the note:

1. Steven Gunn, "Archery Practice in Early Tudor England", Past and Present 209, no. 1 (2010): 58.

Subsequent references to the same source are given in a short format:

1. Gunn, 58.
or

1. Gunn, "Archery practice", 58.


Format for entry in the Bibliography:

Last name, First name. "Article Title", Journal Title volume (Year):
     inclusive page numbers.

Example: Entry in the bibliography (click to expand/contract)

Gunn, Steven. "Archery Practice in Early Tudor England", Past and
     Present
  209, no. 1 (2010): 53-81.


Use of doi

The Oxford Style Manual makes no mention of digital object identifiers (doi) in the bibliography, whereas The Chicago Manual of Style states that they should be included if available.

Chapter in edited book

Format for footnote / endnote

First name(s) Last name, "Title of chapter" in Name of editor (ed.), Title of Book (Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication), inclusive page numbers.

Example: Footnote / endnote (click to expand/contract)

The first time a source is referred to, a full reference should be given:

1. Merle A. Williams, "The American Spaces of Henry James" in Attie De Lange, Gail Fincham, Jeremy Hawthorn and Jakob Lothe (eds.), Literary Landscapes: From Modernism to Postcolonialism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), 19-37.

Subsequent references to the same work should be written in a brief format:

2. Williams, 38
or

2. Williams, "The American Spaces", 38


Format for entry in Bibliography

Last name, First name. "Title of Article" in First name Last name
     (ed.), Title of Book, Publisher, Place of publication, Year of
     publication, inclusive page numbers of article.

Example: Entry in the bibliography (click to expand/contract)

Williams, Merle A. "The American Spaces of Henry James" in Attie De
     Lange, Gail Fincham, Jeremy Hawthorn and Jakob Lothe (eds.),
     Literary Landscapes: From Modernism to Postcolonialism,
     Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2008, 19-37.


Webpage

Format for footnote / endnote:

First name Last name, "Title of web page", paragraph number or section number, Title of Website (date of publication). <url>, accessed Date of access.

Note that

  • if there is no stated author, start with the title of the page
  • as web pages are not paginated, paragraph numbers can be used to identify the part of the text being referred to.
  • The Oxford Style Manual stipulates that the date of publication (if available) should be placed in parentheses; The Chicago Manual of Style states that "last modified" is inserted before the date.

Example: Footnote / endnote (click to expand/contract)

The first time a source is referred to, a full reference is provided in the note:

1. Maria Colenso, "Meerkat habitat and diet", para. 4, How Stuff Works (13 May 2008). <http://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/meerkats1.htm>, accessed 22 Jan. 2011.

Subsequent references to that source are given in a short format:

2. Colenso, para 5.
or
2. Colenso, "Meerkat habitat", para. 5.


Format for entry in Bibliography

Last name, First name(s). "Title of web page", Name of
     website
, (date of publication). <url>, accessed Date of
     access.

Example: Entry in Bibliography (click to expand/contract)

Colenso, Maria. "Meerkat habitat and diet", How Stuff Works (n.d.
     <http://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammal/meerkats1.htm>,
     accessed 22 Jan. 2011. 


Further formatting

Capitalisation of titles

Note that in documentary note styles, the initial word and all words except articles, prepositions and conjunctions are capitalised in titles (books as well as articles).

For general information about capitalisation in English, for instance about the use of capital letters in so-called proper nouns (names of people, places, institutions, etc.), see the AWELU page on

The use of [sic]

If [sic] is used, it should be written in italics within square brackets. For general information about [sic], see

    Ibid.

    When the same source is referred to in two subsequent notes, the Latin word 'Ibid.' can be used. Ibid., short for ibidem, means 'in the same place'.

    To avoid long strings of 'Ibid.' if few sources are referred to repeatedly (for instance in the analysis of a specific text), only page numbers are sometimes given within parentheses in the running text.

    Documentary notes style online resources

    There are no online resources published by The Oxford Style Manual, but the Chicago Manual of Style offers some free online resources:

    The complete Chicago Manual of Style is available online by subscription.