of Information Management & Systems. Spring 2003.
There are two really important rules: Enough information must be
supplied to identify the source unambiguously and the description provided
must be accurate. Also,
consistency is desirable.
Books: Include at least, in this order:
author/main entry, title, publisher,
place, date - in that order; more generously add: subtitle, series, vols or
pagination. The title and subtitle are usually in italics.
Articles in periodicals: Include at least: author,
title of article, title of journal,
volume number, year, pages - in that order; more generously: add issue number and month of
The article title is usually in roman font, quotation marks
are OK but unnecessary. The journal title, like a book title, is usually
Before wordprocessing, typewriters did not have italics, so underline
was used as a substitute.
With wordprocessing, use of italics is recommended.
For documents for use on campus (including course work)
give library and call number if known.
Practice varies between publishers and between disciplines.
Publishers require adherence to their "house style" concerning exact
details of presentation: Spell out forenames, invert forenames/initials
of second author, italicise title, punctuation, &c. Journals usually
print "Instructions to authors" regularly; look at some recent issues
to identify required style. For books examine examples of publisher's
books and ask for guidelines.
Best general guide is The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed.
2003. 900 pages of detailed guidance on many aspects of writing and
book production: punctuation, proof-reading, indexes, spelling,
capitalizing, and much more.
Increasingly, the traditional practice of using
numbers in the text to refer to numbered footnotes or endnotes is being
replaced by use of "author-date" style: Cite reference in
text by mentioning authors name and year of publication, e.g.
"Previous theories (Morton 1965; Sanchez 1976) were disproved by
Jones (1987)." List of references contains year of publication
following authors name:
Morton, J. 1965. A Theory of Style. Oakland: Duncan.
Information not derived from the document is usually supplied in
See The Chicago Manual of Style for examples.
Information found on the Internet and at World Wide Web sites:
Specify the address (location), the title, and the date and time seen (and, if
known, the date posted).
The Columbia Guide to Online Style
by Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor (Columbia UP, 1998). Summarized at
recommends two options:
Author's Last Name, First Name.
"Title of Document." Title of
Complete Work [if applicable].
Version or File Number [if
applicable]. Document date or
date of last revision [if
different from access date].
Protocol and address, access
path or directories
(date of access).
Author's Last Name, Initial(s).
(Date of document [if different
from date accessed)]. Title of
document. Title of complete
work [if applicable]. Version
or File number [if applicable].
(Edition or revision [if
applicable]). Protocol and
address, access path, or
directories (date of access).
Sides, Charles. 1991. How to write and present technical
information. Oryx. ENGIN T11.S528 1991
Weiss, Edmond H. 1991. How to write usable user documentation.
2nd ed. Oryx. ENGIN QA76.165 W44 1991 (1st ed. in MAIN)