Thursday, November 11, 2021

The order of the elements in a bibliography

I don't know about anybody else—well, that's not quite true—but I never was very clear about what order stuff is supposed to appear in the bibliography. Does the edition precede the editor (I've seen it that way)? Does the edition precede the translator (I've seen it that way)? Where does the series name/number go?

I asked a fellow copyeditor one time, and they replied that my question made their head swim! That was encouraging, because I thought I was alone in it.

In cases like that, I turn to the basics: CMS17 and SBLHS2. Being lazy, I perused all the examples—multiple times. I should have been rereading the text, because the answer was right in front of me, in SBLHS2 §6.1.1. Sequence of Information. Can't get much clearer than that, can it?

So, what is that sequence (remember, for bibliographies; footnotes play fast and loose with the page number location and only list all the authors/editors if they are 3 or fewer; otherwise, et al.)?

Author/Editor (last, first, Author2 [first last], Author3 [first last], etc.). "Title of article." Pages xx–xx in Title of book. Edited by Editor 1 (and Editor 2, etc.). Translated by Person. X ed. x vols. Series Name x/xx. City (State): Publisher, xxxx.
If there is more than one publisher, then a semicolon separates them:
Fribourg; Presses Universitaires; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, xxxx.

Some are more complicated, but you get the idea. Perusing the examples with this as a foundation will hopefully keep you (and me) from getting too confused.

No comments: