By Barbara Gastel, 22 May 2013
By Barbara Gastel, 21 May 2013
By Bernard Appiah, 20 May 2013
By Bernard Appiah, 13 May 2013
By Barbara Gastel, 13 May 2013
By Barbara Gastel | 03 March 2013
Greetings again. I hope you’re doing well.
As you may recall, I recently wrote a blog post titled References and Bibliography: What’s the Distinction? The post included an imaginary example in which a bibliography listed some books in my reference list and some other books I consulted.
Afterward, a reader sent me a message. The reader said, “I think that ‘A bibliography lists sources not cited in the text but which are relevant to the subject and were used for background reading’ (Vancouver Style).”
Well, who was correct? We both were! The answer can depend on the instructions to follow or the style manual to use.
After receiving the message, I found a guide containing the statement the reader had quoted. If a publication (or professor) says to follow that guide, your bibliography shouldn’t include sources that appear in the reference list.
The style the reader mentioned is largely for articles in biomedical journals. Journals that use this style generally contain only reference lists, not bibliographies too. Therefore the issue of overlap of the two rarely arises regarding this style.
Some style manuals allow—or even encourage—such overlap or combination. Scientific Style and Format says, “If the list includes both works used to write the article and other works that might be of interest to readers, the list is often called a ‘Bibliography’.” The Chicago Manual of Style says a bibliography “that includes all the sources cited in the text” can be helpful in addition to footnotes or endnotes.
So, as usual, it's wise to read the instructions.
Until the next post—