Citation Components: Notes


A footnote is placed at the bottom of a page and an endnote at the end of a document/publication. A footnote/endnote can contain a citation for a given source and/or additional information about a given point in the text. In either case, a superscript number in the text (typically at the end of a sentence) identifies each note and matches the note number that appears at the bottom of the page or at the end of the document/publication.

Generally, a footnote or an endnote lists the author, title, and facts of publication, in that order.

Commas separate components; the facts of publication are enclosed in parentheses. For digital publications, the facts of publication are followed by a DOI, URL or e-book reference.


The author reference includes the first and last name of an individual (including initials) or the name of an organization (even if it is the publisher). If the author is unknown, begin the entry with the title of the work.

For four or more authors, list only the first author’s name and then et al. to refer to the other authors.

DOI, URL e-book

A DOI (digital online identifier), URL or e-book reference is required for digital publications. Typically, access dates are not required in citations of formally published electronic sources, although some publishers and disciplines may require this information. When included in a note, the date should immediately precede the DOI, URL or e-book reference, and be followed by a comma.

Issue and Volume Numbers

These numbers are included for journal articles after the title of the publication. The issue number may be omitted if pagination is continuous throughout a volume or when a month or season precedes the year (but it is never wrong to include the issue number). The year, sometimes preceded by an exact date, a month, or a season, appears in parentheses after the volume number (or issue number, if given).


This is the year of publication or production date of the work. If the year is unknown, use n.d. (abbreviation for no date).


Page numbers are included for book chapters and articles. Shorten pagination for pages in same range (e.g., 500-10 for pages 500 to 510). Newspaper articles are often only cited in footnotes/endnotes. Page numbers may be omitted because a newspaper’s issue of any given day may include several editions; and items may be moved or eliminated in various editions.

Place of Publication

This information is included for books and enclosed in parentheses. For books published before the 20th century, you may omit publishers’ names and places if they are not obviously present. If only the publisher name is known, use n.p. (abbreviation for no place). 


Include the place that usually appears on the title page (or sometimes on the copyright page) of the book cited. Where two or more cities are listed, only the first is normally included in the citation.


Titles are capitalized, unless written in a foreign language. For books, use the name of the work.

For journal, magazine and newspaper articles, include the titles of the article, and the journal, magazine or newspaper. Titles of larger works (e.g., books and journals) are italicized; titles of smaller works (e.g., chapters, articles) or unpublished works are in roman and enclosed in quotation marks. Abbreviate and lowercase editor/edited by and translator/translated by.


Content last updated: July 17, 2020