Can Everton Jones find out how his father stole Emperor Bokassa’s diamonds and, more importantly, where he hid them; before the world and his brother get there first?
Click on the picture link in the sidebar to read an extract of my first novel, which was published by Paradise Press in August 2012.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

How to present a bibliography in a book

This post is about how to set out the bibliography in a book.

I am beginning my posts about the more complex parts of the end matter in an e-book with a discussion of the conventions which apply in print books. In my opinion, an e-book should, as far as possible follow the format of a print book, albeit with certain differences to take account of the limitations of the e-book format and also of the advantages which it offers, such as hyperlinking.

The bibliography is a list of the works you have quoted from or consulted or even which you would recommend to a reader. The reader is directed to a note from the text and then from the note to the full description of the source in the entry in the bibliography. There are certain differences if the book uses the Author-Date referencing system (see below). Some entries in the bibliography might NOT be related to notes, for instance if it is a work you have consulted but not quoted from.

Structure of a basic Bibliography entry:

A citation in the bibliography should begin with the first-named author’s surname. The initial(s) or first name(s) would then follow. This is to help the reader find the entries easily. Whether additional authors’ names should be inverted in this way is an editorial decision you will need to make and then stick to throughout the entire Bibliography. The usual method is to list the authors thus (Oxford style):

Shelton, R. W., J. Dixon and M. Harth, The exigiencies of running an independent gay press (London: Paradise Press, 2015).

In Oxford Style, the place of publication, publisher (if given) and date are printed in brackets, with no comma between the brackets and the title. Within the brackets, the place of publication (if given) is separated from the publisher by a colon and the date is preceeded by a comma. NB Work titles should in general be in italic (but follow your style guide: chapter titles would normally be printed in Roman and quoted, for example) and author initials take a full-point and are spaced. The author name(s) are separated from each other and from the title by commas. The entry ends with a full-point.

Chicago differs, in that the author(s) names and the title are followed by full-points. (Multiple authors still separated from each other by commas, no double punctuation after a full-point.) No brackets are used in bibliography entries (brackets are used in note citations, as in the example of Oxford style above):

Shelton, R., J. Dixon and M. Harth. The exigiencies of running an independent gay press. London: Paradise Press, 2015.

It would seem sensible to me to include other details, as relevant, such as the ISBN and edition number. Chicago says to put the edition number after the title, separated by a comma. In Oxford style, an opening bracket would logically follow the edition number, in Chicago style, it is followed by a full-point:

Shelton, R., J. Dixon and M. Harth. The exigencies of running an independent gay press, 2nd edn. London: Paradise Press, 2016.

Note that ‘2nd’ is a contraction of ‘second’ and so is NOT an abbreviation and has no full point. And, although ‘edn’ is a contraction of ‘edition’, there is a full-point after ‘edn’ to separate it from the place of publication.

Author-Date system:

New Hart’s Rules (Oxford: OUP) says that in publications using numbered endnotes in the text you should sequence a bibliography entry thus:

author, title, place of publication, date of publication

BUT in scientific publications using the Author-Date referencing system, the second item should be the date:

author, date, title, place of publication

In this case the date is also enclosed by brackets, with no comma before and a comma after. The date is then omitted from the final brackets:

Lyons, J. (1981a), Language, Meaning and Context (London: Fontana Papaerbacks).

If you are using this system, the reference in the text should be hyperlinked directly to the bibliography entry to which it relates. Endnotes are far less necessary in such works and are frequently dispensed with altogether. I will cover how to link to the bibliography in my next post and link it here when published.

Citations in notes:

It is considered unnecessary and indeed annoying to invert the first-named author in the text of any notes, so these would normally be in the natural order, first (or given) name or initials then surname.

More about Author Names:

Follow the preference of the author, if known, regarding the capitalisation of their name. A forthcoming post on alphabetising the Bibliography and Index (to be linked here when published) gives more information about how to list and capitalise foreign names. It is quite complicated!

Titles (Dr, Captain, Prof., etc) can generally be dropped from a bibliographic entry, unless its omission would be misleading: Wood, Mrs Henry …

In Oxford style, names which preceed the title are given in full and in small capitals:

Treby, Ivor, Poems 2009–12, John Dixon, ed. (London: Paradise Press, 2014).

Note the use of an en-rule, closed up, for a range of values. (Type – in code view in Sigil.)

List multiple authors in the order in which they appear on the title page. If there are FOUR or more authors, then cite just the first-named author and add ‘and others’ or ‘et al.’ (in Roman):

Stewart, Rosemary et al., eds, Managing in Britain (London, 1994).

This convention may not be suitable for scientific publications, where papers can have a large number of authors. It is not unusual for a house style to list up to six or seven authors before resorting to ‘et al.’ in such cases.


Cite pseudonyms used as the author’s literary name under that pseudonym:

Twain, Mark, A Conneticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court (Harmondsworth, 1971).

In certain circumstances, you might want to give the author’s real name in square brackets:

Ready, Dick [Michael Harth], Hands in someone else’s pockets (London: Sleazy Books, 1978).

It may be useful to include the pseudonym if the author occasionally publishes under their real name:

Harth, M. [Dick Ready], The Cat Talisman (London: Paradise Press, 2014).

Note that the square brackets are NOT separated from the name used in the publication by a comma.

Chicago suggests adding ‘pseud.’ if the pseudonym is rarely used or obscure. (Although this is just a full-point away from being a personal observation about the author instead, so I myself might choose not to use the abbreviation and print it out in full!)

Cross-references might be useful in certain circumstances (see below). Remember, in an e-book you can be more generous with cross-references than in a print book, where space in the end-matter may be at a premium.

Anonymous Publications:

Use ‘Anon.’ (full point after: it’s an abbreviation, not a contraction) in the bibliography:

Anon., Stories after Nature (London, 1822).

but for citations in notes, just give the title:

Stories After Nature (London, 1822).

If the author’s name is not given in the printed book but is known from other sources, put it in square brackets:

[Balfour, James], Philosophical Essasys (Edinburgh, 1822).

Locating a reference within a work:

A citation in a note will usually end with a page reference identifying where within the source the quotation can be found:

Shelton, R. W., J. Dixon and M. Harth, The exigencies of running an independent gay press (London: Paradise Press, 2015), 234–7.

Citing a journal, magazine or newspaper article:

A complete bibliography entry for an article in a periodical requires:
  • The author (or editor) of the article
  • The article title (Roman, in quotes)
  • The Journal title (italic with maximal capitalisation, regardless of the original language)
  • The volume number, usually in Arabic numerals, but be consistent. (Oxford style is NOT to follow the format used by the journal itself, but to use a consistent style throughout your bibliography.)
  • The number of the issue within the volume (separate from the volume number by a slash).
  • The date (In brackets. For magazines, give the full date, otherwise just the year is considered to be sufficient.)
  • The page range of the whole article
Chicago style is to enclose the issue number in brackets and to preceed the page range by a colon (note the spaces), and remember that in Chicago style, you need double quotes, rather than singles:

… Critical Inquiry 4 (2): 331–49.

See the example below under ‘multiple authors’ for Oxford-style journal citations.

It should be pointed out that a specific citation in an endnote would give a page reference within the article (i.e. p. 332 or pp. 332–3) whereas the entry in the bibliography will give the whole page range of the entire article (i.e. 331–49). This is particularly important, as it gives the reader some idea of the scale and importance of the article and can be helpful when ordering a copy from a reference library.

Sequence of bibliography entries:

The entries in the bibliograhy are listed in alphabetical order of the first-named author’s surname. The bibilography might be divided up into named sections, such as ‘Primary Sources’, ‘Secondary Sources’, or even ‘Manuscripts’. A list of primary sources might sometimes be arranged in chronological order, if that was deemed appropriate.

The alphabetical sequence is the same as for the entries in an index. It is somewhat complicated, and so I am devoting a post to alphabetisation and will link it here when published.

It should be pointed out that the rules for alphabetisation are too complex for any computer program to cope with completely and you will inevitably have to do at least some resequencing of the bibliography once MS Word has finished with it.

More than one work by the same author:

If there is more than one entry for works by the same author, replace the author’s name in the second and subsequent citations with two em-rules (three, in Chicago style) closed up. If there are multiple citations for multiple authors, replace the names with as many double em-rules as there are authors. To enter an em-rule in code view in Sigil, type —. In Oxford style, separate the em-rules with a ‘thin space’ character (  NOT supported on the Kindle) and do not punctuate them. (In MS Word use the ‘insert symbol’ dialog to get these characters.) In Chicago style, it would seem the em-rules should be punctuated. The Chicago Manual of Style says you should broadly follow how the entry would have been punctuated before the substitution of the em-rules. For example:


Hornsby-Smith, Michael P., Roman Catholic Beliefs in England (Cambridge, 1991).
—— Roman Catholics in England: Studies in Social Structure since the Second World War (Cambridge, 1978).
—— and Dale, A., ‘Assimilation of Irish Immigrants’, British Journal of Sociology, xxxxix/4, 519–44.
—— and Lee, R. M., Roman Catholic Opinion (Guildford, 1979).
—— —— and Turcan, ‘A Typology of English Catholics’, Sociological Review, xxx/3 (1982), 433–59.


Hornsby-Smith, Michael P., Roman Catholic Beliefs in England. Cambridge, 1991.
———. Roman Catholics in England: Studies in Social Structure since the Second World War. Cambridge, 1978.
———, and Dale, A. “Assimilation of Irish Immigrants”. British Journal of Sociology 49 (4): 519–44.
———, and Lee, R. M. Roman Catholic Opinion. Guildford, 1979.
———, ———, and Turcan. “A Typology of English Catholics”. Sociological Review 30 (3): 433–59 (1982).

(*NOT quoted from the Chicago Manual of Style, but adapted from the first example, taken from New Hart’s Rules.)

Within a list of titles by the same author, list them alphabetically by title (ignoring any definite or indefinite articles) OR chronologically if that makes more sense. Although if there are a lot of works cited by the same author(s) then alphabetical order would seem kinder to the reader.

It gets worse if the same author is also a joint author of other works cited. In this case, begin with the first-named author as before. List all the works by this author alone as outlined above, probably in alphabetical title sequence. THEN list works that author is also a co-author of in order of the co-author’s names, starting from the left. Use em-rules as outlined above to replace repeated names in their entirety, one double em-rule per author.

Chicago says to follow the em-rules with ‘ed.’ if the author was the editor of the second-listed book. Oxford is silent on this point. IF a person is an editor of the first-listed book and an author the second-listed book, then em-rules cannot be used to stand for the repeated names, and the details will need presenting in full.

Likewise, you should only use the em-dashes to stand for a repeated name if the name follows in the same sequence as in the entry above. The order of author names should be taken from the title-page of the work in question, and so might not be in the same order in successive citations even if both works were authored by the same people. In such cases, you will not be able to use the em-dashes and will have to present the authors’ names in full. This is most likely to occur with scientific publications, where the order of the authors names often represents the significance of the contribution they have made to the paper, rather than being in alphabetical order.

It might be helpful to leave replacing repeat author names with em-dashes until a late stage of preparation of the bibliography. In particular, if you sort the bibliography using MS Word the em-rules will all pile up in the same place, and so you will be better off leaving the full names in until the sequence of the Bibliography is finalised and then substituting the em-dashes. This will of course unfortunately affect the page layout, but that is unavoidable. You would certainly be well-advised to make a backup of your book before embarking on the replacement of repeat names with em-dashes!!!

I found the font used on this blog template included white space around the em-dashes, leading to the example above being presented like this: ‘———’. It proved necessary to substitute Times New Roman to ensure the em-rules displayed properly closed up: ‘———’. So watch out for this happening in your print book and substitute Times New Roman if necessary. In your e-book, you will have to accept the font selected by the user. I WILL be covering how to embed fonts into your e-pub e-book and you might be able to try to force it to display the em-dashes in Times, but the e-reader software will most likely make it possible for the reader to change the font. For kindle, you have no choice: the kindle e-reader software ignores any embedded fonts: you are stuck with the fonts installed on the kindle (both of them!).


Information from websites obviously needs special treatment. In particular, the website may be updated at some time in the future, or even be taken down or the content archived. It is particularly important to specify the date the information was accessed in this context.

As far as possible, try to format website references as closely as possible to a print reference. The following items may or may not be included:

  • author or editor’s name
  • title of the article (Roman, in quotes)
  • general title of the complete work (in italic)
  • the type of media referenced (in square brackets)
  • the date on which the material was created, published or posted (day month year, in brackets)
  • the institution or organisation responsible for maintaining or publishing the material (roman, with maximal capitalisation)
  • the address of the source (in angle brackets, include the ‘http://’. In code view in Sigil, type: &lt; for ‘<’ and &gt; for ‘>’)
  • if relevant, details of how to access the information, for example if a site requires a password or subscription
  • and most importantly, the date the information was accessed (print: ‘accessed date month year’, no colon in Oxford Style)
It would seem sensible to take full advantage of the e-book format and make the address into a hyperlink. If the source spans several pages of a website, give the highest-level URL. I would advise hyperlinking from a short note citation to the full citation in the bibliography following the method outlined below, so that all links from notes work the same way. Then link from the full bibliography entry to the website.

The Apple Store could cause problems if you hyperlink to external websites. Apple are primarily concerned with commercial considerations, and do not want you hyperlinking to places where your e-book might be on sale in competition with them. Lots of hyperlinks in your e-book will almost certainly slow down approval by Apple (they will check every single one!) and might cause it to be rejected. If this happens, you might have to remove the hyperlinks, although I would have thought the URLs could remain as plain text.


Emails should be treated as private communications. If you want to print the email address, then you ought to get the person’s permission first!

Further Considerations:

The above is but a brief skim over the surface of the conventions of bibliographies. In particular, I have given only sketchy details of journal and website citations and have more or less completely left out how to deal with editiors, translators, reviews, audiovisial media, films, what to do if the place of publication isn’t known, manuscripts, etc. etc. Refer to your style guide: New Hart’s Rules or The Chicago Manual of Style for (much) more detailed guidance. The foregoing should be enough to get you started, or to put you off the idea of having a bibliography for good!

Linking the Bibliography in an e-book:

In an e-book, it would seem to be useful to hyperlink from the note to the text to the entry in the bibliography. The user would have to use the ‘back’ button on their e-reader to return to the note and then again to return to where they left off reading in the main text. My next post will cover in detail how to link to the bibliography using markup in your e-book.

Cross-Referencing in the Bibliography:

In certain circumstances, you might want to provide a cross-reference, for example:

Jordan see Price, Katie

Price, Katie [Jordan], My Life as a Bimbo (London: Made Up Books, 1754)

The principles of cross-referencing are identical to those in indexes and I go into that in more detail in a future post. I will cover how to link cross-references in the bibliography at the end of my next post.

A Note about MS Word:

MS Word does have a comprehensive set of tools for dealing with a bibliography and citations. I will admit that I have not ventured to try these. But I would have thought that the complexity of the print conventions are such that any bibliography created using these tools would need a considerable amount of editing after the fact to ensure the bibliography is punctuated and styled correctly.

Next Steps:

My next post will deal with how to link to the bibliography from either the endnote text or else from the main text (Author-Date system only).

Index to ‘how to …’ posts:

How to ‘unpack’ an epub file to edit the contents and see what’s inside.
How to understand what is inside an epub
How to link the html table of Contents in a Kindle e-book
How to restructure the html table of contents for a Kindle
How to delete the html cover for a Kindle ebook
How to link the cover IMAGE in a Kindle e-book
How to clean up your MS Word file before your get started
How to markup an MS Word file to identify the formats before importing it into an epub
How to create a new blank e-pub using Sigil
How to import your marked-up MS Word file into your ebook using Sigil
How to create and link a CSS stylesheet in an e-book using Sigil
How to replace the markup with CSS styles in your ebook using Sigil
How to style an e-book so it works with the limited CSS styling available to Kindle e-readers
How to understand the syntax of CSS
How to style Small Caps in an e-book
How to split your ebook up into chapters using Sigil
How to sequence your e-book
How to phrase the copyright declarations etc. in an e-book
How to generate the logical table of contents using Sigil
How to understand toc.ncx in an e-book
How to generate the html table of contents in an e-pub
How to style the html table of contents using CSS
How to create an html cover for your epub using Sigil
How to present references and notes in a book
How to use Mark Up to link notes in your e-book
How to present a bibliography in a book
How to use markup to link entries in a bibliography with the notes section
How to index an e-book
How to use the tools in MS Word to create an index
How to alphabetise an index or bibliography
How to adapt the print index in your MS Word file for an e-book using markup
How to adapt cross-references in your print index for e-book and how to use markup to make the links
How to understand content.opf
How to understand and edit the Metadata of an ebook using Sigil
How to understand the manifest in content.opf
How to understand the spine and guide in content.opf
How to test your e-pub using flightCrew in Sigil
How to test your e-pub using epubcheck
How to convert an e-pub to Kindle using kindlegen

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