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  1. agasfer

    agasfer Member

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    Reference, citations, bibliography

    Discussion in 'Non-Fiction' started by agasfer, Mar 23, 2017.

    I am translating an article, and the author lists his references in the bibliography in the order that they appear in the text. Given that every style guide I have seen tells you to list them in alphabetical order according to the authors' surnames, this seems wrong. But is this style correct, while being unusual? (The author is not an experienced author, so he could be wrong.)
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I've never heard of doing it that way.

    Is it possible for you to contact the original author to ask which style guide was used?
     
  3. agasfer

    agasfer Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion, BayView. Yes, I shall indeed contact the author, but from what I know of the author, he was playing it by ear. I found that there is one place that follows this style: Wikipedia. Not exactly the model to use for a scientific research paper. So, before contacting the author, I want to be able to say, "Look, if you want to get published, you need to follow the guidelines set out by the major publishers: either Chicago, MLA, APA, etc." (All these mandate the alphabetical order.) But I want to be able to sound authoritative, so I am double-checking on this forum if I am missing out on any major style guide.
     
  4. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    What kind of article is it? Is it intended for an academic journal? If so, writing the references in the order they appear in the text is perfectly fine. That's the way it's done in a lot of academic papers.
     
  5. agasfer

    agasfer Member

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    Thanks for the answer, thirdwind. The article is a scientific article intended for eventual submission to peer-reviewed journals. (Whether or not it will get accepted is another matter, but I am only the translator, not his literary agent.) Flipping through the scientific books and peer-reviewed journals I have in my modest home library, I find reference lists and bibliographies all sorted alphabetically, but as I said, my library is modest, so I would be glad to know of instances where they are sorted by appearance (which I call "Wikipedia-style") -- preferably ones that are available on-line, since I am geographically isolated from any good English-language library.
     
  6. Rani99

    Rani99 Member

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    Well, in university we've been tought to list references in alphabetical order. I've never heard of such thing that people list in the order that they appear in the text, especially in academic papers.
     
  7. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Wikipedia lists their sources as footnotes, right? Like, they call it "References", but do they have a separate bibliography for each article? I don't think so.

    Because, yes, footnotes obviously occur in the order cited. But not a bibliography, that I'm aware of...
     
  8. agasfer

    agasfer Member

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    Thanks, Rani. This seems to uphold my impression.
    Very good point, BayView. Wikipedia's source list could be called endnotes or footnotes (given that the whole Wiki article is a single page, there is no real difference between endnotes and footnots), although it is listed as "references", and the style is a mixture of that of references and that of footnotes/endnotes.
     
  9. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    If you don't have access to journals through a university, try Google Scholar. You can search for a ton of papers. From doing a quick search, I found some that list references alphabetically and some that list them in the order they appear in the text. It all comes down to the guidelines of the journal.

    Here is one where the references are listed in the order they appear.
     
  10. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    It's like Wikipedia, end notes under the heading "References", and then no bibliography.

    I guess it makes sense... might as well avoid the redundancy, right?
     
  11. agasfer

    agasfer Member

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    Thanks, thirdwind and Bay View
    I have no problem finding papers in my field on the net, but I haven't really paid attention to the order of the bibliographical or reference order until now. (I am not a professional translator.) As I look back, I note with interest that a lot of papers in arXiv are indeed numbered in the order they appear when the distinction between "references" and "endnotes" gets blurry. In bibliographies, never. In my professional journals that are peer-reviewed and appear in print-form, also never. However, I presume that the papers which make the jump from arXiv to peer-reviewed journals keep their referencing order, although since the access to the peer-reviewed journal version is usually restricted (allowing at most the Abstract without payment), I haven't been able to check this. Of course, as thirdwind points out, it all comes down to the specific journal guidelines. So, I guess the conclusion is that, despite the general impression that alphabetical order reigns supreme, that is only necessarily true for bibliographies. Otherwise, it's either up to the journal, or, lacking any other indication to the contrary, anything goes.
     

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