CMS Update: Ibid.

The new edition of the Chicago Manual of Style has changed its recommendations regarding the use of ibid. in bibliographic citations. As the 17th edition states:

In a departure from previous editions, Chicago discourages the use of ibid. in favor of shortened citations as described elsewhere in this section; to avoid repetition, the title of a work just cited may be omitted. Shortened citations generally take up less than a line, meaning that ibid. saves no space, and in electronic formats that link to one note at a time, ibid. risks confusing the reader. (14.34)

Thus, CMS recommends:

  1. Morrison, Beloved, 3.
  2. Morrison, 18.
  3. Morrison, 18.
  4. Morrison, 24–26.

We agree with CMS’s rationale, and we will follow the 17th edition in discouraging the use of ibid. However, we do not agree with CMS’s proposed solution. Rather, we propose that short citations (last name + short title) be used consistently. Thus, we recommend:

  1. Morrison, Beloved, 3.
  2. Morrison, Beloved, 18.
  3. Morrison, Beloved, 18.
  4. Morrison, Beloved, 24–26.

See our post on the placement of footnotes in traditional bibliographic style for possible ways to avoid a succession of notes to the same work.

3 thoughts on “CMS Update: Ibid.

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