Citing Page Numbers for Chapters and Articles

We are frequently asked how to format page references for chapters and articles in footnotes. If you are citing the entire chapter or article, the answer is easy enough: include the entire page range. For example:

Bart Geurts, “Presupposition and Givenness,” in The Oxford Handbook of Pragmatics, ed. Yan Huang (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 180–98.

However, if you are citing a specific page, do you include the entire page range in addition to the specific page, or do you include only the relevant pages being cited? This post details our recommendations.

1. Works with Complete Bibliographies

If your chapter or journal article includes a complete bibliography, we recommend that your reference include only the page number(s) being cited. For example:

5. Bart Geurts, “Presupposition and Givenness,” in The Oxford Handbook of Pragmatics, ed. Yan Huang (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 181.

Readers can look up the entire page range in the bibliography as necessary.

2. Works without Complete Bibliographies

If, however, your volume or journal article does not include a complete bibliography, you should provide the entire page range in the footnote, using “here” to indicate the page number being cited. In this case:

5. Bart Geurts, “Presupposition and Givenness,” in The Oxford Handbook of Pragmatics, ed. Yan Huang (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 180–98, here 181.

5 thoughts on “Citing Page Numbers for Chapters and Articles

  1. I would like to request some additional clarification on this point as it pertains to multi-part journal articles spread over two volumes of a journal. Consider the example below, drawn from the discussion of this issue at SBLHS2 6.3.2:

    Julius Wellhausen, “Die Composition des Hexateuchs,” JDT 21 (1876): 392–450; 22 (1877): 407–79.

    If one wanted to quote something from a specific page of this article (in a work with a complete bibliography), should the footnote include only the volume number/year information for the half of the article that includes the page number being cited (with the bibliography entry then providing complete publication information for both parts of the article)? Or in such cases, should one use the “Works without Complete Bibliographies” format by default?

    This issue potentially becomes more complex if, at different points in one’s manuscript, it is necessary to cite a specific page from each of the two halves of a multi-volume article. SBLHS2 6.3.2 advises against including “Part 1,” “Part 2,” etc. as part of the article title, since this necessitates retaining such identifiers in subsequent short-title citations of the same article. In the particular case of Wellhausen’s article, however, it seems that the need for such an identifier is inescapable, because even if one provided full publication information for the multi-part article at the first occurrence of a citation (i.e., using the format for “Works without Complete Bibliographies”), it could still remain unclear in subsequent citations which half of the article was being cited inasmuch as their page ranges partially overlap (e.g., a follow-up citation of Wellhausen, “Composition,” 410 could equally be construed as coming from p. 410 of JDT 21 or p. 410 of JDT 22). Equally, even in an initial citation of the article utilizing the “Works without Complete Bibliographies” format, the notice “here 410” would be ambiguous without some further indication of which half of the article is being cited.

    Any clarification of these matters would be greatly appreciated.

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    • In our view, one should cite the complete work even if one is only quoting from a part of it. Think of it in terms of citing a complete book when one is quoting only from one chapter. Thus, we recommend including the following in the bibliography:

      Wellhausen, Julius. “Die Composition des Hexateuchs.” JDT 21 (1876): 392–450; 22 (1877): 407–79.

      Likewise, the first note reference to the article should be complete:

      Julius Wellhausen, “Die Composition des Hexateuchs,” JDT 21 (1876): 392–450; 22 (1877): 407–79.

      In this case, subsequent references will need to identify which part of the article is being cited, since page numbers overlap and thus are insufficient.

      Wellhausen, “Die Composition des Hexateuchs,” 21:434.

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