Citing Journals and Magazines: Issue Numbers

A previous post described the style that one should use to distinguish between series (roman font) and journals (italics). Another post detailed how one should format page references for chapters and journal articles in footnotes. A related question that we frequently receive is whether one should include issue numbers when citing a journal or magazine article. Which of the following, for instance, is correct?

7. Gale A. Yee, “‘He Will Take the Best of Your Fields’: Royal Feasts and Rural Extraction,” JBL 136, no. 4 (2017): 821–38.

7. Gale A. Yee, “‘He Will Take the Best of Your Fields’: Royal Feasts and Rural Extraction,” JBL 136.4 (2017): 821–38.

7. Gale A. Yee, “‘He Will Take the Best of Your Fields’: Royal Feasts and Rural Extraction,” JBL 136 (2017): 821–38.

The answer is provided in SBLHS §§6.3.1, 6.3.9: it is unnecessary to include the issue number if journal issues are paginated consecutively in a given volume. Thus, of the above options, the third is correct, since the Journal of Biblical Literature is paginated consecutively throughout the year (e.g., JBL 136.1 = pp. 1–248; JBL 136.2 = pp. 249–512; JBL 136.3 = pp. 513–748; JBL 136.4 = pp. 749–1012).

References to a magazine such as the Biblical Archaeology Review, on the other hand, should include the issue number, since BAR does not paginate its issues consecutively (BAR 25.1 = pp. 1–80, BAR 25.2 = pp. 1–70, BAR 25.3 = pp. 1–64, etc.). For example:

8. Frank Moore Cross, “King Hezekiah’s Seal Bears Phoenician Imagery,” BAR 25.2 (1999): 42–45, 60.

Note that SBL style recommends a simple period between the volume number and issue number (25.2 rather than 25, no. 2).

3 thoughts on “Citing Journals and Magazines: Issue Numbers

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