Series Volume Identifiers

Publishers use a variety of methods to identify volumes within a given series. This post explains how to format series identifiers in bibliographic entries.

1. Series with Volume Numbers

Many publishers today assign volume numbers to volumes in a series. When a volume has an assigned series volume number, it is appropriate to include the identifier in the bibliographic citation.

Johnson, Sara R., Rubén R. Dupertuis, and Christine Shea, eds. 2018. Reading and Teaching Ancient Fiction: Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman Narratives. WGRWSup 11. Atlanta: SBL Press.

Note that the series volume number immediately follows the series abbreviation, with no intervening comma. The volume number should be an arabic numeral, regardless of the publisher’s preference. The abbreviations vol. and no. are omitted.

2. Series without Volume Numbers

Some publishers do not assign volume numbers to volumes in a series. In such cases, include only the series title or abbreviation.

Salters, R. B. 2010. Lamentations. ICC. London: T&T Clark.

3. Series with Volume Numbers + Section Identifiers

Multivolume sets in a series often include a section or part identifier after the series volume number. If the section or part identifier is a letter, place the letter immediately after the series volume number, with no intervening space or punctuation.

Aune, David E. 1998. Revelation 17–22. WBC 52C. Nashville: Nelson.

If the section or part identifier is a number, place it after the series volume number, separated by a period.

Seebass, Horst. 1993. Numeri. BKAT 4.1. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag.

Cite the entire multivolume set as follows:

Aune, David E. 1997–1998. Revelation. 3 vols. WBC 52A–C. Nashville: Nelson.

Seebass, Horst. 1993–2007. Numeri. 3 vols. BKAT 4.1–3. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag.

5 thoughts on “Series Volume Identifiers

  1. Does this same procedure apply for journals that publish more than one series? For example should the “Old Series,” “New Series,” and “Third Series” of the journal Forum (Westar) be differentiated by a “1/” “2/” or “3/” preceding the volume number?


    • The use of 1/, 2/, and 3/ is acceptable for journals that have more than two series. However, it is more common to see no indication given for the first/old series and NS used with the second series when only two are involved. 


  2. In the case of Aune’s Revelation above, what is the recommendation for a short citation in a footnote? Either: Aune, Revelation 1-11, 589. Or: Aune, Revelation, 1:589.


    • There is no single correct answer to this. If you cite only the first volume of Aune’s WBC commentary in your work, then Aune, Revelation 1-5, 589 is acceptable. If, however, you have reason to cite the entire three-volume work, then the second option is preferred: Aune, Revelation, 1:589.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s