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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | Victorians and the fragility of progress »

October 27, 2007



I've wondered about losing the publishing house from citations. Do you have any idea why they do that?


I'm not sure what the theory is. It's certainly reminiscent of Victorian citations (or "citations"), which sometimes amount to no more than an author's last name and an abbreviated title.


I find it pretty annoying too. Knowing the publisher carries a lot of information. It'd make far more sense to drop the place.

I've always assumed it's an elitist hangover from the days when you only cited secondary work that was published in Oxford, Cambridge, Cambridge MA, Princeton, etc. I'd assume that journals start with an existing style and then make tweaks, rather than writing from scratch and giving much thought to this, so it survives and thrives.


Historically did library catalogue cards only list the place of publication (if that) and not the publisher (which might have been considered too close to "trade")? Is this subject discussed in the Mary-Claire van Leunen's wonderful "Handbook for Scholars"? I recall that in the discussion of citing an article in the proceedings of a conference, one should cite the place of the conference as well as the place of publication (a further complication is that proceedings sometimes have a different name to the conference).

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