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Follow the links at the top of this page to see examples of some of the more common source types cited in both systems.Most authors choose the system used by others in their field or required by their publisher.
However, if a bibliography is not included with a work, the first note for each source should include relevant information about the source: author’s full name, source title, and facts of publication.
If you cite the same source again, or if a bibliography is included in the work, the note only needs to include the surname of the author, a shortened form of the title (if more than four words), and the page number(s).
The author-date system is more common in the sciences and social sciences.
In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and year of publication.
If you are unsure about which system to use, read on.
The notes and bibliography system is preferred by many working in the humanities—including literature, history, and the arts.
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(CMOS) covers a variety of topics from manuscript preparation and publication to grammar, usage, and documentation, and as such, it has been lovingly dubbed the “editor's bible.” The material on this page focuses primarily on one of the two CMOS documentation styles: the Notes-Bibliography System (NB), which is used by those working in literature, history, and the arts.
Sources are also usually listed in a separate bibliography.
The notes and bibliography system can accommodate a wide variety of sources, including unusual ones that don’t fit neatly into the author-date system.