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Style Manual

Shortened forms used in referencing

Shortened forms are used in referencing to help people quickly identify sources. Unlike other shortened forms, some Latin shortened forms retain full stops.

Use roman type, not italics

In referencing, present shortened forms in roman type (not italics). Always start them with a lower case letter, even when they are derived from Latin words.

Only some Latin shortened forms and ‘n.d.’ take full stops.

Shortened forms commonly used in citations
Shortened forms Meaning
art article
app appendix
c. circa (about, approximately)
cf. compare (from Latin confer)
ch chapter
col, cols column(s)
div division
doi digital object identifier
ed, eds editor(s)
edn edition
et al. and others (from Latin et alii)
et seq. and following (from Latin et sequens)
fig, figs figure(s)
fn, fnn footnote(s)
ibid. in the same place (from Latin ibidem)
id. the same (from Latin idem)
ill, ills illustrator(s)
inf. below (from Latin infra)
l, ll line(s)
loc. cit. in the place cited (from Latin loco citato)
MS, MSS manuscript(s)
n, nn note(s)
n.d. no date
np no place
op. cit. in the work cited (from Latin opere citato)
p, pp page(s)
para, paras paragraph(s)
pl plate
pt, pts part(s)
rev revised
ser series
sup. above (from Latin supra)
suppl supplement
trans translator(s)
vol, vols volume(s)

Avoid Latin shortened forms in referencing systems

The terms ‘ibid.’, ‘op. cit.’, ‘loc. cit.’ and ‘id.’ are sometimes used in the documentary–note system and other styles of referencing.

This is no longer common usage. These terms should be avoided unless they are required by a publisher.

The term ‘ibid.’ refers users to the same publication that was cited immediately before it. It can refer to the same page or to a different one.

Example
  1. R Hyslop, Aye aye, Minister, AGPS Press, Canberra, 1990, p 89.
  2. ibid.
  3. ibid., p 160.

[These 3 references all cite the same publication (Hyslop’s Aye aye, Minister). The third reference cites a different page number.]

The term ‘op. cit.’ refers users back to information from different pages in the same publication. The difference between ‘ibid.’ and ‘op. cit.’ is that there can be several references between the first mention of the publication and later mentions.

Example
  1. R Hyslop, Aye aye, Minister, AGPS Press, Canberra, 1990, p 89.
  2. ... [works by other authors]
  3. R Hyslop, op. cit., p 171.

[Two of the references use information from different pages in the same publication (Hyslop’s Aye aye, Minister, pages 89 and 171).]

The term ‘loc. cit.’ refers the reader back to the same page of a publication already cited.

Example
  1. R Hyslop, Aye aye, Minister, AGPS Press, Canberra, 1990, p 89.
  2. ... [works by other authors]
  3. R Hyslop, loc. cit.

[Both references use information from page 89 of the same publication (Hyslop’s Aye aye, Minister).]

The term ‘id.’ signifies that the work in the second note is by the same author as the work in the first note.

Example
  1. R Hyslop, Aye aye, Minister, AGPS Press, Canberra, 1990, p 89.
  2. id., Australian mandarins: perceptions of the role of departmental secretaries, AGPS Press, Canberra, 1993, p 45.

[Both works are by R Hyslop.]

Release notes

The digital edition consolidates information on shortened forms used in referencing. The digital edition advises not to use these abbreviations unless required to by a publisher.

It advises against using most Latin shortened forms in referencing. This is a change from the sixth edition, but is consistent with advice in the digital edition to avoid Latin shortened forms.

The digital edition advises to use English abbreviations without full stops in citations, with the exception of ‘n.d.’, consistent with updated guidance for use of abbreviations. The full stops in ‘n.d.’ are retained in line with all other commonly used referencing systems.

The Content Guide did not include information about shortened forms in referencing. It advised against using Latin shortened forms.

About this page

References

American Psychological Association (2020) ‘6.29: Latin abbreviations’, Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edn, American Psychological Association, Washington DC.

American Psychological Association (2020) Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edn, American Psychological Association, Washington DC.

Oxford University Press (2016) ‘10.6: e.g., i.e., etc., et al.’, New Oxford style manual, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

University of Chicago (2017) ‘10.42: scholarly abbreviations’, Chicago manual of style, 17th edn, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

This page was updated Tuesday 22 September 2020.

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