Skip to main content

Chicago style

Elements of bibliography entries

A Chicago work cited consists of three elements. The author, the title, and the publication information of the source. There are variations in the presentation of these elements depending on the type of source you are citing.

Click on the collapsible panel to see examples.

  Author

The person(s) or corporate entity responsible for producing a work. The term is used in its broader sense to include editor, compiler, composer, creator, etc. In citations, the author is included to give credit to those to whom the work belongs and to help the audience check the author's credentials.

A note or a work cited in a bibliography always includes the author(s) of the source. The table that follows presents author variations depending on the number of authors that have written a source. The information applies to all kinds of sources including books, articles, websites, films, videos, etc.

  • Author(s) name(s): Invert the first authors' name in a biblibiography. In case you want to cite two authors, do not reverse the second author's name.
  • Four or more authors: Provide only the first author's name, then add et al. in notes. Provide all the names in the bibliography.
  • Group as author: For group authors provide the full name of the study group, association, government agency, and corporation.
  • No author: When the work has no author, move the title to the author's position.
  • Titles in names: Titles in author's names, such as Saint or King should be omitted from the author's name. Degrees and affiliations should also be omitted.
  • Punctuation: Use commas to separate different authors, as well as to separate last names from first names in bibliographies.
  • Subsequent citations: In subsequent citations provide only the last name of the author followed by comma e.g. Waxman,.
A word, phrase, sentence, single character, or sequence of characters appearing on an item, naming the work(s) contained in it. In citations, titles are included for purposes of identification and reference. Titles often indicate how relevant the information is.

A source citation always includes the title of the source. The table that follows presents title variations depending on the type of source you want to cite in your notes or in your bibliography.

  • Quotation marks: Place in quotation marks titles of works such as chapters of books which are part of a bigger whole.
  • Capitalization: All principal words in a work cited entry should be capitalized. You should also capitalize words which appear at the beginning of a title or a subtitle.
  • Italicization: Titles of works such as books, and reports should appear in italics. These works often include include smaller sources like chapters.
  • Other Contributors: If other people than the author(s) have contributed to the creation of the source, provide their names. Precede each name or group of names with the word "by" and add a description of the role such as: edited translated.
  • Additional information: edition statements, volumes of multivolume works, series titles and numbers should appear immediately after the title.
  • Titles in subsequent citations: titles of books and articles in subsequent citations appear immediately after the author's name. The initial words of the title are enough.
Publisher information, DOIs, and URLs are elements that provide locational information for sources. In citations, these elements are included to lead the audience to the actual source and check the publisher's credibility.

A citation always includes the publication information of the source. The table that follows presents the publication information variations depending on the source you want to cite in your notes or in your bibliography.

DOI vs. database name & URL: DOIs, database names, and URLs provide locational information for the sources. Check the table below and find out their characteristics and when you should cite each of these locational elements.

DOI Database name Browser URL
never changes never changes subject to changes
assigned by the publisher assigned by the database vendor assigned by the
website owner
cite always the DOI when available cite the database
name when DOI is
not available
cite the browser URL when DOI is not
available and the source is online but not in a database

Publishers | What to cite Publishers | What not to cite
Copublishers: when two publishers share equally the responsibility of a work cite the one that is more relevant to the audience of the citation. In case you want to cite both publishers, separate each publisher's name with a semicolon e.g. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago; London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson Person as publisher & author: do not cite the person in the publisher's position in publications that have been published by their author or editor. Add the phrase printed by the author after the place of publication e.g. London: printed by the author,1830.
Publisher's division/imprint: cite the division or imprint (brant name), followed by the name of the parent company e.g. Swallow Press, an imprint of Ohio Univ. Press. Database vendors: do not cite as the publisher, database vendors like Ebsco, that are not involved in producing the works that they make available. Provide the database name instead.
Publisher in an non-English language: cite the name of the publisher in the given language. Do not translate in English even if the place of publication is in English e.g. Munich: Delphin Verlag. Periodical publisher: do not cite the publisher for publications such as journals, magazines, newspapers. Provide the periodical's information.
And or amprersand in publisher name: Either and or & may be used in a publisher's name regrardless of how it is provided. However, stick to one or the other throughout the bibliography. Organization as author & publisher: do not cite the organization in the publisher's position when it appears as author and publisher of a work. List it in the author's position.
Abbreviations in publisher name: When a university publishes independently e.g. University of Chicago Press, abbreviate the word University as Univ. Cite as Univ. of Chicago Press Business entity & the article the in publisher name: do not cite business entities like Co., Inc., Ltd., Corp., or the article the when is included in the publisher name e.g. cite Westburn Publishers Ltd as Westburn Publishers and The Royal Society of Chemistry as Royal Society of Chemistry.
The word Press in publisher name: Retain the word Press for publisher names that may be confusing for your audience to omit it e.g. Free Press or News Press. The word Press in publisher name: do not cite the word Press when it is included in names of well-known publishers e.g. cite Pergamon Press as Pergamon.

  • Page numbers & chapters: Page numbers and chaptes also provide locational information for the sources. Usually when page numbers are available, we provide the exact page we have refered to in the notes. We provide the entire page range in the bibliography entry.
  • Publication place & date: When the publication place or the publication date of the source is not available we use the abbreviations n.p and n.d respectively.
  • Publisher: The organization which is primarily responsible for producing the source is the publisher. Check the table below to clarify details about how to cite publisher information properly.