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Chicago Citation Guide (17th Edition): Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Are Reference Works Cited in the Bibliography?

Well-known reference books (major dictionaries and encyclopedias) do not require full publication details and are usually only cited in footnotes. However, in certain (usually specialized) reference books where the entries are substantial and have authors, you may cite individual entries by author in a bibliography.

Encyclopedia or Dictionary From Library Database - Entry with Author

Footnote:

1. Author's First Name Last Name, "Title of Entry," in Name of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, Date of publication, modification, or access, https://doi.org/DOI Number or Name of Database.

Bibliography Entry:

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Entry." In Name of Encyclopedia or Dictionary. Date of publication, modification, or access. https://doi.org/DOI Number or Name of Database.

Footnote Example

1. Jesse M. Lander, "Shakespeare, William," in World Book Student, 2016, World Book.

Shortened Footnote Example

2. Lander, "Shakespeare, William."

Bibliography Entry Example

Lander, Jesse M. "Shakespeare, William." In World Book Student. 2016. World Book.

Encyclopedia or Dictionary From Library Database - Entry without Author

 Footnote:

1. Name of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, s.v. "Title of Entry," Date of publication, modification, or access, https://doi.org/DOI Number of Name of Database.

Bibliography Entry:

n/a

 Well-known reference books such as major dictionaries or encyclopedias do not require full publication details and are not usually cited in bibliographies.

Footnote Example

1. Britannica Academic, s.v. "Racism," 2013, Encyclopædia Britannica.

Shortened Footnote Example

2. Britannica Academic, s.v. "Racism."

Bibliography Entry Example

n/a

Encyclopedia or Dictionary From a Website - Entry with Author

Footnote:

1. Author's First Name Last Name, "Title of Entry," in Name of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, Date of publication, modification, or access, URL.

Bibliography Entry:

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Entry." In Name of Encyclopedia or Dictionary. Date of publication, modification, or access. URL.

Footnote Example

1. Steve McLean, "The Tragically Hip," in The Canadian Encyclopedia, last modified March 26, 2015, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/the-tragically-hip-emc. 

Shortened Footnote Example

2. McLean, "The Tragically Hip."

Bibliography Entry Example

McLean, Steve. "The Tragically Hip." In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Last modified March 26, 2015. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/the-tragically-hip-emc. 

Encyclopedia or Dictionary From a Website - Entry without Author

Footnote:

1. Name of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, s.v. "Title of Entry," Date of publication, modification, or access, URL.

Bibliography Entry:

n/a

 Well-known reference books such as major dictionaries or encyclopedias do not require full publication details and are not usually cited in bibliographies.

Footnote Example

1. Cambridge Dictonary, s.v. "Filibuster," accessed April 27, 2021, https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/filibuster.

 

Shortened Footnote Example

2. Cambridge Dictonary, s.v. "Filibuster."

Bibliography Entry Example

n/a

Wikipedia

Footote:

1. Wikipedia, s.v. "Title of Entry," Date last modified, Time stamp, URL.

Bibliography Entry:

Wikipedia, s.v. "Title of Entry." Date last modified. Time stamp. URL.

 Time stamp refers to the time the article was last modified. The date and time the article was last modified appear at the bottom of each Wikipedia article.

Keep in mind that Wikipedia may not be considered an acceptable source for a college or university assignment. Be sure to evaluate the content carefully and check with your instructor if you can use it as a source in your assignment.

Footnote Example

1. Wikipedia, s.v. "Body Image," last modified April 3, 2021, 01:34, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_image. 

Shortened Footnote Example

2. "Body Image."

Bibliography Entry Example

Wikipedia, s.v. "Body Image." Last modified April 3, 2021, 01:34. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_image.

Encyclopedia or Dictionary Entry In Print - Entry with Author

Footnote:

1. Author's First Name Last Name, "Title of Entry," in Name of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, Edition if given and is not first edition, ed. Editor's First Name Last Name (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), Page Number.

Bibliography Entry:

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Entry." In Name of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, Edition if given and is not first edition, edited by Editor's First Name Last Name. Place of publication: Publisher, Year.

Footnote Example

1. Russell J. Barber, "Anthropological Ethics," in Ethics, rev. ed., ed. by John K. Roth (New York: Salem Press, 2005), 67. 

Shortened Footnote Example

2. Barber, "Anthropological Ethics," 68.

Bibliography Entry Example

Barber, Russell J. "Anthropological Ethics." in Ethics, rev. ed., edited by John K. Roth. New York: Salem Press, 2005.

Encyclopedia or Dictionary In Print - Entry without Author

Footnote:

1. Name of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, Edition if given and is not first edition (Date), s.v. "Title of Entry." 

Bibliography Entry:

n/a

 Well-known reference books such as major dictionaries or encyclopedias do not require full publication details and are not usually cited in bibliographies.

Footnote Example

1. Oxford Encyclopedia of World History (1998), s.v. "Guyana."

Shortened Footnote Example

2. Oxford Encyclopedia of World History, s.v. "Guyana."

Bibliography Entry Example

n/a