Chicago Manual Of Style Encyclopedia Bibliography Sample

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Encyclopedia or dictionary entry(14. 232 - 14.234)

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  • Well-known encyclopedias and dictionaries are usually cited only in notes, with the edition specified but not all the publication facts. It is not necessary to list them in bibliographies. Other subject-specific and lesser-known encyclopedias and dictionaries should include publication details in both notes and bibliographic entries (14.232).
  • The abbreviation "s.v." (sub verbo, Latin for "under the word") is used to identify the article's title that is not signed (14.232).
  • It may be appropriate to include the author of an entry if the entry is signed (12.232).
  • If you cite an online encyclopedia or dictionary, always include an access date in addition to the short form of the URL. This is because online versions of encyclopedias are subject to continuous updates (12.233).
  • If the article you are citing was found in a database, provide the database name (e.g. ) and any identification number in parentheses after the publication details (14.175).

This guide is based on The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) and provides only selected citation examples for commonly used sources, and of notes/bibliography style only. For more detailed information, directly consult a print copy or online version of the style manual available at the SFU Library and at the SFU Bookstore.

Chicago style is sometimes referred to as Turabian style, which is a modified version of Chicago style, and which is outlined in Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7thed. [print].

Footnote and endnote citations for encyclopedias differ from book citations.  Here is the general construction of an encyclopedia citation in a footnote or endnote:

  •  The elements of the citation are separated by commas.
  •  If the entries in the encyclopedia you are citing have signed authors, you can include the name of the author in your citation, though doing so is not necessary (in fact the Manual seems to discourage this, as they do not provide a good example of an authored entry as a footnote or endnote).  If you do include an author's name, treat the title of the entry as you would an article title or book chapter title -- put it in quotation marks.
  •  The title of the encyclopedia is italicized
  • The edition of the encyclopedia must be specified following the title
  •  The title of the encyclopedia entry follows the letters "s.v."   The title of the encyclopedia entry is "put in quotation marks."
  •  Publication information beyond the name of the encyclopedia, its edition number, and the title of the entry is not necessary.  You can include this information (in parentheses, similar to a regular book citation) if you believe it useful for identifying the enecyclopedia you are citing, but it is not necessary.
  • A publication date or last revision date is necessary if you are citing an online encyclopedia (either through the library's digital resources or from the free Internet).  If there is no publication date or last revision date, include the date you accessed the encyclopedia entry.

  • If available, include a Web address or Digital Object Identifier for the encyclopedia entry.

For further info, see sections 14.247 and 14.248 of the Manual.


Encyclopedia Article:
Dictionary of American Biography, s.v. "Gillespie, Dizzy."

Encyclopedia Article with author and publication information:
Mogens Herman Hansen, "Athenian Democracy," The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Oxford, U.K: Oxford University
     Press, 1996).

Article from an Online Encyclopedia through the Meriam Library website:
The Oxford Companion to Western Art, s.v. "O'Keefe, Georgia," accessed June 14, 2011,

Article from an Encyclopedia on the free Web:
Wikipedia, s.v. "Wilt Chamberlain," last modified June 12, 2011,

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