Quotations

Q. Hello! I’m copyediting a biography for a university press. I’m looking at a list that is quoted in running text with roman numerals, and it’s not nice to look at or particularly easy to read. The list items are short, and numbering isn’t even needed. (The quote is from a secondary source, so the author may not know the layout of the original source.) I’m wondering if I can delete the roman numerals or add punctuation without ellipses and/or brackets. Here’s the sentence in question:

The meeting approved a few basic principles: “The farmers of Canada had to unite to I. protect themselves, II. to obtain complete control of their produce, III. to market their produce themselves.”

A. If you can query the author, ask if the quotation can be paraphrased. If not, adding editor’s brackets might help: “the farmers of Canada had to unite to [I] protect themselves, [II] to obtain complete control of their produce, [III] to market their produce themselves.”