Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. I am attempting to help someone out with their bibliography and I, of course, have received all the difficult entries. I have a three-page document that is an Executive Summary; it is not a published work, nor does it have any “publisher” information, but it does list authors. How would I cite this? Would I follow the rules for citing an unpublished, duplicated piece?

A. I assume that an executive summary is a type of corporate report; pamphlets, corporate reports, brochures, and other freestanding publications are treated essentially as books. Data on author and publisher may not fit the normal pattern, but sufficient information should be given to identify the document. So,

Dean, James, and Brenda Starr. High- and Low-Density Lipoproteins. NIH Advisory Panel, Executive Summary, June 2001.

In other words, you should include the author, any title, the organization under whose auspices the summary has been written, the fact that it is an executive summary, and the date. If something doesn’t seem to fit any parameters, be descriptive and ask yourself if the citation would either lead the interested reader to the source or let the reader know exactly who was responsible for what, and when.