Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. In a published work, we often come across various end-of-chapter material such as “References,” “Bibliography,” etc. What is the exact difference between “References” and “Bibliography”? What do the terms really stand for?

A. When a writer uses the author-date (or parenthetical) method to refer to books or articles (Jones 1999), she puts the full citations of those works (author, date, title of the work, publisher, etc.) in an alphabetical list called a reference list, or list of works cited, at the back of the book. It must include every work cited. Another method is the notes/bibliography system, in which citations are relegated to footnotes or endnotes. The bibliography at the back consists of full citations of the works that the author researched in order to write the book, but may also include titles for further reading that are not referred to in the book. Bibliographies may also omit works that are tangential to the topic, even if they are cited. Scholars in the humanities tend to use the notes/bibliography system, and scholars in the social sciences tend to use the author-date in-text citation method. Please see CMOS 14.1–5 and 15.1–4 for overviews of both systems. You can find samples of these types of citation at this site in the “Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide.”