Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. I am editing a book of invited papers, where the initials of names are used without periods. In the chapter opening page the author names have the initials before the name and are separated by a space (T C Scott). In the reference list, the initials follow the names and are closed up (Scott, TC). Should the same convention be followed in both places?

A. There are two issues here: (1) whether the initials are closed up, and (2) whether surnames and initials are inverted. Chicago style puts a space between the initials in a person’s name and adds periods (T. C. Scott), but the style without periods is acceptable in some publications, open or closed. It’s good to pick one style and stick with it. The inversion of names, however, is a less flexible issue. Inverted names are unreadable anywhere except in an alphabetical list like a bibliography or index. There the surnames must come first in order for the reader to scan easily down the list.