Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. Much of my research is based on semi-structured interviews. How do I reference these in-text so that the reader can distinguish interview refs from book/article refs, for example, if a point has been made by an interviewee as well as in a secondary text? An interview clearly has a different “authority” than a secondary text—how do I best convey this using the Chicago author-date system?

A. Although interviews don’t automatically have less authority than secondary materials, if you wish to distinguish them in short citations, you can do it in any number of ways. The best approach is to cite the interviews in the text only—assuming that the interviews are unpublished. To do this, you would specify in the text that the information is from an interview: “In Davis’s interview with Hamilton (April 23, 1981) . . .” Other possible forms include (Thomas interview 1989) and (Thomas 1989, interview). For more information and examples, see paragraphs 15.53 and 14.211.