Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. We are using the author-date form of citation. One author cited appears in the reference list with four items for a single year (Author 2003a, 2003b, 2003c, 2003d). However, in the last entry, the person is the editor, rather than the author, of the work. Thus, the entry is Author, J. Q., ed. 2003d. But this entry currently occurs after entries dated to 2004, 2005, and 2006. This makes the entry difficult to find, though the author clearly is attempting to follow the rule that “edited entries follow those of which the person cited is the author.” What would CMOS do?

A. Chicago no longer recommends putting edited works after authored ones (see CMOS 15.19), so this solves your problem. In any case, it’s not a good idea to force a rule for the sake of a rule. Rather, help the reader out by bending or breaking the rule.