Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. I edit and proofread exhibition catalogs that contain essays by different authors. Each author submits his/her essay, using his/her preferred style of notes. Many times the styles don’t match from author to author—yet all essays are published in the same catalog. Must the styles match throughout the catalog?

A. If your catalog essays share a single notes or bibliography section, you must standardize. If each essay has its own notes and bibliography, however, the publisher or assigning editor can tell you whether or not to accept inconsistencies. If someone thinks it’s worth the time and money for you to standardize the citations, it’s a worthy goal. Otherwise, you should simply make sure that the individual contributions are consistent within themselves.