Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. I am copyediting a lengthy family biography, and the authors are calling for what they call “trailing phrase” notes as a documentation method. Rather than a superscript number in the text with corresponding source information in endnotes, they want to use no notes in text and a “trailing phrase” and page number with each source citation in the endnotes. What do you think?

A. Please see CMOS 14.53, “Notes keyed to text by line or page numbers.” This system is useful to writers who fear that their readers would be intimidated by note numbers or who simply don’t want the flow of text to be interrupted.