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RE 120: Citations: Special Cases

Citing Encyclopedia Articles in Chicago Style


How would you cite the following article in the Oxford Classical Dictionary?


The general format for encyclopedia/dictionary articles in a Bibliography is as follows:

Article Author's Last Name, First Name(s). Encyclopedia/Dictionary's Title, #of edition ed., s.v., "Title of Article." City of Publication: Name of Publisher, Date of Publication.

The abbreviation s.v. stands for sub verbo, under the word - that is, the entry in the dictionary or encyclopedia. Notice that this means a page or volume number is not necessary.

If you consult the dictionary or encyclopedia online, you may add the date accessed and the URL of the article:  , accessed 23 April, 2018, http://url/  Note that including the URL is recommended only if it appears to be stable; usually this means that the URL  is so identified on the article page or that it begins with doi. URLs that include terms related to your search are less likely to be stable.  


>>>> BUT - when citing a reference work with entries whose authors are given, Chicago Manual of Style (14.234) recommends a format much closer to that for an essay in a book:

Article Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." In Encyclopedia/Dictionary's Title, [# of edition if appropriate], [edited by First Name Last Name of Editor(s) if available]. City of Publication: Name of Publisher, Date of Publication. 


So -- to begin applying this to our example:

Article Author: at the bottom of the article, you see the initials R.L.G. These indicate the author, but what is this person's name? In the print Oxford Classical Dictionary, authors are listed near the front of the book. In the electronic version on Past Masters, I looked at the contents list in the lefthand sidebar:         I first tried Edition Information, but the authors were not there. So I decided to try the beginning of A, and indeed I found there a listing of Front Matter:   When I clicked on Front Matter, I found myself scrolling through a Preface, then a List of New Entries, another list of Area Advisors, and then I finally arrived at the Index to Initials of Contributors. As you will see at once, this "index" is not arranged alphabetically by initials, but rather by the last name of the author - which can be inferred from the final initial, in our example, G.  R.L.G. turns out to be Gordon, Richard L.  :



"Title of Article":  "Isis"  

Encyclopedia/Dictionary Title:   Oxford Classical Dictionary

# of Edition:   At the top of the page (see above) this is identified as both the third edition and the electronic edition. The number is important: 3rd ed.;  consult your professor's preference on including also: electronic ed. 

Editors Name(s)":   Under Edition Information in the sidebar (see above), the scholars who edited this third edition of the Oxford Classical Dictionary are given, together with the publisher, date, and place of publication: edited by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth.

City of Publication:  Oxford

Name of Publisher:  Oxford University Press

Date of Publication:  1996


Completed citation:

Gordon, Richard L. "Isis." In Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd ed.,  edited by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.     [and if desired, add the URL,;query=isis;brand=default;hit.rank=4#rank4 ]




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