Chicago Author-Date System

The Chicago Manual of Style Author-Date system is generally used by scholars in the social sciences and sciences. Most scholars in the arts, history, and humanities, use the Notes/Bibliography system, with the exception being folklorists – please note that a number of anthropologists, a field adjacent to folklore studies, use the author-date system as well.

Citing sources in the author-date style consists of two parts:

The in-text citation points the reader to the full information about the source found in the reference list.

In-Text Citations

An in-text citation provides your reader with two pieces of information:

Enclose the author’s last name and the year of publication in parentheses with no intervening punctuation:

(Smith 2016)

For no author, see the “How do I deal with __?” section. For two to three authors, include the last names of authors using commas and and:

(Smith, Lee, and Alvarez 2016)

For four or more authors, include the last name of the first author and et al.:

(Smith et al. 2016)

When editors, translators, or compilers are used as the author, do not include their role (trans., ed., comp.) in the in-text citation.

When the reference list has works by authors with same last name, include their first initial in the in-text citation:

(B. Smith 2016)
(J. Smith 2009)

If an author has published multiple works in the same year, alphabetize the titles in the reference list and then add a, b,c, etc. to the year:

(Lee 2015a)
(Lee 2015b)

To cite specific page(s), add a comma and the page number(s):

(Smith 2016, 21-23)

If the author’s name appears in the sentence, do not include the name again in the parentheses:

Smith (2016) indicates that good citation practices are important.

To cite more than one reference in a single in-text citation, separate the references by semicolons. If the works are by the same author, use just the year and separate with a comma:

(Smith 2016; Lee 2015) (Smith 2016, 2013; Lee 2015)

The Reference List

The reference list provides the full details of the items you have cited in your paper. Here are some general features of the reference list.

The list is usually titled References or Works Cited.

Entries begin with author(s) and date of work; other required elements depend on the type of source (article, book, etc.). Typically an entry for an article looks like this:

Hurston, Zora Neale. 1927. Cudjo’s Own Story of the Last African Slaver. Journal of Negro History 12(4), 648-663. doi:10.2307/2714041.

Entries are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the first author. When in doubt, CAD advices to go letter by letter.

If there is no author, use the first word of the title of the work (excluding leading articles The, A, An).

Multiple works by the same author(s) are arranged chronologically, and the 3-em dash replaces the name for the second and subsequent entries:

Du Bois, W. E. B. 1898. “The Study of the Negro Problems.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 11 (January): 1-23.

———. 1903. The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches. Chicago: A. C. McClurg.

———. 1947. The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in World History. New York: Viking.

Multiple works by the same author in the same year are arranged alphabetically by title, and then a, b, c, etc. is added to the year to help make each entry unique for the in-text citation:

Olney, William W. 2015a. “Impact of Corruption on Firm-Level Export Decisions.” Economic Inquiry 54 (2): 1105–27.

Olney, William W. 2015b. “Remittances and the Wage Impact of Immigration.” Journal of Human Resources 50 (3): 694-727.