Bibliographic Citations

THL Toolbox > Essays > Bibliographic Citations

Bibliographic Citations

Contributor(s): José Cabezón, Steven Weinberger, David Germano, Nathaniel Grove, Alison Melnick, Michael Cox.


This page provides an overview of how to cite references in your essay and how to construct the Bibliography, as well as instructions for basic citations of a journal article and a monograph (book). An extensive list of instructions for other types of resources (article in a journal this is a special named issue; book that has an editor; book that is one volume in a series; and so forth) are found in the Extensive List of Bibliographic References. We suggest you print both that page and the current page for your easy reference.

Every academic essay cites its sources. These citations appear in footnotes/endnotes which specify the source of a quotation or data given in the essay and they appear in a bibliography at the end of the article pointing to sources relevant to the essay’s subject matter. The present page describes how to prepare such bibliographic citations as they occur either in footnotes/endnotes or in a final bibliography. THL/JIATS follows bibliographic documentation according to The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, with a few modifications. One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with this style is to read work that has already been rendered in this style – for example, articles in previous issues of JIATS (see the current issue at external link:

All bibliographic citations in the essay must be in the footnotes/endnotes. In the body of the essay itself there is only the note number; the reference is in the note itself, as detailed below. So in the body of the essay/article it reads, for example:

  • …as Kapstein argues.3

DO NOT use the convention of inserting in the essay itself a short-hand citation after the title of the book, such as

  • …as Kapstein argues (Kapstein 2003: 145).

We ask that you prepare each bibliographical citation in the proper format using THL conventions, which follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition. This document contains our standard citation formats for articles and books (for the formatting of a variety of other types of resources, such as an edited volume, see the Extensive List of Bibliographic References). In each case, we specify the way to format it both for a footnote/endnote and for an entry in the Bibliography. The first two sections – on books and journal articles – explain how to format individual parts of a citation (author, title, publisher, and so forth) and those instructions should be understood to apply to all of the other citation formats as well.

The first time a source is cited, provide in a footnote/endnote the full bibliographical citation (publisher, date, and so forth) as detailed below. For all subsequent references to that source, in the footnotes/endnotes use the abbreviated form of the citation as detailed below.

In addition, we ask that you provide a separate Bibliography section which lists in full form all sources that were cited in the footnotes/endnotes, as well as any additional sources you want to include in the Bibliography that were not cited in the footnotes/endnotes. This section should be sorted in alphabetical order according to the author’s last name, as is the standard practice for compiling a bibliography, and it should follow the formatting guidelines detailed below. Please be sure that every source cited in a footnote/endnote is also in the Bibliography.

Please note:

  • Do not italicize text titles, journal titles, and so forth. The italicization will occur after the document has been converted to XML format and it is displayed online.
  • For all article titles cited in your essay, please add quotation marks around the title, since this will not happen automatically during the XML conversion process. Do NOT add quotation marks around article titles in the Glossary Table.
  • In the Bibliography, for all Tibetan, Sanskrit, Mongolian, and Chinese titles, please include your English translation in square brackets [ ] following the title (see details below).
  • We require authors to create entries in the Glossary Table for items in bibliographic citations (author, title, editor, and so forth).

Basic Format for Citations in Notes

At the first instance of a citation in a footnote/endnote, provide the full bibliographical reference.


First occurrence in a footnote/endnote:

  • Jacob Dalton, “The Early Development of Padmasambhava Legend in Tibet: A Study of IOL Tib J 644 and Pelliot tibétain 307,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 124, no. 4 (2004): 759.
    • In the body of the essay and in footnotes/endnotes, do not italicize journal titles, text titles, and so forth. They will be italicized online by the web publishing system.
    • For all article titles, please add quotation marks around the title in the essay and the Bibliography.
    • For journal volume and issue numbers, always use arabic numbers; never use roman numerals.


First occurrence in a footnote/endnote:

  • Per Sørensen, Tibetan Buddhist Historiography: The Mirror Illuminating the Royal Genealogies (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1994), 234-43.
    • Do not use the format (Sørensen: 1994, 234-43) or Sørensen (1994): 234-43.

SUBSEQUENT REFERENCES to a Work: for all references to a work after the first reference, the format of the citation in the footnote/endnote is abbreviated: author last name, four- or five-word (or shorter) abbreviated title (do NOT begin the abbreviated title with “A,” “The,” or similar grammatical particles), page number.

  • For Tibetan authors: this does not apply. Always use the full name since they do not have first and last names.
  • For Chinese authors: for the abbreviated name, use the family name (this is the first word in a Chinese name, such as “Mao” in “Mao Zedong”)


  • Sørensen, Tibetan Buddhist Historiography, 35.


  • Dalton, “Early Development,” 761.


  • do NOT use the convention of an abbreviated reference in the body of the essay itself, such as (Dalton: 2004, 761).
  • do NOT use the abbreviations ibid., op. cit., or loc. cit. Always use the abbreviated reference format described immediately above.

Basic Format for the Bibliography

Entries in the Bibliography are arranged alphabetically, by author’s last name. The formatting is different than that of citations in the notes (such as author’s last name, first name; period rather than comma after article title; colon after date for journals; the inclusion of the pagination for the entire article).

  • Journal article: Dalton, Jacob. “The Early Development of Padmasambhava Legend in Tibet: A Study of IOL Tib J 644 and Pelliot tibétain 307.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 124, no. 4 (2004): 734-63.
  • Monograph: Sørensen, Per. Tibetan Buddhist Historiography: The Mirror Illuminating the Royal Genealogies. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1994.
  • Tibetan authors do not have a first and last name. So klong chen rab ’byams is alphabetized under the “k”s as klong chen rab ’byams. Do NOT capitalize any letters; the first letter of the first syllable will be capitalized by the stylesheets when the article/essay is displayed online.
  • For Asian titles (Tibetan, Sanskrit, Chinese, Mongolian) add your English translation of the title in square brackets after the title. Example:
    • klong chen rab ’byams. gnas lugs mdzod [The Treasury of Abiding Reality]. sde dge: sde dge par khang, 2003.
  • For all article titles, please add quotation marks around the title. This will not happen automatically when styles are applied.
  • For journal articles: when the page range immediately follows the volume or issue number, there is no space after the colon. Thus, if in the above example there was no year given, it would be:
    • Dalton, Jacob. “The Early Development of Padmasambhava Legend in Tibet: A Study of IOL Tib J 644 and Pelliot tibétain 307.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 124, no. 4:759-72.

Provided for unrestricted use by the external link: Tibetan and Himalayan Library