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Style for references and bibliography

  1. Mar 25, 2017 #1
    I have found that the bibliographies in my professional peer-reivewed print journals all follow the guidelines for the order as given in the standard style guides (Chicago, MLA, APA, etc.) : that is, in the alphabetical order of the surnames. However, in arXiv articles (which are not peer-reviewed but often end up as such elsewhere) I see a lot of reference lists which list the references in the order in which they appear in the text, without regard to alphabetical order. Is this only due to the difference between a bibliography and a reference list? I know that each journal has its own druthers, but is there any general standard among peer-reviewed journals?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2017 #2


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    Not really. Every journal seems to have its own standards for these kinds of things - and they should be spelled out in the journal guidelines.

    Fortunately modern software allows you to pretty easily change formats to suit the requirements.
  4. Mar 26, 2017 #3
    Thanks, Choppy.
  5. Mar 26, 2017 #4


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    Usually depends how in text citations are handled. If referenced are numbered (e.g. It was previously shown that X does Y [1]), then the bibliography tends to be in order of appearance. If references use author names (e.g. It was previously shown that X does Y (Doe et al. 2017)), then the bibliography tends to be organized alphabetically.
  6. Mar 27, 2017 #5
    Thanks, Ygggdrasil! I had never noticed this difference; I had asked a lot of people this question, and you are the first one to point it out. That explains a lot. :smile:
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