Sections 14.73–74 in the Spotlight

Author’s Name in Citations

Although it seems simple enough to include the author’s name as the first element of a citation, CMOS users have questions about how to do it. Here are a few pointers from paragraphs 14.73–74 of the Manual.

  • If possible, consult the title page of the source to find the exact form the writer used. Omit the writer’s degrees and affiliations. Some publications require citations to list only initials in place of the author’s first and middle names, but Chicago’s preference is to use the full name if it appears with the source.
  • If an author uses initials in some places and a full name in others, it’s OK to use the full name for all the citations.
  • If an author always uses only initials, use only initials in citing. An exception can be made to distinguish between two writers who share the same surname and initials.
  • In the rare case where the guidelines might result in confusion, use editorial brackets to clarify {R[onald] S. Crane} or annotate the citation with an explanation {Variously spelled Brown, Browne, and Broune}.

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