Sunday, June 27, 2010

Style Sheets II

A school librarian on LM_Net wrote:
When citing a publisher do you cite the imprint or the publisher?

For example ...

Covey, S. (1999). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Melbourne, Vic,
Australia: Information Australia.


Covey, S. (1999). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Melbourne, Vic,
Australia: The Business Library (which is an imprint of Information

First let me state Stuhlman's rule for citations --
All citations must be reversible -- a reader must be able to search for the same
item that you are referring to.

APA style for listing authors violates Stuhlman's rule. Name
authority is a very important part of the cataloging process. I have
two children with names that begin with "A." If following APA rules,
no one would be able to tell which child wrote the listed article. I
came across two published psychologists with the same first and
second names. Only if you used their middle names would you be able
to distinguish them.

Next keep in mind the audience for your citations. Congress has not
passed any laws requiring you to use a particular citation
style. Keep in mind the reader who needs to look up your source.

The answer to your example depends on what is on the title page. The
title page is what the publisher wants us to use as the book's
identification. Look at how the book was cataloged by a cataloger for
a professional opinion. If you are using an Australian imprint of
Covey's book, the pagination may be different from the American
imprint. Then again it may make no difference. Since I am sitting
in Chicago and the book is on my shelf, I am not going to bother with
the imprint you used.

If you are publishing an article, follow the rules for the
publication. If your teacher requires you to follow a style, follow
those rules. Otherwise use common sense and be consistent so that a
researcher, librarian, or teacher in another time and place can find
your source.

If your teacher has problems deciding how to best interpret the rules for citations, send him/her to me.


Edited comments from the original questioner --
The faculty is quite insistent on using APA style and I know that they are quite exacting about referencing.

I certainly take your point about a citation being reversible. Many times I have tried to track something that looks interesting from a reference list - and I also take your point about the names. People can't tell whether it is my brother or myself who is writing the item unless they look at the second initial.

On the title page of this edition 'The Business Library' is acknowledged but
that is the imprint and I am getting conflicting advice about which to use.
But you reminded me that I have a subscription to our national cataloguing service.
I checked and it credited The Business Library as the publisher. So that's what I am going to stick with.

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