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Footnotes and other references

IV.   Outside sources

     A.   Documents of other organizations
     B.   Books and publications
     C.   Publishing data: special issues
     D.   Government publications and unpublished government materials
     E.   Legal references
     F.   Working papers and research reports in a published series
     G.   Articles and chapters in a book or publication
     H.   Articles in a periodical
     I.     Articles in a newspaper
     J.    Articles on a website
     K.   Unpublished papers and dissertations
     L.   Databases
     M.   Public statements
     N.   Interviews
     O.   Personal communications
     P.   Multimedia sources

The instructions and examples given below apply to sources cited in footnotes and text notes. For instructions on sources given in reference lists and bibliographies, see Reference lists and bibliographies.

A.   Documents of other organizations

Documents issued by other organizations are normally cited in footnotes containing the following elements:

  1. Organization
  2. Title of document or item in document (may be given in text)
  3. Document symbol, if any
  4. "Available at" URL (should be omitted if the reference is easily located through a web search)

The name of the organization is spelled out, not abbreviated, unless the abbreviation has been defined in a previous footnote, the text or a list of abbreviations at the beginning of the text. In a multi-author publication or a publication with discrete parts, the name of the organization is spelled out at first mention in every chapter or paper.

Examples:

The General Assembly,

. . .

          1. Takes note of the adoption by the International Maritime Organization of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea introducing the long-range identification and tracking of ships system;1
__________
1 International Maritime Organization, document MSC 81/25/Add.1, annex 2, resolution MSC.202(81).

* * *

Despite intensive consultations held in pursuance of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration,2 the positions of countries on these issues remained largely unchanged.
__________
2 World Trade Organization, document WT/MIN(05)/DEC.

B.   Books and publications

Books and publications not issued by the United Nations Secretariat (those issued without a United Nations sales number) are cited in footnotes containing the elements listed below. A footnote will not necessarily contain every element listed, but the information should be presented in the order indicated.

  1. Individual author, editor or institutional author (organization standing in place of author)
  2. Title and subtitle (in italics)
  3. Edition, if not the first (e.g. 2nd ed., revised ed.)
  4. Volume number and title, if any (volume number in standard font followed by a comma; title in italics); when a multivolume work is referred to as a whole, give volume numbers only
  5. Series title and number, if any (in standard font; optional)
  6. Publishing data (place, publisher, year) or symbol (in parentheses); see also Publishing data: special issues
  7. "Available at" URL (should be omitted if the reference is easily located through a web search)
  8. Electronic medium, for a non-Internet source such as an e-book or CD-ROM (include version number, if any)

When an organization is both author and publisher (i.e. no separate publishing office is indicated on the title page), the name is given in the author’s place and omitted from the publishing data. The name of the organization is normally spelled out, not abbreviated, unless the abbreviation has been defined in a previous footnote, the text or a list of abbreviations at the beginning of the text. In a multi-author publication or a publication with discrete parts, the name of the organization is spelled out at first mentioned in every chapter or paper.

Examples:

One author; title and subtitle:

1 Branko Milanovic, Worlds Apart: Measuring International and Global Inequality (Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 2005).

Three authors; edition other than the first:

2 Janet Walsh Brown, Pamela Chasek and David L. Downie, Global Environmental Politics, 4th ed. (Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press, 2006).

More than three authors; book in a series:

3 Joseph Stiglitz and others, Stability with Growth: Macroeconomics, Liberalization and Development, Initiative for Policy Dialogue Series (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006).

Editor in place of author; volume number and title:

4 Theodore H. Moran and Gerald T. West, eds., International Political Risk Management,
vol. 3, Looking to the Future (Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2005).

Organization as author and publisher:

5 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Final Report of the World Education Forum, Dakar, Senegal, 26–28 April 2000 (Paris, 2000).

Organization as author; symbol in place of publishing data:

6 International Atomic Energy Agency, Resolutions and Other Decisions of the General Conference, Fiftieth Session, 18–22 September 2006 (GC(50)/RES/DEC(2006)).

Book issued on CD-ROM:

7 The National Academies, Science for the Sustainability Transition (Washington, D.C., National Academies Press, 2002), CD-ROM.

E-book:

8 J.N.K. Rao, Small Area Estimation, Wiley Series in Survey Methodology (New York, Wiley & Sons, 2005), e-book.

C.    Publishing data: special issues

Place of publication
Publisher's name
Co-publication
Book not yet published
Publishing data not available
International Standard Book and Serial Numbers
Digital object identifiers

The publishing data for books and publications normally include the place (city), publisher and date (year) of publication. In footnotes these elements are enclosed in parentheses and separated by a comma. For the style used in reference lists and bibliographies, see Reference lists and bibliographies.

Place of publication

The city of publication appears with the publisher’s name on the title page or copyright page of a book or publication. When more than one city is listed for a publisher, only the first one should normally be given in the footnote.

When the city is not widely known or could be confused with another place of the same name, the state or province should be given unless it is part of the publisher’s name. In some cases, it may be helpful to specify the country. Place names should be spelled out, not abbreviated.

Examples:

Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press
Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press
Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press
Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press
Gabriola Island, British Columbia, New Society Publishers
Harmondsworth, United Kingdom, Penguin Books


but Oxford, Oxford University Press

In an English text, the place names for all publishers are given in English (e.g. "Vienna", not "Wien").

Publisher’s name

The publisher’s name should be given as it appears on the title page or copyright page of a book or publication, except that an initial "The" and the abbreviations "Inc.", "Ltd." and "S.A." are omitted. When the name includes an ampersand (&), either "and" or "&" can be used. Names of publishers that are in another language (e.g. Presses Universitaires de France) should not be translated.

Co-publication

When a book has two or more publishers, each city of publication and publisher should be included in the reference. They should be listed in the order shown on the title page or copyright page of the book.

Examples:

1 Sangheon Lee and others, Working Time Around the World: Trends in Working Hours, Laws and Policies in a Global Comparative Perspective (London, Routledge; Geneva, International Labour Office, 2007).

2 Yilmaz Akyuz, Developing Countries and World Trade: Performance and Prospects (Geneva, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; Penang, Third World Network; London, Zed Books, 2003).

Book not yet published

When a book or publication is in preparation but has not yet been published, "forthcoming" replaces the publishing data.

Example:

3 Jessica Holmes, Emerging Environmental Issues: Will We Survive? (forthcoming).

Publishing data not available

When the place or date of publication or the publisher is not known, "n.p." (for an unknown place or publisher) and "n.d." (for an unknown date) may be included.

Example:

4 John Cole, Disappearing Islands (n.p., n.d.).

International Standard Book and Serial Numbers

Publications and books have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) or, if they are part of a series, an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN). These numbers are not included in references.

Digital object identifiers

Some books, other publications and journal articles are also assigned a digital object identifier (DOI), a permanent identification string composed of numbers and letters (e.g. doi: 10.1000/182). DOIs are not included in references.

D.   Government publications and unpublished government materials

Government publications
Unpublished government materials

Government publications

For government publications, the elements included in footnotes are the same as those listed above for books and publications. The footnote begins with the following when there is no individual author or editor:

  1. Country (Not "Government of …")
  2. Author department, ministry or other unit

When the government department or unit is both author and publisher (i.e. no separate publishing office is indicated on the title page), the name is given after the country and omitted from the publishing data. The name of the government department or unit is normally spelled out, not abbreviated.

Examples:

1 Namibia, Ministry of Labour, Namibia Labour Force Survey 1997 (Windhoek, 2001).

2 United Kingdom, Department for Education and Skills, Care Matters: Time for Change (London, Stationery Office, 2007).

Publication by an individual author. For government publications prepared by an individual author, the author’s name is given first. The government department may be identified in the series title or the publishing data. In some cases, the publishing office itself will specify how the work should be cited.

Example:

3 Karen A. Stanecki, The AIDS Pandemic in the 21st Century, United States Census Bureau, International Population Reports, Series WP02-2 (Washington, D.C., United States Government Printing Office, 2004).

Unpublished government materials

For unpublished government materials, the elements included in footnotes are the same as those listed for inclusion in unpublished papers (see below). The footnote also begins with the country name and the author department, ministry or other unit, as specified above for government publications.

Example:

4 New Zealand, Institute of Rural Health, "Moving forward in rural health", discussion paper, June 2008.

E.   Legal references

Laws
Court cases and related documents

Laws

When laws, statutes, decrees and other acts having the force of law are cited in a general (non-legal) text, the reference may include the following elements:

  1. Country (not "Government of …") or other jurisdiction
  2. Title of law or body of laws, if any (in standard font without quotation marks)
  3. Number of law, if any
  4. Date of adoption, if not part of title (in parentheses)
  5. Article, part, chapter or section, if relevant

When the law has been published in a compendium, the following elements may also be included:

      6.  Title of compendium in which the law was published (in italics)
      7.  Volume number, if any
      8.  Date of publication (in parentheses)

Other elements (such as a URL or the place of publication and publisher of a compendium) may be added as necessary. The order of elements may vary, depending on the nature of the work and the style used by the country or issuing body. For guidelines on the reference style used in legal texts, including documents of the International Law Commission, consult the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs.

Examples:

1 Cameroon, Penal Code, Law No. 65-LF-24 of 12 November 1965 and Law No. 67-LF-1 of 12 June 1967, sects. 337–339.

2 Canada, Extradition Act, Statutes of Canada, chap. 18, sect. 1 (1999).

3 Philippines, Act to Ordain and Institute the Civil Code of the Philippines, Republic Act No. 386 (18 June 1949), Official Gazette Supplement, vol. 45, No. 6 (August 1949).

When the title of a law is given in another language, it should be translated where possible, or a description provided. When it is not possible to provide a translation or description, the title in the original may be retained but is not italicized.

Example:

4 Dominican Republic, Law on Electronic Commerce, Digital Documents and Signatures (2002).

Court cases and related documents

Court cases and related documents cited in a general (non-legal) text may include the following elements:

  1. Jurisdiction
  2. Title of court case (in italics)
  3. Case or application number
  4. Description or title of document
  5. Date of document

When the document has been published in a compendium, the elements cited for laws (see (6)(8) above) may also be included.

Example:

5 Royal Courts of Justice, Serious Fraud Office v. Standard Bank PLC, Case No. U20150854, Approved Judgment, 30 November 2015.

F.    Working papers and research reports in a published series

The following elements are included in footnotes:

  1. Author
  2. Title of paper or report (in quotation marks)
  3. Title of series (in standard font)
  4. Working paper or report number, if any
  5. Publishing data (place, publisher, year) (in parentheses)
  6. "Available at" URL (should be omitted if the reference is easily located through a web search)

Examples:

1 Stephane Straub, "Infrastructure and growth in developing countries: recent advances and research challenges", Policy Research Working Paper, No. 4460 (Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2008).

2 Security Council Report, Inc., "The rule of law: retreat from accountability", Research Report 2019, No. 3 (New York, 23 December 2019).

Note: Some working papers or research reports are issued as books or publications with an ISBN or ISSN. In such cases, the work is treated as a book and the title is italicized.

G.    Articles and chapters in a book or publication

Articles and chapters written by individual authors and included in a multi-author book or publication are cited in footnotes containing the following elements:

  1. Author of article or chapter
  2. Title of article or chapter (in quotation marks)
  3. "in" title and subtitle of book or publication (in italics)
  4. Edition, if not the first (e.g. 2nd ed. or revised ed.)
  5. Volume number and title, if any (volume number in standard font followed by a comma; title in italics); when a multivolume work is referred to as a whole, give volume numbers only
  6. Editor (ed.)
  7. Series title and number, if any (optional; in standard font)
  8. Publishing data (place, publisher, year) or symbol (in parentheses); see also Publishing data: special issues
  9. "Available at" URL (should be omitted if the reference is easily located through a web search)
  10. Electronic medium, for a non-Internet source such as an e-book or CD-ROM (include version number, if any)

Examples:

1 César Calderón and Luis Servén, "Latin America’s infrastructure in the era of macroeconomic crises", in The Limits of Stabilization: Infrastructure, Public Deficits and Growth in Latin America, William Easterly and Luis Servén, eds. (Palo Alto, California, Stanford University Press; Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2003).

Volume number, no volume title:

2 Dani Rodrik, "Growth strategies", in Handbook of Economic Growth, vol. 1A, Philippe Aghion and Steven Durlauf, eds. (Amsterdam, North-Holland, 2005).

H.    Articles in a periodical

Periodicals include journals, magazines and newsletters. The following elements are included in footnotes:

  1. Author, if any
  2. Title of article (in quotation marks)
  3. Name of periodical (in italics)
  4. Volume and issue numbers, if any
  5. Date or season as shown on periodical (in parentheses when there is an issue number)
  6. "Available at" URL (should be omitted if the reference is easily located through a web search)

Inclusive page numbers for articles cited as a whole are not required but may be retained if the author has consistently supplied them.

Examples:

Journal with volume, issue and date:

1 David E. Bloom, "Governing global health", Finance and Development, vol. 44, No. 4 (December 2007).

2 Laurie Garrett, "The challenge of global health", Foreign Affairs, vol. 86, No. 1 (January/February 2007), p. 15.

I.    Articles in a newspaper

The following elements are included in footnotes:

  1. Author, if any
  2. Title of article (in quotation marks)
  3. Name of newspaper in the language of publication, transliterated where possible (in italics)
  4. City of publication (in standard font, in parentheses), when necessary
  5. Date of article (day, month, year)
  6. "Available at" URL (should be omitted if the reference is easily located through a web search)

Initial articles are omitted from the names of English-language newspapers (e.g. New York Times, not The New York Times). The article is retained when it is part of the name of a newspaper in another language (e.g. Le Monde, El País).

The city of publication is added if it is not part of the name of the newspaper and the paper is not widely known or could be confused with another paper of the same name or when the name is in another language.

Examples:

Article with author:

1 Rana Husseini, "Women leaders attempt to bridge East-West cultural divide", Jordan Times, 9 May 2007.

Article with news agency as author:

2 Agence France-Presse, "3 journalists held in Libya are freed and go to Tunisia", New York Times, 23 March 2011.

Note: For examples of articles from news agencies that are not reproduced in newspapers, see Articles on a website below.

Article without author; city included for clarification:

3 "Aviation MD allowed risky planes to fly to Congo", Daily Monitor (Kampala), 15 August 2002.

Name of newspaper in another language:

4 Piotr Adamowicz, "Smuggling from Poland", Rzeczpospolita (Warsaw), 2 January 2000.

5 Antoine Reverchon, "Le capitalisme est-il moral ?", Le Monde, 25 April 2019.

Reference in the text. A general reference to the newspaper as a whole is sometimes sufficient. The name of the newspaper and the date are then given directly in the text. When referencing a direct quotation or summary of an article from a newspaper, it is preferable to insert the name of the newspaper and the date in parentheses after the quotation or summary.

Examples:

As reported in Le Monde on 2 July 2009, ….

* * *

It was reported that [quotation or summary]. (Jerusalem Post, 3 December 2007)

J.    Articles on a website

The following elements are included in footnotes:

  1. Author of article, if any, or organization responsible for website
  2. Title of article (in quotation marks)
  3. Title of website or name of organization responsible for website, if not already in (1) above
  4. Date posted or last updated, if indicated
  5. "Available at" URL (should be omitted if the reference is easily located through a web search)
  6. Date accessed (in parentheses), if no date is indicated on the article (optional)

If the website or the information is no longer available through the URL provided, the editor should, in consultation with the author, update the reference.

Examples:

1 European Commission, "Education and training in Europe: inequality remains a challenge", 9 November 2017.

Article with news agency as author:

2 Reuters, "France’s Macron to speak at Davos economic forum", 3 January 2018.

Article provided by news agency, with individual author:

3 Farah Abdi Warsameh (Associated Press), "Suspected Al-Shabab associate captured in U.S.-Somali raid", CBS News, 26 July 2017.

Note: For examples of articles from news agencies that are reproduced in newspapers, see Articles in a newspaper above.

Websites not translated. When a website cited as a source has not been translated into the original language of the document in which the reference appears, the URL may be deleted and a description of the source provided instead. When the information is written in a non-Roman alphabet, it should be transliterated where possible. Authors should attest to the accuracy of references to websites in a language other than the language of submission.

K.    Unpublished papers and dissertations

The following elements are included in footnotes:

  1. Author
  2. Title (in quotation marks)
  3. Nature of the work (e.g. paper prepared for an organization or presented at a meeting; thesis or dissertation)
  4. Name of organization or meeting for which paper was prepared
  5. Name of university, for thesis or dissertation
  6. Place and date (omit place for thesis or dissertation)

Examples:

Paper prepared for an organization:

1 Aaron Cosbey and others, "The rush to regionalism: sustainable development and regional/bilateral approaches to trade and investment liberalization", paper prepared for the International Development Research Centre, Winnipeg, Canada, November 2004.

Paper prepared for a meeting:  

2 Alexander Salagaev, "Juvenile delinquency", paper presented at the Expert Group Meeting on Global Priorities for Youth, Helsinki, October 2002.

Dissertation:

3 Maria Smith-Jones, "The changing role of women in the public sector, 1975–2005", PhD dissertation, Columbia University, 2007.

L.    Databases

Information from an online database is documented in a footnote containing the following elements:

  1. Organization responsible for database
  2. Name of section or data file, if applicable (in quotation marks)
  3. Name of database (capitalized in standard font, without quotation marks)
  4. "Available at" URL, for database on a website
  5. Date accessed (in parentheses)

Other information, such as a table number or specific links, may be included when appropriate. If the website or the information is no longer available through the URL provided, the editor should, in consultation with the author, update the reference.

Example:

1 World Bank, "Population projections", HealthStats database. Available at https://datacatalog.worldbank.org/dataset/health-nutrition-and-population-statistics (accessed on 15 April 2018).

Databases issued on a CD-ROM are treated as a book or publication.

M.    Public statements

The following elements are included in footnotes:

  1. Name and title of speaker
  2. Exact or descriptive title of statement (exact title in quotation marks)
  3. Event or body addressed
  4. Place and date of statement
  5. "Available at" URL (should be omitted if the reference is easily located through a web search)

Example:

1 Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, "Water: how to manage a vital resource", statement to the OECD Forum 2007, Paris, 14 May 2007.

References to public statements may be given in the text when appropriate.

Example:

The Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in a statement made on 17 May to the OECD Forum 2007, noted that… (see www.oecd.org).

N.    Interviews

References to interviews may be given directly in the text or in a footnote. They should include the following information:

  1. Person interviewed, if appropriate
  2. Interviewer, if not apparent from context
  3. Place and date of interview, if known

When the person interviewed cannot be named, a descriptive term should be used instead. When the identity of the interviewer is apparent from the context (e.g. the interview is cited in a report by a panel of experts who conducted the interviews), the interviewer need not be specified.

Examples:

People interviewed not named:

According to several international observers interviewed by the Panel in Nairobi on 18 September and 26 October 2002, ….

Interviewer omitted:

1 Interview with Osman Ahmed Hassan, Head of Somaliland Representation to the United Kingdom, London, 4 January 2003.

O.    Personal communications

References to personal communications (e.g. letters, emails, telephone conversations and discussions) may be given in the text or in a footnote and should include the following information:

  1. Sender or person providing the information
  2. Title or affiliation of sender, if relevant (normally included in a footnote)
  3. Subject of the communication
  4. "Personal communication" or type of communication (e.g. discussion, email)
  5. Recipient of information, if relevant
  6. Date of communication

References to personal emails should not include the sender’s email address.

Examples:

In text:

The World Health Organization has found an extremely high incidence of tuberculosis in all age groups throughout the region (Jason Doucette, personal communication, 29 May 2009).

Footnote:

1 Jason Doucette, World Health Organization, "Incidence of tuberculosis in southern Africa", email to author, 29 May 2009.

P.    Multimedia sources

References to audiovisual material and other multimedia content include the following elements:

  1. Author or organization responsible for the material
  2. Title (in quotation marks)
  3. Format
  4. Date posted or last updated, if indicated
  5. Location of citation (in hh:mm:ss format; optional)
  6. "Available at" URL (should be omitted if the reference is easily located through a web search)
  7. Date accessed (in parentheses), if no date is indicated on the material (optional)
Examples:

1 BBC, "Iran nuclear deal 'must be preserved'", video, 3 May 2018.

2 United Nations, "Inside the world’s worst humanitarian ‘nightmare’", podcast, 2 November 2017.

 
     
   
 


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