When completing academic papers, you may sometimes rely heavily on a few sources. It may occur when these sources are particularly relevant and support a specific paragraph of your work. However, continuously quoting the same book or journal in your footnotes can become cumbersome.
Fortunately, if you follow the Chicago style, a useful abbreviation called “Ibid.” can save you considerable time and effort. With this element, you don’t need to repeat all the details about the source when referencing it multiple times within your paper. Let’s consider the meaning of this abbreviation, its essential rules, and examples.
What does Ibid. mean?
Derived from the Latin term “ibidem,” the ibid. meaning is “in the same place.” In scholarly citations, this abbreviation serves to reference a source previously cited in full in a prior footnote or endnote. By using this element, the reader is directed back to the previous citation. It allows for a streamlined and efficient citation process, especially when you heavily depend on a few sources throughout your work. Due to this abbreviation, readers can easily locate the source without duplicating the full reference.
How to use Ibid. in academic writing
Before introducing this element into your writing, confirm if your citation format allows it. This is specific to the Chicago referencing style, which utilize footnotes for citation purposes at the bottom of every page.
Discover some general guidelines to apply this element correctly in academic papers:
- Always remember to include a period after ibid. to indicate it’s an abbreviation.
- Add it when you consecutively cite the same source without any intervening citations.
- If the page number you cite differs from the previous citation, it’s necessary to include a comma and a new page number, as indicated in our example: “Ibid., 8”.
- When the abbreviation is used at the beginning of a footnote, it should start with a capital letter.
These guidelines help ensure clarity and precision in referencing sources per academic standards.
Ibid. in Chicago style: usage rules
As outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style, the usage of ibid. is limited to specific circumstances:
- It can be applied when you are referencing the source you just cited. When citing the same book(journal or any other source) and page number, you must apply full notes for the initial citation and ibid. for subsequent references. If the source is the same with a change of the page number, include the new page number after the abbreviation followed by a comma.
1. James Stone, The History of Chicago (Chicago: University Press, 2020), 45.
2. Ibid., 56.
3. Ibid., 78.
- It is appropriate to use this abbreviation multiple times but keep in mind that it solely refers to the preceding reference. Ibid. should not be used to quote a source again after citing another one. The source needs to be reintroduced. It can be accomplished by employing a shortened version of the Chicago style footnotes or endnotes.
1. Charles Johnson, The History of Modern Art (New York: ABC Publishing, 2022), 38.
2. Ibid., 41.
3. Jimmy Smoodley, The Art of Understanding: A Comprehensive Guide (New York: Art Press, 2022), 29.
4. Johnson, Modern Art, 51.
How to use short notes?
The short note provides condensed information about the source previously mentioned. The choice between ibid. and a short note depends on preference; recent trends lean towards short notes for clarity. When citing source for the first time use full notes, for subsequent citation use short notes: include the author’s last name, shortened title (if applicable), and page number(s). Excessive use of ibid. can make citations dense and harder to read. Most writers and style guides discourage its overuse in favor of short notes.
James Stone, The History of Chicago: A Comprehensive Overview (Chicago: University Press, 2020), 45.
Stone, History of Chicago, 45.
Ibid. in APA or MLA citation styles
Using ibid. in APA or MLA citation styles is inappropriate because both APA and MLA employ in-text citations enclosed within parentheses rather than applying footnotes or endnotes. In these formats, the in-text citations are designed to be concise and provide the necessary information to identify the source. Therefore, there is no need to further shorten the citations by using ibid.
Instead, in APA and MLA, it‘s recommended to include the necessary details, such as the author’s name and publication year, directly within the parentheses to attribute the source correctly. It ensures clarity and accuracy in referencing the specific source being cited.
Why is ibid. used in academic writing?
Using this abbreviation indicates to the audience that you are citing a source for the second time. Still, referring to another page within the same source, you should specify the page number. It helps provide more precise information and lets the reader locate the specific page within the cited source.
Does the Chicago format accept using this element?
Yes, this abbreviation is commonly used in Chicago style to refer to the same source as before. Introduce a full citation for the first mention of a source and then use this element for subsequent citations of the same source, as long as there are no intervening citations to other sources.
Is it possible to use this abbreviation in the APA format?
No, it’s not recommended. APA prefers complete citations for clarity and easy source location. Include the author’s name(s), publication year, title, and other details for each citation.
How often can I use ibid.?
There are no restrictions on when to use ibid. and how often you may do it. It is essential to apply this element only where it suits the format.
Does ibid. mean the same as id.?
No, but it’s close to it. Id. is employed in the legal quotation as an abbreviation for “idem,” which signifies “the same” and possesses its own set of stylistic guidelines.