Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The mysterious "Ibid" - Tuesday's Tip

It has been many years since I was in school and was required to understand the make up of bibliographies. I love to research, but I have done a complete brain dump on any type of "style" manual that I was ever forced to memorize...except of course the AP Stylebook (which I use for work). I have a theory that if a style manual has an acronym in it's title it might be too much heavy reading for this mind.

But now that I am researching deeper in to the lives of my ancestors, and becoming more interested in historical research overall, I am learning to appreciate the need for style guides. I recently decided to read more about the Red River Campaign of 1864, which took place in Louisiana. I had two relatives that participated in the campaign, so I decided to check out two books from my library to learn more about the battles of the campaign. I knew my third-great grandfather was captured on the City Belle (read more here), which took place on the Red River. The book I checked out only talked very briefly of the City Belle incident, but did give a reference to another book. I looked at the bottom of the page and found "Ibid" and the page number. Hmm...what?

I admit that I had to Google it. Turns out that Ibid. is an abbreviation of the latin word "ibidem" which means "in the same place." In researching terms it means that the author is referring to the previous stated source; rather than type the title again and again they replace it with Ibid. Ibid must refer only to the previous stated source. If you use another source in between you must list the source in full. Following uses of Ibid. would then refer to that second source. Apparently, this is now considered an old-school practice as many manuals suggest that subsequent uses of the same source just state the author's name and page numbers. So, you've had your acronym style-manual lesson today.


zelsersk said...

Thanks! I remember the acronym Ibid but could not recall what it was for. It is funny how you can find just about everything on the internet in a Google Search.....:-)

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

I know! Without Google I would be lost. Or maybe I mean a little less smart.

hummer said...

Acronym lessons are good. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog. Glad to find your blog