How to Cite an Encyclopedia in Chicago/Turabian

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While major dictionaries and encyclopedias are typically only cited in the notes and not in the bibliography in Chicago style, you may need to create a bibliography entry if your instructor requires it or if the work as a whole is important to your topic. This guide will show you how to cite encyclopedias and encyclopedia entries in notes-bibliography style using the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Guide Overview


Citing a Whole Encyclopedia

A whole encyclopedia is cited the same way as a book, and will usually include editor, edition , and volume information.

Citation Structure:

Note:

1. First name Last name (if applicable), Encyclopedia Title, # ed. vol. #, ed. First Name Last Name (City of publication: Publisher, Year of publication).

Bibliography:

Last name, First name (if applicable). Encyclopedia Title. # ed. # vols. Edited by First Name Last Name. City of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 2.50.43 PM
Note: No edition, volume or editor information is provided in this visual example. When such information is unavailable, omit it from the citation.

Citation Example:

Note:

1. Karen McGhee and George McKay, Encyclopedia of Animals (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2007).

Bibliography:

McGhee, Karen and George McKay. Encyclopedia of Animals. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2007.


Citing a Print Encyclopedia Entry

When citing a print encyclopedia entry, the note should include the information about the entry and the bibliography entry (if needed) should cite the encyclopedia as a whole, using the format from the previous section. If the work is arranged alphabetically, include the abbreviation “s.v.” (sub verbo or under the word) before the title of the entry.

Citation Structure:

Note:

1. Encyclopedia Title, # ed. vol. #, ed. First Name Last Name (City of publication: Publisher, Year of publication), s.v. “Entry Title” or page/section number.

Bibliography:

Encyclopedia Title. # ed. # vols. Edited by First Name Last Name. City of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

Citation Example:

Note:

1. Encyclopedia Britannica, 6th ed. vol. 6, ed. William Smellie (London: Archibald Constable and Company, 1823), s.v. “Chivalry.”

Bibliography:

Encyclopedia Britannica, 6th ed. Vol. 6. Edited by William Smellie. London: Archibald Constable and Company, 1823.


Citing an Online Encyclopedia Entry

When citing an online encyclopedia entry, like a print entry, the entry is usually cited only in the notes and a bibliography entry is typically not needed unless required by your instructor.

Citation Structure:

Note:

1. Encyclopedia Title, s.v. “Entry Title,” publication/last modification date or accessed Day Month, Year, URL.

Bibliography:

Encyclopedia Title. Publication/last modification date or accessed Day Month, Year. URL.

Citation Example:

Note:

1. Encyclopedia of Life, s.v. “Cliff Chipmunk,” accessed February 2, 2022, https://eol.org/pages/311544.

Bibliography:

Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed February 2, 2022. https://eol.org/pages/311544.


Citing an Encyclopedia Entry with an Individual Author

If you are citing an encyclopedia entry that has an individual author separate from the author or editor of the encyclopedia, the entry’s author should be listed first and the citation will follow a similar structure to a chapter in an book. These types of entries should always be included in the bibliography.

Citation Structure:

Note:

1. Entry Author First name Last name, “Entry Title,” in Encyclopedia Title, ed. Editor First name Last name, Publishing/Sponsoring organization, publication year(s), article published Month Day, Year (if applicable), URL.

OR

1. Entry Author First name Last name, “Entry Title,” in Encyclopedia Title, ed. First Name Last Name, # ed. vol. # (City of publication: Publisher, Year of publication).

Bibliography:

Entry Author Last name, First name. “Entry Title.” In Encyclopedia Title, edited by Editor First name Last name. Publishing/Sponsoring organization, Publication Year(s). Article published Month Day, Year (if applicable). URL.

OR

Entry Author Last name, First name. “Entry Title.” In Encyclopedia Title, edited by Editor First name Last name. # ed. # vols. City of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

Citation Example:

Note:

1. Mark Cartwright, “Achilles,” in World History Encyclopedia, World History Foundation, 2009-, article published September 29, 2012, https://www.worldhistory.org/achilles/.

Bibliography:

Cartwright, Mark. “Achilles.” In World History Encyclopedia. World History Foundation, 2009-. Article published September 29, 2012. https://www.worldhistory.org/achilles/.

Note: In this example, the publication date range (2009-) is incomplete since the online encyclopedia still currently ongoing.


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