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Atla Open Press: Citation Guidelines

This guide provides information for authors, prospective authors, readers and editors of the publications of Atla Open Press

All Atla Open Press publications follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, using the author-date format for citations. Those new to author-date are encouraged to peruse Williams College's excellent introduction to the style, which will answer most common questions. Further examples and links to more detailed resources covering more specialized cases and materials are given in the tabs below. It is the responsibility of authors to ensure that their manuscripts adhere to these guidelines at the time of submission.

When explanatory and supplementary material needs to be referenced outside of cited sources and not as part of the main body text of an article or chapter, Atla Open Press requires that this content be included in an endnote. Footnotes are not accepted.


Note that multi-author and multi-editor works place the surname first only for the first author/editor; all subsequent authors/editors are listed with the given name first. The abbreviation "et al." should be used only for works with five or more authors/editors, and then only in the in-text citation; the works cited list should contain all names in full.



Gravett, Sandie L. 2018. Teaching Religion in a Changing Public University. Chicago: Atla Open Press.


(Gravett 2018, 26)

Edited Collection


Smiley, Bobby, ed. 2019. Information Literacy and Theological Librarianship: Theory and Praxis. Chicago: Atla Open Press.


(Smiley 2019)

Chapter in Edited Collection


Dickerson, G. Fay, and John A. Peltz. 2006. "The Index to Religious Periodical Literature: Past, Present, and Future." In A Broadening Conversation: Classic Readings in Theological Librarianship, edited by Melody Layton McMahon and David R. Stewart, 298–305. Chicago: Atla Open Press.


(Dickerson and Peltz 2006, 301)

Translated Book


Akagi, Ritsuko. 2025. Atla Open Press: It's Big in Japan. Translated by Race MoChridhe. Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing.


(Akagi 2025, 12)

It is best practice to include the DOI or other stable link to the reference's content where one is available. This should be a "live," clickable link in the manuscript document. (In Chicago style, the URL terminates with a period. Word processors sometimes erroneously include this in automatically generated live links, causing errors. Care should be taken to ensure that the final period has not been accidentally integrated into the link.)

Born-digital publications lacking pagination may be cited in-text with a section heading and/or paragraph number.

Journal Article


Johnston, Chelsea, and Jason Boczar. 2019. "Scholarly Publishing Literacy at the University of South Florida Libraries: From Advising to Active Involvement." Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 7, no. 1.

Perisho, Stephen Zenas. 2019. "Here I Fall: A Blunder in Roland Bainton's Here I Stand." Theological Librarianship 21, no. 2: 5–20.


(Johnston and Boczar 2019, para. 18)

(Perisho 2019, 7)

Book Review


Goodwin, Shawn Virgil. 2019. Review of A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar, by Christo H. J. van der Merwe, Jacobus A. Naudé, and Jan H. Kroeze. Theological Librarianship 21, no. 1: 65–7.


(Goodwin 2019, 66)

Newspaper/Magazine Article or Blog Post


Fruin, Christine. 2018. "The A, B, C's (and R's) of OER." The Scoop, March 6, 2018.

Hamilton, Burt. 2024. "Atla Open Press Designated New Mellon Grant Recipient." San Francisco Chronicle, April 17, 2024.


(Fruin 2018)

(Hamilton 2024, A4)

Chicago style generally permits website content to be described in the text without formal citation, i.e. "As of January 2020, the Atla website listed..." Authors may use reasonable discretion as to when a full citation is required by the obscurity or specificity of the material, as well as when it is justified by the permanence of the online source.

Undated pages will list "n.d." in place of a year, and should include "Accessed Month DD, YYYY." before the URL. An accessed date is not required for a dated webpage.

Note that URLs terminate with a period. Please ensure that live links embedded in the manuscript document do not erroneously include this period.


Atla. n.d. "Donate Issues for Digitization." Accessed February 6, 2020.

Society of Biblical Literature. 2020. "Biblical Fonts."


(Atla n.d.)

(Society of Biblical Literature 2020)

Archival and special collections materials are highly varied and require close attention to the particularities of each item. Nonetheless, helpful guidance is available from a few sources.

Gerth Archives & Special Collections at California State University, Dominguez Hills, offers a concise overview of Chicago-style citations for archival materials with particular guidance on the author-date format.

Although not addressing in-text citation, the Library of Congress has an extensive guide to constructing works cited entries for many different kinds of materials.

Doctoral Dissertation


Kellner, Richard. 2035. "How Atla Open Press Influenced a Generation of Open Access Publishers." PhD diss., Sorbonne University.


(Kellner 2035, 247)

Master's Thesis


Uaine, Deirdre. 2022. "Atla Open Press and the Contemporary Scottish Publishing Scene: A Comparative Workflow Analysis." Master's thesis, Simon Fraser University.


(Uaine 2022, 112)

Personal Communications

Interviews, emails, phone calls, text message exchanges... any and all direct communication between the author and a (human) source that is not published anywhere is a "personal communication" (by contrast, if the author exchanged messages with a source via comments on the source's public blog, for example, you would cite that using the format for comments on blogs and online fora, and not as a personal communication). All of these can be marked "pers. comm." with a date in in-text citation. The author has the option of specifying the format of the communication if it is felt to be important for any reason (by replacing "pers. comm." with "email to author", "telephone interview", etc.) but this is not required. If the format adds nothing to the reader's understanding of the context, it can just be marked "pers. comm."

Note that the need for parenthetical citation depends entirely on how much information has been given in the main text. For example:

Personal communications sometimes have a full parenthetical citation (MoChridhe, pers. comm., March 19, 2021).

MoChridhe (pers. comm., March 19, 2021) stated that, just like published works, personal communications can have a shortened parenthetical citation if the author's name occurs in the main text.

In an email to the author (March 19, 2021), MoChridhe noted that a statement of the format of the communication in the main text eliminates the need to write "pers. comm." in the parenthetical citation.

In an email to the author dated March 19, 2021, MoChridhe observed that personal communications sometimes don't need any parenthetical citation at all.

In no case should a personal communication appear in the works cited list. They are always in-text only.

Question: How often do I need to repeat the citation for a repeated source?

If multiple points of information come from the same source, you may be able to cover multiple quotes or paraphrases with one citation, using cues in the text itself to provide context where needed. For example:

MoChridhe stated that personal communications don't always need a full parenthetical citation. I have found this useful throughout my writing career, and heartily agree with his assertion that "Efficiency is the soul of good citation" (pers. comm., March 19, 2021). 

You must reiterate the citation, however, if a citation for another source intervenes between the items cited.

Personal communications don't always need a full parenthetical citation (MoChridhe, pers. comm., March 19, 2021). As Hartung (2021, 34) observed, this can be very useful in helping your text to flow more naturally. Indeed, if enough is stated in the paragraph itself, MoChridhe (pers. comm., March 19, 2021) asserts that you can avoid the parenthetical altogether.

Here, even though the name of the source occurs in the text, we still have to repeat the citation (in appropriately shortened form), because the presence of another citation in between means that continuity of the source can no longer be assumed.

Technically, a paragraph break does not require a new citation if you are continuing use of the same source without any other source referenced in between. That being said, the author needs to use some judgement to appraise clarity for the reader. Multi-paragraph distances can easily cause the reader to become confused about a source that won't be stated until the end, or to forget a source that was stated at the beginning. When in doubt, it's usually best to repeat the citation in a new paragraph just to avoid uncertainty about the source of the information, but in cases where there is genuinely no room for confusion and the structure of the narrative makes clear that the information is coming from the same interview, letter, etc. that was cited in a previous paragraph, the author is not required by Chicago style to re-cite.

Question: Does anything change if the personal communications become archived?

In this case, nothing has to change; the author still got the information from a personal communication (and not the archives), and thus the original citation is still valid. That being said, the author would have the option, if she desired, to reference the communication as found in the archives in order to make it easier for the reader to follow up and locate the full source. In this case, the author would simply use the citation format for archival materials like she would for any other interview, transcript, correspondence, etc. obtained from an archives.

Papal Encyclicals, Conciliar Documents, Canon Law, etc.

For most specialized Catholic documents, as well as classical works, examples and guidelines are available from the University of Notre Dame (Australia). Please note that these examples are given in notes-bibliography style, and will require adaptation to author-date as follows:

  • Instead of a footnote with author name and short title, use an in-text citation based on the name of the author and the year, e.g.: (Francis 2015).
  • Works cited entries will be identical to the bibliography examples, except that the year of publication should be placed immediately after the author name, e.g.: Francis. 2015. Laudato si’. Vatican City: Vatican Press.

(Note that, per CMOS 11.54, classical and medieval Latin works are capitalized in sentence style, but modern works are capitalized in headline style.)

Other Sources

For most other sources, including audio interviews, social media posts, and similar, the University of Canberra has an extensive citation guide with examples specific to author-date.

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