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Chicago Referencing Guide

Notes-Bibliography Style

Well-known reference works

  • Well-known reference works, like major dictionaries and encyclopaedias, should only be cited in your notes, not in your bibliography.
  • Publication information can be omitted, apart from the edition (unless it is the first, or no edition is specified).
  • If you consulted the reference work online, include a URL. If it is undated, include an access date.
  • For dictionaries and encyclopaedias that are arranged by key terms, do not cite the volume or page number. Instead, cite the entry that you consulted, preceded by s.v. ("sub verbo" - Latin for "under the word").


19. Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed., s.v. "chiaroscuro."

20. Encyclopaedia Britannica, s.v. "Serval (mammal)," accessed June 17, 2017,

Specialised reference works

  • Cite reference works that are more specialised or less well-known just as you would cite a book - in both your notes and bibliography.
  • For works with no named author(s) or editor(s), begin the citation with the title.


21. St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture (London: St. James Press, 2000), s.v. "Street Art".


Horowitz, Maryanne Cline, ed. New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005.