8th Edition of Turabian

turabianHold the presses! Students writing papers using Turabian citation style (and the faculty grading such papers) should be aware that there are changes in the conventions recommended by the new edition of the Turabian manual.

The devil is in the details. The 8th edition of A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (commonly knows as Turabian) was published in March 2013. Some of the changes involve how you cite web pages and articles you read online. For instance, the new edition flips the URL of a web page with the access date.

The older editions have you doing it like this:

“Breast Cancer Disparities.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/DataStatistics (accessed December 6, 2013).

But the new 8th edition recommends this:

“Breast Cancer Disparities.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed December 6, 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/DataStatistics.

Small change, but one that could elicit points off if the student doesn’t know the new form (or might cause the professor who doesn’t know the new form to grade incorrectly).

Another change involves the use of DOIs (digital object identifiers) instead of URLs when citing a journal article read online, or a web page. DOI’s are more stable than URLs, and usually shorter. Another 8th edition recommendation: “If no suitably short and direct URL exists, you may substitute the name of the database for the URL.” So if you have a URL or DOI, you do not need the name of the database.

Talk about it with your professor! Keep in mind that there are many professors who deviate from the Turabian manual in the way they want you to cite an article that you read in PDF form. They feel that if you read a journal article as a PDF (either downloaded from the web or via IDS), you can cite it as though you read it in print, since it is an exact copy of what appeared in the journal. There are many optional recommendations in the Turabian manual (for instance, there is a chapter recommending an author-date style of citation reminiscent of the APA and MLA style manuals), so it is really important that students and professors talk about exactly which chapters of the Turabian manual should be followed!

Short cuts don’t always work. Many citation generators or online citation guides still have not updated to the new 8th edition changes, so be wary when using “Cite This!” in a database or citation manager. And don’t forget, you can always stop at the Reference desk to ask a librarian for assistance with your citations.  “A Review of Turabian 8th Edition Changes from Turabian 7th Edition”Turabian Quick Guide