LINGUIST List 6.1049

Fri Aug 4 1995

Sum: E-mail Citation

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  1. heather marie anderson, e-mail citation summary

Message 1: e-mail citation summary

Date: Thu, 03 Aug 1995 22:14:40 e-mail citation summary
From: heather marie anderson <>
Subject: e-mail citation summary

 About a week ago I posted a query asking how to cite e-mail messages.
I'd like to thank the following people for their prompt and informative
David Stampe
Joseph Tomei
Meg Gam
Bert Peters
Alfred Rosa
bparker (only e-mail address given)
F. Gladney
Marty Jacobsen
Elizabeth M. Bergman
Dorine Houston
Susan Fagyal
Debra Hardison

 Several style manuals were recommended. The latest editions of
the MLA, APA and Chicago all make reference to electronic sources. Xai Li
and Nancy B. Crane's book Electronic Style was recommended by several
people. The publisher (?) Allyn & Bacon is also making a style guide
 Three electronic guides were also recommended; the FAQ file of the
group "alt.usage.english" available from "", a file on
the TESL-L mailing list and a previous posting to Linguist list Vol 6-210
Mon 13 Feb 1995.I have a copy of this last source which I am willing to
forward to anyone interested (note this message also explains how to get
the TESL list).
 Besides giving me references, many of those responding cautioned
me to get the permission of my sources before citing them. There are at
least two reasons for this; first many people respond to queries off the
top of their heads without double checking their facts and second while
willing to respond to one query many people may not want to set
themselves as a source to be consulted by anyone doing research on the
subject in question. In most situations, I have come to the conclusion
that personal e-mail should be cited as personal communications, which is
enough to indicate that the information is not original to the author
without making any promises that the source will act as a reference. (co-
incidentally this is the solution suggested by about half of my
respondents). However a posting to a list (like this summary) which is
available to anyone and which can be accessed without contacting the
author directly should be cited according to the style guide of your choice
or in such a way that it can be easily found.

Heather Anderson
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