PolySciFi Blog

Friday, December 23, 2005


Citation Bleg

I ran across a citation question today that I don't know the answer to. I was thinking that maybe the writers in the audience might be able to steer me in the right direction.

The question: if an author changes his/her/its name after originally publishing the work you wish to cite, do you cite the author as he/she/it was called when published, or as he/she/it is called now?

If it helps, a) the particular author in question is the GAO which changed its name in 2004 from the General Accounting Office to the Government Accountability Office, and b) in a situation you may have been more likely to run across - what do you do when an author drops their maiden name for all future publications?

Currently, I'm leaning towards adopting a general practice of using the name under which the work was published, but I can see where that might not make sense for online government publications - in another couple years, if someone goes searching online for the General Accounting Office, I doubt that they'll still get an automatic redirect; at the same time I don't expect the Library of Congress to recatalogue works by people who change their name, but I think they might for Congressional agencies.


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