How to Cite a Standard in Chicago Footnote Referencing
  • 2-minute read
  • 14th May 2021

How to Cite a Standard in Chicago Footnote Referencing

Technical standards are vital in many industries, setting norms or agreed methods for common tasks. But how do you cite these documents in your work? In this post, we set out the rules for citing a standard in Chicago footnote referencing.

Citing a Standard in Chicago Footnote Referencing

When using Chicago footnote citations, you cite sources with a superscript number in the text. Typically, this will go at the end of the relevant passage:

The standard sets out the symbols to use when proofreading.1

This number will point to a footnote, which is where you provide source information. For a standard, the basic format for the first footnote citation is:

n. Title of Standard, standard number or identifier (place of publication [if known]: publishing body, date issued), URL (if standard was consulted online).

For example, a basic footnote citation for a standard might look like this:

1. Graphic technology — Symbols for text proof correction, ISO 5776:2016 (International Organization for Standardization, April 2016), https://www.iso.org/standard/61838.html.

If you cite the same standard again later in your work, you can use a shortened footnote to minimize repetition. With a standard, this will usually mean citing an abbreviated version of the title. For more on repeat citations, see here.

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Standards in a Chicago-Style Bibliography

In your bibliography, the format to use for a standard is:

Full Name of Issuing Organization. Title of Standard. Standard number or identifier. Place of publication (if known): issuing organization, date of issue. URL (if standard was accessed online).

The key difference from the footnote citation here is that the name of the issuing organization goes first, not the title. You can also name the issuing organization as both the author and the publisher if the same group is responsible for both.

For instance, we could list the standard cited above as follows:

International Organization for Standardization. Graphic technology — Symbols for text proof correction. ISO 5776:2016. International Organization for Standardization, April 2016. https://www.iso.org/standard/61838.html.

As shown above, you should also use a hanging indent in the bibliography entry.

Expert Chicago Referencing Proofreading

We hope this guide has helped you with citing a technical standard using Chicago footnote referencing. However, if you’d like any more help with citations, our academic proofreading experts are available. And in case you need convincing, you can sign up for a trial today to get 500 words checked for free.

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