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This seems like a silly question, but I can't find a clear answer online. If Dr. Brainiac's Big Book of Science was first published in 1974, but I have the second edition, published in 1996, should I cite it as (Brainiac, 1974) or (Brainiac, 1996)?

I realise that this is the sort of thing that might come down to the policy of the journal, but it happens that the journal I'm submitting to doesn't offer any specific guidelines on this particular topic, so I was wondering what the standard practice is, if there is one.

edit: for clarity, of course I would mention in the references section that I was referring to the second edition. I guess it would look something like this:

Brainiac, Q. Big Book of Science. Aperture publishing, 1974. (2nd edition 1996.)

or

Brainiac, Q. Big Book of Science, 2nd edition. Aperture publishing, 1996. (First published 1974.)

Where in the first case the in-text citation should be (Brainiac, 1974), and in the second it would be (Brainiac, 1996). The question is which of these is considered the best, or at least the most usual, way of doing it. In my particular case I'm citing a specific fact that is almost certainly in both editions, but of course I can't be sure.

1 Answer 1

In this case I would say Be Honest: only cite the references that you have read. Even if you have read the "rev 1", you might be (wrongly) citing as "rev 2" a sentence from "rev 1" that was removed in "rev 2"...

It might be obvious, but sloppy mistakes like that happen