Nature Blog Network

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hey English Majors!

How do you cite a translation of a text? Do I include the original author followed by the translators, all as authors, and the year of the translation?

For instance what I want to cite is Hennig (1966). But I have and use a translation (from German) of his text. So do I ignore the translators and go with the traditional

Hennig, W. (1966). Phylogenetic Systematics. University of Illinois Press, Urbana. (i've seen this is an article)


Hennig, W., D.D. Davis, R. Zangerl (1999). Phylogenetic Systematics. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.


  1. I'm not an English major - just a biology teacher smart enough to have married an English teacher :)

    All we know is APA style, so it might not be a great help to you. From their website...

    Reference for the English translation of a book

    Laplace, P.-S. (1951). A philosophical essay on probabilities (F.W. Truscott & F.L. Emory, Trans.). New York: Dover. (Original work published 1814)

    If the English translation of a non-English work is used as the source, cite the English translation: Give the English title without brackets (for use of brackets with non-English works see the Publication Manual).

    In text, cite the original publication date and the date of the translation: (Laplace, 1814/1951).

    (adapted from the fifth edition of APA's Publication Manual, © 2001)

    Hope that helps - if not, at least we tried!

  2. wow, my first comment never showed up... I gave you the MLA format.

    Hennig, W. (underline)Phylogenetic Systematics(/underline) University of Illinois Press, Urbana. Trans. D.D. Davis, R. Zangerl (1999).

    that link above is the MLA stylesheet for cited works.

  3. Chicago B:

    Hennig, Willi. 1966. Phylogenetic systematics. Translated by D. D. Davis and R. Zangerl. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.


    HENNIG, W. (1966) Phylogenetic systematics, Urbana, University of Illinois Press.
    [No translators]


    Hennig, Willi. Phylogenetic systematics. Trans. D. Dwight Davis and Rainer Zangerl. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1966.


    HENNIG, WILLI, Phylogenetic systematics, trans. D. Dwight Davis and Rainer Zangerl (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1966).

  4. Wow! Thanks a lot everyone.

    Although from journal to journal citations differ, but I think mostly they follow something like the MLA format.

    I even figured out how to put the translator information in my endnote record. But that information doesn't show up in several of the journal preformats I've tried. So maybe it isn't important to the journals, and hence why I usually do not see it.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.