Michael V. Fox, From the Editor: On Footnotes, in Hebrew Studies 28. Read/download this article here (PDF).
Fox's case against Endnotes:
- Endnotes, particularly in books, are a nuisance.
- Endnotes are usually...imposed on authors by publishers...
- Endnotes trail behind everything else
Fox's case for Footnotes:
- Footnotes...[are] right there to read in a moment...
- Footnotes are...intrinsically significant.
- [F]ootnotes anchor the thought in the earlier scholarship from which it proceeded.
- Footnotes...go along with text.
Also worthy of consideration is his argument in endnote 4 against the misplaced priorities of the standard style sheets for bibliographies. Having worked extensively with bibliographies, I always find it frustrating when the author's name is abbreviated. I agree wholeheartedly that the most essential information in a bibliography is the author's name, the title of the work, and the date. I wish that all of the information would be present including the city and publisher's name, but if anything must be abbreviated it ought to be the publisher's information.
[HT: Jim Davila @ PaleoJudaica.com who links to Christian Brady's post @ Targuman who gives credit to having received this from Robert Holmstedt.]