Cathy Aranda
Cathy Aranda

What is Ibid? A Comprehensive Guide for Students

5 min read

Published on: Jun 17, 2024

Last updated on: Jul 18, 2024

Ibid

Imagine working really hard on a school project, citing your sources carefully, and then coming across the puzzling word "Ibid" in your bibliography.

It can be frustrating because students may not understand why it's there and worry if they're using it the right way. It causes unnecessary stress during an already challenging academic journey.

No worries, fellow students! This blog is here to help you with the confusion of "Ibid." 

We'll explain what "Ibid" means, and tell you how to use it correctly in citations and footnotes. By the end of this blog, you will have a clear understanding of “ibid” and its rules.

So, let’s get started!

What Does Ibid Mean?

"Ibid" is actually short for the Latin word "ibidem," which translates to "in the same place.

In the context of citations, it is used to refer to the same source that was cited in the immediately preceding reference. 

Essentially, it's a time-saving technique to avoid repeating the full citation when referencing the same source consecutively.

Example

Here's a simple ibid example to illustrate. Imagine you're writing a research paper and you've cited a book. Instead of restating the full citation for each consecutive reference in footnotes or endnotes, you can use "Ibid" to indicate that you're referring to the same source again.

  • Initial Footnote Citation:

John Smith, Exploring the Universe (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), 12.

  • Consecutive Reference using Ibid:

Ibid., 45.

How to Use "Ibid" in Footnotes and Endnotes

Here's a quick guide on how to use "Ibid" effectively:

  • Identify the Same Source: After citing a source in full, recognize instances where you reference the same source in subsequent footnotes or endnotes.

Initial Full Citation:

John Smith, "Exploring the Universe," Journal of Astronomy 15 (2020): 123.

  • Place "Ibid" Where Appropriate: Instead of repeating the entire citation, simply write "Ibid" in the subsequent footnote or endnote where you refer to the same source.

Consecutive Reference 1:

Ibid.

  • Include Page Numbers if Needed: If the specific page you are referring to differs from the previous citation, include the page number after "Ibid" to pinpoint the exact location.
Consecutive Reference 2 (different page): Ibid, p. 145.
  • Caution After Intervening Sources: While "Ibid" is convenient, avoid excessive use within a document. If other sources are cited between references to the same source, provide the full citation for the intervening source.

If "Ibid" is used after an intervening source, it refers to the most recent citation. Here's an example

  1. Smith, History of Chicago, 55.
  2. Ibid, 56
  3. Johnson, Urban Development in the 20th Century, 112.
  4. White, Architectural Styles in Chicago, 78.
  5. Ibid, 79.

Usage of "Ibid" in Different Citation Styles

The usage of "Ibid" citation varies across different styles. Let's explore how "Ibid" is applied in some common citation styles:

Chicago Style

In the Chicago style, "Ibid" is used to refer to the same source in consecutive footnotes. It's followed by a period and can include page numbers if necessary.

Example:

  • Author: John Smith
  • Title: "Exploring the Universe
  • (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), Page Number.

Subsequent "Ibid." Chicago Style Citation:

  • Ibid., Different Page Number.

APA & MLA Style

APA and MLA styles do not use "Ibid." Instead, you provide in-text citation and the full reference for each source. 

"Ibid" is not used in in-text citations in modern academic writing, especially in styles like APA and MLA. However, in some historical or specialized contexts, you may still encounter "Ibid" used in in-text citations.

Ibid vs Short Notes

"Ibid" and "short notes" are both terms associated with referencing and citations in Chicago style, particularly in footnotes or endnotes. However, they serve different purposes.

Term

General Format

Usage

Example

Ibid

Ibid., Different Page Number.

Used to refer to the same source in consecutive footnotes or endnotes

Author: John Smith

Title: "Exploring the Universe"

(Place: Publisher, Year), Page 1. 

Ibid., Page 2.

Short Notes

Author's Last Name, Short Form of the Title, Page Number(s).

 Provides the reference in the short form.

Doe, History of Chicago, 45.

All in all, 

This blog perfectly sums up the use of ibid for different citation styles and footnotes. Mastering "Ibid" is not just about understanding a term; it's about making your writing smoother and more professional. 

With "Ibid," you can show off your writing skills and make things easy for your readers. 

Expert Tip

Explore more citation terms to ensure you can create and write references effortlessly without making errors. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between Op Cit vs Ibid?

Op. Cit refers to the source cited previously but not in the last citation. It is used to avoid repetition when citing the same work after intervening citations.

On the other hand, ibid refers to the same source cited in the immediately preceding citation. It is used to streamline consecutive citations.

Is Ibid No Longer Used?

Ibid is less commonly used in modern academic writing, especially in styles like APA and MLA. 

Many citation styles prefer specific and clear references, so writers often repeat the author's name and relevant details instead of using "Ibid." 

However, in certain historical or specialized contexts, "Ibid" may still be employed.

What is the Difference Between Ibid and Idem?

"Ibid" refers to the same source in consecutive citations, while "Idem" is used for the same author in different works. 

"Ibid" streamlines source repetition, while "Idem" simplifies acknowledging consistent authorship across multiple works.

Cathy Aranda

WRITTEN BY

Cathy Aranda (Marketing)

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

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