For example, the Chicago Manual of Style-16 states:
“Authors’ names are normally given as they appear on the title pages of their books or above their articles. Certain adjustments, however, should be made to assist correct identification. First names may be given in full in place of initials. If an author uses his or her given name in one cited book and initials in another (e.g., “Mary L. Jones” versus “M. L. Jones” versus “Mary Jones” versus “Mary Lois Jones” versus “M. Jones”), the same form, preferably the fuller one, should be used in all references to that author. To assist alphabetization, middle initials or names should be given wherever known”. [¶14.72] (emphasis added)
There are similar requirements with other citation styles. (See: APA Guideline 6.27.)
Without some assistance, it can be all but impossible to follow this requirement.
How is one to know if the M.L. Jones is Mary L. Jones, Michael Lewis Jones, or someone else? For some university professors, this blind attention to following the details of a style guide can make the difference between a passing or a failing grade. For manuscript submission this can be the difference between acceptance and rejection as attention to citation formatting may be used by manuscript reviewers as a gauge of an author's attention to scholarly detail.
SafetyLit provides (or attempts to provide):
- full author names even when the source document only provides initials – we consult multiple sources to verify authorship whenever names are incomplete or ambiguous; and
- standardized source and item title capitalization in “sentence case” to enable reference management software to convert the titles to the format required by the citation style.