Suppose an organization puts out a series of leaflets or pamphlets (in the 4- to 8-page range). Each one is independent, but the series has a strong theme and purpose (such as "best plants to grow indoors").

The series has a name (such as "Best House Plants"). In addition, each leaflet or pamphlet has its own title ("Begonias", "Figs", etc.) and each has its own catalog number and the date of the most recent published update.

Is there a convention for the best way to cite such a pamphlet as a source? I'm currently editing the bibliography of one, and it lists several others in the series.

I can't figure out whether these are closest to books in a series (each title italicized, title first and then name of series), articles in a journal (each title in quotes, name of journal italicized) or what.

Currently the habit is to cite the series title first, then the individual item title, but this, IMHO, makes it hard to focus on the individual title, which is the best guide to what that particular pamphlet is about (i.e. "Best House Plants: Begonias" or "Best House Plants: Begonias"). Neither of these looks right to me.

  • EA is right, but here's some tempering mercy: The CMS puts pamphlet titles and series names in italics; article titles, in quoted roman. If the series name (Best House Plants) appears on each pamphlet, that would seem to make an article of the pamphlet title ("Begonias"). If the series name does not appear on each pamphlet, that would appear to make independent each pamphlet name (Begonias).
    – deadrat
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 8:19
  • I assume you either (a) don't have a copy of CMoS or (2) have one and can't find what you need. If (a), then buy one. If (2), then you can ask them questions directly over at their website. Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 15:20
  • CMS16 section 14.249 says "Pamphlets ... are treated essentially as books. Data ... may not fit the normal pattern, but sufficient information should be given to identify the document." I think you can either treat them as a book series (Begonias in italics, Best House Plants capitalized headline-style) or as book chapters that happen not be bound into a single volume ("Begonias", Best House Plants).
    – JPmiaou
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 0:07

1 Answer 1


The way I read Chicago, it appears that the journal in your example is italicized and the pamphlets are in quotes. However, this proves problematic if: 1) the journal itself is part of some larger series, like an encyclopedia, or 2) the pamphlets have individually named chapters that are referred to. Chicago encourages creative but consistent solutions to such problems. The AP Style Guide is more thorough with specific examples, but I always had that "do it this way or else" feel about it. My example: In PLANTING ENCYCLOPEDIA, Best House Plants, "Begonias," Fertilizers. Although, naming a section rather than a page range seems unnecessary in any example I can think of.

  • Lauren et. al., can you edit me to put "Best House Plants" in italics? My device isn't smart enough.
    – Stu W
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 15:19

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