Let's say I have a PDF, and I want to cite something on page 2 of the PDF. Would I want to use the actual page number listed (page 724 apparently), or the page number of the PDF?

1 Answer 1


The actual page number. Your pdf has been made from another publication. Somebody may have access to the original. They want the actual page number. Also, another pdf made from the same publication may have different page numbers.

  • not sure what 'made from another publication' means, but post-arxiv, PDF is the primary format for a lot of publications. guessing this is true in other domains as well. also people are citing by doi / URL, i.e. digital-first. is there a standard way to list both page numbers? 'pdf p2 / printed p724'? from a usability perspective, having the PDF page # makes it way easier to locate the citation.
    – amwinter
    Jun 23 at 15:56
  • Many PDFs which have to cited have been taken from a book or journal. In the question it says 'page 724 apparently'. Yes, having the PDF page number makes it easier to locate if you have the same PDF. It is useless if you don't. Jun 23 at 17:03

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