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From the very end of an article in Essex Countryside magazine, June 1978:

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What is the name and purpose of that cryptic "1492E"?

I feel like I've seen this kind of thing somewhere before, but I'm blanking on its function (if I ever knew) or whether it has a name. My guess is that it might be related to reprints — like, if you called up the publisher a few years later and asked to get a copy of "article 1492E," they'd be able to find it faster than if all you knew was the article's title and date? But that's a wild guess.

The question behind the question is: is the "1492E" relevant in some way when citing this article in a bibliography?

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  • Welcome to Writing.SE! Interesting question. Is there a specific citation style that you have to follow?
    – Secespitus
    Mar 28 '19 at 19:10
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    "Is there a specific citation style that you have to follow?" — Well, my immediate use-case is just a {{cite newspaper on Wikipedia. But assuming this "1492E" is some kind of unambiguous reference number — which it might not be at all! — then I'd be interested to know about any citation styles, or pretty much any other contexts, in which it might be relevant or important. Mar 28 '19 at 19:17
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    i2.wp.com/greydogtales.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/… This is another example of such reference number from another article from 1977. Notice that the reference number has increased.
    – NofP
    Mar 28 '19 at 19:57
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Meaning of number

The magazine is called Essex Life today. They have a website and contact form. If you'd like to learn what the number meant you could contact them and ask.

Citing the article

But that number is irrelevant if what you want to do is cite that article. None of the conventions I know – APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. – mention a "number at the end of an article" as part of what you need to provide.

Explanation

Citations contain information that allows you to identify and access the cited text. Now, if you found a citation with that number in it, you wouldn't know what it meant and it wouldn't help you to find the source. Therefore, that number is not only unnecessary in a citation, it would in fact be confusing and thereby undermine the purpose of the citation.

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    Why don't you contact them and ask what the numbers meant? I don't see how this really answers the question.
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 31 '19 at 17:12
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    @F1Krazy First of all, the "question behind the question", as stated in the question body, is: "is the '1492E' relevant in some way when citing this article in a bibliography?" I answered that question. No, it is not relevant. Because, as I stated, a number at the end of an article is not part of any citation convention (APA, MLA, Chicago etc.). I hope you don't expect me to expound all the conventions for which thick handbooks have been written in a Stack Exchange answer to prove that none of them mention such a number. [contd.]
    – user37583
    Mar 31 '19 at 19:34
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    [contd.] Second, I made an effort and did the research to find out the current name of the magazine to provide the asker an opportunity to satisfy their curiosity. I think that's commendable and not cause for a downvote. I chose to post that information here because an answer to my inquiry would take days, and I felt the asker would get a quicker reply by directly inquiring themselves. Also, I'm not curious to learn the meaning of the number myself, because, as I already said, it is irrelevant to the intent of this question.
    – user37583
    Mar 31 '19 at 19:35
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    I thought the answer was fine. Normally a "contact them" response isn't very helpful but here the poster is saying it's specific to the magazine and not relevant in any other context. Mar 31 '19 at 22:14
  • If you'd like to learn what the number meant you could contact them and ask. — Yes, I would like to know that. — Unfortunately, the editor of "Essex Life" replies: Sorry, I can’t help you there, and I’m afraid there is no one still at the business who has been here longer than I have. Sorry to not be of assistance this time. — So the question is still open. Apr 2 '19 at 15:38

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