When writing a bibliography entry, if I want to cite pages 1 up to 10, including both 1 and 10 (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10) should I write 1-10 or 1-11?

  • Inclusive. I can't think of any reason for it not to be. – dolphin_of_france Sep 11 at 19:01

Page ranges are normally inclusive. "Pages 1-5" means pages 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

I think most readers would be extremely confused if you wrote "pages 1-5" and mean 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Note that you should include a page in the range even if the relevant text takes up only a small part of the page. Like if the text of interest starts halfway down page 10, takes all of pages 11 and 12, and then concludes with one line on page 13 before the book goes on to another subject, you should say "pages 10-13".

  • What Jay said. There is no case I've ever heard of where you would write "1-11" when page 11 was not actually included. – Cyn says make Monica whole Sep 11 at 18:56
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    @TerryPrice I have a substantial background in mathematics, I do not find it confusing. I also publish academically and this is the standard. – Amadeus-Reinstate-Monica Sep 11 at 19:23
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    @TerryPrice I doubt it. I write computer software for a living, where we regularly count starting from zero. But I would be quite surprised to find a book where the writer said, "I have three main points: 0 ... 1 ... and 2." I think most people can distinguish different contexts. – Jay Sep 11 at 19:23
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    @TerryPrice I also have a substantial background in mathematics and I can't imagine why someone with a substantial background in mathematics would find this confusing. Perhaps some Python developers would find it confusing—in Python, the notation range(1, 5) indicates the sequence 1, 2, 3, 4. But I'm sure that even most Python developers consider "range(1, 5) means 1, 2, 3, 4" to be the strange fact, not "1-5 means 1, 2, 3, 4, 5". – Tanner Swett Sep 11 at 19:27
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    @TerryPrice: People with math background are familiar with the summation sign notation, which also includes the upper bound in the sum. – celtschk Sep 12 at 19:50

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