I'm currently designing a print flyer and I'm using quite a few statistics and a few quotes. Since space is at a minimum, and citing each individual statistic would require several lines of unsightly text (even at a small font). I'm wondering if it would be okay to cite a URL (which would never be changed or removed) where all of citations are located. In other words, is it okay to create a remote bibliography or works cited page? And yes, I would be adding superscripts and figure numbers so the corresponding citation could be found.

More info: The flyer has the possibility to be handed out (distributed) and also simply made available at various locations where people could pick up a flyer if they wish. This will be a promotional flyer for a non-partisan non-profit organization.

  • 3
    This is going to depend on context; if you're handing out ad flyers then you should assume that people won't look at anything not on the paper they're holding, but if you put out a stack of flyers at a conference for people to pick up if they're interested, they might follow a URL. So...it depends. Can you make your question any more concrete? Thanks. Sep 10 '13 at 3:01

The key question is, "Okay to whom?"

Giving proper footnotes is a question of ethics and academic standards, not law. You're not breaking any law if you don't give any footnotes at all.

There are (at least) three reasons to give footnotes: 1. To avoid plagiarism by clearly indicating what is your own material and what you took from someone else. 2. To establish credibility by showing where you got your information, that you didn't just make everything up. 3. To allow readers to easily further research the topic by going back to your sources.

I think that all of those criteria are met almost as well by a "remote bibliography" as by including the footnotes on the flyer. The most questionable would be #2. If, say, you're producing a flyer where you make some highly controversial claims about political or social topics, and you want to make clear that when you say "numerous studies prove ..." that you aren't just making this up, then putting the footnotes on the flyer would be better for establishing credibility.

One possible option would be to include "abbreviated citations" in the text and then give the reference to the full citation. Like instead of saying "Studies prove that ... [1]" and giving the footnote elsewhere, say "Studies done at the University of Melbourne and the Centers for Disease Control prove that ... [1]". Or instead of just saying, "The moon is made of green cheese [2]", say, "According to Dr Frederick Stover, the moon is made of green cheese [2]", etc.

  • Great idea! I'll make every effort, where possible, to use abbreviated citations in the text on the flyer.
    – Glen Selle
    Sep 12 '13 at 1:08

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