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Using Ibid in a Chicago Style Bibliography

As you collect your sources and create your preliminary bibliography, you may choose to use Chicago notes-biblio style to prepare your research paper. As you’re reading through journal articles, you may notice the term “ibid.” in the notes section. It’s important to know how and when to use ibid. correctly in your bibliography.

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What is Ibid?

In past years, it was common to use Latin phrases and abbreviations. This practice has slowly fallen out of style. However, there is still at least one commonly used Latin abbreviation. Ibid. is an abbreviation of the Latin word ibidem, which means “in the same place.” If you find yourself referencing the same work in your paper a few times, you will likely want to use ibid. in creating your bibliography too.

Using Ibid. in Notes

As you may notice, the notes section in a Chicago style paper or book can be quite dense at times. In order to help the reader, you may use ibid. to shorten a citation if it comes from the same source as the note immediately preceding it. This avoids unnecessary repetition and redundancy, keeping your notes both clean and accurate.


  • Lessing, Finding Authors, 71
  • Ibid., 95
  • Ibid.

Formatting the Abbreviation

Student adding ibid to bibliography

When formatting the term ibid. in your Chicago style paper, follow these guidelines:

  • Do not italicize ibid.
  • Add a period at the end, as ibid. is an abbreviation.
  • If there is a page number after ibid., place a comma between ibid. and page number.
  • Don’t use a page number if you are referencing the same page as the previous note.

Clear the Clutter

When it comes to your Chicago preliminary bibliography, using ibid. is helpful for both the writer while creating footnotes and endnotes, and helps the reader as it reduces cluttered text.

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