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Consider the following sentence:

"We can also divide calls into stereotyped (discrete) and graded (continuous) (Marler & Mitani, 1988)"

My supervisor corrected it including the citation in the second parenthesis: "We can also divide calls into stereotyped (discrete) and graded (continuous; Marler & Mitani, 1988)"

I disagree with it because the citation is relative to the entire sentence.

Which is the correct formulation?

Thanks

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Which is the correct formulation?

I wouldn't call either one incorrect or less correct than the other. However, you two are probably not the only ones who could either find the first form not very readable (or not "stylish") or misinterpret the second one. I would thus avoid both forms, and I would try to modify the sentence to improve readability and avoid possible misinterpretations.

For example, if the referenced paper was the first to propose that division, you can avoid the issue altogether by writing:

Following/According to (Marler & Mitani, 1988), we can also divide calls into stereotyped (discrete) and graded (continuous)

Or you can avoid the parentheses by writing (I don't know the topic, I'm just interpreting):

We can also divide calls into stereotyped or graded (Marler & Mitani, 1988): stereotyped calls are discrete in character, whereas graded ones are continuous"

  • Thanks. Why would you avoid both forms? To avoid the problem or because my formulation does not convey the meaning properly? – have fun Feb 24 '18 at 14:36
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    @havefun I added an explanation: essentially, you two are not only the only ones who could not like the style of the first form or could misinterpret the second one. Thus, better rephrase the sentence. – Massimo Ortolano Feb 24 '18 at 14:51

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