I want to cite a proof appearing in the book from 1982. The thing is, the book has a newer edition from 2002; but at the same time, it's important for me to indicate the result is from 1982. On the other hand, I don't want to draw as much attention to this fact as I would do if I devoted full sentences of text making this observation (also, this would interrupt my narrative flow).

How should I cite this result so as to indicate both what the reader should look for right now, and when the result was published?

The citation formatting is not critical to this question, i.e. just assume any citation format you like to answer it. Also, I use LaTeX if it matters (it might not).

  • 6
    If the result is from 1982 and that's what matters, why not just cite the 1982 book and not mention the 2002 edition?
    – Allure
    Dec 17, 2018 at 9:01
  • 1
    @Allure: For several reasons: 1. It's more likely people will be able to get their hands on the later (2002) edition. 2. The later year helps indicate that the older result is not something that has been superseded and is now outdated (although admittedly this is a weak point). 3. If the author(s) have published a new edition, then they've possibly changed a few things. While those are probably not in the proofs of the result I'm citing, I'm only 90% sure of that, plus I want to respect the author's intention for people to read the last edition of their book, not earlier editions.
    – einpoklum
    Dec 17, 2018 at 11:07
  • 6
    You seem to want to eat the cake and have it. If you want to provide the reader some info, you need to use a sentence for it. To not disturb the flow, you can put some info in the brackets or a footnote. Some draft: "blah blah proof (Smith 1982; see also Smith 2002 for a more recent edition [of the book])" or the other way around: "blah blah proof (Smith 2002; originally published in Smith 1982)".
    – user68958
    Dec 17, 2018 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


What you are asking is somewhere between an annotated bibliography and a normal reference list. I'm not aware of a formal way to do this.

However, this is the APA way to cite a republished book:

Doe, J. (2002). On the Fooing of Bars (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Baz Publishers. (Original work published 1982)

For your purpose, to indicate not the orignal edition but the first edition in which a certain proof appears, I suggest to adapt it this way:

Doe, J. (2002). On the Fooing of Bars (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Baz Publishers. (The proof first appeared in the 2nd edition, 1982)

In both cases, the in-text reference would be:

(Doe, 1982/2002)

  • I wonder if there's a way to get bibtex to do that :-)
    – einpoklum
    Dec 17, 2018 at 14:36
  • 2
    @einpoklum That'll depend somewhat on your bibtex style, but try the "note" field. That's what it's for.
    – Anyon
    Dec 17, 2018 at 15:02
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    @einpoklum Unless you meant getting "Doe, 1982/2002" style citations in the main text. That can be achieved using the biblatex-apa style, by setting the "origdate" field to the original year.
    – Anyon
    Dec 17, 2018 at 15:12
  • @Anyon: I meant getting the 1982/2002 in the main text, yeah. I didn't know about the origdate - perhaps other styles support is as well.
    – einpoklum
    Dec 17, 2018 at 15:25
  • @einpoklum They might. I haven't tried with other styles, but I believe support for that field is built into biblatex.
    – Anyon
    Dec 17, 2018 at 15:59

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