I am writing a paper and want to reference another source. In academic Hebrew, this would be said using the abbreviations for, "See (source)" or "as explained in (source), see there". Is there a comparable abbreviation in latin?

  • 19
    Why do you want to write it in Latin? If you don't already know the abbreviation, it's likely unfamiliar to your readers. Are you writing in Hebrew? Apr 11, 2021 at 16:37
  • 12
    @AzorAhai-him- Clearly, the paper is being written in Latin. :)
    – hiccups
    Apr 12, 2021 at 2:11
  • 9
    it is indeed unclear if you are writing a paper "in latin", or if you're writing it in English and simply wonder if there is a latin phrase in common use for this purpose. If it's the latter, the standard is to simply use something like "Most academics think X (see [1-3])". (but, as one of the answers points out, you use "cf." if your aim is explicitly to compare/contrast, rather than simply point the reader to a source) Apr 12, 2021 at 5:19
  • 8
    We have a Latin language sister site
    – Mawg
    Apr 12, 2021 at 10:26

5 Answers 5


Two answers already, both of which can be correct, depending on context (as @AppliedAcademic commented on one of them).

As I mentioned in a comment, We have a Latin language sister site.

I think that the best explanation is the accepted answer to this English language & uasge question, (q.v) which I quote here in its entity:

q.v. stands for the phrase quod vide : "on this (matter) go see"

Cf. is used chiefly to refer to articles proving or documenting one's point or having authority, not to avoid treating a particular aspect in the course of the writing.

Compared to cf., most authors restrict the use of q.v. to refer to another part of the same work (usually a book) where they treat with the subject matter. This is also used to advise the reader to read another work they endorse.

In a monograph or a large book there is seldom one perfect way of serially organizing all content. q.v. is a means for the author to help readers learn more at their leisure.

  • without making footnotes
  • without distracting or boring people already knowledgeable
  • without repeating part of the material

On critical editions, you will sometimes find q.v. in margin comments or apostilles as a quick comment for a quote, giving its source.

  • 1
    Tip: If you forget what c.f. means, read it as if it's short for "see for [example]".
    – user541686
    Apr 14, 2021 at 10:48
  • "`The abbreviation cf. (short for the Latin: confer/conferatur, both meaning 'compare') is used in writing to refer the reader to other material to make a comparison with the topic being discussed. Style guides recommend that cf. be used only to suggest a comparison, and the word 'see' be used to point to a source of information" - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cf.
    – Mawg
    Aug 6, 2021 at 11:48

Quod vide, q.v. in short.

I agree with the other commenters though, its pretty obscure in English writing.


Confer, or conferatur, abbreviated as cf.

Cf. the information here.

  • 23
    A minor difference is that cf. is traditionally used to indicate comparison with the current work, rather than for a parent source of the current work. That's mentioned in your linked article.:) Apr 11, 2021 at 18:48

Don't use Latin abbreviations unless you're writing in Latin, or the journal's style guide says otherwise.

Simply put, most journals' style guide will dictate the use of a particular referencing style, which will include a particular method of in-text references. For instance, in a paper using the APA referencing style, you might write "According to Miller (2019), most foos bar" or "Most foos bar (Miller, 2019)", while in a paper using the IEEE referencing style, you might write "According to [23], most foos bar" or "Most foos bar [23]".

As a result, there shouldn't be any need for Latin abbreviations unless you're writing in Latin, or the journal's style guide requires it.

  • 5
    Does your advise include i.e. and e.g.? Both are Latin abbreviations frequently used in English academic writing, but given that their use isn't restricted to referencing sources, they are very often not covered by style guides.
    – Schmuddi
    Apr 13, 2021 at 8:02
  • 4
    And, thinking of it, et al. is of course also a Latin abbreviation that is actively promoted by both the APA and the IEEE referencing style for in-text citations. Perhaps a better wording for your answer would be "stick to the referencing style of the journal your submitting to" instead of giving Latin this much room?
    – Schmuddi
    Apr 13, 2021 at 8:46
  • 4
    The IEEE style guide suggests to use et al. with in-text citations if the authors are mentioned: "Azzarello et al. [3] stated that they were unable to determine why …". What about i.e. and e.g.?
    – Schmuddi
    Apr 13, 2021 at 11:15
  • 1
    Importing Latin's not necessarily a bad thing when it makes sense, though it'd certainly seem weird when there'd be better terms in English already. For example, replacing "see X" with "q.v. X" would seem counterproductive.
    – Nat
    Apr 13, 2021 at 20:40
  • 1
    "i.e." and "e.g." are edge-cases for me. I kinda got into using them, but seems like there'd be a good argument for dropping "e.g." in favor of "ex." (including that "e.g." can be mistaken for "i.e.", whereas "ex." is generally well-understood).
    – Nat
    Apr 13, 2021 at 20:43

Others have mentioned putting "q.v." ("which see") after a citation, and mentioned that it's pretty rare. I'll add that after two or more citations you can pluralize it to "qq.v.", which is even rarer.

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