How should I reference footnotes inside a footnote. Do we have to have them superscripted?

6 For further clarification, see footnote 5.

How should I style see footnote 5?

  • 5
    Having this problem probably means that you have too many footnotes. Commented Sep 9, 2022 at 7:00

2 Answers 2


It probably matters little what style you choose.

Perhaps write just one footnote and use its number twice in the text, since the current footnote 6 adds no information to that already in footnote 5.


(I initially assumed that by, "reference footnotes inside a footnote," you actually mean how to format a reference that actually includes the word "footnote." However, if you are explicitly using the word "footnote," I think the answer is the same whether the reference appears in the body text or in another footnote.)

You should use the second one, probably with a square bracket:

See footnote [5].

When the running text actually refers to the something in a footnote, the reference is part of that text, and so should be typeset as such.

This applies when references are normally typeset using footnotes and to other types of footnotes as well. Although the phrasing may be different, the placement of the numeral is not:

See Ref. [5].


According to Marcuse,5

which would be implicit form of the reference.

Whether there should actually be a square bracket, as I have recommended, and whether "Footnote" should be capitalized are questions to which there is no standard answer. My preferred way of writing it is as appears here, but individual publications may have slightly different standards.

  • Thank you, I mean, I am already inside footnote 6, and I am referencing another footnote 5. I am not in the text. Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 21:08
  • @user18602524 Actually, thinking about it, I think my answer is essentially the same in that case. See my edit above.
    – Buzz
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 21:10

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