I want to cite an article from a journal, e.g. AMS. So in the journal, there are several articles from different authors. Actually I thought that in my bibliography I have to print "pages 56-67", when these are the pages where you can find the article. But now I read several times, that I use "652 pages" to show, that the whole journal has this amount of pages. What is correct?

  • 6
    The number of pages in a journal issue or volume has no bearing on how to find a specific article (which is what the citation is all about providing).
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 5 at 21:42
  • 3
    I am curious where you saw that you should use the total journal page count in a citation.
    – shim
    Feb 6 at 16:36

2 Answers 2


Use the page numbers for the article you cite along with the date and issue number of the journal. I doubt that the "several places" that say otherwise really refer to this situation.


It is not uncommon for bibliographic information about a book to include a statement of the total number of pages it contains. It's particularly common when you look at the bibliographic information from a publisher, rather than in a reference list of cited publications, but it does sometimes occur in bibliographies as well.

In the case of journals, which are indexed by year and issue (among other things), the total number of pages in any particular issue is not of great relevance and most referencing styles do not make allowance for that information to be included. As @ethan-bolker says, it is sufficient (and usual) to state the page or pages where the relevant article can be found.

Note: As a matter of style, rather than substance, some journals give only number of the first page of an article (e.g. 626); others give a page range and full state the relevant pages (e.g. 626-639); and others give a shortened version, where possible, of the page range, omitting redundant digits (e.g. 626-39).

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