Just to clarify what I mean, I have seen some review articles that have bibliography items like this:

Bloggs, J., "The Paper that has Been Written", The Journal Title, Series Number, page number(s), (year). [DOI] [arXiv link]

where both [DOI] and [arXiv link] are hyperlinks to the paper, the former to its webpage on the journal website (with which it was published), the latter to its arXiv webpage.

Does the author cite twice just in case someone is reading it who might not have access to journals? Or is there another reason?

  • 5
    I imagine it is the case that the authors want to make sure that readers can access the paper. Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 17:08
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    I have seen mathematics papers cited with paper publication info, DOI, Math Reviews review number, Zentralblatt review number, and ArXiv ID.
    – JeffE
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 21:00
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    You're right that access is an issue, since many readers may not be able to download the published version. But there's more to it than that. For example, I prefer citations to my papers to include the arXiv link even when the published paper is freely available, since I view the arXiv version as being the primary one. For example, I can fix typos in it or add bibliographic information (for example, for papers that were only preprints at the time of publication). It's important to point to the official published version, but for my papers the version on the arXiv is better. Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 1:18
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    In the example quoted, the paper is only cited once. The citation includes two links to online versions of the paper. Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


I agree with Dave Clarke. I think the primary purpose of a bibliography should be to offer the reader a way to read the cited material. A version of the paper on the arXiv achieves this goal better than any other means I know. However, it's also important that the cited material has been verified. By citing the journal version of the paper, the author communicates that it has been.

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