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How can I add a author-date citation to a sentence that ends with parentheses? That can occur when using parenthetical remarks or when an abbreviation is introduced:

However, methane has a higher Global Warming Potential (GWP)(IPCC 2013).

Most environmental impacts were due to methane emissions (which has higher GWP factors)(IPCC 2013).

Having two parentheses next to one another sure looks awkward. Is there a "workaround" or should I work harder and restructure the sentences.

Update: I am writing my thesis and the university does not recommend any citation style.

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This depends on the writing and citation style you are using. In APA you should use a semicolon to separate the citation from the acronym:

However, methane has a higher Global Warming Potential (GWP; IPCC, 2013).

Most environmental impacts were due to methane emissions (which has higher GWP factors; IPCC, 2013).

Source: http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2013/05/punctuation-junction-parentheses-and-brackets.html

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  • Thanks! Personally, I don't like how that implies a relation between the two elements in the parentheses. This may be quite misleading in some situations. – n1000 Nov 12 '16 at 15:56
  • +1 for citing a style guide but... Eew that looks bad, for a guy not used to APA I definitely wouldn't read that as intended. – user0721090601 Nov 12 '16 at 16:02
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    I understand your point. In those cases it may be best to recast the sentence like some of the other answers recommend. – Andrew Jackson Nov 12 '16 at 16:02
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I would make sure that, if you go with the two parentheses option, you put a space in between:

However, methane has a higher Global Warming Potential (GWP) (IPCC 2013).

Most environmental impacts were due to methane emissions (which has higher GWP factors) (IPCC 2013).

But if it visually bothers you, you can just set off with commas:

However, methane has a higher Global Warming Potential, or GWP (IPCC 2013).

Most environmental impacts were due to methane emissions which have higher GWP factors (IPCC 2013).

You could also rewrite the sentence if you want to make it a bit clearer you're not citing what is effectively your parenthetical:

The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of methane, however, is much higher (IPCC 2013)

Methane emissions, which have higher GWP factors, caused most [of the] environmental impacts (IPCC 2013).

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  • So you would say that introducing an abbreviation for the first time in a manuscript is also acceptable like this? – n1000 Nov 12 '16 at 14:55
  • It will depend on your style guide. I'm not in the sciences so perhaps someone from there could clarify if it's acceptable for them (it would generally be in the humanities) – user0721090601 Nov 12 '16 at 14:58
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Might look awkward but you're on the money. No need to restructure. After all, it's not because of you those sentences end in parentheses.

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If you are citing word-for-word, you can (and should) use quotation marks, like

"However, methane has a higher Global Warming Potential (GWP)" (IPCC 2)

Otherwise you can rephrase the sentence to remove the parentheses from the end of the sentence

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