comma after a citation ?

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The sentence reads: The terms are often used interchangeably (Barak, 2004) and the literature is equivocal on whether there is any meaningful difference or if anything can be gained from differentiating the terms (Corsini, Wedding, & Dumont, 2008; Feltham, 2006).

Is it necessary to place a comma after the bracket and before the and? i.e. : (Barak, 2004), and....

comma citations asked Mar 25 '13 at 05:39 ailsa New member

4 answers


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Yes, the comma is required. Without the comma, it is -- as Simon suggests -- a run-on sentence.

 

You may also wish to check the placement of the first citation. Most American style guides (Chicago, MLA, Turabin) call for the citation to occur at the end of the sentence -- not embedded within the sentence. But other style guides may differ.

 

I hope this helps.

link comment answered Mar 26 '13 at 04:44 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow
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I wonder if this sentence needs any citations at all. Generally, three citations for one sentence is overkill. If the experts all agree on a point, it is often considered common knowledge that doesn't need to be cited. Here, you are using three sources to say that any information you found on this point is questionable and uncertain.

The terms are used interchangeably with no significant difference in meaning.

link comment answered Mar 26 '13 at 12:54 Patty T Grammarly Fellow
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This is not a run-on sentence. A run-on is two complete sentences joined with only a comma and not a coordinating conjunction, so it would only be a run-on if it looked like this: "The terms are often used interchangeably (Barak, 2004), the literature is equivocal on whether there is any meaningful difference or if anything can be gained from differentiating the terms (Corsini, Wedding, & Dumont, 2008; Feltham, 2006)." 

 

Yes, there should be a comma after the first parenthetical because we join two complete sentences with both a comma and a conjunction, but it is not a run-on simply because of the missing comma.

 

Also, there should not be a comma before "or" as suggested by the first answer. A comma would come before "or" if it were separating two complete sentences (as mentioned above) or if it were before the last item in a list: "There is mustard, ketchup, or mayonnaise." 

link answered Mar 26 '13 at 13:25 JBBlackford New member

Two independent clauses joined with only a comma is a comma splice. A run on sentence has no punctuation.

Lewis NeidhardtMar 26 '13 at 17:42

Agreed. Per my grammar references -- Swan's, Garner's -- a run on sentence is multiple independent clauses joined only by coordinating conjunctions without punctuation. A comma splice is sometimes also called -- by some, but not all grammarians -- a run on. What JB describes is a comma splice.

Jeff PribylMar 26 '13 at 20:14

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I think this is a run on sentence, so there would be a comma before the "and", whether or not there was a citation there.

The terms are often used interchangeably, and the literature is equivocal...

I think you might also have a comma after "difference".

... whether there is any meaningful difference, or if anything can be gained...

link comment answered Mar 25 '13 at 17:41 Simon Jones Contributor

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