How Should You Cite from Kindle?

I just got an interesting question, one that professors and students will no doubt be asking with increasing frequency: how should we be citing, and requiring others to cite, material read on an e-reader such as a Kindle?

Kindles do not have page numbers, though they do have line numbers. In light of this, The Masters Seminary has outlined the following policy:

Citation of e-Book Sources:  There are a number of electronic book sources now  available for general use and some materials only exist in that format.  When  citing an electronic book of e-Book the reference must contain the actual type or  model of e-Book being used (Amazon Kindle, Microsoft, Sony, etc.) and the  location number of the quote (since actual page numbers are not created) .  For example:

1  D. Brent Laytham, ed., God Does Not…: Entertain, Play Matchmaker, Hurry, Demand Blood, Cure Every Illness (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2008), Kindle e- book, locations 552-53.

In addition students must be aware that a professor may request to see the device and examine the quotation and that the student must be able to comply with this request.

My gut reaction is that, as a professor, I want to know citation data that will enable me to check on the quote without purchasing an e-reader version. That is, I think I would tell a student to go to Google Books or Amazon “Search Inside” to find out the page number of the print edition.

What do you think? Is now the time to allow an e-reader-only citation for books that have print counterparts? Is that day coming? What would you require of your students in a class right now? What do you think you should do in your own writing?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.