is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase opus citatum est, meaning "the work has been cited". It is used in an endnote
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A note is a string of text placed at the bottom of a page in a book or document or at the end of a text. The note can provide an author's comments on the main text or citations of a reference work in support of the text, or both...
to refer the reader to the name of the work, publication or book referenced in the footnote, while avoiding the need to restate the full title of the work in the footnote itself. Op. cit. thus refers the reader to the bibliography
Bibliography , as a practice, is the academic study of books as physical, cultural objects; in this sense, it is also known as bibliology...
, where the full citation of the work can be found, or to a full citation given in a previous footnote. Op. cit. should never therefore be used on its own, which would be meaningless, but must give a brief clue as to which work is referred to, for example "Smith op. cit" refers the reader to a work by "Smith" in the bibliography. Initials are not needed as the whole purpose of using op. cit. is economy of text. Where however two different works by Smith, or two different authors called Smith are included in the bibliography, the standard means of differentiation is to add the date of the work referred to in brackets, for example "Smith (1871) op. cit. " As with all foreign words and phrases, op. cit. should be printed using italics.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, considers that op. cit. is "rightly falling into disuse," and "instead uses the short-title form."
Op. cit should be contrasted with ibid , being an abbreviation of the Latin adverb ibidem, meaning "in the same place, in that very place" which refers the reader to the preceding footnote and its own cited source. The Latin definitive pronoun idem meaning "the same" is also used on occasion within footnotes, which is taken to denote that the current footnote contains identical text to that preceding it. The Latin adverb supra, meaning "above" means simply "see above" and can therefore be somewhat imprecise. Loc. cit. is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase loco citato (the ablative of locus citatus) meaning "in the place cited", but is now rarely used.
- (9) R. Millan, Art of Latin Grammar (Academic: New York, 1997), p. 23.
- (10) G. Wiki, Language and Its Uses (Blah Ltd.: Old York, 2000), p. 17.
- (11) Millan, op. cit., p. 5.
The reference no. 11 refers to the last cited work by the author R. Millan, and hence, it is the same as in no 9 (R. Millan, Art of Latin Grammar), although the page referred to is different.