By Marina Pantcheva
Until the end of the 18th century, all scholarly books and articles were written in Latin. Although this has changed, Latin expressions and abbreviations are still very common in scientific texts.
Below you will find the most frequent Latin abbreviations and phrases, listed with their meaning, examples, and some tips about their usage.
|ad hoc||for this purpose or occasion
There is no comma after cf.
Used with dates.
Place e.g. before the provided example, not after. Use a comma after e.g. The punctuation mark before e.g. can be a comma, a full stop, or a semicolon (depending on the sentence structure). Do not use etc. at the end of a phrase beginning with e.g.
|ead.||the same (used for a female person; for a male person, see id.) Restrict the use of ead. to endnotes and footnotes.
Ead. is used to quote a female author who has been cited in the preceding note. It takes place of the authoress’s name and can refer to several works of the authoress.If used in the main text, ead. refers to the last female author cited.
|et al.||This abbreviation stand for et alii (and other people), ot et alia (and other things).
Used to complete the list of three or more authors of published work. Note that the verb is in plural form.
|etc.||and so onUsed to complete a list. In formal writing, etc. is used only for things and is limited to footnotes. In lists containing humans, use et al. (see above). Never end a list introduced by e.g., such as, or for example with etc. Etc. is preceded by comma.
|ibid.||in the same book, in the same source. Restrict the use of ibid. to endnotes and footnotes.
Ibid. refers to a single work cited in the preceding note. It is usually followed by a page number. It takes the place of the author’s name, the title of the work, and as much of the following information that is identical. Never use the author’s name and the title of the work together with ibid.
 Ibid., p.103-110
If used in the main text, ibid. refers to the last work cited.
|id.||the same (used for a male person; for a female person, see ead.)Restrict the use of id. to endnotes and footnotes.
Id. is used to quote a male author who has been cited in the preceding note. It takes place of the author’s name and can refer to several works of the author. It should not be used as ibid. to refer to the complete preceding citation.If used in the main text, id. refers to the last male author cited.
|i.a.||among other things
Used to specify one particularly important item which is part of a wider reference. It is usually enclosed in commas.
Used to clarify or to repeat an idea in another way. Use a comma after i.e. The punctuation mark before i.e. can be a comma, a full stop, or a semicolon (depending on the sentence structure). It is wrong to use i.e. to introduce an example.
|mutatis mutandi||changing those things that need to be changed
Used in comparisons to mean with necessary modifications or acknowledging the differences between the two.
|op. cit.||in the same work as was mentioned before
It takes the place of the title of the work only and appears together with the author’s name.
Make sure that there is just one work of the author that has been cited previously.
Used to introduce a detailed description of a list of previously mentioned items. It is different from i.e. because it does not supply a clarification or interpretation.
Used between two choices or to contrast two things. Often used in headlines and titles.