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I was checking guidance on where to put footnote or endnote reference characters relative to punctuation and found a really clear answer for everything except an ellipsis.

It's pretty unlikely and rare that you might want to footnote or endnote the end of a snippet of text that ends in an ellipsis, which is probably why I can't find any information on it. But it's possible.

Supposing there was such a case, should it be like this:

However, there might be other reasons for such varied evidence. One study has even found strong evidence of conflicts of interest emerging in some cases...[3] It is beyond the scope of this paper to speculate on whether that is what happened here.

...or like this...

However, there might be other reasons for such varied evidence. One study has even found strong evidence of conflicts of interest emerging in some cases[3]... It is beyond the scope of this paper to speculate on whether that is what happened here.

  • Case for the former (note reference character after the ellipsis): It's consistent with commas, full stops/periods, etc, and strictly follows the Chicago Manual rule "note reference numbers in the text should follow any punctuation marks except the dash". (although I believe the Chicago manual has some less-than-usual guidance on ellipsis being widely spaced)

  • Case for the latter (note reference character before the ellipsis): The other way looks horrible without serious kerning. Also, to me, an ellipsis feels more like a dash than a comma or full stop/period... (not sure how to qualify that)

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1 Answer 1

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I would say it depends on what the ellipsis is replacing.

Version 1 original:

However, there might be other reasons for such varied evidence. One study has even found strong evidence of conflicts of interest emerging in some cases, which has sometimes led to reversals of convictions. It is beyond the scope of this paper to speculate on whether that is what happened here.

Version 1 elided:

However, there might be other reasons for such varied evidence. One study has even found strong evidence of conflicts of interest emerging in some cases.....3 It is beyond the scope of this paper to speculate on whether that is what happened here.

The "3" is going at the end of the sentence, but that sentence had material elided from it. Please note there are four periods in a row — an ellipsis followed by a period to end a sentence.

Version 2 original:

However, there might be other reasons for such varied evidence. One study has even found strong evidence of conflicts of interest emerging in some cases. This has sometimes led to reversals of convictions. It is beyond the scope of this paper to speculate on whether that is what happened here.

Version 2 elided:

However, there might be other reasons for such varied evidence. One study has even found strong evidence of conflicts of interest emerging in some cases.3 ...It is beyond the scope of this paper to speculate on whether that is what happened here.

The "3" is at the end of the sentence, but the material elided comes after the sentence you want to footnote.

Kern whatever needs kerning.

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