Perhaps all bibliography styles in research papers are in plain text. The authors are cited first, then the actual titles of the work in citing, then other information. This is because for the researchers the authors might be more important than the works being cited.

Mason, P. and R. Kreger. Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder. New Harbinger Publications, 2010.

Arnold, Douglas and Jonathan Rogness. Möbius transform revealed.

But what bibliography style would serve non-academic readers better? The titles might be more important than everything else, so it should be highlighted, and the rest are put in contrast with it. Google Scholar does this style, and I copy it:

Do you have any suggestions/improvements? I think the titles are a little over-emboldened, but they are quite plain if aren't.

FYI: How to make a bibliography with Google Scholar style? in TeX

  • 1
    Even as an academic, I also find more useful the titles! Sadly, I cannot find a good documented source for an alternative format. I checked The Chicago Manual of Style and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, and both are exclusively author-centered. Perhaps we are too worried that our works go unrecognized?
    – Pepe Ochoa
    Dec 17, 2017 at 17:58
  • actually, since breakthrough ideas mostly (if not all) known by their authors, not the titles of papers present it, I think it's fair to cite authors first. You don't even need to read the titles, just knowing it contains reputable names are sufficient to have it past the review? :P
    – Ooker
    Dec 18, 2017 at 5:19
  • You could just use the base-weight of the font and italicize the author and location. That would create enough differentiation but not be overbearing. Dec 18, 2017 at 16:53

1 Answer 1


Keep in mind that a bibliography whether for academics or non-academics is not the same thing as a library catalog entry or a computer generated list.

The "proper" academic bibliographic format varies from institution to institution and from discipline to discipline, and the "accepted" formats change every 5 - 10 years.

It is not uncommon to find library books with older bibliographic formats. The important thing is that a reader should be able to locate the material given the bibliographic information.

There are a number of webpages that will generate citations in various formats, but they will not always be accurate. citethisforme.com has a Chrome extension available.

The Chicago Manual of Style tends to be more accepting of various formats, and it allows the titles to be listed first if the author is anonymous. (See The Chicago Manual of Style 15.32) but 14.79 suggests beginning the listing with "Anonymous" if there are several anonymous authors that can be grouped together.

Another reason for listing authors first in a bibliography is because when the sources are cited in an essay using MLA text citation, it is the authors that are cited, so it will be easier to find the works for further research under the name of the author in a bibliography.

Even in non-academic discussions, it is more helpful to find references by the author's name. For example, in the sentence: "What Virginia Woolf had to say about women differed from the views of Simone de Beauvoir and Gertrude Stein." In order to find research that would prove or disprove this statement, one would want to examine the works listed in a bibliography under the author's names.

To assist as an academic, it is recommended that the bibliography be listed alphabetically by the author's last name and that the title's be Italicized. Making a subcategory for Books or Artwork is acceptable.

As of this writing, the Eighth edition of the MLA Handbook is not very concerned with the citation of artworks, so we have to look to the seventh edition for guidance.

The sources would be cited using MLA 8th edition such as follows:


Arnold, Douglas N. and Jonathan Rogness. Möbius transformations revealed. U Minisota, 2007,

Print Media

Mason, Paul T. and Randi Kreger, Stop Walking on Eggshells : Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder. New Harbinger, 2010.

The second lines of the two examples above would be indented...

As a graphic designer titles don't have to be italicized and all sorts of liberties can be taken. But there is a design rule not to alienate your audience. If the audience is familiar with one bibliographic format, then it is best follow that format. Hopefully this helps.

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