A current discussion of one of the email groups to which I subscribe concerns citations/notes: where do you like them, at the bottom of each page (footnotes) or at the end of the book (endnotes)? The overwhelming preference is for footnotes. Also overwhelming is a preference for real, live, traceable citations as opposed to the general, incomprehensible notes that are all the rage today, even in university presses. So, if there are any publishers out there reading this, please don’t feed us any crap about endnotes being preferable to footnotes, and especially don’t tell us that footnotes “break up” the book. Endnotes force the reader to flip back and forth, and if the publisher compounds his endnote decision with the even more egregious error of not heading the note pages with the applicable text pages, the whole process is insufferable. I suspect that the reason for endnotes over footnotes is cost-based.
And while we’re on the subject, I’ll once again register my displeasure with the trend toward useless notes that are impossible to correlate to text and hence are worthless when it comes to tracking things down (i.e. one note for three or four long paragraphs). I don’t think this trend is cost-based, however, but is rather a reflection of poor or deliberately misleading scholarship.