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If I summarize content from another source, I'll use \cite to reference the author. In natural sciences it seems to be standard to use \cite at the end of the sentence or paragraph that containts cited content.


Lore ipsum \cite{OtherSource}.

Is there any recommended way about whitespacing before the \cite command? I could go with

Lore ipsum \cite{OtherSource}.


Lore ipsum\cite{OtherSource}.

Edit: My question is about, whether I should include a whitespace or not.

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Lorem ipsum~\cite{Source} –  egreg Sep 25 '12 at 15:18
@egreg: As far as I understand ~, it forces the creation of a whitespace. My question was about, if I should include a whitespace at all –  citronas Sep 25 '12 at 15:22
Definitely add one. The tie will keep it with the preceding word; in case of author-year citations the tie can be pulled away in problematic cases. –  egreg Sep 25 '12 at 15:26
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1 Answer

up vote 9 down vote accepted

For citation styles that typeset the content of \cite in the main text body (e.g., numeric, alphabetic and author-year styles) you definitely want a space before the citation, i.e.,

Lorem ipsum \cite{<key>}.

or (especially in case of numeric styles)

Lorem ipsum~\cite{<key>}.

For styles that move the citation content into a footnote (e.g., author-title and verbose styles), I recommend to use

Lorem ipsum.\cite{<key>}

Some European styles prefer the footnote mark before the punctuation, though (thanks to jon for the hint).

In case you use biblatex and its \autocite command, you may use

Lorem ipsum \autocite{<key>}.

independent from the actual style -- \autocite will move the footnote mark after the end-of-sentence period in case your style uses footnotes.

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In the last case, some footnote-based (European) styles prefer the citation command to be inside the punctuation. –  jon Sep 25 '12 at 15:27
The 'magic moving' punctuation business is configurable in biblatex. For non-biblatex styles, the cite package can do 'magic moving' if requested, or my own natmove package provide the same concept for natbib-dependent bibliographies. –  Joseph Wright Sep 25 '12 at 18:09
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