First, I’m sure that we can agree that Chicago-style notes are vastly superior to the stupid in-text citations of APA. Incidentally, since Cambridge University Press journals use Chicago while the Oxford University Press journals mandate some ghastly in-text citations, we can conclude that Cambridge is the better half of Oxbridge.
But within the note formats, I prefer endnotes over footnotes: ultimately, each format takes up the same amount of space on a manuscript, but endnotes keep it tidy and neat and therefore make it easier to read, especially if you need to include non-citation, explanatory notes. Only an academic would say that turning pages is labour-intensive and difficult work!
I inadvertently kicked off an academic nerdfight on social media earlier with an off-hand comment stating what I regard as self-evident, that endnotes are better that footnotes because they keep the paper tidy. Passions run so high in the endnote-footnote controversy precisely because the stakes are so low.
I’m curious to see what some of my readers think in this poll! I seem to be in the minority.
On the gut I prefer footnotes, but endnotes are easier: I keep a second bookmark for easy flipping between pages and need only go back when I feel like it.
That being said, anything is better than splitting text by dropping in a parenthetical elipsis.
It doesn’t matter much to me; for academic purposes as long as the citation info is all there and accurate I’m not gonna gripe. In practice I find I’m more likely to read a footnote. One can say “It’s not much effort” but that isn’t really the point. It’s more a matter of mental ‘flow’ or something–wonder what the quoted bit is from/about, cast the eyes down, read it, move up and continue before you’ve lost the thread of the argument.
But really, that only matters if foot/end notes are being used also for annotations, like a further-away parenthesis. Quite a few people do that and end-notes are kind of a step too far away for such things. If it’s just citations it’s fine either way.
Meh, that Kissinger quote is cute, but basically false. And that nasty little war criminal gets quoted way too much as it is.
I wrote for a business audience (marketing research reports [note the in-text explanation]) where “neither” was the correct answer. Indeed, reports beyond Executive Summaries typically remained unread.