Voetnootpraktijken | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 133, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



Footnotes are a crucial part of the historian’s craft. Yet, they are often construed as no more than tools, used by historians, and scientists, to refer to sources and relevant literature. By looking at several student handbooks on history writing and recent studies on annotation practices, we argue in this discussion article that footnotes are more than simple references to other people’s work and that historians would do well to reflect on this. Footnotes can help historians construct historiographical and scientific discussions, and are therefore inextricably linked to politics of representation, inclusion and exclusion. Footnotes, we argue, fulfill a social and political function as knowledge brokers. With the rise of citation indexes problems of self-citation and gender misattribution have recently received more attention. Research into the uses and misuses of footnotes can shine a light on citation practices that reflect inequalities within academia. Therefore, it is worth considering more closely what happens in the literal margins of history writing.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): academic ethics; bias; citation; footnotes; historiography; performativity
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error