The use of footnotes in scientific papers is an indispensable procedure. They contain less relevant information that is not included in the main text, explanations of important dates, biographical data.
The footnote takes the form of a reference number, referring to fragments of text, words and phrases. In scientific works, footnotes are most often used to indicate the source of citations, opinions and origin of text fragments used in the text.
Several types of footnotes can be distinguished, making a division based on the place of occurrence and due to the content found in the footnote.
Due to the place of footnote placement, the following can be distinguished: footnote and endnote. The lower type of the footnote is located under the text field, and its separation from the text is done using a horizontal line. The endnote is rarely used in scientific papers, and the place where it appears is the end of the chapter.
If you divide footnotes because of the content in them, you can distinguish:
- ordinary source footnote – the aim is to place the source of a text fragment, specific numerical data, or a quote,
- extended source attribute – it is a regular source note, the content of which has been extended by a quotation from a given source or phrases that comment on given views,
- the reference footnote – its task is to “send” the reader to other parts of the work, where there is a fragment on the same subject matter, and familiarizing with it is of great importance at work.
- polemical footnote – it explains why this court among many, not the other was chosen,
- digressive footnote – contains the author’s comments, which are of great importance, but are not directly related to the topic.
- The meaning of footnotes used in scientific works is enormous, not only show where the piece of work comes from, but also help the reader to understand many times what the author meant.