As a general principle, citations in scholarly works have two purposes: to prove that the point is supported by evidence, and to allow the reader to find the evidence that the author is citing to. The pain of citations comes from the requirement that these citations be made as brief as possible by painstakingly utilizing a series of standardized abbreviations. The requirement to abbreviate arises mainly from a historical limitation: the scarcity of paper and ink.
I hear from other scholars that readers increasingly choose to read scholarly works in electronic formats and it seems likely that this trend will increase over time. While many readers may still prefer to read in print, they often discover articles as pdfs and may even choose to annotate them in that format. If articles begin as pdfs and are rarely or never printed, abbreviations are less necessary because the limits of electronic storage space

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